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Autistic spectrum articles

Mother and child opening gift
Best SEN gifts: sensory needs
Finding the right gift that will bring joy and comfort can be a challenge, and it can feel like the world of children’s toys is lacking in the special educational needs (SEN) department. But the market is slowly changing, and sensory toys are becoming a popular choice for children of all neurological backgrounds.
What is child to parent abuse?
Understanding child to parent abuse
A violent or abusive child can have a big impact on the whole family. But what might trigger child to parent abuse (CPA), and how can you find a way through it?
PDA explained for parents
‘PDA is anxiety driven, not a discipline issue’
One mum shares her child's struggles with pathological demand avoidance (PDA) and how the family has learned to support him.
What is pathological demand avoidance?
What is pathological demand avoidance?
Some children with autism struggle with PDA: an anxiety-driven condition that can make it extremely difficult to comply with demands. We explain what it is and how to help your child cope at home and at school.
What is a social story?
What is a social story?
Social stories can help children with special needs understand situations that might crop up at school or at home. Primary school SEN Inclusion Lead Julie Steele explains how they work.
Best literacy resources
Best literacy resources
Whether your child is just learning to read and print letters or looking for ways to put their creative writing skills to the test, we've rounded up some fantastic resources to help them practise phonics, grammar, story-writing and comic-creating at home. Plus there are loads of different ways to connect with authors and listen to stories.
Supporting a child with special educational needs during difficult times
Supporting a child with special educational needs during times of change
If your child with SEN is struggling with changes to their daily routine, read our advice on helping them cope during challenging times.
The Welsh ALN Act explained for parents
The Welsh ALN Act explained
From September 2020, new provision for special educational needs will come into force in Wales. We explain the new ALN Act.
Best apps for children with special educational needs
Best apps for children with special educational needs
If you're supporting a child with special educational needs, try these brilliant apps to help make life easier, at school and at home.
Visual timetable for kids
What is a visual timetable?
Many children benefit from having a predictable routine in their lives. Visual timetables can help them in the classroom and at home.
Children learning sign language
Sign language and Makaton in primary schools
Signing can give children an educational boost, regardless of whether they have special needs. We take a look at its growth in schools.
Children in playground
What is sensory processing disorder?
Many children have difficulty experiencing the world as a result of sensory issues. We take a look at this often misunderstood disorder and explain what parents need to know.
Child and mother speaking to doctor
What is CAMHS?
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services provide help for young people suffering a range of difficulties. We take a look at how they could help your child.
Child and teacher in the classroom
What is a special school?
If your child has special educational needs, a mainstream education may not be right for them. We take a look at how special schools could help.
Bethany, Christian and Carla Broomfield
'We chose home education because the kids were unhappy at school'
Janice Broomfield from Liverpool explains why she decided to home educate her three children when they became unhappy at school.
Gingerbread family
Surviving the festive season: parents' tips for SEN kids
Christmas crowds, lights, smells and lack of routine can make the holidays a challenging time for autistic children. Help keep the whole family happy during the festivities with practical tips from parents from the disability charity Scope’s online community.
Mum and child talking
Speaking and listening skills for SEN kids: parents' tips
Communicating effectively is hard for all of us, but children with special educational needs can find it particularly challenging. Help them practise their skills and boost their confidence with practical communication tips from parents from the disability charity Scope’s online community.
SEN friendship tips
Making friends and play for SEN kids: parents' tips
Making friends and learning how to play are an important part of growing up, but it can be hard for children with special educational needs to learn crucial social skills such as how to share and interact, how to take turns and how to negotiate with others. Help your child find kindred spirits with practical friendship tips from parents from the disability charity Scope’s online community.
Positive mental health tips for children with SEN
Positive mental health tips for parents of SEN children
If your child has special educational needs it can be particularly hard to identify mental health difficulties. Help them express their feelings and cope with life's ups and downs more effectively with these practical tips from parents from the disability charity Scope’s online community.
ADHD and autism in girls
Autism and ADHD in girls
Spotting the signs of autism and ADHD in girls can be difficult, and getting a diagnosis even harder. So how can you tell if your daughter has one of these supposedly male-dominated conditions?
Handwriting pencil grip aids for children
Handwriting aids: pencil grips
Does your child struggle to hold their pencil correctly? Handwriting tutor Michelle van Rooyen explains how a pencil grip could help with their handwriting.
Child writing in school
Coping with school life: practical strategies to help autistic children
Schools can be complicated places for children, teachers and parents. Autism practitioner Gina Davies explains that there will invariably be challenges when autistic children start and attend school, but strategies that enable parents and teachers to work in partnership can be very successful.
Andrew and Jane - ASD
'The school worked with him to strengthen his motor and social skills'
Jane Burbridge from Folkestone describes her experience of the SEN and school system with her son Andrew, 7, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and shares her tips for other parents.
Working with a SENCO
How to work with your child’s SENCO
Having a healthy working relationship with your child’s SENCO can help ensure they get the support they need. Here’s how to ensure you make a good team. By Lucy Dimbylow
How a SENCO can help your child
How a SENCO could help your child
If your child has a special educational need, the school’s SENCO is likely to play a big part in his day-to-day life and learning. Lucy Dimbylow highlights nine ways in which she can help make your child’s school journey easier.
Girl reading and studying
Education, health and care plans (EHCP): expert tips to help parents
Statements of special educational needs have recently been replaced by EHCPs. SEN experts Antonia Chitty and Tania Tirraoro explain how the new plans work and share their tips on the application process
Bullies in class
Settling a child with SEN back into school
After the school holidays any child can find it unsettling heading back to school but it can be especially worrying for children with SEN. Here’s what you can do to help.
Bored girl
Boosting your child's concentration skills
Your guide to the special needs that can cause concentration difficulties and tips to help your child focus.
Does your child have special educational needs?
Does your child have special educational needs?
Find out about the wide spectrum of special educational needs children can have – and how you can support them at home and get the support they need in school.
Smiling girl
How educational psychologists can support SEN children
What is an educational psychologist and how might they help your child? We chat to consultant child educational psychologist Laverne Antrobus to find out.
Family playing with fake phone
Help develop your child's communication skills
Communication difficulties in children can be tackled through a variety of different activities and games. Find some ideas here to get you started.
Child peeking through a hole
How can a clinical psychologist help your child with SEN?
Clinical psychologist Elizabeth Kilbey chats to TheSchoolRun about what her job involves and how a clinical psychologist can support a child with special educational needs.
Mum talking to her child
Explaining special needs to children
Amy Schofield speaks to SEN expert Vicki Dawson to find out how to approach the subject with your child.
Sad little boy
Living with autism
How can you help a child with autism? We look at the different kinds of treatments available.
Happy, smiling children
10 things you need to know about Autistic Spectrum Disorders in children
Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are often difficult to understand and diagnose. We take a look some of the key things to know about them and how they could affect your child.
Family playing a board game
Engaging activities for children with autism
Providing your autistic child with activities that stimulate them but make them feel secure at the same time can be a challenge. Tessa Scott looks at fun activities that benefit autistic children.
Happy family
Asperger’s Syndrome diagnosis - what happens next?
A diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome may seem a relief after months of uncertainty. But what happens next? Catherine Burrows reports.
Little girl laughing
Making sense of the SEN Code of Practice
Your guide to some of the key procedures and recommended actions in the SEN Code of Practice. Plus find tips on supporting your child.