15/06/09 – Learning Disability Week (22nd-28th June) – Free factsheet for parents with special needs children

Learning Disability Week runs from Monday 22nd to Sunday 28th June and is a national campaign by Mencap. It provides a great chance to raise awareness about the issues that are important to people with learning disabilities and those of their families and carers. To coincide with Learning Disability Week, Dr Peter Gardner, one of the UK’s foremost authorities on dyslexia, has launched a free factsheet for parents called “Getting Help for Your Special Needs Child”.

“The parents of many children with special educational needs are unaware of their rights when it comes to educational provision” says Dr Peter Gardner, Chartered Educational Psychologist and Founder Director of Appleford School in Shrewton, Wiltshire (one of the country’s leading schools for children with dyslexia).Dr Peter Gardener

“Parents naturally want the best for their children. They know that good literacy, numeracy and life skills are the building blocks to educational success and a satisfying career, but many parents are in the dark about their child’s special educational needs and how best to help them.”

“A competent report by a chartered educational psychologist of the British Psychological Society is probably the most useful start” he says. “For most situations, that is enough, but in certain instances other professionals may be asked to be involved.”

Dr Gardner adds “Competent, good quality evidence with clear recommendations as to the amount of teacher/classroom assistant time and detailed programmes and strategies is an invaluable tool for parents to put before headmasters, SENCOs and LEA officers.”

The factsheet covers topics such as critical success factors, individual education plans, statutory assessment, statements of special educational needs, and special educational provision and is available from the Appleford School website: www.appleford.wilts.sch.uk or by writing to “Getting Help Factsheet”, Appleford School, Shrewton, Nr Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP3 4HL. T: 01980 621020 E: secretary@appleford.wilts.sch.uk

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