Parenting Courses and Groups

Parenting is both rewarding and challenging. It is particularly challenging when a child has additional needs and traditional parenting skills may need adapting to allow both parent and child to flourish in a calm and harmonious home. There are a number of parenting courses, support groups and literature that can provide more information for parents looking to develop their own parenting knowledge and understanding.

Sciennes has a Parent – Carer Group that endeavours to meet monthly during the school year. We find sharing experiences, strategies and concerns reassuring and often leave the group with a good idea – from where to buy seem-free clothing to talking to our child about neurodiversity.

Information about Edinburgh’s parenting courses can be found here.

If traditional parenting strategies do not appear to work for you and your child and if aggression is something that you are facing then it is worth exploring the principles of Non Violent Resistance. A good starting point is this website run by Sarah Fisher.

Facebook groups such as ‘Therapeutic Parenting‘ and ‘Connective Parenting Using NVR‘ are worth investigating. There are many families in similar situations to ours and the sharing of experiences and successes adds to our parenting toolbox. 

Helping Parents to Support Children with Additional Needs

As a parent we want to support our children to do as well as they can and to mitigate any potential barriers in their way. There are a number of ways we can do this. A very simple way is to prioritise basic literacy and numeracy skills. We can do this by reading aloud to our child every day and having them read to us – little and often is the best approach. Playing literacy based games and encouraging writing jobs like a shopping list also help. Times table practise for a few minutes each day and real life sums when shopping can make a big difference.

There are a number of good educational apps and websites – some on the pupil pages – which encourage basic literacy and numeracy skills. Parents can also get good ideas about how to work this practise into every day like from the following websites:

Using Technology to Support Pupils’ with Additional Needs

Technology is growing rapidly and there are many ways to support children’s communication. The Call Scotland website has a vast array of information on how to support additional needs from mild dyslexia challenges to more complete difficulties with physiological challenges. Call Scotland run parent and child courses, as well as offer an abundance of information leaflets and webinars.

There are many accessibility features on basic programs or apps that can support children’s learning. Facilities such as changing the background colour of the screen, speech-to-text or text-to-speech and enlarging text can remove barriers for children and make it easier for them to show their true understanding.

Find out more about accessibility features here.