Supporting those with additional needs
For those with disabilities and additional needs, this time of the coronavirus pandemic presents its own set of specific challenges, not least understanding the nature of this illness and how to remain safe and well. We have gathered together a range of useful resources and information to equip people during this time. Many of these are particularly relevant for children, young people, young adults and their families but also those who know and support them. Do please share with others if you believe they may be of use to those across your church and community networks.
- Beyond Words publishes wordless books that are especially helpful for those with disabilities and additional needs. It has some specific free resources related to coronavirus. Titles include ‘Beating the Virus’, ‘Good Days and Bad Days During Lockdown’ and ‘When Someone Dies from Coronavirus’
- Scope has specific support and advice during this time for those with disabilities. It includes topics such as money, getting food and medicine, health and wellbeing as well as education support.
- Mencap has published some easy-to-read information related to coronavirus. Alongside specific resources for people with a learning disability and families, there is also guidance for support workers and healthcare professionals.
- Learning Disability Wales has easy-read guides on coronavirus and other topics such as mental health and wellbeing, death and bereavement and staying connected using technology. There are specific resources and information for children and families including education ideas and activities to do whilst staying safe at home.
- Swings and Smiles offers support, friendship and play for children with special needs and their families. It has a virtual timetable of sessions to bring fun to you at home. These include dance, music, sensory box and story, art and cooking.
- I Can - the children’s communication charity, has advice on how to talk to children about coronavirus, especially those who have difficulty speaking or may need help.
- Special Needs Jungle has parent-led distance education resources for children and young people with SEND up to the age of 25. There’s a wealth of resource covering exercise, sensory learning, social stories, visual information, ‘virtual’ escapes, theatre and online safety.
More suggestions are in the infographic below:
For specific faith related resources, these are available from a range of sources including:
- Additional Needs Alliance is a vibrant and lively online learning community bringing people together who are passionate about working with children and young people with additional needs or disabilities. Find out more and get involved here: https://www.urbansaints.org/additionalneedsalliance
- Reachout ASC is a collection of resources curated by Lynn McCann which include sensory ideas for worship, Makaton symbols for the Lord’s Prayer and lego bible cards. Take a look here - https://reachoutasc.com/churches-organisations/links-and-resources
Her blog ‘Included by Grace’ contains accessible services for those with learning disabilities via youtube: https://includedbygrace.wordpress.com/
- Becky Makaton Tutor has a youtube channel of Makaton signed Christian songs, bible verses and prayers as well as live worship too: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwuaOT47jb0mS71qLqsRFWg/videos
- Other accessible resources are listed in the image below.