Friday 9 December 2016

SEND Stars 5

SEND STARS is the series where I introduce bloggers who have very kindly answered my nosey questions.

SEND stands for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and all the writers who are answering my questions have SEND in common. They are STARS because they are parents or carers of, or work with, children with SEND, and they are sharing their personal stories or campaigning for change in the form of a blog.

Their blogs help others understand challenges faced by these children and in the meantime the amazing personality of each individual child is being highlighted along the way. Those with SEND in their lives tend to be very busy - extra appointments, letters to write, meetings to attend, law to learn and the rest, so it's a wonder any of them find time to write at all. I do hope you'll pop over to their blogs or leave them a comment of support below (or do both!) to thank them for being brave and sharing their stories.

Now to reveal who week 5's star is.... 


Who are you and how old are you? 
Hi, I'm Nicki and I'm 33, almost 34! 
Who else is in your family and what are their ages?
Paul - my Fiancé is 34, Amber (4) and Maisie (20 months.) 
Which members of your family have SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) or additional needs, and what are those needs?
Amber has Sensory Processing Disorder  (SPD) with traits of ASD and ADHD. She also has Hypermobility and her school are now questioning Dyspraxia. My partner has learning difficulties and Dyspraxia.
Is there an official diagnosis and if so, what is it, at what age was it given and by who?
Amber's Paediatrician diagnosed SPD in October 2015, at the same appointment she also found that Amber has hyper mobile joints. Amber was just 4 when diagnosed. In terms of the ASD and ADHD we now have her school on board and her Paediatrician said that she will look at further assessments when Amber is 6. 

If no diagnosis yet, have you seen any professionals with your concerns?
In terms of ASD, and that she shows many traits of PDA I have been in touch with a professional from Autism West Midlands. 
Can you list the job roles of everyone you've been involved with on your SEND journey so far?
Health Visitor - had known Amber since a baby and we returned to the area. She referred us to OT and has done a lot of chasing up! 
GP - our GP has experience with ASD and SPD. One of her own children has Asperger's Syndrome.
Family Support Worker - started home visits in Sept '15. Great support offering strategies to support Amber at home. Discharged in Sept '16 - which I'm sad about as children's centres have had their funding cut. 
Are your children in school (if so, what type of school) or home educated?
Mainstream first school. 
Very lucky to have such a great SEND team the school's Inclusion Manager is amazing.

What would you like others outside the SEND community to know about your child's condition?
Children with SPD can be both sensory seeker and sensory avoiders - for example my daughter doesn't like unexpected loud noises but she will create a lot of noise herself, often to drown out the noises - such as the hoover. 
Children with SPD are not 'spoilt' or 'naughty' what looks like a 'tantrum' will mostly be caused by a 'sensory overload,' and this is very common in busy public places - such as the supermarket. 
Tell us a fact or funny story about you or your life which is totally unrelated to SEND.....
Funny story: 
My parents actually joked about naming me 'Leanne' Then my name would have been: 
Leanne Perrins! 
I am not related to the Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce company !
Fact: I have just found out today that I've been selected as one of the admins for a local mums network to where I live which has 4,500 members! I'm over the moon! 
Nicki's blog is Sensory Sensitive Mummy, at 

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