#childsafety | Autism Awareness Week: Childline raises awareness of support for youngsters with additional support needs


This is Autism Awareness Week, which gives us an opportunity to celebrate and encourage awareness and education of the lifelong disability that affects how people communicate and interact with the world.

The last year has been hard for everyone, and caring for a child with additional support needs will have presented many difficulties because of a change in routine and available support.

Every child with additional support needs is different and will require different kinds of help and support. But we can provide some advice to help you and your child find ways to cope together.

With more children returning to schools this month, their routine will be changing once again. It is normal for children, particularly if they have additional needs, to feel anxious or upset when structures change.

And it may be hard for children with communication needs to express their feelings. Twinkl, an online educational resource hub, has resources like emotion cards, which could help your child let you know how they are coping.

It’s important to include your child when thinking about how you structure your day. Visual planners can be handy, and using pictures to plan your child’s day may put them at ease.

If your child spends time online, it’s important to make sure you are helping to keep them safe, particularly if they have additional support needs.

© Courtesy NSPCC Scotland handout
Carla Malseed, local campaigns manager, NSPCC Scotland.

Net Aware, the online safety resource that we run with O2, has partnered with Ambitious about Autism to put together some tips for parents of children who have additional needs.

It’s normal for parents and carers to worry about their child’s care and, with the unprecedented past 12 months, it’s natural to have struggled.

It’s important to take time for yourself and look after your own mental health.

Our NSPCC helpline is available for any parents who would like some advice on parenting, and there’s lots of advice for carers of children with additional support needs on ‘Parent Zone’, on the Education Scotland website.

For online safety tips, visit www.net-aware.org.uk. Childline is here for children, for free and confidential advice, on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk and any adult worried about a child can contact 0808 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk



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