OWLS Parent Support

OWLS Parent Support (6)

OWLS Free Parent Support at The Owl Centre by  Anna Hinton-Lowe, Parent Advisor

OWLS Free Parent Support is an informal support group for parents and carers of children (0 – 25 years) with special needs living in Oxfordshire.

Children and siblings are welcome at meetings. In addition to the meetings, information to help parents is regularly emailed to members.

For more information on meetings contact:

Tel: 07974977716

 

Wednesday, 15 March 2017 17:28

Updated dates

Written by

We've made a few changes and added some speakers so I thought I would add an updated list of OWLS sessions. 

 

23 March 2017: Cathy Heath - Movement and Dance Psychotherapist.  Please join Cathy's Q and A session and learn more about how this type of psychotherapy can help your child.

6 April 2017: Meet Pauline McKinnon, Disability Information Officer for Oxfordshire County Council. Pauline will talk about her role supporting families of children with SEN to access childcare and leisure opportunities.

27 April 2017: Meet Sarah Read, Dyslexia Specialist for advice about assessment and support for children with literacy difficulties.

11 May 2017: We will be joined by Suezanne King, of SMQ Legal Services : a community based firm on the Cowley Road in Oxford who believe in the importance of providing pro bono advice and assistance where possible. Suezanne will offer a free 20 minute legal consultation to parents/carers at this session.

25 May 2017: Jane Alvey and Kirsty Harrison from the Children’s Community Bladder and Bowel team will talk about the service and answer any questions you may have around continence issues for your child.

8 June TBC

22 June TBC

6 July TBC

20 July TBC

Sessions in the cafe area at OXSRAD – Court Place Farm, Marsh Lane, Marston, OX3 0NQ

All sessions are 10.15am-12pm (the cafe is open before and after this though so it's fine to arrive early/stay later too).  The group is informal and children are welcome to come along.

We always have time for general questions and a chat so even if on the day the focus subject is not relevant to you, do feel free to come along to meet other parents and talk to our parent advisor Anna too about anything.If you would like any more information about OWLS parent support meetings, please do not hesitate to contact us on:

Thank you to all who were at last week's session. Zaiba from Sportworks talked about how the Sport works team can work with groups of children through charities or schools to access funding and provide free sports and activities over the next year. If you would like to find out more or get in touch with Zaiba please see the website http://www.sportworksltd.co.uk/disabilitysport/ or contact Zaiba on: 07921561430 or email: 

Wednesday, 08 March 2017 14:07

OWLS

Written by

We have so far had three speakers at OWLS and I have enjoyed all three so much. 

First we had Nicola Lathey to welcome the new group and talk about Speech and Language Therapy with a focus on feeding difficulties. It was really interesting to hear about Nicola's experiences supporting parents and children over the years and also hearing from the others in the group about thier own children. 

We have also had Clare and Nicky to talk about the new website they have developed: KURADOCS. We heard about Nicky's experience of being parent carer to her own daughter and how this shaped the work she has done on the website, which is an online tool to track, organise and share health, care and wellbeing information. Nicky talked about the huge numbers of professionals who were involved in her daughter's care and how the KURADOCS website can help parents to keep track of everything and keep everything in one place. You can find out more here:

https://kuradocs.com/

 

Last time we had Maxine Jewitt and Siobhan Brookes from Adviza to talk about Education and Health Care Plans.  Adviza offers free, independant support to parents going through the process of applying for a plan or transferring from a statement to a plan. More information on Adviza here:

http://www.adviza.org.uk/uploads/files/Independent_Support_leaflet_Oxon.pdf

Below are the top tips for those applying or transferring to have a plan for their child:

-Get support. Adviza or SENDIAS are there to help. It is FREE, independent and confidential. (SENDIAS- https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/public-site/sendiass-oxfordshire-formerly-parent-partnership )

-A transfer is  an assessment. Ask for new assessments if you feel things have changed, ensure any information from the original Statement is still correct. For a Transfer review , the Local Authority must gather new professional's advice as part of the assessment, unless the parent, young person and the professional giving the advice agree the existing information is sufficient.

-Parents can challenge a reports contents if they feel it is not accurate.Section 19 of the Children and Families Act 2014 makes clear that local authorities, in carrying out their functions under the Act in relation to disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs (SEN), must have regard to: 

• the views, wishes and feelings of the child or young person, and the child's parents

• the importance of the child or young person, and the child's parents, participating as fully as possible in decisions, and being provided with the information and support necessary to enable participation in those decisions.

• the need to support the child or young person, and the child's parents, in order to facilitate the development of the child or young person and to help them achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes, preparing them effectively for adulthood.

-Outcomes:Use person centred planning  - stay focused on aspirations/outcomes – not how this will happen. Establish what needs to replace any current issues/difficulties. Focus on what is known to help and what works.

 

- All local authorities have a local offer. here is a link to Oxfordshire's:

https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/public-site/special-educational-needs-and-disability-local-offer

We hope that that is helpful but please do feel free to get in touch with us for more information on any of our speakers or come along to a session. 

Tomorrow we welcome Zaiba Mian from Sport Works. Zaiba will tell us about a new project providing free sports and leisure activities for children who have additional needs including indoor rock climbing, swimming, trampolining and much more!

Thursday 9th March, OXSRAD – Court Place Farm, Marsh Lane, Marston, OX3 0NQ

All sessions are 10.15am-12pm (the cafe is open before and after this though so it's fine to arrive early/stay later too).  The group is informal and children are welcome to come along. We always have time for general questions and a chat so even if on the day the focus subject is not relevant to you, do feel free to come along to meet other parents and talk to our parent advisor Anna too about anything. All upcoming dates and speakers can be found on our website here:http://www.theowltherapycentre.co.uk/services/in-england/oxfordshire/owls-parent-support.htmlIf you would like any more information about OWLS parent support meetings, please do not hesitate to contact us on:

 

Monday, 06 February 2017 08:44

The OWLS parent support group

Written by

OWLS - Parent Support Group New Year’s Party

On Saturday 21st January, the Owl Centre hosted a New Year’s party at OXSRAD. It was great fun and we are very lucky to have such a fabulous network of friends and colleagues in Oxfordshire and surrounding counties. It is always difficult to know how many people to expect but, by our calculations, we suspect there were about 150 people there - amazing!

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We also had some special guests:

 

Paul Kubert, magician extraordinaire, who held the children’s attention for a whole hour - http://www.paulkybert.co.uk

Rowenna Clifford - an expert in Sensory Massage - Rose massage therapies - http://www.rosetherapies.com

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Alex Singleton - a local Oxfordshire Artist - https://www.saatchiart.com/account/profile/2533

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The event was proudly sponsored by a friend of mine who has just started ‘Turner Properties’ in Wheatley - http://www.turnerproperties.co.uk

 

Chrissy Morris made an Owl Centre cake

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The children used the sensory room, hydrotherapy room, the cafe - where the Owl Centre therapists were available to answer questions - and the main hall where the bouncy castle, art table, and soft play were located. Fun was had by all and we hope to do the same again next year!

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The reason for the party was to launch our free service: OWLS Parent Support Group. Meetings will be held every fortnight from 10.15am – 12.00pm during term time. There will be a different professional or organisation to speak once a month, and Anna, our Parent Advisor, will be available for informal advice, chat and support.


Meetings will be held at OXSRAD (Court Place Farm, Marsh Lane, Marston, Oxford OX3 0NQ) - www.oxsrad.org
To repeat, Meetings and the information services are free for parents. A professional will be charged £10 to attend a meeting.

Future Dates:


21 January 2017: Party!
OWLS Free Parent Support at The Owl Centre would like to invite you to a New Year celebration with a bouncy castle, sensory room, children’s entertainer and lots more! Our therapists will be available to chat to you and answer any questions while your children have fun. We will also introduce you to our new fortnightly parent information and support group for parents of children with additional needs.


26 January 2017 – Nicola Lathey – Award-winning Speech and Language Therapist and Founder of The Owl Centre will introduce parents to the services The Owl Centre provides and give top tips for children with eating and drinking difficulties.


9 February 2017 - Kuradocs - Come and hear about Kuradocs from 11am, a person-centered on line tool that empowers families and individuals to organise, track, and share health, care and well-being information for your family. Kuradocs are offering OWLS attendees a free, one year subscription.


23 February 2017 – Come and meet Maxine Jewitt from Adviza about Education Health Care Plans and how Adviza can help support parents with the process.


9 March 2017 - TBC


23 March 2017 - Cathy Heath - Movement and Dance Psychotherapist for The Owl Centre. Please join Cathy's Q and A session and learn more about how this type of psychotherapy can help your child.


6 April 2017 - Meet Pauline McKinnon, Disability Information Officer for Oxfordshire County Council. Pauline will talk about her role supporting families of children with SEN to access childcare and leisure opportunities.


27 April 2017 - Dyslexia expert for The Owl Centre (TBC)

 

4 May 2017 - TBC


18 May 2017 - TBC

Other speakers who are yet to confirm a date are: Therapy Dogs, Toileting Expert, Stammering Speech and Language Therapist, Sensory Massage, Tips for Encouraging your child to have fun in the water from Dippers and Divers, and others...

If you would like to speak at an OWLS parent support meeting, please do not hesitate to contact us on:

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It’s been a while since I posted as things have been a little hectic in the Hinton-Lowe household. Scarlett, my ten year old, has two genetic conditions and between them they have been giving her a hard time. This time we had a week in hospital and emergency surgery on a very poorly ear.

Hospital is a very familiar place to us as Scarlett has to be there a lot, either for monitoring for her conditions or because she is unwell. We are all quite used to the routine, so much so that Scarlett is well known on her usual ward and in fact on this particular stay, after a week long stay, she refused to leave even when they said she could go home! With Scarlett, even when she is well, nothing happens quickly so I think it was another hour after being released that I convinced her to go home!

Blog

Here Scarlett is enjoying a treat in the hospital café and feeling a lot better

 

Scarlett’s sister, Heidi, seems to have more of an awareness now and although she always copes well with me being away from home, she needs a lot of extra attention and treats afterwards too.

The great thing about our children’s hospital is how amazing the staff are at both caring for children and keeping spirits up. Staying there we’ve taken part in radio shows, been entertained by magicians and theatre performances as well as having received access to hospital school and the lovely play specialists. Scarlett even had music therapy through Rosie’s Rainbow fund this time. It all makes a huge difference to Scarlett’s recovery, and to how the rest of us cope too. The other thing I am eternally grateful for there is the café! Decent coffee and food and, again, lovely staff.

While things are back to some kind of normality (for now...!) I am looking forward to the launch of the new group, OWLS, next week on Thursday (26th January) and the Owl centre party this Saturday (21st)! Please see the OWLS page for more information and feel free to come along. I’m really excited to be involved and it looks like a good party with several of the Owl Centre therapists coming along to meet with and chat to parents, as well as loads to do for the children. I’m also really looking forward to the new group, it’s always great meeting other parents and I remember how helpful I found it when Scarlett was little to be able to talk to others who had some of the same worries.

Anna Hinton-Lowe

Wednesday, 16 November 2016 10:42

Future Dates & Meetings

Written by
Meetings will be held every fortnight from 10.15am – 12.00pm during term time. There will be a different professional or organisation to speak once a month, and Anna, our Parent Advisor, will be available for informal advice, chat and support.

Meetings will be held at OXSRAD (Court Place Farm, Marsh Lane, Marston, Oxford OX3 0NQ) www.oxsrad.org

Meetings and the information services are free for parents. A professional will be charged £10 to attend a meeting.

Future Dates:

21 January 2017:  Party!

OWLS Free Parent Support at The Owl Centre would like to invite you to a New Year celebration with a bouncy castle, sensory room, children’s entertainer and lots more! Our therapists will be available to chat to you and answer any questions while your children have fun. We will also introduce you to our new fortnightly parent information and support group for parents of children with additional needs.

26 January 2017 – Nicola Lathey – Award-winning Speech and Language Therapist and Founder of The Owl Centre will introduce parents to the services The Owl Centre provides and give top tips for children with eating and drinking difficulties.

9 February 2017 - Kuradocs - Come and hear about Kuradocs from 11am, a person-centered on line tool that empowers families and individuals to organise, track, and share health, care and well-being informtion for your family. Kuradocs are offering OWLS attendees a free, one year subscription.

23 February 2017 – Come and meet Maxine Jewitt from Adviza about Education Health Care Plans and how Adviza can help support parents with the process.

9 March 2017 - TBC

23 March 2017 - Cathy Heath - Movement and Dance Psychotherapist for The Owl Centre.  Please join Cathy's Q and A session and learn more about how this type of psychotherapy can help your child.

6 April 2017 - Meet Pauline McKinnon, Disability Information Officer for Oxfordshire County Council. Pauline will talk about her role supporting families of children with SEN to access childcare and leisure opportunities.

4 May 2017 - TBC

18 May 2017 - TBC

 

Other speakers who are yet to confirm a date are:  Therapy Dogs, Toileting Expert, Stammering Speech and Language Therapist, Sensory Massage, Tips for Encourging your child to have fun in the water from Dipers and Divers, and  others... 

If you would like to speak at an OWLS parent support meeting, please do not hesitate to contact us on:

 

Wednesday, 02 November 2016 06:33

From A Parent of A Child With SEN

Written by

Firstly, I’d like to say hello! I’m Anna and I’ve recently joined Melissa as one of the parent advisors for the Owl Centre.

My oldest daughter, Scarlett, is ten now and she was diagnosed with the first of two genetic conditions at birth so I’ve had a good few years of appointments, hospital stays and working with all of the professionals involved in our lives. Recently, a friend asked me to reflect upon this as part of some work that she is doing. Judith Hooper uses her own professional and personal experience and that of other parents to help future professionals understand better how parents of children with additional needs might be feeling.

Judith asked what I would most like future therapists to know before they began working with children and their families, and these were my thoughts:

1: We want to make a good impression too. Having a child who is not meeting developmental milestones can knock a parent’s confidence, and especially in the early days I used to be very anxious to appear to be in control. I used to dress both of us well for appointments and if I had a home visit I would want everything looking perfect!

2: We may be defensive but it doesn’t mean that we are trying to be difficult. This goes back to the point above. It’s easy to feel like a failure when things don’t go to plan.

3: We might be really worried and we might question everything. This doesn’t mean it’s a reflection on how we view the therapist or any kind of criticism. Perhaps we’ve been reassured in the past and then it has turned out that our worst fears were in fact true so we often can feel like it’s our job to fight. It’s a hard habit to let go of! I have some great relationships with the people involved in Scarlett’s care but sometimes it takes a while to get used to someone new and to trust advice when there is so much at stake.

4: This one is hard. As much as parents want to help their child, there will be other responsibilities to keep up with. Work, other children, parents to care for, multiple therapies or medical needs to remember. I know I have so many therapeutic activities I feel I should be doing with Scarlett that sometimes it can be completely overwhelming and I want to just give in! I always love it when I get a list of short, easy to remember and realistic tasks that fit in with everyday life.

I’m sure every parent is different and has their own ideas on what is most important for them.

Anna and Scarlett

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