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Support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

When home educating a child with SEND there are some important things to take into consideration:

  • The environment at home – take into account any sensory issues (noisy kitchen noises).
  • Is their chair comfy?
  • Allow them to wear clothes they feel comfortable in.
  • Look at how they’re holding their pen (there are many different types of pen and grips available).
  • Do they get distracted? You may want to try and use personal, highly visual learning aids such as bright coloured files, books, or pens.
  • Do fiddle toys help with focus?
  • Break the learning into 15 or 20-minute chunks with lots of movement breaks in between – but don’t break the flow if engaged at the time.
  • Be responsive.
  • Use lots of praise.
  • For some a fixed routine where they know the expectations and this stays the same every day. For others, being flexible and going on the day and adapting.
  • Get to know what works and at what time – some of us are morning people, some aren’t!
  • Begin working on something linked to their interests to hook them in. Expand their learning around this and include as many different elements.
  • Use practical everyday activities and life skills that your child enjoys – when you’re creative, every task can be turned into a learning opportunity.

Lastly, avoid falling out about their learning (this can be hard, we all learn in different ways and have different ideas), the most important thing is that learning does happen.


The Devon Information Advice and Support (DIAS) Service for SEND is an independent organisation that you may find helpful to consult when considering home education. They have produced a guide on home education.

Devon’s Local Offer for SEND provides information on the services and support for children with SEND. It includes information on education, health and social care services and how to access them.

The Home Education Special website is run by a group of families who home educate children with SEND.


‘Autism and Us’ Parent Programme and autism themed workshops (Spring Term 2023)

Support from the Communication and Interaction Team – Education and Families (devon.gov.uk)
Support for parents/carers of Devon primary and secondary children who are either on the autism waiting list or who have received a diagnosis of autism.

The‘Autism & Us’ programme and themed workshops delivered this academic year will once again be offered during the forthcoming Spring term for parents/carers of Devon primary and secondary aged school children, pre or post diagnosis.
THe Team are delighted to announce that they are offering access for families of CYP (Children & Young People) who are currently on the autism assessment pathway, in addition to families of CYP who have received an autism diagnosis.
Attending the ‘Autism & Us’ parent programme gives you an opportunity to develop your understanding of autism and look at practical solutions to managing and supporting your child’s presenting needs.

Autism & Us programmes are 4 weekly ‘live online’ sessions (approx. 2hrs each) related to the following topic/themes.

  •  Autism overview Wed 11 Jan – 4.30 – 6.30 and Mon 6 Mar – 10 – 12
  • Communication   Wed 18 Jan – 4.30 – 6.30 and Mon 13 Mar – 10 – 12
  • Understanding and supporting behaviour Wed 1 Feb – 4.30 – 6.30 and Mon 20 Mar – 10 – 12
  • Sensory Wed 8 Feb – 4.30 – 6.30 and Mon 27 Mar – 10 – 12

Apply direct by emailing educationlearnersupport@devon.gov.uk  to secure a place on any of the above programmes or express your interest for forthcoming programmes. We will confirm your booking request and provide you with a direct link to the event. They will be delivered online ‘live’ via the Microsoft TEAMs platform.

Topic based workshops:

The following topic based workshops, are also available for parents/carers of CYP (Children & Young People) who are currently on the autism assessment pathway, in addition to families of CYP who have received an autism diagnosis. You can choose from these based on the relevance to you and your family.

  • Autism – Sensory processing + integration Tues 17 Jan 10 – 12
  • Autism and Girls Thurs 26 Jan 9.30 – 12
  • Autism – Demand avoidance + PDA Tues 23 Feb 10 – 12
  • Autism – Communication (verbal – support strategies) Tues 2 Mar 10-12
  • Autism – Managing stress + anxiety Tues 14 Mar 10 – 12
  • Autism – Vulnerability + online safety Thurs 23 Mar 10 – 12
  • Autism – Communication (pre/non verbal – support strategies Tues 28 Mar 10 – 12

Apply direct by email to: educationlearnersupport@devon.gov.uk
To secure a place on any of the above topic based workshops. We will confirm your booking request, and provide you with a direct link to the event. They will be delivered on line ‘live’ via the Microsoft TEAMs platform.