This specialist course for parents, relatives or friends of children with additional needs is designed to support you to better understand their world and how the important relationship you share can enable them to thrive. Building on the principles of nurturing emotional wellbeing shaped by the Solihull Approach, the course will help you to read and manage behaviour, develop your communication and support their development.
It's also for you as a support for your emotional wellbeing. Parenting a child with additional needs can bring a range of big emotions, that at times may feel overwhelming. Recognising and processing these feelings is a really important part of the care you provide your child.
Understanding your child with additional needs is for all parents, grandparents and carers of children who may be neurodiverse, have a physical or learning disability or may be autistic. Some parents describe their child as differently abled or neuroatypical, neurodiverse or neurodivergent. The resources are tailored so that whatever their developmental age, you can use the ideas and techniques to help better understand your child, their emotions and how to help them process or manage them.
Understanding your child with additional needs has been developed by a team of Clinical Psychologists, Child Psychotherapists, Child and Family Practitioners and, importantly, parents with shared experiences. Everything you will follow and learn in the course has been informed by experience and is designed to be practical, to help you and your family in your everyday interactions. You’ll also learn about the foundations of wellbeing and mental health, as well as how our brains work can work differently and what this means for the way we think and express ourselves in childhood and as adults.
The course follows 14 Modules, each taking around 20 minutes and broken up into manageable chunks called Units.
The first few Modules cover some ways of thinking about emotional health and concepts that will help shape the approaches and ideas around the later sections, so this means it needs to be followed in order, one Module at a time. You don’t need to do it all in one go, and our advice is to take breaks and spread out your learning.
Everyone’s experience with children with additional needs will vary, and you may find the course brings up some difficult issues for you, or you might find perhaps that you begin to feel you would benefit from more personalised or specialist support. This course includes references and signposts to additional resources and information about helpful services you might wish to explore.
We know that there are many different families with different backgrounds, shapes and sizes. We have tried to consider some of the different needs of families in this course, but it hasn't been possible to account for all backgrounds. If your personal situation isn’t reflected, we still hope that you find something helpful in the main ideas about developing close, connected relationships between parents and children and welcome your feedback to improve its relevance.
John is the WordPress teacher at College Name. He has an extensive background in web design and WordPress education, having taught and help run college and high school web programs. You can often find him attending and speaking at local WordCamp meetups.