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You are registered with York Family Information Service on our disabled register. So as well as our main newsletter we also will include some extra information that
we hope you find interesting and helpful. If you have any questions on anything covered in this newsletter then get in touch with York Family Information Service on 01904 554444 or by emailing

In this edition we’ve got lots of interesting news about ...

• Local Offer: Spotlight on ... Pre-Diagnosis

• Can the Internet Make Your Life Easier?

• DFE Questions and Answers

• New Discounts

• Be Independent!

• Healthwatch York

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Contact us on 01904 554444 or email

Local Offer: Spotlight on ... Pre-Diagnosis

The Local Offer is full of useful information about being a parent of a child with a disability or additional need.

But what about before you have a diagnosis?

Parents have told us this is a really difficult time and they struggle to access services or find out what they’re entitled to. 

Some types of support are still available, whether you have a diagnosis or not.

This is because:

• Treatment, therapy or teaching should be tailored to your child's needs, not to the
  name of their condition.

• You're entitled to have a social services assessment of your child's needs and of
  your needs as a parent or carer, whether your child has a named diagnosis or not.

• Your child is entitled to have extra or different support to help them at school,
  if they need it. This does not depend on knowing the cause of their learning

One really important thing to be aware of is that you don’t need a diagnosis to apply for Disability Living Allowance. You're entitled to receive benefits such as DLA on the basis of the difficulties that your child has and the support they need. Entitlement does not depend on being able to name the disorder your child has.

DLA can help you to access other support, for example Carers Allowance, discounted entry to leisure activities etc. You can also get 15 hours of free childcare for your 2 year old if you’re claiming DLA for them.

If you’re struggling to access support from school before a diagnosis, SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice and Support Service) can help. It offers impartial advice and information and can help you get the support your child needs in school.

Without a diagnosis, you can also sign up for this newsletter and the free Max card which comes with it – make sure your friends know!

If you’ve got any tips for coping without a diagnosis, why not tweet us or share it on Facebook so we can let other parents know!

For more information, please visit the pre diagnosis section on the local offer or give us a call on 01904 554444.

Can the Internet Make Your Life Easier?

There is a lot of technology out there which can support you and your child
for example apps which remind you when medication is due and track symptoms etc. Using any technology over the internet has risks involved so please do check out the article about using apps safely.

Did you know you can access the libraries’ stock of ebooks and audiobooks from your living room? All you need is an internet connection, library card and PC, phone or tablet. 

If you aren’t sure or aren’t confident about using the internet, your computer, your tablet etc. the libraries have help available. 

Find out more at or speak to the library staff.

Children and young people often use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate with their friends or to visit web pages and online forums to get information. Of course letting your child have their independence is important but it can also feel daunting.

The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities has produced a short guide for staying safe online. The guide gives lots of useful information including using Facebook, how to write safe profiles, using email, Skype and webcams. View it online at

DFE Questions and Answers

Special Needs Jungle is a blog and resource website aimed for parents and those who work with children affected by special educational needs, disabilities (SEND) or who have a physical or mental health condition of any type, especially rare diseases.

Recently, readers of the website put their questions about the SEND reforms to the Department for Education. These fell into
10 themes ranging from SEND support to Education and Health Care Plans to Personal Budgets.

All the Department’s answers to reader questions are now up on the Special Needs Jungle website, giving in-depth feedback on the themes raised by readers.

The answers can be read in two parts:

Part 1

Part 2

New Discounts

A message from

We're always looking to improve the functionality of the Max Card, which is why we have recently introduced a Products section to our website.

The Products section is particularly focused on providing additional support to families of children with additional needs.

So far, we have two new supporters listed within this section - one of which you may recognise from Dragons Den

Both companies focus on producing sensory products, which would be particularly suited to children with autism. Chewigem are offering 20% off their products and Sensory Oojamabobs are offering 10% off.

Be Independent!

For some people, the word telecare brings to mind services for older people, but
Be Independent’s Telecare Service provides a wide range of devices and sensors that can be used to monitor many things and may be helpful to you and your family:

• Epilepsy Sensor – to alert when a child or adult is having a seizure
• Door Sensor – to alert when a door has been opened to help reduce risks of
  someone going out when they are not meant to.
• Enuresis – alert when liquid is noticed in a bed (used to help manage continence
• Bogus Caller Button – to alert when someone unwanted is at the front door
• Bed and Chair Sensors – to alert when someone is getting up or has not returned
  to bed so support can be given
• Medication Dispensers – so a person can be reminded to take medication without
  the need for a family member to be there.

These are just some of the things they can offer as part of a full monitored service or as stand alone equipment because all of these pieces can be programmed to alert a mobile phone or a device somewhere else in the house or carried by another person.

Telecare also provides pieces of standard equipment (commodes, walking frames, rollators etc.) on short term loan or to purchase.

To find out more, ring them on 01904 645000 or complete the form on

Healthwatch York

Healthwatch York is your way to influence local health and social care services – hospitals, GP surgeries, home care services and many others. It can help you and your family get the best out of your local health and social care services. You can be involved in shaping these services according to what your community wants or needs.

Healthwatch York:

• Provides information about local services to make sure you know how to access
  the help you need
• Signposts you to independent complaints advocacy if you need support to
  complain about a service you’ve received
• Listens to your views about local services and makes sure these are taken into
  account when services are planned and delivered. It would like to know what is
  working well and what isn’t


We Want Your Feedback!

York's Local Offer is aimed at mums, dads and carers who have children aged
0 - 25 years who have special educational needs and disabilities.

Feedback from parents is vital to ensuring the information presented on York's Local Offer is reflective to the needs of our families.

Please let us know your thoughts about York's Local Offer by completing the online feedback form. Alternatively, please get in touch on 01904 554444 or email and we can post a form out to you.

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