Useful links and resources
Information and support for families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Caring for a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be stressful for parents and siblings. As a parent, you may be concerned about your child’s future and feel stress related to managing your child’s developmental delays.
You may feel isolated from friends and family members who don’t understand your family’s special challenges.
Parent support groups and parent-child interaction therapy can help decrease your stress and ease your worries.
Learning about ASD and how it affects children and impacts families can help you adjust to the diagnosis, learn effective coping and parenting strategies, and optimize your child’s growth and development.
Support groups also give you opportunities to connect with other caregivers in similar situations.
Below is a list of information and support available in the Borough of Waltham Forest and nationally that is available for families with children who have autism or similar developmental delays/disorders. You can find the Local Offer for London Borough of Waltham Forest at the links below. This is the link to the local authority pages for more information on services available for families of children with special educational needs:
Visit website: Waltham Forest - the Local Offer.
Who is it for? The Local Offer is for:
- children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities from birth to 25
- their parents and carers
- practitioners and professionals.
The Local Offer should:
- make it easier to find out what you need to know
- give you information about what is available
- tell you where you can get further information.
Early Years SEND Support
Support for Families with Early Years Children | London Borough of Waltham Forest
Children and family centres
Activities, services and support for families with children under five.
Children and family centres | London Borough of Waltham Forest
Education, Health and Care Pathway (EHC Plans)
Education Health and Care plans (EHCP) | London Borough of Waltham Forest
Wood Street Health Centre
6 Linford Road
Tel: 020 8496 6500
Home to School travel assistance
Transport and getting around | London Borough of Waltham Forest
This information is about what you can do if your child has Special Educational Needs (SEN) or a disability and you are unhappy about the help they are getting. SENDIASS is a service run by the Citizens Advice Waltham Forest and is a service that the Local Authority has to legally provide under the Children and Families Act.
Citizens Advice Waltham Forest can:
- listen to your concerns
- help you sort out the issues
- identify other people who can support you
- help you decide what to do next
- explain the law and your rights
This information is about what you can do if your child has Special Educational Needs (SEN) or a disability and you are unhappy about the help they are getting.
SENDIASS is a service run by the Citizens Advice Waltham Forest and is a service that the Local Authority has to legally provide under the Children and Families Act. Waltham Forest :: Home (walthamforestsendiass.org.uk)
Visit website: Advice Waltham Forest.
Tel: 020 3233 0251
Waltham Forest Parent Forum
Waltham Forest Parent Forum is a friendly, voluntary group of parents and carers of disabled children and young people aged 0 to 25 in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
Our aims are:
- To provide an opportunity to participate in joint decision making on services.
- To provide emotional, practical and social support.
- To help reduce isolation and increase well-being.
- To provide information to help increase knowledge of the SEND (special educational needs/disability) reforms and legislation.
- To improve and influence those services affecting these families.
Contact name: Carol Prideaux
Contact position: Parent Participation Director
Tel: 07794 298 496 (Carol) 07528 433 640 (Sarah)
You can access a short break in the following ways:
Route 1: Through the Local Offer and mainstream services available for children and families in Waltham forest (no assessment or allocation of Short Breaks is required)
Route 2: If you are currently being supported by a Social Worker, Early Help Practitioner or SEND Officer you can ask them to make a professional’s referral as they will be completing an assessment with your family.
Route 3: You can complete a self-referral. Information and guidance and a guide to completing the form is available below
Alternatively, to request a self-referral form please telephone 0208 496 3515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To request a formal assessment with the Waltham Forest SEND Service, please telephone 0208 496 6503 or email email@example.com
Here are some links to national and local websites which offer advice on welfare benefits:
- Citizens Advice – “Advice Guide”
- Gov.uk website
- Money Advice Service
- Turn to us
- Disability Living Allowance benefit
Other useful websites about charities for disabled children
Local charitable organisations and access to short breaks
Organisations offering advice and support to families after an autism diagnosis
National Autistic Society
A national organisation providing information about autism and how it effects people, including some information about strategies and approaches.
Tel: 020 7833 2299
After your child’s diagnosis:
Autism West Midlands: Provides useful information and resources:
Autism leaflets in different languages:
Information videos, which have been created by a partnership between the University of Leicester, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, and was funded by Carlton Hayes Charity, will be helpful in learning about autism. project, which has been designed to help individuals and families develop a greater understanding of childhood autism:
Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) | School of Media, Communication and Sociology | University of Leicester
Other useful websites and links on transport and holidays and accessing places
- DID card
- Hidden Disabilities Sunflower
- National Autistic Society
- Holidays, play and leisure
- Gov UK: Transport support services for disabled people
Sleep management and support for parents with SEN children is accessible via Waltham Forest Parents Forum and SCOPE organisations
Toilet training advice and information links
Links to website for sensory items and ideas