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Parent/Carer Resources

At Spring Common Academy we understand that entering into the Special Needs & Disabilities world can be a daunting prospect for some families.  To try and help you find your way through this maze, we have put together a selection of websites which you may find useful and may make that journey a little more fluent. 



NHS Cambs & Peterborough Children's Health
NHS information from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Children and Young People's Health Services

Cambridgeshire Community Paediatrics
This service is for all families with children living in Cambridgeshire. A referral is needed.

Keep Your Head Mental Health Service
Keep Your Head brings together reliable information on mental health and wellbeing for children, young people, adults, professionals, and schools across Cambridgeshire & Peterborough. - this is a website for parents, run by parents.  It includes information about local support groups, getting involved, latest news, sports clubs and activities. - this is an umbrella body for the disabled children's sector, bringing together professionals, practioners and policy makers.  They are also a part of the National Children's Bureau. - a parent-led information website, sharing opinion and resources for Children & Young People with SEND, Health Conditions and Rare Diseases. - Independent Parental Special Educational Advice - this is a registered charity which offeres free and independent, legally based informatio, advice and support, helping you to get the right education for Children & Young People with all kinds of SEND. - this website provides access to educational resources to help you support your child' learning.

Parent View gives you the chance to tell Ofsted what you think about your child’s school, from the quality of teaching to dealing with bullying and poor behaviour. The survey can be completed at any time; you don’t have to wait until the school is being inspected.

SPECIAL NEEDS & DISABILITIES - a website for individuals, families, professionals and supporters, offering information about sensory impairments. - The Down's Syndrome Association is a registered charity offering answers to questions and providing factual information about living with the condition. - Scope is charitable organisation whose website offers information and support for families living with most disabilities and impairments, including Cerebral Palsy. - The British Institute of Learning Disabilities want people with learning disabilities to be valued equally, participate fully in their communities and be treated with dignity and respect.  They work with organisations providing services and people who give support to people with disabilities. - The National Association of Special Educational Needs is an organisation, whose mission is to promote the advancement and development of individuals with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities and Additional Learning Needs. - a national organisation with local links in Huntingdon.  They offer advice and support for people with all disabilities and ages. - A UK charity providing professional family support, information and advice. They aim to maximise the potential of people with Rett Syndrome and minimise the impact.

AUTISM SPECIFIC - The National Autistic Society - an American developed teaching programme which is used at Spring Common with some Autistic students to support their learning.  More information about how Spring Common uses this system can be found on page 38 of our Autsim Handbook. - an organisation supported and funded by the Department for Education.  This website includes a parent's guide to help you when considering your child's austim, school and education.

CAMBRIDGESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL use the Children & Families tab to access the 'What is the local offer? section to access all areas of Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND), including:

  • The new Education and Health Plan (EHCP)
  • Understanding Personal Budgets

and many more useful topics.

ALTERNATIVE POST 16 EDUCATION - Huntingdon Regional College - Peterborough Regional College

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES  - this organisation is recognised by the Department for Transport as a practical and professional training body.  Check the website to find out what cycle training in available in your area. - Riding For the Disabled is a network of volunteer groups organising all sorts of riding activities.  Use the 'Find a Group' tab for your local network.


On this page, we have listed suggested reading material that is either downloadable or available to buy.


At Spring Common Academy we use the Autism Handbook to support the provision of our autistic students.  Please click on the highlighted text below to view what we consider to be best practice.

Spring Common Academy - Autism Handbook


What works for children and young people with literacy difficulties? The effectiveness of intervention schemes.  Please click on the highlighted text below to access this publication.

Fifth edition - Greg Brooks- Emeritus Professor of Education, University of Sheffield


These articles are available to download for free with kind permission of their authors

What works for children and young people with literacy difficulties? - The effectiveness of intervention schemes, Fifth Ediction

Greg Brooks - Emeritus Professor of Education, University of Sheffield


These suggested books are available to buy on websites such as Amazon:

Autism – A very short introduction    by Uta Frith

This book is written by a leading academic in the area of autism but is very readable.

Autism and Asperger Syndrome     by Simon Baron-Cohen

A little like Uta Frith’s book this is a short introductory book but is probably more academic for those interested in the scientific study of autism.

Sensory Perceptual Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome   by Olga Bogdashina

As the title suggests this book focuses on the different sensory experiences people with autism have, and some of the programmes that may help.

Behavioural Concerns and Autistic Spectrum Disorders       by John Clements and Ewa Zarkowska

This book explores many dimensions of behavioural challenge in people with ASCs, including causation, the impact of behaviour on others, support and intervention.

Autism: An inside-out approach   by Donna Williams

Donna Williams is an internationally renowned speaker on living with autism.  This book explains the problems of being autistic in the modern world.

A Positive Approach to Autism    by Stella Waterhouse

This is a book with a medical orientation which considers the relationship of autism to other developmental conditions.

Asperger  Syndrome, the Universe and Everything    by Kenneth Hall

A short first-hand account of living with Asperger Syndrome by a 10 year old boy with this diagnosis.  It is lively, funny and engaging.

Freaks, geeks & Asperger Syndrome: A user guide to adolescence    by Luke Jackson

Probably the best known personal perspective on Asperger Syndrome written by a young person this is a very enjoyable and interesting read covering how Luke’s AS impacts on his life and thinking as a teenager.

Can I tell you about Asperger Syndrome?      by Jude Welton

This is written by a psychologist from the perspective of a 10 year old with Asperger Syndrome to help others in the family and school to understand the condition.

Autism with Severe Learning Difficulties       by Rita Jordan

Autism is a condition which exists across the range of learning ability and this book is a useful focus on those children with autism and severe learning difficulties.  Rita Jordan is a very well respected researcher and lecturer in autism from Birmingham.

Thinking in Pictures       by Temple Grandin

This is a personal account by a very gifted American animal scientist with Autism of her own experiences.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time    by Mark Haddon

This is first and foremost a novel but does give some insight into the thinking of its narrator, who has Asperger’s Syndrome.

Community Groups

Established back in 2006, ABLEize actively seeks out new and exciting social activities, charities and support groups and adds them to this up to date and trusted disability directory. 
Their trusted and hand-picked information is shared by many local and national NHS and Government information sites as well as many of the largest disability and special needs organisations and charities.

Caring Together
A charity that supports carers of all ages across Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk. They also offer flexible, professional home-care services to adults and children with a range of disabilities and health conditions.

Centre 33
Centre 33 exists to help every young person in Cambridgeshire fulfil their potential. They support and empower you to overcome your problems through a range of free and confidential services.

They operate a range of services from free counselling and support to information on sexual health, housing, budgeting and also a young carers’ project. They run out of 5 main centres over 6 days a week and work with 1000s of young people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough every year.

Community Support Service
Cambridgeshire County Council

The Community Support Service (CSS) supports children and young people who have moderate to severe learning disabilities, physical disabilities, sensory impairments and complex health needs.

Rehab 4 Addiction
The service offers a free and confidential helpline for people suffering from substance addiction, and can assist parents who may have a child suffering from addiction to various types of substances.

Cambridgeshire County Council
Special needs Community Information Point is an information and advice service for families with 0-25 year olds with a disability or additional needs.  

By joining SCIP you get:

  • SCIP Card
  • Activities Passport
  • Email updates on local events and activities
  • Request information specific to your child

Scope is a disability equality charity in England and Wales. They provide practical information and emotional support when it's most needed, and campaign relentlessly to create a fairer society.