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Monday 24 Sep 2018
Education PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sally Fletcher   
Saturday, 21 February 2009 15:26



From the age of approx 6 months until he was 5 years old Ben received home visits from the Norfolk Portage Service, this was the service that first introduced Ben to a sensory room and from the very first visit we were keen to have one of our own. We gained lots of ideas for stimulating Ben who loved these sessions.




Sensory Support

Sensory Support

From the age of approx 10 months old Ben has been visited at home once a month from his Sensory Support teacher, provided by Norfolk County Council. Ben enjoys his sessions and we have been given information and taught how to stimulate Ben's limited vision and encourage him to use his hands.



Musical Keys

Musical Keys http://www.musicalkeys.co.uk

Since Ben was 10 months old he has attended Musical Keys a charity based in Norfolk providing Musical Groups at many venues across the county. The contact with other families has provided us with friends, support and information. Ben and Harriet appeared on national televison on BBC Children in Need with  Musical keys in October 2005. Ben's siblings have been welcome at this group.


School for Parents

School for Parents http://www.nansa.org.uk

From the ages of 1-5 Ben attended School for Parents run by Norfolk and Norwich Scope Association. The groups are based on conductive education and Ben thrived when learning and playing with this approach, we continue to use the skills we learnt with them and have replicated many of the activities in our own home, Ben's siblings were able to attend with him.


Meeting a giant snail during a visit from Zoo Lab


Dressed up as a butterfly at the summer party


Chating with staff at Christmas party


Cooking at the table


Meeting a snail on our trip to Banham Zoo


Working at the table

The Hamlet Centre

The Hamlet Centre http://www.hamletcentre.org.uk

Ben has visited The Hamlet Centre in Norwich and is a member of their excellent toy library, we know that even though Ben is school age we are still welcome to attend there.


Norfolk SEN Network

Norfolk SEN Network http://www.norfolksennetwork.co.uk

When it came time to apply for Ben's statement of special educational needs we asked for advice from Norfolk SEN who came to our home and assisted me in requesting changes to the initial proposed statement.

Speech Therapy

Speech Therapy http://www.islts.com/profile_cathy.html

Ben has received some NHS speech therapy throughout his life but in 2008 began to work with a private speech therapist who has lots of enthusiasm, just like Ben!

STEPS Toy Library

STEPS Toy Library http://www.stepscharity.org

Ben has been a member of the STEPS Developmental Toy and Switch Library for a couple of years. This is a free library allowing him to try out different specially adapted toys and switches. It's helpful to have the chance to try out special toys because they are very expensive to buy. We receive and return the toys by freepost as Ben is registered blin.


Living Paintings Library

Living Paintings Library http://www.livingpaintings.org

Ben is also a member of the Living Paintings Library. Again he receives and returns his books by freepost.

Ben receives special versions of children's story books from the library containing pictures with raised surfaces helping the story to come to life when he touches them.





After a lot of consideration and thoroughly researching our options we decided not to send Ben to a special school. He has instead an excellent home program co-ordinated by his parents and put together from all the specialist knowledge and input of Ben's professionals and the special groups he has attended along with providing for his physical needs such as physiotherapy. For social contact we approached our local village school.

We live in a village with a small school that currently has 47 pupils age 4-11. Ben attends school one morning a week for 2 hours, Ben joins in with the most appropriate activities going on in school that day. We have been very pleased with the welcome and open minded approach that Ben has received from his local school and he is now recognised when out and about in the village, he has become part of his local community. Ben's Grandma who works as part of Ben's home care team accompanies him to school as his one to one helper.


Ben wearing his school jumper October 2007


Ben and Sam joining the school for a walk to the Bluebell woods


Ben at school making a model on chair sculpture day


Ben made a biscuit at school


Ben on sports day 2009


Ben and Mummy running on sports day 2009

Home program

Ben has a home program which we follow every day.  I have written him an 8 day program based on his needs for physiotherapy and to include all the therapies and professional advice that we have learnt over his lifetime so far. To do this I catalogued Ben's therapies and all the specialist toys and equipment that we have at home, I spread it over 8 days so that the same thing does not fall on the same day each week.  Below are some pictures of activities Ben enjoys.


Aunty Jo made me a tactile book


Disabled riding


Making a tactile picture




Making collage from coloured food


Meeting a feathered neighbour


Planting seeds



Touching a bowl of snow from the garden




This year we grew pumpkins


working with switches, cause and effect


Our home art display board


Ben see his osteopath once a month as part of his home program, he thoroughly enjoys his treatment session which relaxes him and helps with problems such as constipation. After all his hard work we think he deserves some relaxation.  He has been seeing the same osteopath since he was aged 2, she also helped both Harriet and Sam when they had colic as babies.

Ben's osteopath is www.b-shearing-osteopath.co.uk


Last Updated on Friday, 15 January 2010 11:24