SEND Round-up: Means-testing and microchipping?

special needs blog posts sliderWould you microchip your child?

A headline like that is sure to grab your attention, and it sure grabbed mine earlier this month. Of course we shake our heads, we think of the civil liberties denied, the privacy issues and then we immediately think of how a system like this could be misused and abused. We abhor the thought of microchipping or children. Or do we? Parents of children with learning disabilities perhaps, those who are ‘runners’, would they always be of the same steadfast opinion? Read this post on Laura’s Blog, Would You Microchip Your Child for further discussion on the topic.


Should support for children with SEND be means tested?

For those of you who watch Celebrity Big Brother you will be familiar with the debate that has raged this month over whether Katie Price is right to accept government funded school transport for her son who has multiple and complex needs. There are those who think that millionaires such as ‘Jordan‘ should not be entitled to such services. Jaime Oliver of Oliver’s Madhouse writes Katie Price has Opinions Divided over Council Funding School Transport on the subject.

Tania Tirraoro of Special Needs Jungle on the other hand thinks that we are missing the point entirely. She thinks the debate should be about more quality education being closer to home for the children with the greatest needs as she explains in her post Should Katie Price Pay Harvey’s Transport Bill? What do you thing, should we introduce means-testing or are we focussing in the wrong area?


Lesser understood conditions affecting many children in the UK

Type I Diabetes is very often confused with Type II. People pass judgement, think parents are at fault, blame poor diets full of sweets. How do the parents cope and educate others? Jane Northern Mum picks it all apart in Why Didn’t I Know? and is echoed by Helen at Actually Mummy in her post Dear Coleen Nolan, Diabetes is Not my Fault.

I expect you think you know which medications you can and can’t take during pregnancy don’t you. If you are unsure you would ask your GP wouldn’t you? Well Emma 4 Facs is campaigning to make us, and our GPs fully aware of the list of prescribed drugs that many women are routinely taking throughout their pregnancies, with negative impacts on their children. Read Epilepsy, Pregnancy and Pills Campaign here.

Colour blindness is another often overlooked condition that can have a far-reaching impact on children moving through school. This wonderful, simple short film by Colour Blind Awareness #1ineveryclassroom explains what these children see, with the Rainbow Song.



Therapies you may not have considered

Does you child take any dietary supplements? Have you noticed any effect? Maddie at Gammon and Chips weighs up the information to hand for Omega 3 fish oils in her child’s diet to counter signs of ADHD in Fish Oils: Which Brand is Best?

And the wonderfully named International Elf Service (yes, she does work part time for Santa) has opened my eyes this month to Sensory Occupational Therapy for children with Sensory Processing Disorder. You can read about the exercises and the effect they have had on her son, who also has Down’s syndrome here in Sensory Processing Disorder and Our Boy and you might just have a lightbulb moment and think her ideas will be relevant for your child.

Do please leave your #SENDBritmums posts in the link at the bottom of the page for sharing next month and Tweet @DownsSideUp and @BritMums with the same hashtag. In the meantime, have a wonderful half term.

You can see what my family and I are up to in our neck of the woods over at Downs Side Up.

Hayley x

Share Button

About Hayley Goleniowska

A former language teacher and voice-over artist, Hayley is now the Mum of two gorgeous girls, the youngest of whom, Natty, has Down’s Syndrome. She blogs, speaks and writes articles on the subject for all who will read or listen.

Through Downs Side Up she aims to both offer support and encouragement to new families with a diagnosis, and gently change perceptions of Down’s Syndrome from within hearts through beautiful words and photos.

Her daughter Natty is a clothing model and an amazing ambassador for children with disabilities everywhere. She has appeared in The Sun, Mail Online, Bella Magazine and on ITV Daybreak.

You can find Hayley on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.


  1. 24 February 2015 / 14:39

    Thank you so much for featuring my blog Hayley 🙂
    In terms of the means testing, it’s a very tricky one. The NHS is meant to be there for everyone, and you could argue that people like Katie Price should (hopefully) pay vast more amount of tax etc. so it all balances out in the long run. I’m not sure I agree with means testing – and I think perhaps it is about focusing on improved education facilities closer to home.

    • 20 March 2015 / 12:48

      I agree Laura. To ensure that children get the support they need it can’t be means tested and yes, the focus should be on improving quality schooling within reach of every family. A tall order indeed!


  2. 24 February 2015 / 16:25

    Thanks so much for including my post Hayley! And, as always, you’ve done a sterling job on putting this round-up together. I love how you’ve split it up in sections. Looking forward to reading everyone’s posts – especially the Jordan/Harvey controversy! xoxo

    • 20 March 2015 / 12:50

      Most welcome Maddie. Always like including bloggers who don’t traditionally write a SEN blog once in a while.

    • 20 March 2015 / 12:50

      Thank you Steph, have added one of your PDA stories for next time. Thank you for this super series of posts. Most helpful for others. Hayley

  3. 16 March 2015 / 14:57

    Hi Hayley, thank you so much for directing me here. We’ve just received a diagnosis of ASD for a 3 year old toddler boy, but it’s taken me a long time to write about the possibility of even getting a diagnosis. Here’s my honest moment – hope it’s the kind of thing you mean.

    Thank you

  4. 20 March 2015 / 12:50

    Hi, i’ve written an open letter about why my son refuses to wear a coat and why you shouldn’t judge people on sight. He has SPD amongst other things