SEND Round-up: New horizons

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A New Year, a new start and renewed energy for the SEND bloggers who write for BritMums. We’d love to hear your voices and champion your causes, so please do add your posts to the linky at the bottom of the page and share on social media, using the shiny new hashtag #SENDBritmums.

I am feeling buoyant this month because I have just had real, tangible proof that blogging works. Not only is it cathartic for us as writers, not only does it weave a close network of support between us all, not only does it put our voices in the media, but it is having a real impact on the NHS and the professionals we work with. Medics and teachers and portage workers and speech therapists are reading our blogs and they are taking note, they are reaching out to us, adding their experiences to the melting pot, and together we are all learning from each other, creating real change.

Firstly, a kind of medical New Year Honours list was published by the Health Service Journal this month. It listed 25 individuals, #HSJRisingStars who are shaping the thinking of those working within the NHS, of creating policy, of inspiring change. The list is full of incredible Doctors, pioneers and cutting edge thinkers. I am most honoured, yet enormously humbled, that my blog Downs Side Up also features.

Further evidence of the importance of our voices comes from Jane Ring at Navigating Chloe’s World, a blog charting the course of her little girl who is Deafblind. She is so right when she talks about The Power of Words, for Jane and her daughter Chloe have just been named as Change Makers of the Year for their awareness and fundraising work by charity Sense for deaf blind people. Congratulations to both. Keep up the amazing work.

Also noted for the difference she is making is Warrior Mum Wendy Hirst, voted Parent in a Million for her Autism support and resources blog Spectrum of Life. Wendy has her own personal health issues to face, following strokes and heart issues. 2015 sees her facing more scans which has caused anxiety to rise. You can read about more about her Hopes and Fears for 2015 here.

Adam Bojelian is a young poet and writer. He’s won the Brit Writers Special Achievement Award and is the proud owner of a rare Gold Blue Peter Badge. Adam is currently in hospital where he recently spent his birthday hosting a Twitter party. Adam’s zest for life is infectious and you can be inspired by him over on his blog In The Blink of an Eye, which by the way, is how he writes his poetry.

Bloggers’ Experiences

New to me this month is Lori who writes A Quiet Week in the House. Lori parents a son who has autism and Tourette’s and she and her father were both diagnosed with Asperger’s as adults. This is her perspective on My Favourite Self-soothing Behaviour (aka Stimming). I always think it’s vital to get an adults perspective from time to time.

After a premature birth and a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy, Mrboosmum over at Premmeditations is faces a new fight, this time to keep her family home by finding a nursery that will accept her son. Disability childcare is a thorny topic that never seems to be resolved. Do read Known Unknowns and offer support if you can.

Unschooling Aspies writes An Avenue Mum Blogging the Differences. Here she compiles a comprehensive post Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome: A little known part of the autistic spectrum that leaves a big impression full of information and signposting groups for anyone needing support. Her blog will also be of interest to those who choose to home educate their children with additional needs.

Deepa writes Two Minute Parenting and her latest post is a Must Read for Special Needs Parents, giving advice on how to boost your mental wellbeing and strength and the less important niggle that it’s important to let go. We must choose our battles wisely I always think, and never forget that looking after ourselves is as important as looking after those we care for.

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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. 26 January 2015 / 10:10

    A post of inspirational bloggers and thank you so much for mentioning my blog and award.

  2. 03 February 2015 / 21:49

    Thanks for keeping the round-up going. Always great news things to read about and learn from x