12:45 pm, Monday, 15th January 2024

Neurodiversity and Autism Update January 2024

Welcome to our third edition. Thank you for the feedback we have received from December, and we will continue to keep listening and keeping you informed. In this issue we are covering:

We continue to work on a new section on the Neurodevelopmental Service :: Navigo (navigocare.co.uk)

which can be found on the Navigo website You can find key dates relating to the launch of the new referral form and service on this page and do keep checking the page for further updates.

Meet the team!

Our team is made up of professionals from a range of different backgrounds who work together to provide multi- disciplinary assessments. We have included a section at the end of this update where you can ‘Meet the Team’, get to know the staff and their roles within the Neurodevelopmental Service.

Collaboration with stakeholders

Members of the Neurodevelopmental Service met with a range of stakeholders to walk them through the draft referral form and gain their feedback.

Changes have been made to the referral form due to the feedback from parent carers and educational professionals.

Online Training Sessions – Completing the new referral form

The team are offering some online training sessions on completing the new referral form for stakeholders should they wish to attend – parent carers are also welcome to attend sessions. The team will walk you through the referral form and answer any of your questions. Please find below the links below where you will need to register for one of the sessions.

I’m really proud of what has been created through the joint effort of all those involved, and the input of the NELPCF, SPACE forum and SENDCO focus groups.” – Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist

We all were brought to tears after our meeting because the Forum hadn’t experienced such a collaborative way of working before; we all felt that we were helping to shape such an important document.” NELPCF

 Friday 12 January 2024 9.30am – 11 am

 Thursday 18 January 2024 11 am – 12.30pm

 Friday 26 January 2024 1.00pm – 2.30 pm

What are the waiting times looking like?

In the last newsletter we shared with you that the waiting times have reduced to 31 weeks (end of November 23) and we are pleased to share the wait has continued to decrease by a further 4 weeks to 27 weeks at the end of December 2023. By the end of 2023 the average wait time has been reduced by 39% since Q1 (April- June) where the longest wait was 51 weeks.

Hi everyone, my name is Nic. I am a professional who contributes to this newsletter and I am also a parent of twin boys, one of whom is a child with complex additional needs. I’ve worked within the area of SEND within NEL for too many years to mention and my son was diagnosed when he was 3½ years old so I have personally accessed a lot of support over the years. In fact, I am still seeking out advice, support and information! As my son has grown and developed the challenges of parenting him have changed. Just like every other parent carer we have had to constantly change and adapt the strategies and resources that we use daily to support him and us, as a family. Over the years we have regularly had to revisit strategies and resources that we have previously used.

In this section I would like to share with you my personal experience and the information, advice and support that my family have accessed in NEL – some of this might be useful to you and your families and some might not but that is okay. All children are unique, each child has different strengths and areas that may need additional support.

One thing I have learnt along our journey is how important it is to talk with other parent carers who have similar lived experiences. I have found great strength and support from other parent carers and our unique children bring us together, sharing ideas, experiences and things that we have learnt. For an opportunity to meet with other parent carers and practitioners please join us at our SPACE Forum, for more details please click on the link.

I would love to hear what you have accessed and if you have found these services or activities helpful you can complete the Microsoft form at the end of this section to do this or email me hnyicb-nel.fmhd@nhs.net.

This issue I’m going to focus on Social / Leisure activities:

 Relaxed Screenings – Parkway Cinema. It was due to discovering these relaxed screenings that we could take our son to the cinema, relax and enjoy the experience with like-minded families.

 Lincs Inspire Swimming – We found staff to be extremely understanding and supportive of our son and his individual needs; especially his love of pulling the alarm in the changing room!

 FLAG – Provided us with an opportunity to spend time with our other son while being confident that Oliver was accessing appropriate activities and was in the care of experienced practitioners.

 The Uniform Hut, on Pasture Street, opened the hairdressers to help families get their kids ready for going back to school and the service has been booked up for weeks at a time. It has also won praise for helping children with additional needs, thanks to its sensory toys and calming appearance.

Retail quiet hours – below are the places that I have used and/or am aware of… please email me details of any other shops/stores that offer a ‘quiet hour’.

Where..When…What happens…
  AsdaMonday to Thursday 2pm to 3pm.All of its stores will reduce the noise levels in-store by switching off Asda radio and reduce tannoy announcements to emergencies only. Asda also have Makaton Friendly shopping list that can used in-store.
CurrysUntil 11am every Monday to FridayThe retailer will reduce noise and keep lights low in its stores.
Freshney PlaceSaturdays 9am to 10amThis includes all its stores and during this time, the music turned off and any rides are turned off to ensure there are no additional noises and/or flashing lights.
LidlTuesday evening 6pm to 8pmAll stores will have reduced lighting, no music or announcements, lower till scan sounds, priority queuing and assistance dogs welcomed.
  MorrisonsSaturdays 9am to 10amDuring these times, the lights will be dimmed and the music is turned off. Staff will avoid making announcements, reduce the movement of trolleys and baskets, as well as turn down electrical noises such as checkout beeps. A poster will be placed outside to tell customers it’s Quieter Hour.
  TescoWednesdays and Saturdays 9am to 10am.In its large stores the lights will be dimmed, and checkout noises will be lowered in all their larger stores at these times. They also provide an autism-friendly visual guide to shopping at Tesco, and you can download a visual shopping list.

Please share your positive experiences with us, via the following link or QR Code, so that together we can help and support other families across NEL.  https://forms.office.com/e/dVDe0C9DKL

Summary of support services in NEL and what they do – these can be found on www.sendlocaloffer.nelincs.gov.uk.

ServiceWhat they doHow to contact
NAVIGO – Young Minds MatterThe drop-in sessions aim to support parents without the need for an appointment. They will be open to anyone with a child or young person who has or is suspected to have a neurodiverse condition (with a formal diagnosis or not) even if just wanting more information. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Young  Minds Matter) :: Navigo (navigocare.co.uk)
Family HubsFamily hubs bring together services to offer help and support to children and young people aged 0 to 19 and their families. You can speak to a range of professionals such as our advisers, health visitors, school nurses and other family support services to work through issues that may arise during a child or young person’s life. Family hubs | NELC (nelincs.gov.uk)
FIS – Families

First Information Service
The Families First Information Service is a free, impartial information service for families with children aged 0-19 years.

If you are looking for childcare, you can use the directory to search for childcare or the directory to search for childcare or contact the service directly.

01472 326292 option 1  Family Information Service Directory | NELC  (nelincs.gov.uk)
SEND Parent Engagement ChampionSEND Parent Engagement Champion role offers support, signposting to support/services, host regular engagement events (such as pop-ups with multiple professionals in attendance) and listen to parent carer views. abi.fleming@nelsendiass.org.uk 07552743370
Parent Carer ForumNELPCF is a collective voice for parent carers of children and young people with SEND in North East Lincolnshire. They make sure that parents’ views and experiences influence local services to make things better. nelpcf@gmail.com  NELPCF
SENDIASSSENDIASS North East Lincolnshire is a free service for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their parents and carers. It’s impartial and we give confidential information, advice and support in relation to special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and related health and social care matters. ask@nelsendiass.org.uk 01472 326363  www.nelsendiass.org.uk
Support as a carerThe Carers’ Support Service is the main port of call for Carers in Northern Lincolnshire. There is a range of free and confidential practical and emotional support on offer.01472 242277  Carers Support Service
Autism CentralWe are excited to share with you the Autism Central Programme in collaboration with Daisy Chain which offers families and carers of autistic people high-quality and easily accessible autism education, training, and support through peer educators, alongside a dedicated website.You can access the training sessions if you have a young person with traits, undergoing, or diagnosed with autism, ADHD, FASD or sensory processing differences by visiting  https://www.daisychainproject.co.uk/event/learning-  workshops/. Virtual support sessions are also available which provide an opportunity for parents/carers to connect with each other and get advice from the Autism Central team. For more information visit  https://www.daisychainproject.co.uk/event/autism-  central-virtual-support-sessions/

If you are concerned that a child is being abused, or they may be at risk of harm, you should contact NELC Integrated Front Door Service to make a referral.

For concerns around mental health use the 24/7 mental health Single Point of Access on 01472 256256 (option 3) or freephone 08081 968442.

If life is at imminent risk, call the emergency services on 999.

Find out more aboutWho/Where?What will you find?
Generation ZWe’d love you to come along to our first meeting on Friday 26th January to tell us what you’d like the group to look like! Meeting on the last Friday of every month, 2pm-4pm. Contact details: Tel: 01472 242277Are you aged 18 to 25? We want to hear from you! We are launching our new Peer Support Group specially for young adult carers
Young Carers Young Carers – Carers Support Service  (carerssupportcentre.com) For more information about the services and activities available for Young Carers in North East Lincolnshire. Contact details:
Tel: 01472 326294 (option 3 then option 2) Email: admin.yps@nelincs.gov.uk.
They are children and young people of any age who have a family member with an illness, medical condition or disability. They may look after or help look after their parent, brother, sister or Grandparent or other family member.

Find out more information about activities and groups for young carers, other services for support, Children’s Rights and how to have your voice heard.
Compass GoCompass GO… Mental Health Support Team works with children, young people, families and educational settings in NEL. Contact details: Tel: 01472 494 250 Email: nelincsmhst@compass-uk.org Email: compass.go.mhst@nhs.netWe provide support, help and advice for pupils, students and schools for issues related to emotional and mental health wellbeing. Our work with educational settings across NEL includes providing advice, information and support to staff in promoting emotional and mental health wellbeing. We also work with children and young people on a 1:1 basis offering Cognitive Behavioural Therapy intervention.
FarawayFaraway is a not-for-profit social enterprise community interest company that actively works to create inclusive communities through enabling autistic people to raise awareness of autism within their local community and support the community to deliver services that are accessible for all people.

Contact details: Tel: 07835 034014 Email: info@thefarawaycic.org Address: Neurospace Queen Street, Grimsby, DN31 1QG.
The company’s activities will provide benefit to people with unique minds, in particular, autistic adults. They provide: A place to plan and realise bright futures by supporting people to develop their own activities, employment opportunities and peer support services.Give people a chance to reduce social isolation and improve self-confidence and social skills by providing person centred services and activities.Opportunities to create inclusive communities through enabling autistic people to raise awareness of autism within their local community and support the community to deliver services that are accessible for all people.Provide employment opportunities for autistic adults that will enable them to support their peers in accessing employment, local health and other social care services and through mentoring.

Join us for a FREE workshop on Growing up, sex and relationships: learn how to prepare your child for puberty and adolescence, and how to support them to navigate this confusing time. Monday 29 January, 9.30am – 11.30am online workshop registration: Growing Up, Sex and Relationships Workshop for parent carers in NE Lincs Tickets, Mon 29 Jan 2024 at 09:30 | Eventbrite.

In previous editions we have shared with you details of the Managing ADHD Group (MAG) for parents whose children have a diagnosis of ADHD. The first cohort has now completed the course and below is some of their feedback:

Feedback QuestionsResponses
I know how to identify when my child may be struggling with their ADHD.100% Agreed
I have strategies and techniques to help my child who may be struggling with their ADHD.100% Strongly Agreed
I believe I have knowledge around what support is available and who to contact for support in relation to ADHD.100% Agreed
Are there any changes to the group that you would suggest for the future?“No, thank you for your help and understanding”
What information sources discussed in the group were most helpful and why?“Child Development”
If your child/young person has a diagnosis of ADHD and you would like to know more about the course or register your interest, please email navigo.neladhd@nhs.net with your details and the team will get in touch with you.

Please feel free to come along – We look forward to seeing you!

EventWho is it for?When is it?How do I get involved?
    NAVIGO Carers drop-in  Anyone who is supporting a Navigo service userEvery Thursday 10am – 3pm Tukes Hub 3-7A Brighowgate Grimsby  Access information and advice without needing an appointment every Thursday. For more information, call (01472) 806800.
  Open Event – Linkage Weelsby CampusParent carers of children and young people post 16 yearsWednesday 10th January Linkage Weelsby Campus 4pm – 7pmCome along to this Open Event at Linkage College which provides you with an opportunity to learn more about post 16 education and meet Abi Fleming, SENDIASS Parent Engagement Champion. For further information please contact the school directly.
NSPCC School Event – Littlecoates Primary AcademyParent carers of children and young people who attend this school onlyThursday 11th January 9am – 10.30am Littlecoates Primary Academy  Come along to this NSPCC event which provides you with an opportunity to meet your NSPCC worker and meet Abi Fleming, SENDIASS Parent Engagement Champion. For further information please contact the school directly.
      SPACE ForumAll parent carers and staff from all educational settings (Nursery to College)Tuesday 16th January 2024 9.30am – 11.30am Grimsby Town HallThe SPACE Forum is the only forum within North East Lincolnshire that includes parent carers and setting staff working in partnership. Please follow this link for more information and notes of the last meeting: Settings, parents and carers for  education- SPACE Forum – NELC SEND Local Offer  (nelincs.gov.uk).
NSPCC School Event – St Mary’s RC Primary AcademyParent carers of children and young people who attend this school onlyTuesday 23rd January 9am – 10.30am St Mary’s RC Primary Academy  Come along to this NSPCC event which provides you with an opportunity to meet your NSPCC worker and meet Abi Fleming, SENDIASS Parent Engagement Champion. For further information please contact the school directly.
Healing Primary AcademyParent carers of children and young people who
attend this school only
Wednesday 31st January 9am – 10.30amCome along to this event if your CYP attends this school. For further information please contact the school directly.

If you have any questions or if you would like to share your thoughts and views on anything mentioned in this newsletter. Please use the QR Code or the link below to send us your question and/or share your thoughts and ideas:

Neurodiversity and Autism Update Newsletter – Q&As (office.com)

      Carly Pickles (she/her) Team CoordinatorHello, my name is Carly. I am a Learning Disabilities Nurse and I coordinated the Access Pathway since 2019. I have worked within specialist services for children and young people for many years and I am very passionate about my role and the needs and rights of children/young people and their families. I am excited for the new changes ahead within the Neurodevelopmental service and the friendly team will continue to be here to provide advice and guidance along the way. Outside of work I enjoy being very busy with the kids, family, and house projects. I like to enjoy the odd yoga session and grow some bits and bobs on the allotment     
        Amy Ranyard (she/her) Associate CoordinatorI have worked in childcare settings over a span of 20 years and have always had a keen interest in supporting young people with additional needs. Over the past few years, I have worked in a specialist setting, supporting with a range of additional needs and disabilities which has enabled me to gain experience with supporting neurodevelopmental needs and develop my understanding of neurodiversity. I am happy to be part of neurodevelopmental team and enjoy working alongside young people, families, and professionals involved with the service. I enjoy spending time with my family and being active, particularly going for long walks and getting as much fresh air as I can. I enjoy exploring different places and love a ‘staycation’ as much as going abroad on holidays. I enjoy films and love trips to the cinema to see them on the big screen! I also have a keen interest in music and love to see live music when I can.
    Kim Greener (she/her) Associate CoordinatorHello, my name is Kim, and I am an Associate Co-Ordinator with the team. My background consists of working in Early Year’s setting, Family Hubs, and more recently as a Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist Assistant with children, young people, their families and wider community. I have a keen interest and feel very passionate about Neurodiversity and SEN, specifically with children/young people and their families. With this in mind, I ensure that the advice and guidance I deliver, follows a holistic approach, putting the child/young person at the forefront. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, playing Uno, and walking my two dogs.
  Victoria Crawford (she/her) Lead AdministratorI love spending time with my friends, family and dogs. My favourite hobby is travelling; I love to go backpacking in Europe and camping in the UK when I get the opportunity. I particularly love the art, history, and architecture of the 19th Century, which I love to study and visit. I am also a volunteer at Linkage where I am researching a local 19th century house and family.
Dr Tracey Urquhart (she/her)   Consultant Clinical Psychologist/Clinical LeadAs Clinical Lead of the service I have over 23 years’ experience working within Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and have been the clinical lead for Young Minds Matter since 2010. I have always had an interest in Neurodevelopmental conditions, and I have dual Post Graduate qualifications in Adult Clinical Neuropsychology and Paediatric Clinical Neuropsychology. Creating the first Neurodevelopmental joint clinics with Dr Wobi and Dr Kumar in 2006, and the AD/HD services in 2010, we have always wanted to create a service that delivers efficient, timely specialist assessments for children and young people.
Recent funding has allowed us to start this journey and develop a single point of access for children and young people of all ages, reducing the lengthy time for families to access specialist assessments and diagnosis. The resident team will include, Paediatrician’s, Psychiatrists, Clinical Psychologists, Educational Psychology, Speech and Language Therapist, specialist LD nurse, specialist non-medical prescriber, assistant psychologists, specialist navigators and supporting administrators. This is an exciting time and the start of developing transformational neurodevelopmental services for the children and young
people of Northeast Lincolnshire.
Dr Francesca Smithson Evans (she/her) Highly Specialist Clinical PsychologistHi, my name is Francesca and I have worked in the team since 2016. I currently work both clinically and managerially within the Young Minds Matter neurodevelopmental service, and the mental health pathway for children and young people with moderate to profound intellectual disabilities. I am really passionate about neurodevelopment and have completed additional specialist training in clinical paediatric neuropsychology.
    Dr Louise Jarvis (she/her) Specialist Educational PsychologistI have very recently joined the neurodevelopment team. Before that, I worked in various different Local Authorities in England as an Educational Psychologist for many years and have been a trained teacher. Most recently I worked in North East Lincolnshire where I was a Senior Specialist Educational Psychologist, with particular responsibility for Social, Emotional and Mental Health and working closely with the Virtual School for Children who are Looked After. I thoroughly love my job, working with children, young people, and the families, schools and other professionals that care for them. My particular interests in work have always included person-centred planning, consultation and supporting relationship based approaches.
    Dr Sophia Ali (she/her) Clinical PsychologistHello, my name is Sophia! I am one of the Clinical Psychologists in the Neurodevelopmental team within Young Minds Matter. I am really passionate about understanding and helping support children and young people. I have a particular interest in working alongside children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Outside of work, I really enjoy going for long walks (especially on the beach!), watching new programmes on Netflix, and baking.
  Gillian Bush (she/they) Trainee Clinical PsychologistI’m a Trainee Clinical Psychologist who works predominantly with the Neurodevelopmental pathway, with a special interest in Intellectual Disabilities, working in the service for around two years. I’m the SEND champion for the service and am always trying to promote SEN and neurodiversity awareness. I’m a bit of a nerd who loves gaming, computers, and DnD, and love meeting kids and young people with the same interests.
  Samantha Norton (she/her) Assistant PsychologistI am Samantha Norton an Assistant Psychologist within the YMM team. I currently work both in the neuro and core team within young minds matter. In the Neuro team my job role includes being a part of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) assessments as well as conducting cognitive assessments. In the core team my job role includes working alongside clinicians to conduct initial assessments, assessing risk, contributing to multidisciplinary team meetings and providing group and individual therapy. During my time at YMM I have had the opportunity to explore the area of attachment and neurodiversity. This has sparked my interest in the area of attachment and I hope to explore this further. In relation to who I am, a few people describe me as a golden retriever in human form. I love to help people; I love being around friends and family and I am very energetic. I love animals and have two cats of my own. If I won, the lottery I would buy a farm and have as many animals as I could have on the farm. Outside of work, I love a to craft and enjoy crocheting making mood boards and using my newfound circuit machine that makes anything from labels to personalised mugs and t-shirts. I also love to plan exciting activities such as parties for celebrations and days out with family and friends. Additionally, I enjoy spending time outdoors such as walking, cycling, and swimming. I also have a love for extreme sports such as white-water rafting, Canyoning, Tough Mudder and most importantly of all I enjoy Rounders. I also enjoy spending time with friends and family playing board games, going for spa days, and coffee.
            Nathan Clark (he/him) Assistant PsychologistHi, I’m Nathan, an Assistant Psychologist within the team at Young Minds Matter. I am part of a team that brings together information from a variety of places to assist in concluding assessments as accurately as possible. My day to day involves gathering information from schools through 1:1 interviews, gathering structured observations and conducting cognitive assessments. I am responsible for many background elements of the assessment. I help to ensure that the assessment can be completed fully, and that accurate information has been obtained and can be used. Further to this, I contact family members and professionals and provide them with information about what to expect from our service and answer any questions they might have. I also help in the scheduling of and preparation for appointments. Before working for YMM, I worked as a peer mentor for Autistic young people and helped them navigate elements of their world. I helped them with life skills, such as shopping, cooking, and budgeting, or to develop social skills through setting up groups for them to attend. In my spare time, I enjoy gaming, exercising, and watching TV and movies. I can often be found deep in a very nerdy chat about superheroes or sci-fi.
      Sam Dobbs (he/him) Assistant PsychologistHi I’m Sam. I currently split my time between the Neuro and the Looked After Children (LAC) team as well as assisting with assessments within the core team. In terms of my work within the Neuro team I mainly assist with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) assessments. This includes liaising with schools to gain information through questionnaires and completing observations within these schools. I also join MDT meetings to conclude on the assessment where I present the information which I have gained. I enjoy this aspect as it is where the hard work, I have done gains its importance and I feel I am making a real difference in making clinical decisions. I also complete cognitive assessments which I would say is my favourite part of the job. I enjoy conducting these assessments and I also enjoy the scoring and statistical analysis, as strange as that might sound! Away from work I am someone that very much enjoys the outdoors. I enjoy walks in the country and I am also a regular runner. I also enjoy birdwatching and cataloguing the birds I have seen. I also enjoy reading and playing video games. One day I hope to write a novel: I’ve already decided what it’s about, it’s just finding the time!
    Natasha Teanby (she/her) Assistant PsychologistHi, I’m Tasha, an Assistant Psychologist working as part of the Neuropsychology component of the team. My previous work experience comprises aiding rehabilitate young offenders, working with those with learning disabilities and with those possessing severe mental and physical health conditions of all ages in various environments. I have a particular interest in behaviour change and attachment theories. I believe in the symbiotic relationship between physical and mental health and regularly engage with exercise in various forms during my free time.
    Gary Williams (he/him) Specialist Nurse Prescriber and ADHD Treatment Team LeadHi, I’m Gaz and I am part of the management team, the service’s Non-Medical Prescriber, Team Lead for ADHD Treatment, and I conduct ADHD assessments. I have worked at Young Minds Matter as a Children’s Nurse since July 2019. I work primarily with children and families affected by neurodiversity such as ADHD but also offer supervision to local schools and the local authority. I also co-run the parent support network and Managing ADHD Parent Group. My day to-day role includes working as part of the medical team to prescribe medications and therapies for our higher-level patients. These include anti- depressants, stimulant/non-stimulant ADHD medications, and sleep medications.
  Rachel Wilson (she/her) Neurodiversity Support WorkerMy name is Rachel Wilson, I started working at Young Minds Matter Jan 2021 within the Admin Team. I have since transitioned over into the Neurodiversity Team as a Neurodiversity Support Worker. I’m passionate about engaging with children who interpret the world a little differently, helping individuals strive to be the best version of themselves. There is no one size fits all, we are all unique. In my spare time I love hiking and exploring nature, trying to find pretty places and things to photograph.
The wider CAMHS team also have Speciality Doctors who support in assessing and managing ADHD
  Dr Sharon Thomas Specialty Doctor (CAMHS)Hello , I was working as a Psychiatrist in India for 8 years and moved to the UK a year back. I am working in CAMHS (Young Minds Matter) for a year now and have been thoroughly enjoying working with Children and adolescents here. I have a special interest towards Neuro-Psychiatry, Mood and Anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. I enjoy going for long walks in the park and beach side (whenever the weather allows me to )