For children and young people with SEND, anxiety can be a significant barrier to learning. The outbreak has led to increased worry, perhaps about their own or family members health, and has heightened anxiety about going back to school in September following such a long break in lockdown.
Sometimes your child or young person will be able to tell you exactly what it is they are worried about. They may find it hard to talk about this with you so you could consider asking them to write this down, messaging you or talking to someone else.
It might be you notice a change in their mood or behaviour or it could be that, as you know them so well, you are able to anticipate what they will find most difficult.
Because you know your child best, you will have really important information to share with school or college, including strategies for how your child can be supported through this period.
Who can help?
You can speak to a school nurse , your child’s GP or contact the Children and Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing Hubfor advice, recommendations or a possible referral to specialist health services. Share this information with school or college so they have the full picture, and you can discuss next steps together.
Services offering general support with anxiety for children and young people:
Moodwise– digital tools and resources to support young people’s emotional wellbeing
ChatHealth– young people 11-19 can text a school nurse on 07507 333356
4YP– local charity organisation supporting young people 12-25
Coronavirus-specific information and advice:
Social distancing and PPE (resources to help children understand)
The Mix (how to deal with corona-anxiety)
Young minds (what to do if you’re anxious about coronavirus)
Young minds (talking to your child about coronavirus)
NSPCC (talking to a child worried about coronavirus)
Coronavirus (a free book to download for children)
Social story from Carol Grey (pandemics and the coronavirus)
NHS audio guides (mental wellbeing)
Dr Pookie Knightsmith – videos (parents and carers – videos with ideas for supporting your child)
‘What makes a good friend’ (activity sheet from Partnership for Children)
Children’s guide to Coronavirus (from the Children’s Commissioner for England)