Media/HELPING NORTH COAST FAMILIES OF CHILDREN WITH A DISABILITY PLAN FOR SCHOOL

HELPING NORTH COAST FAMILIES OF CHILDREN WITH A DISABILITY PLAN FOR SCHOOL

Free seminar to be held in Alstonville to brief parents and carers on the range of services, support and options available

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ALSTONVILLE, WEDNESDAY 4 FEBRUARY 2015 – For families with a child with a disability, starting school can be a daunting and overwhelming experience.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance is stepping in to help ensure local families caring for a child with a disability are aware of the different schooling options available to them, and the range of support and services available as their children grow.

A free parent seminar will be held in Alstonville on Wednesday 18 February, featuring a panel of speakers from the Department of Education as well as Catholic and independent schools.

Shiva Otim from Cerebral Palsy Alliance said the seminar was designed to ensure parents of children with a disability starting school in 2016 and 2017 knew what to expect, as well as to help with decisions around mainstream versus specialist schooling and disability support services.

‘Starting school is a big period of adjustment for all students and families, and add to that the pressures and stresses when a child has a disability and it can be a period of real angst’, Shiva said.

‘By bringing together the major players in the education spectrum – across government, Catholic and independent education systems – we are aiming to provide parents with a range of information to enable them to prepare and make the most appropriate decisions for their child’, she said.

To assist in planning for school, the panel will provide information on a range of subject areas including disability criteria in the three different education systems; the roles of learning and support teams; funding supports for special equipment; and ways to support children as they move between grades.

‘I’d encourage all parents and carers of a pre-school or early school aged child with a disability living in the region to register to attend this free seminar’, Shiva said. ‘The information provided could be life-changing.’

The free seminar will be held at Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s Alstonville centre, 96 Main Street, from 10am-12pm on Wednesday 18 February. Morning tea and childcare is available.

Registration is essential by 13th February. To register, contact Julia Pangbourn on 6628-5976 or jpangbourn@cerebralpalsy.org.au

Released on 4 Feb 2015