SELF HELP TIPS for managing uncertain times for people with learning disabilities

SELF HELP TIPS for managing uncertain times for people with learning disabilities

What does Lockdown and the Coronavirus Pandemic mean for people with learning disabilities?

Our accessibility blogger Dan has written these tips which he has found helps him in these uncertain times…

Tips for people with Learning disabilities to help them manage this period

I know staying at home can be hard for adults with learning disabilities in this strange time, but I have some tips to help them manage this period.

My tips are:

1)      Try and make sure you have some kind of structure to your days – for example mine is: TV in a morning, bit of work in the afternoon, more TV on a night.

 

2)      Talk to someone at least once a day  whether it be a carer you have, support worker, parent if you have one, or just even ringing or texting a member of staff of a group you go to, can be helpful.

 

3)      Try and make sure you exercise at least once a day so that you have some fresh air inside your lungs, and gets you out of the house for half hour, an hour

 

4)      Don’t watch too much news as it can scare you

 

5)      Do something you enjoy doing every day to help you feel more relaxed

 

Dan also wants to share why he claps for carers on a Thursday…

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Every Thursday evening for just a minute, people all across the UK step onto their doorsteps or balconies and they clap, not only for the NHS staff who are keeping the country going,  but they’re also clapping for the carers who are having to work through these tough times.

I have lots of people who I see as carers: my parents, staff at CoActive, In the Sky,  GT Care whether that be in the group or on a 1:1 basis, doctors, dentists when I have appointments.

I’ll explain why I see each of these are carers, and what they do for me.

Why I see my parents as carers is they take me to a couple of my groups in normal times, and they don’t mind dropping me off and picking me back up again,  they make my food for me, and they do loads of other stuff for me, so that’s why I see them as carers.

Why I see staff at CoActive as carers are:  they’re really helpful and ask if I’m OK with activities we do,  and if they don’t think I’m doing something right they explain to me what I should be doing in a simple way , and then I do it again. They’re all fantastic at their job as well which helps.

In the Sky staff are carers, as they ask me what I’ve been up to during the week, and they listen to me.  Performance wise if I’m in the wrong place on stage or I get a line wrong, they let me know and they let me do it again.

GT Care staff  are carers as it’s in their name , and when I’m in a group which is on a Tuesday and Saturday night, they come and pick me up, take me to wherever we go, so on a Tuesday that’s for tea at a pub, followed by a game of bowling, and then they take me home when it’s time, and on a Saturday they take a group of us to Carlton Social Club where there’s darts, bingo, a singer usually although occasionally there’s something else e.g. a comedian, and then when it’s time they drop me off at home and they ask me sometimes if things are OK. I also have a 1:1 on a Friday who picks me up, goes with me to In the Sky, and then drops me off home at the end when it’s time.

Doctors and dentists are carers as they do check-ups so  doctors is usually a health check every year and just a general checkup.  Dentists are either for check-ups or for fillings if needs be.

How my Cares are helping me through this Covid 19 crisis… 

The groups I used to go to have all got some kind of way of keeping members of the group connected in some sort of way. Whether it be via Zoom or an online chat group or DVD (such as CoActive charity who are making the DVD to hand deliver to their members each week as not everyone can get online. The DVD includes the normal sessions that the creative arts charity would normally put on for adults with learning difficulties).

So that’s a list of carers I have and why I clap for them.

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CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH: How to help your child deal with worries and anxiety

CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH: How to help your child deal with worries and anxiety

We understand that children need physical education and but what about helping a child’s mental health such as how to deal with worries and anxiety? 

As someone who has had mental health problems since I was at school and now being a mum myself and running Yorkshire Families (which aims to get all families exploring Yorkshire regardless of barriers such as mental health problems), I understand the importance of supporting young people and preventing more mental health issues in the future and enabling them to have the ‘best’ start possible. 

I recently went to a workshop on “How to help your child overcome worries and anxiety” by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust. 

Here are the tips on helping a child with worries and anxiety… 

 

  • Ask your child what they are worried about when you notice they are worried or soon after. Don’t assume you know what is worrying them. Use open questions such as what, when and why?
  • Try to encourage the child to think of solutions to their worry. Ask things like ‘Has that ever happened before?’ Has it happened to someone else? How likely is it that this will happen? If this does happen could there be other reasons for it? Ask if (event) happened to a friend what do they think the friend would do?
  • For children who find it difficult to verbalise their worries encourage them to write or draw their worry. Make a worry box or monster to put the worries in. Go through the worries with the child at a set time each day, not too near to bed time. This limits the amount of time a child worries each day as they know they will have set time to talk and think about their worries.
  • If children find it difficult to recognise anxiety draw a body outline and encourage them to draw physical feelings i.e. butterflies in stomach, shaky legs, you can draw your own physical feelings on a body outline.
  • Some younger children like to draw their worries and tear them up or make them into comical characters. For older children encourage them to write feelings and emotions down in a journal.
  • Encourage children to ‘have a go’ at something they are worried about, give praise if they achieve even a small part of their worry. Set child doable goals using visual pictures, make small steps they can achieve to reach their goals, expect setbacks.
  • Make sure your child can identify activities, places and people they can talk to which help to make them feel relaxed.
  • Teach them simple breathing and distraction techniques e.g. counting rectangles in a room, use a rectangle to slow breathing down i.e. breath in for a count of 2, pause, breath out for 3, pause and repeat.
  • Make sure child can identify someone at home and at school who they can talk to.  
  • Use positive self- talk, children learn from example, encourage them to use phrases like ‘I can do this, I am good at…, I like myself because….

 

To recap: 

ASK open questions (don’t assume)

ENCOURAGE THEM TO SPEAK, WRITE OR DRAW their worries 

CREATE a worry box or monster to put their worries in 

SET SMALL GOALS to overcome their worry 

BREATHE mindfulness and distraction techniques 

USE POSITIVE SELF-TALK Children learn from example 

SUPPORT Make sure a child has someone at home and/or school to talk to 

 

 

Some useful books and resources on helping a Child with worries or anxiety:

‘What to do when you worry too much’ by Dawn Huebner

‘Little Miss Shy’ Roger Hargreaves

Overcoming Your Child’s Fear and Worries, Cathy Creswell and Lucy Willetts.

Websites:

Childline

Anxiety-Young Minds http://www.youngminds.org.uk

Anxiety in Children NHS.UK

Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/…/anxiety-and-panic-attacks

Older children and young people:

Moodjuice self- help resources http://www.moodjuice

Kooth online counselling http://www.kooth.com

Young minds

There are many apps and meditation websites that help children build up a ‘tool box’ of coping strategies to help then deal with situations they find stressful.

e.g. Headspace

 

YORKSHIRE EVENING POST: Meet the Yorkshire Family behind Yorkshire Families Magazine Blog

YORKSHIRE EVENING POST: Meet the Yorkshire Family behind Yorkshire Families Magazine Blog

Yorkshire Families editor Sophie Mei Lan and her family are regularly featured in Yorkshire Evening Post so we thought we’d also share their favourite things to do in the region.

Sophie Mei Lan is a multi-award-winning vlogger, blogger and film-maker – she runs Yorkshire Families magazine, MamaMei.co.uk (a family and mental health blog) and Evoke Media Group – an all female video production and influencer marketing company Blog Up North.

Sophie, 31, lives with her husband Chris Hale of three years, 32 and their two daughters Jasmine, 7, and Arianna Hale, 4.

Family of the Week – as featured in Yorkshire Evening Post


What are your top tips for getting
children to do what you ask?

I try to be as positive and a gentle parent where possible. So I try to explain things and reason with them. But sometimes if they’ve kept me up at night I loose my rag!

Bribery and rewards normally do the job too.


What family task takes you the longest?

Getting ready for school and nursery, we have endless troubles over what to wear and how wrinkly their tights are.

What’s the weirdest thing your children
have done/brought home/done to your house?

My eldest Jasmine loves art and regularly comes out of school with enormous box models made out of rubbish. We always look odd as I don’t drive so have to try and get the kids and a huge sculpture of rubbish home, I’m like Buckaroo. Jasmine’s very precious about keeping them as well.  



Have your children ever really, really surprised you? How and why?

We both have our own YouTube channels. I vlog about mental health and attachment parenting at YouTube.com/sophiemeilan and they have their own Make and Move channel. And they have taken to presenting and vlogging so naturally they instantly say: “Hi guys, comment down below, subscribe and give this video a thumbs up.”

What’s the most bizarre thing you have found yourself saying since having kids?

My daughter was at the bus stop for me and begging for an apple and all I had was chocolate in my bag. The other people at the bus stop looked disgusted at me.

What’s the funniest thing your children have ever said/done?


They told their teacher in a careers class that their mummy is a professional footballer for a living (because they’ve seen me play football a few times… I love it but no-one would ever pay me to play it!).

Mini moan – what really gets your goat?

Judgemental people! You really don’t know what battle or toddler someone is facing. So just don’t judge and try empathise.

What’s your favourite family day out?

We’ve always loved the free crafts at The Hepworth Wakefield and now we run The Hepworth Cafe there, so we’re there all the time.

We had a lovely day out at Kirkstall Abbey recently and it’s free to enter.


Image India Hobson / The Hepworth Wakefield

What hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy as a family and separately?


We all love going to Xscape in Castleford, from bouncing on trampolines in Gravity to learnming to snowboard in SnoZone, there’s loads to do. We also love trying out climbing walls and love the new one at Meadowhall in Sheffield. I also love dancing, vlogging and shopping at Victoria Gate, Kirkgate Market and Trinity Walk in Wakefield.

What’s the hardest thing about being a parent?

It can be relentless and trying to reason with kids mid tantrum is hard.


What’s a typical evening for the grown-ups once the children are in bed?


I co-sleep and breastfeed, so there’s no such evening without kids for me.

What is Leeds’ most family-friendly restaurant and why?

We like trying out different places inside The Light or Trinity Leeds. In Wakefield we love going to Abdul’s Indian or Pizza Express.

What’s the best thing about weekends and why?

No school runs and reviewing lots of family-friendly places for my YorkshireFamilies.co.uk blog and magazine.

What is your most treasured memory?

My daughter nearly died when she was 3 months old. And the Leeds Intensive Care Unit loved her back to life. I’ll never forget the moment that she started breathing again.


What’s the number one thing you would change about Leeds?

The transport! Lack of parking, awful trains and the ring road.


What’s the children’s favourite food/meal?
They love a good Sunday Dinner with lots of gravy.

What’s your top penny-pinching tip?

Take a range of snacks around with you.


One family member’s proudest achievement?

I was a semi-finalist bellydancer on Britain’s Got Talent and my husband Chris Hale was a quarter-finalist on BBC’s MasterChef.

What one item can you not live without?

My gym kit, phone and liquid eyeliner.


What can your children not live without?


YouTube and my phone.  

Child’s favourite book and author

We went to see Dear Zoo recently at Wakefield’s Theatre Royal and they loved that by Rod Campbell.

MY YORKSHIRE: Yorkshire Mum of 4’s top family days out, activities and attractions

MY YORKSHIRE: Yorkshire Mum of 4’s top  family days out, activities and attractions

From Wakefield to York, new blogger Yorkshire Mum of 4 is taking the online world by storm. Here she shares her favourite places to go and things to do in Yorkshire as part of our My Yorkshire column.

Where do you live and work?

I am Gemma. I live in Wakefield and work in Barnsley as an accounts assistant.

How do you like to travel around Yorkshire?

I do like to travel by car because I love choosing my own music and having the flexibility to just jump in the car on my own schedule. Although as the car is a Zafira, it’s more like a bus which is essential when you have 4 kids.

Where would you recommend nearby?

Places nearby I would recommend for a family would be Xscape as there is so much to do from bowling, laser zone to trampolining, however we don’t get there much as it can be quite expensive.

We do like Swithens farm in Rothwell as all the kids like animals and there are also adventure bits for the older kids. It is cheap and cheerful and not far to travel.

What do you love most about Yorkshire?

I love the fact Yorkshire people are just so down to earth a friendly, there is a real sense of pride about being from Yorkshire. I also love Yorkshire Puddings and Yorkshire tea.

the full english breakfast in a Yorkshire Pudding at The Hepworth Cafe

What is your ultimate day out in Yorkshire?

Ultimate day out in Yorkshire would probably involve a theme park so Lightwater Valley and then a nice pub somewhere on the way home serving traditional British Grub as I like my food. The family like our days out exploring theme parks and trying different rides and thrill seeking and then a nice meal at the end. Usually followed by a chocolate brownie and custard or some equally delicious dessert.

What are your favourite family-friendly places to go?

Weekends for us as a family are about exploring What is on locally so we will look at the local what’s on pages and event listings on facebook and find an event that we can support whether that is a fayre, a music event, a craft occasion, fun day, Emley Show that we went the other week or just a local car boot sale. There are so many wonderful events happening right on our doorstep that it is great to support.

What are your favourite free activities in Yorkshire?

Free activities that are available are places like Bolton Abbey, Hemsworth Water Park, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and also places like Thornes Park that have play areas and also nice park areas where you can take a ball, kite or frisbee, go for a walk or bike ride and feed the ducks.

yorkshire mum of 4 gemma stringer

Where would you recommend going for food and drink?

For food and drink in West Yorkshire we have been to so many places – My reviews on trip advisor have been read by 65,000 people and we have visited a variety of places however we do have three favourites. As a family I would say Orlandos over Emley way because he does magic at your table, they have a birthday hat for the kids and it feels very authentic and happy. For adults I would say the Old Mill in Horbury although I think it has been rebranded now and we haven’t been since. A local favourite would be Rinaldis, food is always delicious and service is usually pretty good.

If you were giving a whistle-stop tour of Yorkshire – where would you recommend people go if they were spending 48 hours in Yorkshire with their family?

For 48 hours in Yorkshire I would say spend some time in York, I remember me and my husband had a day out in York where we did the York Dungeon, then had some lovely food at a nice italian restaurant in the town. Then we went to the Chocolate Story and had a walk by the river.

Later that night, he proposed, so York is one of my favourite places and nice for a day out. They also do a family pass for families to explore the attractions there so it would be a fab place to spend a weekend.

There are also seaside destinations such as Whitby and also Bridlington that I would recommend for sight seeing and historical reasons.

Anything else you’d like to share about Yorkshire?

I love that fact I live and work in such a fabulous place, there are so many things going on here and so many places worth visiting. We have Cannon Hall Farm, Clifton Park, Lightwater Valley, Hornsea, Filey, York, Harrogate and also Leeds which is a fabulous shopping destination. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Find the Yorkshire Mum of 4 at www.yorkshiremumof4.com and @yorkshiremumof4 on pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

MY YORKSHIRE: The best Yorkshire Attractions, Family Days Out & Food

MY YORKSHIRE: The best Yorkshire Attractions, Family Days Out & Food

Yorkshire Families began due to my love of Yorkshire – the people, the places, the attractions and most of all the fond memories I have of being born and bred in God’s Own County. 

And I want to help other families enjoy Yorkshire – helping them to discover with insider knowledge the best places to go, eat, drink and experience the region. From South Yorkshire to North Yorkshire, from West Yorkshire to East and the Yorkshire Dales.  

I was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and now live in Wakefield, West Yorkshire and have travelled around the region lots… but I want to hear from other people who also love Yorkshire in this new “My Yorkshire” column as there is so much to do and so much to discover that I can’t do it all myself… as much as I will try. 

Anyhow, here are my answers to the questions I’ll be asking, as well as, a short introduction: 

A self-confessed YouTube and Yorkshire Fan, Sophie Mei Lan decided to set up Yorkshire Families to help showcase the best Yorkshire has to offer. When she is not blogging or vlogging, Sophie is a mum to two girls and a multi-award-winning Journalist. She also co-owns Media Consultancy & Video Production Company Evoke Media Group and The Hepworth Cafe. 

Where do you live and work? 

I live in Wakefield, West Yorkshire near Castleford, Pontefract and Leeds. But I am from Pitsmoor in Sheffield, the Steel City. My family are originally from all over – from Burton-on-trent and Preston to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and China!  

I blog and vlog from home and when I am out and about. I also run my own businesses – Evoke Media Group, our office is in Wakefield City Centre and The Hepworth Cafe which is based inside The Hepworth Wakefield and I help my chef husband with his events and wedding catering company Pop Up North. 

Wakefield Westgate station Jasmine Make and Move

How do you like to travel around Yorkshire? 

Most of the time you’ll find me running with the buggy or walking or catching buses but occasionally my husband drives us around or we use the train if going for a day-out. 


View this post on Instagram

Mum ont run! Instead of a car I like to run everywhere from place to place. I don’t have the drive to “go out for a run,” I much prefer incorporating exercise into my daily routine. It means I get to chat to my child as she sits happily watching the world whizz by. I’m not focused on #calories or #miles just the speed I can get to where I’m going. Whether it’s running, walking, taking the stairs… whatever the physical activity… anything is better than nothing #fitnessmotivation #fitnessjourney #mumrunner #mumrunners #runningbuggy #mumontherun #nocar #exercisedaily #fitnessblogger #fitnessvlogger #fitnessforlife #runnersofinstagram #runnermom #runnerslove #runnersworld #runnersunite #mumlife #mumblogger #mummysgirl #mumblog

A post shared by Sophie Mei Lan (@mamameiblog) on

Where would you recommend nearby?

The Hepworth Wakefield is great for a free day-out with crafts and lots of family activities on, especially during the holidays. It’s not just because we own the cafe there but we have been going to The Hepworth since it opened. 

There’s also a Free City Bus in Wakefield which takes you from Wakefield Westgate Station and Wakefield Kirkgate station to The Hepworth, Wakefield Museum (which is also fab and full of free activities for children) and into the City Centre where you can shop at Trinity Walk or The Ridings Shopping Centre. 

I also love a walk down the canal near The Hepworth and going to Thornes Park which has a Secret Garden, Duck Pond and indoor/outdoor gym and athletics stadium. 

The Hepworth Wakefield in the rain

What do you love most about Yorkshire? 

All the independent businesses, suppliers, influencers and makers – there is so much talent in Yorkshire. 

What is your ultimate day out in Yorkshire? 

I love the Yorkshire Coast! I had an amazing day-out in Scarborough. We began the day at Alpamare Water Park before heading down to the beach and playing on the slots. We then seen the evening at The Scarborough Spa – perfect! 

Where do you enjoy going to at the weekend in Yorkshire? 

If the weather is nice the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Bretton is lovely for a walk and a picnic and so is National Trust’s Nostell Priory. Or if the weather isn’t great we head to The Hepworth or a local play-centre. 

What are your favourite family-friendly places to go? 

  • Sheffield’s Winter Gardens and Millennium Galleries (they’re attached and all indoor). 
  • Stockeld Park near Harrogate 
  • National Coal Mining Museum for England, in Overton, Wakefield 
  • Hemsworth Waterpark or Anglers Country Park (both in the Wakefield district) 
  • The Ridings Shopping Centre in Wakefield has The Den play area and FAB (Families and Babies) charity. 
  • Kirklees Light Railway 
  • Eureka in Halifax 
  • Wensleydale Creamery is home to a new family experience (we’re yet to check it out).
    The Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre 12 

What are your favourite free activities in Yorkshire? 

There are so many galleries and museums with children’s activities on as well as an array of parks (we love Millhouses Park in Sheffield) and countryside to explore – all for free. For example, I’ve mentioned a few free excursions such the National Coal Mining Museum and The Hepworth. Also check out your local library for activities and play/story corners. 

What are your favourite Yorkshire attractions? 

Any secret hot-spots or insider tips you’ve discovered? 

  • For discounts, check out the leaflets on display at a local attraction as you can pick up some bargains, we always enjoy using Yorkshire Attractions. And sometimes you can save money by booking online in advance. 
  • Check out the Park Run website for places to go on a Saturday morning to run with the whole family. 
  • How Stean Gorge is really cool if you have older children who fancy gorge walking or abseiling or just look in the cafe as there is a glass floor looking down to the gorge. 
  • If you’re visiting National Trust’s Fountain’s Abbey – don’t forget to go on the Folly Trail.   
  • If you’re travelling on the motorway near Scotch Corner check out Mainsgill Farmshop, cafe and playground, beats any service station! 

Where would you recommend going for food and drink?  

It’s always hard finding somewhere comfortable to suit all ages which is why we love picnics but with the bad weather that’s not always possible. Asides from the family-friendly pub chains, if you’re looking for good food and drink which is family-friendly there are tons of homely Italian Restaurants. 

Farmer Copley’s has a nice Bistro-style Cafe with plenty of options. Oh and of course, The Hepworth Cafe! 

the full vegan breakfst brunch at The Hepworth cafe

We also loved having Children’s Afternoon Tea at Mr and Mrs C’s in Wakefield City Centre and the staff at Waterton Park Hotel put on a special family afternoon tea for us all if booked in advance. 

 

Or another great option is Private Dining where a private chef comes to your home (my husband is a Chef and does this for a lot of families as it takes the stress out of going out). 

Also check out Peddler Market in Sheffield is full of street food and music located in an old warehouse in Kelham Island, Neepsend (Burton Rd), day-time tends to be best for families.

If you want to find exclusive offers to some of the best Foodie spots, go to: Yorkshire Food Guide  which has a new online shop.

Are there any family-friendly shops or businesses? 

We love going to Crafty Owls Pottery Barn in Ossett and Boomchikkaboom put on a lot of fun family events across the region. 

Make sure you check out mumbler.co.uk as they have lots of good recommendations and so do My Bump 2 Baby for families. Or for women in business, check out Girl Tribe Gang. 

If you were giving a whistle-stop tour of Yorkshire – where would you recommend people go if they were spending 48 hours in Yorkshire with their family? 

I’d say check out these blogs in advance as you’ll see there’s so much to do, it’s best to focus one part at a time: Yorkshire Tots (covers West Yorkshire), Trips with a Tot (covers South Yorkshire), Leeds Dad, Hip2Trek, Charlotte The Magpie Mama, Cossins Music School (covers Wakefield), A Mum Full of Dreams (Leeds), Lucy At Home, Wonderful Chaos, Rainbeaubelle, Yorkshire Wonders and here on our site. 

Anything else you’d like to share about Yorkshire?

There is SO much happening in Yorkshire, makes sure you follow us on here and on social: 

@YorkshireFams on twitter.

Yorkshire Families on facebook.  

 

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