SENSORY PLAY AND PEER SUPPORT IN THE COMMUNITY

SEN-den provides regular play opportunities for autistic children aged 8 years and under, and regular support groups for their parents and carers. We have a lovely range of toys for your children to explore, as well as a dark den, glow in the dark objects, a sensory projector, a bubble tube – and a brand new set of soft play blocks, shapes and mats recently purchased so that we can start to offer families mini-soft play sessions in a calm, safe and clean environment.

SEN-den’s story began in August 2019, with free, sensory playgroups and coffee mornings held at various community spaces around Enfield. We received really generous support from Enfield Libraries and Enfield Baptist Church. The response from local families with young autistic children was extraordinary and well beyond our expectations. The vast majority of children coming to our sessions were enrolled in, or due to start attending mainstream nurseries or primary schools and so their parents and carers were really struggling to meet other families with autistic children.

We quickly realised just how desperately this kind of service in the community was needed – and hugely valued – by local families with young autistic children and / or children going through the autism diagnosis process. Here are some testimonials: https://sen-den.org.uk/our-current-services/testimonials/

SPECIALIST INFORMATION AND SUPPORT

Having met many families and children at our play and support sessions and listened to their many struggles and concerns, SEN-den works with local statutory and voluntary service providers and “community-spirited” private therapists to increase the volume, range and quality of specialist support services available to families in Enfield.

We work in partnership with local providers and professionals.

Working in this way, with other service providers across our community, enables us to signpost you to local services that you may not have come across yet, or haven’t known how to access, such as the organisations listed here: https://sen-den.org.uk/support-organisations-in-enfield/

We are community facilitators; we are not autism experts.

We have never pretended to be experts on autism and we do not offer specialist advice or individual advocacy support. We are here to help your family by signposting you, and connecting you to, reliable sources of specialist information, advice and support that could benefit you and your family. That said, it is heartwarming to see how much families reach out and help each other at our regular play and support groups…

JUNE 2021 UPDATE

COUNSELLING WITH LETECIA

Our telephone / video chat counselling service continues to operate and we’ll soon be offering face-to-face counselling sessions at the Lancaster Centre on Saturday mornings. We have spaces available so if you are interested or wish to refer a friend, or someone you are working with as a professional, who you think would benefit, then please contact us at info@sen-den.org.uk

WORKSHOPS FOR PARENTS AND CARERS

Our first few specialist workshops for parents of young, autistic children during the lockdown covered Speech and Language and Occupational Therapy. They were hugely popular so we are planning more of these, but most likely not until September.

However we do have some Educational Rights themed workshops coming up which include:

Is your EHCP fit for purpose? with Sunil on Wednesday 16th June

Understanding SEN support for young, autistic children (nursery and primary school settings) – by SENDIASS – date in July tbc.

If you are interested in attending either of these workshops, then please contact info@sen-den.org.uk

ACTIVITIES FOR AUTISTIC CHILDREN AGED 8 AND UNDER

Mini-soft play sessions

We were very fortunate to be able to get some funding to purchase a lovely set of soft play shapes and mats which means we will be able to offer some mini-soft play sessions for our pre-school children on Thursday mornings at the Lancaster Centre. We know that soft play is a brilliant activity for young children with social communication difficulties and need extra practice to develop their motor skills so we know these sessions will be popular!

Saturday Morning Music Group with Juliet

For a brief introduction to music therapy, please have a look at this video https://youtu.be/XQ73B8ZvZgk

We have been really fortunate to have been approached by a fully qualified NHS Music Therapist who we hope will lead our Saturday Morning Music Groups starting from September. A few families are going to take part in a few trial sessions this month to see how we all get on, as we are still shaping some of the finer details of this new structured group activity, before we formally launch in September. It is based on the principles of Music Therapy, and so will be beneficial for our autistic children, but we are offering it as a fun, relaxed, weekend activity for our families. Bookings will formally open for these sessions in August, for the formal launch in September, but if you’re keen to find out more before then, please email info@sen-den.org.uk

Saturday afternoon LEGO® Club

For more information about how Lego can be used to support children with autism to build their social communication skills through play, have a look at the video linked here https://youtu.be/AyfVCkBBaso

There is a specific methodology that we will be basing our Saturday afternoon Lego club on, which we have recently been trained on. Some children may have had some exposure at school, but we are offering this as a fun, weekend activity for the kids to help them practice their social communication skills, outside of school. The suggested age range for children taking part in these structured group sessions is 6 to 8 and we have a few families who are going to trial this out for three weeks in July, as we finetune how we run the club in September. Bookings will open in August for the formal launch of the club in September, but if you’re keen to find out more, then email info@sen-den.org.uk

WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE AND SUPPORT

It has been such an incredibly difficult year for all of us and we really appreciate all of your enquiries, engagement and encouragement. We are a tiny, fully independent, volunteer-run organisation with very limited financial resources and volunteer capacity, but we do our very best to support local families. Please bear with us as the numbers of enquiries and families registering with us continues to grow!

The best way to communicate with us is by emailing us at info@sen-den.org.uk. You can also send us a message using the contact form on the Home page of this website. Registered members of our community have our number and are welcome to WhatsApp message us.

For the latest updates on services, your best best is to follow us on Facebook @sen.den.community or Instagram sen_den_community