Some of the most hilarious and most heart-breaking stories come from families of children with additional needs. There is no ‘middle-of-the-road’, there is no ‘normal’, and there often isn’t much of a filter! With one-in-five children having additional needs of some kind, over 2.5 million families have stories to share and encouragement to hear.
Mumsnet says these families often feel excluded from a wide range of social activities, so this Podcast is for them. A way to bring together people that can often be on the margins, excluded, overlooked. Let’s share stories, hear news, learn about what’s new, and have a much-needed laugh together too!
‘It’s Raining Cats And Dogs’ is a magazine format podcast with a range of content that will inspire, inform, and create community. It is fast paced and fun at times, while being more serious at others, depending on the type of content.
News: What’s happening that families of children with additional needs should be aware of? For example, the impact of Brexit on the supply of medication, or changes to the benefits system and how they are affecting families.
Stories: Real families sharing real stories about the highs and lows of parenting a child with additional needs. Sometimes inspirational and uplifting, sometimes challenging and hard hitting. For example, the mum of twin Autistic 10-year-old’s who blogs about her family and is being abused online for sharing her story.
What’s new: A discussion about new books, apps, technology/equipment, anything that can help families of children with additional needs. Like the recent app developed to help Autistic children learn if they are excluded from school, for example.
Fun: Sometimes families of children with additional needs can take ourselves a little too seriously, so how can we bring a bit of humour to the podcast? A roundup of epic fails from organisations trying, and failing spectacularly, to be accessible and inclusive might be one way! Like some of the excellent content from the recent #ThingsDisabledPeopleKnow campaign. Another opportunity for families to share their stories and laugh at life together.
‘It’s Raining Cats And Dogs’ is presented by Mark Arnold, whose day job is Additional Needs Director for national children’s and youth organisation, Urban Saints www.urbansaints.org/additionalneeds which includes training, conference speaking, writing and occasional video production. He is co-founder of the Additional Needs Alliance, a collaboration of nearly 2,000 children’s/youth workers, parents/carers, professionals and more. He blogs as www.theadditionalneedsblogfather.com as a Dad to a child with additional needs himself. Mark will invite guests to join him for each podcast, including parents/carers of children with additional needs.
Why ‘It’s Raining Cats And Dogs’? Many children with additional needs take things literally, so idioms and metaphors can be very difficult to understand. ‘It’s Raining Cats And Dogs’ is often used as an example of this, so is a tongue-in-cheek reference to this aspect of the additional needs families’ world. Who says we can’t laugh at ourselves!
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