Why the needs flash cards work

A highly visual learning tool.

“One image is worth a thousand words” is not just an old saying; it’s true. Each card features a cartoon illustration that captures in one snapshot, in a parent and child- friendly way, behaviours, barriers to learning and needs that are often very longwinded to describe.

Co-produced by a SEND parent with SEND parents.

The “Needs” flash cards were designed by a SEND training consultant and illustrator who is also a SEND parent and understands the TRUE needs of actual SEND parents. Based upon real-life experience: the cards have been tested extensively with over 200 SEND parents, children and young people to ensure they really do deliver what they are designed to do.

Clear, Concise, Jargon Free English

All cards use CLEAR, CONCISE, JARGON-FREE English. I understand SEND parents have an excess of overwork already. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are often features of what we cope with. Therefore, I wanted to design a tool that enabled Parents to get things done under real constraints.

A tool for breaking down what is complex into a easy to see format

The range of different “needs,” conditions, barriers to learning and disabilities in children and young people is vast.

The “needs” flash cards can be used over and over again, in hundreds of different combinations to reflect the uniqueness of each child or young person. This recognises the way individual children and young people differ and have “needs” that change over time, as they grow and develop.

A tool for self-advocacy

Parents and young people can use the tool to describe “what is going on”/ what is challenging for them. They can use the cards to organise their thinking and discover how to phrase things on paper or verbally. It is also a tool where the illustrations can be used in situations when using speech is an area of difficulty.

Mapped against the SEND Code of Practice ( England)

This helps parents and young people identify which category/ies of SEND each “need” may fall under, at a glance, when working on Education Health and Care Plans.