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Conferences and courses

A parents' conference has been organised by the AFASIC charity, which represents young people with communication impairments and their carers. Venue: London Voluntary Sector Resource Centre, Holloway Road, London N7, April 28. A Disability Alliance representative will discuss the problem of claiming benefits for young people with communication impairments and workshops will include: coping strategies for stress; impact of specific language impairment on self-esteem; preparation for key stage 3 SATS: a homeschool partnership; coping with emotional and behavioural problems; and social interaction. Fee: pound;75 professionals, pound;55 parents, pound;35 members. Details from: Carol Lingwood, PO Box 2320, Hove BN3 6RS. Telfax 01273 381009.

At a Challenge to Create conference on April 27, dance movement therapist Susan Scarth will discuss her extraordinary work with autistic children and music therapist Jacqueline Robarts will describe the sessions which led to a severely abused autistic child becoming able to think and speak meaningfully. Called "The Creative Dimension: the Arts Therapies in Learning Disabilities and Autism", it will be held at The London Voluntary Sector Resource Centre, Holloway Road, N7. Other sessions include: school-based drama therapy for children with autism and art therapist Janek Dubowski on the importance of play in developing imagination and creativity. Fee: pound;105. Tel: 01747 858802. E-mail: Web:

Twenty five students who have suffered brain injury after an accident or illness are attending a new programme at Warwickshire College, established in collaboration with Headway Coventry and Warwickshire and the Royal Leamington Spa Rehabilitation Hospital. The ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) course allows students to acquire new skills and qualifications that may lead to employment or further training. The College is hosting a conference on May 3 that will address the learning needs of and educational provision for students with ABI. Tel: 01926 318000. E-mail: Web:

The Special Needs North exhibition and conference organised by the National Association for Special Educational Needs takes place at Reebok Stadium, Bolton, Lancashire, May 22-23. Seminars include: current research and practice in development dyspraxia; using film to meet special educational needs; inclusion, te Code and recent legislation; the music makers' approach; using information and communications technology. Each costs pound;13, pound;8 members. Call free to check on availability, tel: 0800 018 2998. Exhibition entry free. Details: NASEN, 45 Amber Business Village, Amber Close, Amington, Tamworth B77 4RP. Tel: 01827 311500Web:

I CAN, the educational charity for children with speech and language difficulties, has produced a brochure outlining courses, seminars and conferences up to March 2002. They include Autism: a social skills approach for children and adolescents; Developing a collaborative framework for the provision of speech and language therapy services in education; Communication in the classroom: an introduction to identifying and supporting children with speech and language impairment; Dyspraxia: working together towards effective practice; Enabling pupils with speech and language difficulties to achieve through the national literacy strategy key stages 1-3; The Hanen programme; and Practical ideas for the management of children with autistic spectrum difficulties in a school setting.

They are held in Birmingham, Edinburgh, North Tyneside, Nottinghamshire, Sutton (Surrey) and London. Fees: pound;56 half day course; pound;105 one day; pound;99 seminar; pound;115 conference. Contact I CAN Central Office, 4 Dyer's Buildings, Holborn, EC1N 2QP.Tel: 0870 010 7088E-mail:

St Piers Epilepsy Resource Centre in Lingfield, Surrey runs study days for teachers, parents, carers, and social workers. They include "Living with Epilepsy", a study day organised by St Piers' students with the intention of dispelling the myths around epilepsy. Topics will include behaviour and employment issues. Tel: 01342 832243; E-mail:

Physical education professionals working with young people with profound and multiple impairments are invited to a development day organised by The Youth Sport Trust and the English Federation of Disability Sport. Venues: National Star Centre, Cheltenham, May 10; Failsworth School, Manchester, May 16; and St Margaret's School, Tadworth, Surrey, May 31. Delegates choose two "Elements" workshops from: Earth (games-based activities); Water (water-based activities); Air (outdooradventurous activities); and Fire (dance and movement). Details: Anna Windmill, tel: 020 7388 4436Web:

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