Special Needs

If your child has Special Needs

If you have a child with special needs and you would like him or her to attend then please call us before booking on 01483 424 400. We will be happy to talk to you about your child’s needs and how we can help. If we can possibly accept them, then we will.

Outdoor Wild Play has been shown to be helpful for a variety of special needs, including (but not limited to):

  • ADD/ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • OCD
  • ODD
  • Speech and Language Impairment

and we welcome children with special needs to our sessions, subject to their specific needs.

Benefits of Wild Play

In particular, Outdoor Wild Play of the sort that Wild Learning sessions encourage can help children with specific challenges by

  • building confidence
  • improving communication skills
  • improving gross and fine motor skills
  • encouraging empathy and social awareness
  • improves coordination, flexibility and general muscle tone

in addition, we have anecdotal evidence that our sessions, being outdoors all day:

  • encourages appetite and improves sleep quality
  • increases attention span and ‘on-task’ behaviour
  • reduces stress and anxiety through physical stimulation (i.e. tiredness!)

Behaviour patterns we cannot accept on a day

However, our sessions are not suitable for every type of special need. We work outdoors, in woodland settings, with few or no physical boundaries, and our days are physically strenuous. Additionally, we encourage a fluid, child-led approach to activities, which can result in plans changing with very little notice if the group decides it wants to do something new. Finally, we have large(ish) groups of children (up to 30), who may all be strangers at the beginning of the day.

What this means is that there are symptoms of special needs that will unfortunately mean your child would be unlikely to enjoy or benefit from our days, or with which we simply aren’t equipped to cope. So, if you have a child with special needs and you would like him or her to attend then please call us on 01483 424 400 and one of us will be happy to talk to you about your child’s needs and how we can help. If we can possibly accept them, then we will.

As a general guide, we cannot accept children if they:

  1. have a history of violent outbursts;
  2. have a history of bolting or running away;
  3. have severe difficulty communicating (usually we manage fine, so this is a judgment call, but obviously we have to be able to communicate to keep everyone safe and happy!); or
  4. are very intolerant of new environments or unstructured activities.

One-to-one care

If your child requires one-to-one care at school then they will require the same level of supervision during one of our sessions. We are happy to accept children who require one-to-one care, subject to their particular needs and providing (after talking to you) that we feel we and they can cope with a Wild Learning day. It is your responsibility to arrange suitable care, and communicate the carer’s name and DBS registration to us in advance of their attendance. We accept a maximum of one child requiring one-to-one care per session.