LEANS for parents and carers

Programme information for parents and carers, including help to propose LEANS in your child’s school.

Illustration of a family standing together with their pet cat

LEANS introductory resources for parents and carers

What are the parent/carer resources?

As part of the LEANS Community (LEANS-C) impact project funded by the ESRC, LEANS team members from the Salvesen Mindroom Centre and the University of Edinburgh have created companion resources to the LEANS programme for mainstream primary schools, written especially for parents and carers.

Even before launching LEANS, we heard from many committed, active parents wanting to know what they could do to support neurodiversity understanding, or to get their child’s school to use LEANS. Parents and carers can play an essential role in influencing schools and speaking up for neurodiversity’s place in the curriculum. It complements what researchers (like the LEANS team) and organisations like the Salvesen Mindroom centre can do to reach teachers and schools.

We’ve also heard from other parents/carers who are curious about LEANS, and looking for clarity on what’s involved, and how it might affect their child—especially if their child has an additional support need (or SEND, ALN).

This set of resources aims to fulfil both needs, providing easily understandable information that answers parent/carer questions, and also provides a template if you’d like to propose LEANS to your child’s school. LEANS-C project partner the Salvesen Mindroom Centre charity led development of these resources. They are extremely knowledgeable about neurodiversity, and about supporting young people and their families, particularly around education.

The LEANS introductory resources for parents and carers include three documents that you can use together:

  1. The parent/carer information sheet explains what the LEANS programme is, and how it can help your child’s school to understand neurodiversity. It answers common questions parents and carers may have.
  2. The School Template Letter is a starting place to propose LEANS as a resource at your child’s school. It makes a case for why LEANS could be beneficial, and outlines some of the content.
  3. We recommend sending your letter with The Learning about Neurodiversity at School (LEANS) Programme: a short induction for schools’ booklet, which gives more information targeted at schools, and links to the resource website where they can access detailed information and download the resource pack.
Logo for the Salvesen Mindroom Centre with slogan "no mind left behind".

Who (and where) are the parent/carer resources for?

The resources are written in relation to the Scottish educational context, and include some material specific to Scotland. If you are located in Scotland, you can contact the experienced team at the Salvesen Mindroom Centre for further advice about using the parent and carer resources. 

As with the main LEANS resource pack, anyone can download and use these resources—but please be aware that not all of the education terminology may apply to you, if you are in another UK nation or elsewhere in the world. There is some guidance on the documents themselves to highlight that you may need to change information to fit into your own local context.

Please note that SMC is not able to directly support families outwith Scotland. Other organisations in your region/nation might be able to help you with approaching your child’s school.

Other sources of information and support for families

While the LEANS programme wasn’t made for use at home, there are other neurodiversity-related books, videos, and resources that might be useful for your child—or you.

You can download our list of community-recommended resources on the More Resources page.

More Resources

In addition to our partner the Salvesen Mindroom Centre, there are other organisations or charities that offer useful information and direct support. Some may be associated with specific diagnoses, such as dyslexia, but others have a wider remit about supporting children’s rights and wellbeing in education and society.

Access the UK and ROI resource lists on our More Resources page.

More Resources

If you are outwith the UK or Republic of Ireland, there may be other organisations in your region of country that offer related services to directly support children and young people, families, and professionals.

No matter where you are in the world, there may also be active groups of parents and carers, sharing advice about how to support their children, navigate the local education system, and more.