A Reformed Functionalist. Acting in a certain way to get out of something is commonplace for many children and young people. And adults come to that. If you have attended a PBS (positive behaviour support) course or any behaviour training you may have heard the term functions of behaviour. Attempts to get away from, out… Continue reading Functions of Behaviour: Fear and Escape
I have been leading behaviour in schools for nearly 10 years now. My approach and ethos has evolved over that time. One area that I haven't changed is the idea that relationships are the key element in effective behaviour support. I know this is sometimes not enough, but if a strong trusting relationship (not friendship!)… Continue reading Relationships and Behaviour Support: A Reflection
Personalisation and Purpose I am a fan of personalised reward systems as a way to achieve a very specific goal. As a behaviour modification strategy I have struggled to find a suitable system. I have found star charts or token economy systems a good way for some children to focus on expected behaviour. They can… Continue reading Rewards and Natural Consequences
All children have a tendency to display oppositional behavior at times. After 13 years working with children with Autism, ADHD, ODD and other needs I have seen a range of reasons for opposition. With my own children I can identify factors that can lead to oppositional behaviour. This doesn’t make it easier to deal with,… Continue reading Control, Anxiety, and Oppositional Behaviour at Home and School.
Waiting: Strategies for use at home & school Waiting can be a challenge for many children. As a teacher and a parent I have had to find ways to teach children to wait for a whole range of things. Throughout the day in the SEN classroom there are natural lulls in planned activity. This may… Continue reading How To Teach Children To Wait
School Anxiety, Signs, Causes, Support and Resources. The subject of school anxiety is often a source of frustration and conflict between schools and parents. This is unnecessary and unhelpful and does nothing to provide support to the child. Children are often labelled as being school refusers. Pressure from local authorities may be put onto parents… Continue reading School Anxiety: Signs causes & strategies
Monitoring wellbeing using a food and mood chart We developed this food and mood chart when working with a non-verbal young man who had multiple but unclear food intolerances. This led to a highly limited diet that felt unethical. It was also felt this led to behaviours i.e the child will take food from others,… Continue reading Wellbeing: Food and Mood Chart
This post on sensory processing was inspired by a talk I attended by Olga Bogdishana. You can find the slides from her presentation on "Making sense of Sensory Needs and Challenging Behaviour" here. She has also written this book which gives a deeper insight into sensory perceptual issues. Sensory processing is a key part of… Continue reading Sensory Processing: Creating a First Aid Kit
Over 30 suggested strategies for effective behaviour management. #Education #Teaching.
My second sensory story is about the human body. This was written for the "Body, burps and bile" topic and delivered to a group of 12-14 year old students with a range of needs including Autism and PMLD.
There were so many important developments in the world of special education during the first part of 2019. Many seem to be focussing (and about time) on humanising the stories behind the labels and pushing for accountability of those in positions of power.
Recognising your own emotions and identifying effective strategies for managing these is a key skill for any child.
You can call it challenging behaviour but these events really demonstrate is a highly anxious,frustrated or traumatic reaction to stress, Autistic children are not any more prone to behavioural incidents than other children so we need to look deeper if our interactions or environment is leading to issues.
this post is specifically focused on strategies that may be effective for autistic children. This post draws heavily on the work of Damian Milton from who's writing I have learnt so much from over the last year or two. This booklet has particularly shaped my approach to teaching. Most of these strategies are really just aimed at reducing stressors throughout the day. I would like to stress these are interpreted through by teaching experience and context is very important.
In this post I am classing reluctant learners as those who often do not finish tasks, they may do the minimum to get by or even flat out refuse to take part. As inclusive teachers we constantly have to be mindful of the drivers of the child's behaviour. The key to creating engaged learners is to know the child and the barriers they face. Some issues may go deeper and require additional specialist support. A class teacher dedicated to engaging their students can have a huge impact on the students experience of education and their outcome in life. Engaging learners is as much about emotional confidence as intellectual propensity so make that bond and enable all to achieve
The importance of an inclusive school learning environment Every student, whether in special schools, an alternative provision or general education classrooms has a dream inclusive classroom. This utopian learning environment will be different for every learner. Some learners may need wide-ranging adaptations requiring specialist input. There are some common environmental adaptations we can all make… Continue reading Making your classroom better for all learners: Environment
The interactions, bonds and relationships of a family unit are so diverse that what may help one family will insult another.
This is blog post is primarily school-based and SEND focused, but can any education or care setting that strives to be truly inclusive should be able to use this as an environmental and relational approach based checklist or simple inclusion audit tool. Before you start looking at strategies or labeling a child's actions as challenging… Continue reading 13 Questions to ask to ensure you are an inclusive school.
There are many many children out there who are crying out for help. There are many dedicated, enthusiastic, creative and compassionate people who are desperate to help. These people need help, we are increasingly facing highly complex issues that very few educational professionals are equipped to deal with. I am writing this as a teacher but I know there are CAMHS workers, social workers and support staff throughout the country who are feeling like this.
I needed something quick and simple to support a young student through a difficult time. She was very reliant on staff to support her with very little idea ways she could help herself without getting overwhelmed. Her actions suggested she needed some prompts to think of ways to ask for help.