Special Education and Inclusive Learning

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Child Voice, AAC, and Safeguarding

Why Developing Child Voice in SEND is a safeguarding priority it is essential you ensure child voice is a top priority in the inclusive classroom. You cannot overstate the importance of providing children with opportunities to demonstrate choices throughout their…

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Control, Anxiety, and Oppositional Behaviour at Home and School.

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…

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Trauma, challenging behaviour and restrictive practice in schools.

This is a record of the #SENexchange Discussion in January 2020. We examined the findings and content of Centre for Mental Health briefing on Trauma, challenging behaviour and restrictive practice in schools. To give you context as to my potential…

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Wellbeing: Food and Mood Chart

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…

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Sensory Processing: Creating a First Aid Kit

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…

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Behaviour Management: 30+ Habits of Effective teachers.

Over 30 suggested strategies for effective behaviour management. #Education #Teaching.

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13 Questions to ask to ensure you are an inclusive school.

Recruitment headteachers senior leadership

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…

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Essential Education Books for Inclusive Teachers: Behaviour.

challenging behaviour books

These books are only those I have read and can recommend. They all follow an inclusive and positive support ethos. They all also focus on the only part of behaviour support we can control – ourselves. If your school has a zero tolerance behaviour policy read these and make it your mission to get that rewritten.I will get around to doing a second post but I need to get reading first!

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Research, Relationships and Reality.

star wars teaching resources

This post will outline the role relationships play in behaviour support, I will also outline some of the research led practices I have used. Before I start I do want to say that I have read studies I do not agree with. I also know that a huge number of studies conducted ON Autistic children/adults focus on strategies intended to normalise social behaviours which is a huge ethical issue. Fortunately I have had the opportunity to listen to and discuss elements of my practice with actually Autistic academics and practitioners. This has greatly shaped my approach and ethos towards behaviour support, I will also admit this has slanted my view of a lot of studies that remove the human element from behaviour and reduce the children to purely objects to study. To this end I fully expect some of the approaches in the post and the presentation to be a bit controversial and I am 100% sure that at least some of them will contravene your school (or center’s) behaviour policy.

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Does Behaviour Really come “Out of the Blue?”

unclear internal antecedents

Looking beyond “No apparent reason”. Internal Antecedents: Does Behaviour Really come “Out of the Blue?” Often overlooked, internal antecedents are an important element in behaviour support. This article is based on my experiences working with Autistic children who also communicate…

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10 Simple Strategies to Prevent Behaviour Escalation.

Free SEN teaching Autism blog

These are 10 simple ways to prevent challenging behaviour escalation by making small changes to your interactions. In our PBS training these are called active interventions. In reality there are thousands of these, the better you know the child the…

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10 Essential Behaviour De-escalation Tips

Image of child screaming words above

Every day teachers, parents and carers are faced with potentially challenging situations. Many of these are defused through skillful behaviour support. These successful resolutions will have certain common characteristics. There are some essential conditions that must exist to deescalate an incident of challenging behaviour.

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Social Stories: Hero Cards & Rules

Hero cards Autism transition resources

Social stories are a tried and tested way of teaching social skills but for some learners they are too much. I needed a way to remind a student of the rules but in a way that didn’t single them out as being the focus of the story. Some people will say this won’t work as autistic children can’t generalise…. but anyone who has worked with autism knows a lot of what people say is actually a myth or just does not apply to an individual.

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5 ways to build positive relationships with your students.

free teaching resources

The more you get to know the children in your class the better you will become at picking up the signs that something isn’t right. That sentence was easy to write but hard to put into practice because…

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Blurring the lines: Teacher/student boundaries in SEN.

free teaching resources

I have discussed on many occasions the importance of positive relationships when working with young people. I work with vulnerable student groups, mainly autistic young people, and those who communicate and see the world differently. This relationship dynamic can shape their view of adult to adult and adult to child interactions for their entire lives.

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Autism: What is a Meltdown?

free teaching resources

Overwhelmed and Stressed The terminology used for an intense episode of challenging behaviour that may be displayed by Autistic children and young people with learning difficulties can vary wildly according to the ethos and values of those witnessing it. An…

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Managing Our Emotions

managing our emotions challenging behaviour

I was honoured to be asked to host #behaviourchat on the 23rd May 2016 discussing ways to manage our emotions at work with a particular focus on behaviour.

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Behaviour: Tips for Managing your emotions.

Behaviour: Tips for Controlling your emotions.

Tips for managing your emotions. Challenging Behaviour: Managing your emotions. Part of my current role involves training the new PBS instructors for the county special schools. This is a great opportunity to ensure a consistent approach and ethos towards challenging…

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Challenging Behaviour: 5 reasons your strategies aren’t working.

challenging behaviour

When faced with displays of behaviour that challenge most schools resort to sanctions and consequences. For some this may work.  If you work with Young people with a special educational need, mental health issues, or those experiencing that most troubling…

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