To mark World Autism Awareness Day, nasen has launched a new mini – guide highlighting the needs of girls with , or without a diagnosis of Autism. Written by Jo Egerton and Barry Carpenter, with contributions from the Girls with ASC Working Party, the guide is a free download to schools and services.
The guide aims to articulate the current needs and issues surrounding girls with Autism . They are an under-diagnosed group , whose needs often go unmet in schools , and whose mental health in the teenage years often rapidly deteriorates. The Working Party, chaired by Professor Carpenter, realised that they did not have a common language to express these concerns, and their goal in preparing this Guide has been to improve the foundation knowledge and understanding in schools and other child based settings.
As their work drew to a conclusion, they realised that there was so much more to do . The Group will continue its work under the auspices of the National Association of Headteachers, and specifically the National Forum for Neuroscience in Special Education (www.naht.org.uk ). This will include a major National Conference in London early in 2017; detail will be posted on this website.
Check out the fabulous range of resources from the National FASD organisation. Highly recommended are the Calming Cards, and the Break it Down Board. These both work well not only with children with FASD, but with any neurodevelopmental condition.Have a look and see what is available –
Teachers are growing in familiarity and confidence in the use of the Engagement Model, which became statutory summative assessment in September 2021.
They are realising its potential for a whole range of children ‘not engaged in subject specific learning’. As such, pedagogy is developing that supports classroom based formative assessment , and leads into the statutory summative assessment for EHCP meetings, Annual Reviews etc .
Teachers wishing to look deeper into the potential of Engagement ,and its evidence base , may wish to look at this podcast ‘What you really need to know about Engagement’, presented by Bev Cockbill and Professor Barry Carpenter.
Barry Carpenter, of Chaddesley Corbett in Worcestershire, has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters after showing incredible commitment to education for children with special needs across his 40-year career.
Barry has a life-long association with Oxford Brookes University, notably the Harcourt Hill Campus from his days as a student at Westminster College (as it was then known) between 1973 and 1976. He was then a Principal Lecturer from 1992 until 1997, during which time he established the Centre for the Study of Special Education.
Barry said: “My career began and ended with Oxford Brookes, as a student on the Harcourt Hill Campus during the 1970s and finally as Professor of Mental Health in Education, a personal Chair created in response to the national crisis in children’s mental wellbeing. “It has been a life enriching, career shaping association for me, enabling me to promote the love I have of teaching society’s most vulnerable children. I am profoundly moved that the University has chosen to acknowledge this lifelong association, and the impact of the career they prepared me for.”
Barry is the UK’s first Professor in Mental Health in Education, which is a Chair created for him at Oxford Brookes. Barry has also been a Fellow of the University of Oxford. In July 2020 he was awarded the distinguished Fellowship of the Chartered College of Teaching, for his leadership in the field of Education during the Covid-19 pandemic. Barry has also been awarded an OBE and CBE by the Queen for his services to children with special needs.
In 2009, Barry was appointed as National Director of the Children with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project, by the Secretary of State for Education. His work on Engagement as Pedagogy has recently been revisited by the Department for Education, and is now the statutory model of assessment for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
Away from his professional life, Barry has three children. His son is School Principal of Baxter College in Worcestershire; his youngest daughter, also an Oxford Brookes graduate, is a Senior Occupational Therapist in Mental Health. His third child, who has Down’s syndrome, now has a home of her own and published her first book in 2017. She was on an apprenticeship as a teaching assistant; however she has since decided to become an actress!
As Teachers prepare for the next Academic year, the residual effects of the pandemic and its impact on child mental health, linger.
In thinking about Teacher knowledge this article by Laura Purser, (now at Reading University), gives a refreshing perspective, though her consideration of neurobiology. She explores the impact of trauma on childrens learning, and helpfully introduces Polyvagal theory.