“Super Girls“ – Girls and Autism (Article)

This article published in the “Sunday Times” (2/02/20), has a focus on the abilities of girls with Autism, and the talents they can offer to Society. Through case study examples taken from Limpsfied Grange School, Surrey, and some insightful quotes from the Headteacher, Sarah Wild, the journey made by these girls is illuminated.

The Engagement Model

The DfE has now released the final guidance on The Engagement Model.
The guidance describes the formative and summative assessment of children as “not engaged in subject specific learning”. It will be statutory assessment in schools for those children and young people.

The guidance is an output of the Rochford Review , who have piloted the Model. It builds on the research led for the ‘DfE’, by Professor Barry Carpenter as part of the Complex Learning Disabilities and Difficulties project.

This project identified, through a systematic review of the international literature around learning in children with SEND, that ‘engagement was the single best predicator of successful learning in children with special needs/disabilities’ (Carpenter et al, 2015.)

From this solid evidence based, a pedagogy evolved through systematic research across UK schools, and a series of International trials , which created the Engagement Framework for Learning, ( www,engagement4learning.com) This includes the ‘Engagement Profile’ which aids baseline assessment, and gives insight into the learning pathways of the child with Complex Needs. The Engagement Profile is a classroom based planning tool which links to formative assessment . Both are compatible, and indeed inform , the summative assessment opportunities of the new Engagement Model.

Professor Robin McWilliam , Professor, Special Education and Multiple Abilities at the University of Alabama, USA , and a prolific writer on the subject of  Engagement  said of this new DfE publication ,”You are to be congratulated! In the U.S., we have “alternative assessment” for what, in the U.K., is known as pupils with complex needs. But states differ on what they use and none of them that I know of are focused on engagement. So, well done!

Professor McWilliam and Professor Carpenter, will present further on Engagement for Learning to an International Conference in Turkey in April, 2020 . The UK, which leads the World in so many aspects of special and inclusive education, has a major contribution to make in the area of assessment for children with Special Needs through this ground-breaking work from the Rochford Review.

Engagement Cover Image

“Earlybird” Book – The Experience of Premature Birth

“Earlybird”  – the first book worldwide for parents and children to explore together the experience of premature birth.

Written by Dr Patricia Champion, MBE , Founder of the Champion Early Intervention Centre , in Christchurch , New Zealand , and an international expert in the field of prematurity.

“All the joys and worries of a prematurely born baby are tenderly and openly addressed in this lovely story as Mum, Dad and Pip welcome little Peri into their nest. This book will be calming and centering resource for families to read with their children following their time in NICU and long after as they continue to embrace their newest family member”.
Professor Linda Gilkerson, PhD. Erikson Institute USA.

The book is available internationally and can be purchased online at: http://www.championfoundation.co.nz

Click the below to download and view the Earlybird information sheet.

Earlybird snippet - download link

Guardian Interview with Baroness Sheila Holllins discussing the use of wordless books for people with Learning Disabilities

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jun/04/sheila-hollins-learning-disability-care

Supporting Girls with Autism through PE and Sport

A new article by Victoria Wells. National Manager, Youth Sports Trust, identifies some useful strategies for enabling participation in PE and Sport by Girls with Autism, with many benefits.

This work is being further extended by the YST.

Click the thumbnail cover below to open, and read the article in full.

SUPPORTING GIRLS WITH AUTISM THROUGH PE AND SCHOOL SPORT ARTICLE

Girls and Autism book is launched in London

On 2nd April, to a packed audience this groundbreaking new book was launched in London. The pages of the book came to life with workshops from each of the contributors, gathered together in the photograph below.

Sheila, the Baroness Hollins, welcomed the book, saying it held promise and opportunity for so many girls and their families.

Girls from Limpsfield Grange School spoke of their experiences of the education system.

The Hollyoaks actress, Talia Grant, and Drama and Art student Grace Dolan , both talked openly of their struggles with mental health, and the lack of acknowledgement of their female presentation of Autism. Both were accompanied to the stage by their Mothers, Carrie Grant ( Broadcaster and Vocal Coach), and Sophie Walker, (Co Founder of the Women’s Equality Party)

From London the book will travel over the coming months for Launch Events in Belfast, Oslo, Barcelona, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Auckland , New Zealand, New York and Dubai.

NAHT Conference 2019 Girls & Autism Book

You can purchase the book via Routledge, the publishers website.

Link Below:

https://www.routledge.com/Girls-and-Autism-Educational-Family-and-Personal-Perspectives-1st-Edition/Carpenter-Happe-Egerton-Hollins/p/book/9780815377269

How do children born prematurely learn?

This is question I am often asked. My key thought in responding is that these children are often ‘wired differently’ – their brains are not configured as those of a full term infant might be. This does not automatically imply that they will have a learning disability or special educational need, but teachers need to be prepared that that these children may not perceive and deduct from information given, in the ways we usually expect from children.

Indeed, to repeat again the phrase given to me by the mother of a boy born at 24 weeks gestation after observing his first term in school, he is ‘wired differently’ . As a as a Teacher I then have so ask , “so of he is wired differently , in what ways does he learn differently ? And when I know how he learns differently, in what ways do I teach differently?”

Many teachers find the Engagement Profile (http://engagement4learning.com), a useful observational tool to profile neurodiversity in children, particularly as we start a new academic year.

This article may guide and refresh thinking around how we engage children whose learning pathways are different due to prematurity of birth.

Professor Barry Carpenter CBE,OBE,PhD.

September, 2018

Prematurity and the challenge for educators
Prematurity and the challenge for educators, SEND Magazine Article 2015

 

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. – Refreshing the debate

Of late there has been a renewed interest in FASD, and the consequences for both Children’s Services and Schools.

The article below may make a helpful contribution to those discussions. Click the article thumbnail to view.

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders . Refreshing the debate article - click to download