For many years I have spoken about the need for teachers to be aware of children born prematurely, and the range of learning needs these children present in all classrooms in all settings at all ages and stages.
Indeed, evidence for the Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project ( Carpenter et al 2011,;2015) showed that children born prematurely, were presenting profiles of learning need the likes of which we, as teachers , had never seen before. They were re-writing the Special Needs Registers of our schools.
In training I always advise teachers and school leaders to ask on the admission forms of every school (secondary included!)
“Is there anything in the birth history of this child that we need to know?”
This new resource for educational professionals, developed by Professor Samantha Johnson and her colleagues at Leicester University, now articulates through easy to access , high quality research and practice evidence, why we need a fuller and deeper understanding of how children born prematurely will learn and progress in our school system ,and what some of their learning challenges may be.
The e-learning resource can be accessed online for free here:
It was supported in its development by Action Medical Research .
There is also a podcast with the editor of the TES about the development and evaluation of the resource and about the educational needs of preterm born children more broadly.
This can be accessed here if you would like to listen:
Some years ago I worked with a brilliant Architect, Christopher Beaver, to create new learning spaces for children with Autism and Complex Needs.
The information I used drew on two PhD’s I had been involved with, namely those of Dr Diana Pauli and Dr Tamara Brookes.
Linked below are a series of articles that reflect those discussions, deliberations and developments. These may be helpful in the context of the current expansion of specialist provision
To download these articles, please visit the below website link and click the blue ‘Download’ button.
Barry Carpenter PhD, Hannah Picken, BA , Jill Wellings BEd, Alan Wood, BSc. (United Kingdom)
This paper was presented to the ISEI Conference in Sydney June, 2019.
Powerpoint (Converted to PDF) - Click the pdf icon below, to download and open.
Health Education England has funded the development of a new autism core capabilities framework for health and care staff, and staff in organisations with public facing responsibilities. The framework will span all ages.
To register for more information, go to the link below:
These are the briefing sheets on the neurodiverse conditions – Complex Needs- the DfE funded CLDD Project, (directed by Professor Barry Carpenter), originally compiled.
These are available to download free of charge. There are three sheets in each set, for each Complex Need, (e.g. FASD, Attachment, Prematurity etc)
They are particularly valuable for Teaching Assistants, NQTs, and for Teachers encountering a particular type of Special Need for the first time. They contain essential information, some teaching ideas, and signposts for finding out further information.
These briefing sheets were originally hosted on an SSAT website which has recently been taken down, but teachers are still asking for the sheets, which is why they are being made available.
1a FASD | Classroom Support Sheet
1b FASD | Briefing Sheet
1c FASD | Information Sheet
2. Attachment Disorder
2a Attachment Disorder | Classroom Support Sheet
2b Attachment Disorder | Briefing Sheet
2c Attachment Disorder | Information Sheet
3. Premature Birth
3a Premature Birth | Briefing Sheet
3b Premature Birth | Classroom Support Sheet
3c Premature Birth | Information Sheet
4. Rare Chromosome Disorder
4a Rare Chromosome Disorder | Classroom Support Sheet
4b Rare Chromosome Disorder | Briefing Sheet
4c Rare Chromosome Disorder | Information Sheet
5a ADHD | Classroom Support Sheet
5b ADHD | Briefing Sheet
5c ADHD | Information Sheet
6. Mental Health
6a Mental Health | Classroom Support Sheet
6b Mental Health | Briefing Sheet
6c Mental Health | Information Sheet
7. Sensory Impairment
7a Sensory | Classroom Support Sheet
7b Sensory | Briefing Sheet
7c Sensory | Information Sheet
8. Fragile X
8a Fragile X | Classroom Support Sheet
8b Fragile X | Briefing Sheet
8c Fragile X | Information Sheet
9a Autism | Classroom Support Sheet
9b Autism | Briefing Sheet
9c Autism | Information Sheet
10. Effects of Drug Use & Smoking During Pregnancy
10a Drugs & Smoking | Briefing Sheet
10b Drugs & Smoking | Classroom Support Sheet
The Article below appeared in the Guardian (15th September 2018), giving new evidence and insight into the female presentation of Autism.
The article is based on an interview with Professor Francesca Happe, who is co – Editor of a forthcoming book on Autism and Girls, (details below)
Latest Update on Forthcoming Book ‘Girls and Autism’
Educational, Family and Personal Perspectives by Barry Carpenter, Francesca Happé and Jo Egerton
The book is now scheduled for launch on World Autism Day 2019 – 2nd April 2019.
See the flyer below for a chapter update & to view the full flyer.
Details of the Conference etc to follow shortly.
Teachers often need and appreciate brief, teacher-friendly summaries of relevant research in the field of Autism. The University of Portsmouth autism network posts helpful newsletters on different topics, covering research that can inform evidence based practice and interventions that are systematically trialled.
Take a look through the below weblink.
Caitlin Hire is a young woman with Autism, who through her teenage years has also experienced some issues with her Mental Health.
Through it all she has shown incredible inner strength and emotional resilience .
This is her story, in her own words, of her journey with Autism. She talks specifically about her struggles with the conventional school system, an experience common to many teenagers with AS.
Her story is full of insight , and will be a revelation to so many other young people, their families and professionals. Her account is poignant, and is told with great candour..”Masking is exhausting, but it’s what I need to do in this neurotypical world to survive.”
Caitlin has given permission for her story to be shared more widely, and ‘BarryCarpenterEducation’ is delighted to offer it as a free download below in .pdf format.
Click the cover image below to open & view Caitlin’s story.