“Let’s Talk Autism”

New article: ‘Let’s Talk Autism’ -a school-based project for students to explore and share their experiences of being autistic

Kathryn Stevenson, Katie Cornell and Vivian Hinchcliffe

Understanding what autism means on a personal level can be an important process for young people on the autistic spectrum, and being able to reflect on this and discuss with autistic peers can be particularly helpful. However, opportunities may be restricted by reluctance to talk about diagnosis and because of difficulties in communication inherent in autism. This article describes a therapeutic media project within an ASD school that attempted to support young people to reflect together about what autism meant for them and create resources to share with others.

The process is described and main themes of discussions analysed using thematic analysis. Main themes emerged of making sense of diagnosis, experiences of difference and transition to adulthood. Various strategies to manage diagnosis and negotiate identity also emerged. Issues around informed consent and confidentiality and the therapeutic value of such groups are discussed.

Lets Talk Autism Article Thumbnail
Click thumbnail to view full PDF file(s).

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Developing Baseline Assessment for children with Complex Needs

Below is an article produced by Karam Bhogal, a former Schools Direct student with Professor Carpenter , describing the use of the Engagement Profile and Scale ( EPS ), with children with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities.

Click thumbnail image below to open & view PDF.

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Dads; what are your schools male engagement strategies?

It will not come as a surprise to most women to know that men are different! In fact women probably have a strong evidence base in support of this statement. But when it comes to thinking through how we engage Dads in our schools there is often a one size fits all approach for both parents regardless of sex. Men don’t do Coffee Mornings!

So as you think ahead to the next academic year, before you start complaining that Dads don’t turn up to anything, please think about the channels through which you are asking then to become involved. There may be issues around time of day, or content of a session / meeting , or just that coming into a school holds memories of their own unsuccessful and unhappy times at school.

Below is a research summary of current thinking in this area , and also an article I have written on this topic which contains helpful suggestions for appraising your school’s male engagement strategies.

 

RiP: Are we including fathers? What we say, what we assume and what we’re not asking
This blog post discusses how practitioners can assess whether they are engaging with fathers effectively, and how they can improve the way they work with them. 

Interpreting Engagement ; pathways for children with Complex Needs

The Engagement Profile and Scale, which was a major outcome of the Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project, continues to be used creatively by practitioners in a variety of settings. The powerpoint below is an illustration from Sally Jones, a teacher of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders in South Australia.

ENGAGEMENT FOR LEARNING