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Mar 11, Rocky Patel Premium Cigars announces new Colibiri cutters. If any of the children require medication while you are on the trip, then this will need to be safely stored and administered when you are out and about. Is everyone informed? To help staff understand the cohort of children and any specific needs, you could provide a factsheet with some need-to-know points.
Give your hosts a heads up and let them know that some of your pupils need a bit of extra space. Making the journey fun Most children get bored on long journeys, but for young people with SEN or disabilities, travelling can be particularly stressful. Consider planning activities that will make the journey fun and provide a distraction, thereby limiting potential anxiety. A check list of landmarks or things to spot on the way can help to keep pupils busy. Personal music devices or portable DVD players could also offer a distraction for pupils who find traveling difficult. When you get there For those children who are entitled to free school meals, the school will have provided a packed lunch.
Some children with SEN can struggle with unstructured time, which can commonly happen around lunch time when everyone is finishing at different times. Try to have something to fill this time, whether it is a game or activity you have devised yourself, or something that the venue has helped you prepare. Alternatively, a portable DVD player set up with a film for everyone to enjoy might provide enough distraction.
Tips for parents and carers Days out with the kids always need military precision planning — even more so when you have to factor in accessibility. But spending quality time together as a family is crucial, giving you all time away from the stresses of everyday life, to explore, stimulate the senses and above all have fun. Forward planning will help to make the day trouble-free for all involved. Discounted tickets Some attractions may feel completely out of bounds for those on a budget because of the cost and limited facilities. However, some providers make it easier for families to visit their venues by offering discounted, or even free, tickets for those with disabilities and their carers.
It is worth enquiring before you visit. Other organisations offer free entry for carers when accompanying a disabled child paying the normal admission fee. Some even run schemes which provide carers with a card, making it simple for one or two carers to enter free of charge, rather than having to ask every time. Accessibility In addition to checking on the facilities available for those with disabilities or SEN, it can also be a good idea to get a sense of whether a particular venue, and its staff, have a positive attitude towards serving all visitors.
A look at online reviews for the attraction might provide some useful insight and you may also be able to glean a great deal from how staff respond to your enquiry if you contact the venue in advance of your visit. Are they helpful and encouraging or defensive and reluctant to address your queries? Changing facilities are an important consideration for many parents of a child with a disability. If not, you might want to ask them to send you details and even photos of the facilities available.
There are a number of websites that offer information and advice on visiting attractions and outdoor activities for children with disabilities and SEN. You can find advice on everything including finances, education, medical issues, legal considerations, accessibility and local services. Get a sense of whether a particular venue, and its staff, have a positive attitude towards serving all visitors. Have fun and enjoy The most important thing is that everyone has a good time and enjoys themselves.
Not all pupils will need the same level of support, so for those children who are able to, allow them to have their independence, where possible, as this will add to their overall sense of fulfilment and enjoyment of the trip. Get some feedback When you are back at your education setting, have a group discussion involving all teachers and support staff and pupils too. Note some of the key issues raised and valuable lessons learned, not only in the practical or logistical elements of the trip, but also in terms of the activities that had the biggest impact or response from the children.
Prior to her year career in nursing, Jacqueline worked within the education system supporting children with additional needs in both mainstream and special schools. We have some limited availability for our remaining autumn Intro Weekend, which will take place on Friday 16 to Sunday 18 November , but book early to avoid disappointment! If you would like to know more including qualification criteria and all terms and conditions please call the enquiries team on: or go to: www.
This is fully refundable following participation in the introductory weekend. This is based on an expectation of two attendees per organisation. Breaking down barriers Victoria Doxat explores the wide-ranging benefits of playing musical instruments for children with autism and SPD.
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Music is a medium that is accessible to everyone regardless of age, gender, disability or physical impairment and music therapy has long been recognised as providing opportunities for even very severely disabled individuals to participate, engage, enjoy and achieve. Why music matters for autism Autistic children often have great difficulty interacting with others but playing musical instruments can help a child to overcome these challenges. This gentle introduction to companionship and familiarity with others in an informal and fun way leads to increased socialisation and improved communication skills in the long term.
In non-verbal children, music therapy and playing musical instruments allows communication without language and fosters creative self-expression. This in turn leads to the development of verbal communication and improved language skills. This is because music both stimulates and physically develops the language processing areas of the brain. This means that even short-term engagement with musical instruments has a significant impact on the neurological areas associated with understanding speech and sounds.
In addition, playing musical instruments helps the child with autism to learn how to relate to others. Engaging with musical instruments assists the child to participate in socially acceptable ways and helps to reinforce desired responses. Playing musical instruments also teaches important life skills such as turn-taking and working as part of a team.
When musical instruments are placed within an outside space, the child is also able to move freely, to dance and to explore rhythm with their whole bodies in an unrestricted way, in addition to enjoying the many benefits of being outside in the fresh air. All this can help to motivate the child to follow more impulsive play patterns that will engage the whole of their brain and.
Each family can use music and musical instruments in a way that suits their individual needs and preferences. Impulsiveness and spontaneity are often missing from the lives of autistic children and so playing musical instruments supports a child to become a more well rounded individual. Why music can help with SPD Common symptoms of sensory processing disorders SPD include over-sensitivity to things within the environment and even everyday sensations may be painful or overwhelming for a child with SPD.
Some children exhibit a lack of coordination, a lack of spatial awareness or they may find it difficult to engage in conversation or interact with others socially. Although SPDs are usually identified in childhood, they tend to be lifelong problems and so also affect adults. Playing musical instruments combines sound with movement in an interactive way and supports the establishment of positive responses to stimuli. Many observers have found that with musical instruments these fight or flight reactions are very rarely seen and children are generally calmer because the sensations are pleasant and anticipated.
Because their whole body is engaged in making music, the child WWW. In recognition of this, music therapy is now becoming an increasingly common form of intervention for those living with SPD. The sooner the better There is widespread belief that if autism is diagnosed early in childhood, interventions that can be put in place are more effective in the long term for that individual and their families.
A study from by Vaiouli, which appeared in the journal Autism, found that when very young children with autism were given the opportunity to access music within their kindergarten setting, all of the children showed improvement in their attention and social engagement. For those with SPD, the sounds made are anticipated and pleasant and so support desensitisation. For these reasons each family can use music and musical instruments in a way that suits their individual needs and preferences. Music is a universal language and is very well suited to the needs of autistic children because music captures and maintains their attention in a way that other mediums do not.
Playing musical instruments also assists the child to participate in socially acceptable ways and helps to reinforce desired responses. A study by Clift and Hancox found that music is hugely beneficial for our psychological wellbeing and reduces stress at the same time as boosting the immune system. Studies like these all suggest that the benefits of playing musical instruments for children living with stressful conditions such as autism and SPD cannot be underestimated.
There is a growing body of compelling research which proves that music encourages, and often initiates, language development, communication, socialisation, selfconfidence and spatial reasoning and it would appear that one of the very best things that we can do for our children, regardless of their ability, is to encourage them to play musical instruments. Making music together Playing musical instruments provides a way for families to have fun together whilst strengthening the bonds of communication between parents, grandparents, siblings and the autistic child.
Music therapy is especially suited to families because everyone, regardless of age or musical ability, can play instruments and have fun whilst doing so. For the autistic child, the pressure and expectations are lifted and new ways can be found for the child to respond to their family meaningfully. Victoria Doxat is a writer and lecturer with a keen interest in music therapy. She has been collaborating with Percussion Play, a manufacturer of outdoor musical instruments, to research into the benefits of music for children with SEN.
It can also, though, be the source of a great deal of stress, particularly for many students with SEN or disabilities who can find themselves disadvantaged when it comes to accessing learning. This scheme is funded by the Government and suppliers invoice directly to the funding bodies. Higher education providers are becoming more and more inclusive and can provide a wide variety of support for students with and without SEN and disabilities.
Students who are studying on a distance learning course may require all support to be available externally.
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Students may require non-medical help, such as a sighted guide, communication support, specialist note-takers, mobility trainers, specialist one-to-one study skills, specialist mentoring, BSL interpreters and specialist support professionals for sensory impairment. Again, not all institutions provide this kind of support in-house and providers, both external and internal, need to be funded by the DSA. Some students will need to attend a needs assessment in order to receive this support. Support can include specialist equipment, specialist software, assistive technology training and specialist human support.
Students are always advised to discuss their additional support needs with their disability advisors at university or college so that reasonable adjustments can be made and any further support that falls outside the scope of DSA can be discussed. Eligibility for DSA Any UK undergraduate or postgraduate student including Open University or distance learning with a visual or hearing impairment, long-standing health condition, a physical disability, mental health difficulties, specific.
For some students, this cost can be a worry and they are advised to speak to their university or college to see if they have a scheme such as a hardship fund which might be able to help with payment, or if they have any other advice on how to get financial help in meeting this cost. Students need to make an application for the relevant academic year via a funding body, such as Student Finance England, NHS Student Bursaries or Social Work Bursaries, and include their medical evidence.
Students with a specific learning difficulty SpLD will need a post full diagnostic report from a psychologist or suitably qualified specialist teacher. For other conditions or disabilities, a report or letter from their doctor or consultant will be required to confirm their diagnosis.
The assessment Once approved, students may be asked to attend an assessment at any approved DSA assessment centre; this could be at their university or closer to their home. Students are advised to attend the assessment before commencing their course so that support is in place before the first term. The assessment takes around 1. It is required to determine what specialist equipment, software and support would provide the student with strategies to help them overcome their barriers learning due to SEN or disability.
Students will be given demonstrations of the recommended equipment and software and will be able to discuss with the assessor what strategies they prefer. Support workers should aim to develop the skill of the student and promote their independent learning. Students will also receive a copy, as will their higher education provider consent allowing. The funding body will then confirm to the student what support has been agreed. Students should allow a few weeks for this to be produced, especially during peak times. Support should be tailored to their individual needs with individual learning plans devised and regularly reviewed.
The role of each support worker is to help students recognise the barriers to their learning due to their SEN or disability and to support them in creating strategies to address these barriers. With the right support in place, students should feel confident that their needs are being met and excited about starting their journey at their chosen university or college.
It is important to note that suppliers may require a copy of the letter to facilitate delivery. Students may be awarded specialist support, which could include specialist mentors and specialist study skills tutors. Other support may also be identified and recommended. This support can address a range of issues such as coping with anxiety and stressful situations, concentration difficulties, time management, prioritising workload and creating a suitable work-life balance.
This support can address. Digital native or digitally naive? Elizabeth Cooper looks at the opportunities for learning and development offered by digital games. Children who have grown up in the technological age are generally more familiar and at ease with everyday technology than the generations that preceded them — they are digital natives.
As a result of this early familiarity with tech, digital games have become more and more popular for educational purposes. For children with SEN, the engaging and accessible nature of digital games can enhance their longterm memory and keep them focused for longer. But what is it about digital games that children love so much, and works for educators?
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Customisation With traditional books and worksheets, school work can be very monotonous. Children with SEN all have their own individual needs and holding their concentration can be particularly difficult. For these students, often it is the case that they prefer a different learning style to those around them. The use of digital games in classrooms.
Accessibility has got to be one of the most important aspects for digital natives allows teachers and educators to customise games to relevant topics which the child needs most. Some games even allow teachers to customise the content of the game before set up, so the children can integrate playing the game with their other work. This can boost their knowledge to match their ability and understanding. Accessibility has got to be one of the most important aspects for digital natives.
Children use computers, tablets and phones in all sorts of situations, from the car to the aeroplane. A benefit of having software games is that many of the games used in classrooms can be accessed at home and so the child can continue the game and learn at their own pace in their own environment. Children can be proud that they have conquered it on their own, without the pressure of other classmates or physical restraints. Play is now considered to be an essential activity in the development of all children. As digital games are so strongly associated with the entertainment industry, they are already positioned in our minds, and those of children, as a fun play activity.
When learning is one of the components of this play, the learning is likely to be enhanced. If technology offers one thing, it is opportunity — the opportunity for children with SEN to learn at their own pace and according to their own abilities, whilst enjoying the attractive visuals and sounds that most digital games offer.
Mainstream video games often have the appeal of defeating an obstacle, which can be very satisfying for users. Educational games are similar in that there is a challenge to be met.
The child can learn from their mistakes and learn to remain focused to complete the task. They can also receive a reward. Elizabeth Cooper is from Help Educational Games, which produces a range of board games and digital games: www. Stepping up with dyspraxia Sally Payne provides useful advice on how to help children with dyspraxia get ready for the move to secondary school. Around five per cent of schoolaged children are affected, making dyspraxia one of the most common developmental disorders of childhood. Teaching staff play a key role in identifying children with movement difficulties and making onward referrals for those who require further specialist assessment and providing support and adjustments to ensure that children SENISSUE Poor fine and gross motor skills are the main features of dyspraxia, but there is growing evidence that nonmotor difficulties, poor planning, and organisation and attention difficulties are also common.
People with dyspraxia often have difficulty remembering and following instructions, especially those that include a physical action such as writing or moving from one place to another. Maintaining focus, especially in a busy classroom and when a task is physically or mentally challenging, is also difficult. This can leave children feeling anxious, frustrated or confused when they are unable to complete a task as intended.
Dyspraxia was once considered a disorder of childhood, but it is now. Research also indicates the high risk of significant, secondary consequences for physical and emotional health. It is vital therefore, that systems are in place to identify children who may have dyspraxia and that early support is provided to build motor and non-motor skills and a positive sense of self-worth. Pupils with dyspraxia in years 5 and 6 will therefore benefit from support to develop skills and strategies before they transition to secondary school. Pupils in years 7 and 8 will also require monitoring to ensure they have the skills and strategies to be successful at secondary school.
Developing and maintaining motor skills Dyspraxia affects large body movements such as balance, posture and the ability to run, skip, jump and keep up with peers. It is important therefore, to help young people with dyspraxia develop their fundamental motor skills and to. School-based motor skills programmes are a practical way to help primary school children develop their fitness, gross motor skills and stamina. These are often recommended and supported by occupational therapists or physiotherapists and delivered by school staff. Several shorter 20 minute sessions are better than a longer session once a week and challenging pupils to practice outside the sessions will lead to greater improvement in their motor skills.
The need to develop and maintain gross motor skills continues in adolescence but withdrawing pupils for motor-skills sessions is less appropriate at this age. Instead, students should be given opportunities to participate in physical activities that develop balance, stamina and core strength which they might continue outside school, for example swimming, cycling, using the multi-gym and climbing. Confidence and participation in physical activities is optimised during activities in which the individual moves but the environment remains relatively static. Managing practical tasks Poor handwriting is a common feature of dyspraxia and it is frustrating for young people, parents and teachers when pupils are unable to effectively demonstrate their learning on paper.
Primary school children should be given every opportunity to develop a functional pencil grip and the dexterity to reproduce letters correctly, fluently and consistently. Teaching touchtyping alongside handwriting to pupils in years 5 and 6 who continue to demonstrate poor handwriting quality and quantity and providing opportunities for pupils to type rather than handwrite some of their work will help maintain their self-esteem and confidence in learning whilst developing a useful life skill.
Teaching typing at primary school will ensure typing is a viable alternative to handwriting to. Pre-teaching practical skills before pupils make the transition can be very helpful help students manage the increase in written demands at secondary school if required. Young people will encounter new subjects, tools and equipment when they reach secondary school. People with dyspraxia really struggle to master new motor tasks under pressure and in busy environments, so pre-teaching practical skills before pupils make the transition to secondary school can be very helpful. Getting organised One of the most challenging aspects of secondary school for students with dyspraxia is the need to read a timetable and organise their equipment.
Year 6. Pupils with dyspraxia often find it easier if lessons are colour-coded, and if the subject colour matches that of their exercise book, that will also help ensure they have the correct books for their lessons. Remembering and organising equipment is a real challenge for pupils with dyspraxia and many young people benefit from writing and referring to an equipment checklist to make sure they have the correct equipment at the start and end of the school day. This strategy could be useful at secondary school too checklists and reminders might be held on a mobile phone at this age.
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Pupils with dyspraxia will also benefit from practice filing papers into a folder practising when not under time pressure will be helpful and packing equipment into their bag at the end of a lesson. Students with dyspraxia often struggle to organise their thoughts and. Mind-mapping tools can be very helpful, but as different tools and approaches work for different people, a pupil may need to try a few alternatives before identifying the ones that work best for them. Students who have identified the right tool for them and who have experienced using these whilst at primary school will have an advantage when they make the transition to secondary education.
Developing self-advocacy skills Although the pattern of challenges changes over time, dyspraxia is a life-long condition. One of the most useful things that staff at primary school can do is to help pupils with dyspraxia understand and articulate their own strengths and difficulties and identify the tools and strategies that work for them. Supporting young people to know when to ask for help and who to approach to help them access the adjustments they need to be successful is a life-skill that will be useful at secondary school, in higher education and in employment.
Moving forwards The transition to secondary school is challenging for all pupils, but especially for those with additional needs. Motor and organisational difficulties mean that students with dyspraxia are likely. Planning ahead and helping students with dyspraxia to practice and develop relevant skills and strategies before they move to secondary school will alleviate some of their anxieties and ensure a successful transition.
She is also a Trustee of the Dyspraxia Foundation: dyspraxiafoundation. A range of guidelines for early years, primary and secondary school, and for further and higher education settings, is produced by the Dyspraxia Foundation and available for free to download on their website. Parents wanted for dyspraxia survey Ahead of Dyspraxia Awareness Week in October, the Dyspraxia Foundation is asking parents to complete a survey designed to explore their role in supporting the wellbeing of people with dyspraxia of all ages. It also aims to find out whether the need for emotional support from parents continues as young people make the transition to adulthood.
The Foundation carries out an annual survey to explore an issue of concern to its members, focusing on a different age group each year. The aim is to raise awareness of the emotional impact of dyspraxia and the support needed to promote good mental health. Survey findings will be used to develop information and resources to help parents in this role. The survey can be found at: www. Denise: denise senmagazine. Enabling technology for dyslexic learners Victoria Crivelli, Malcolm Litten and Abi James look at how assistive technology can help people with dyslexia to learn.
The most important answer is the promotion of their independence. Any pupil, who experiences significant difficulty in learning to read and write effectively enough to cope with the demands they face in school is in danger of judging themselves as inadequate. The provision of technology should be a first-resort intervention, not a lastresort. Prolonged experience of not coping is harmful to any learner in any context. We sometimes ask teachers to imagine an entire presentation in Bulgarian text and then consider what if this was not a one-off experience but what will happen to them day in, day out, for the imaginable future.
How many of us would willingly return, expecting to successfully learn from such an experience?
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There are children struggling with reading and writing due to dyslexia in most of our classrooms. The positive message is that it does not have to be that way; particularly with effective use of assistive technology, we can enable these pupils to engage effectively with the curriculum and achieve alongside their peers. Technology is discreet, street credible, encourages independence and, most importantly, increases confidence skills. But the evidence is that the opposite effect is much more likely. This article outlines a wide range of assistive technology that can hand back to dyslexic children the possibility of working independently and successfully.
Technology is discreet, street credible, encourages independence. Technology can create a level playing field from which learners affected by dyslexia can demonstrate their true strengths and abilities. A wide range of appropriate hardware, software and assistive tools is available to support individual needs. These include support for everyday skills such as accurate reading, comprehension, spelling, writing and recording information, organisation, memory, recall and processing written or spoken information.
Reading Text to speech TTS software provides rapid, accurate feedback on any computer-based text. This should be available to struggling early readers just as much as to those needing to access and understand a complex textbook. Good TTS can read aloud in words, phrases or whole pages, synchronise and highlight text as it is spoken, allow for any necessary repetition and provide WWW.
There are free TTS tools available together with sophisticated commercial products that are continually improving. TTS can help in many ways, from simple talking books to more complex or technical vocabulary or accessing web-based information. Dealing with visual issues Some every day or dedicated tools can make text more visually comfortable and relieve the visual stress that many learners affected by dyslexia experience.
Options to change font style, size and colour, letter and line spacing and the colour of the background, or use magnification and guidelines or a "virtual" coloured overlay, can make an immediate difference. The use of such tools and options needs to be demonstrated by teachers or those supporting learners affected by dyslexia. Similar options need to be explored by teachers using interactive whiteboards to ensure presentations offer optimum comfort for all.
Writing Many tools to support writing can now be found in one single package. They can include talking word processors, spellcheckers, multiple word banks, mind mapping planners and intelligent predictive text — all with speech. For some learners affected by dyslexia, taking away the demand to handwrite frees brain capacity for the more important jobs of deciding what to say, ordering it and expressing it effectively.
A further extension of this principle is to provide speech recognition software. For some learners affected by dyslexia, this will become the preferred tool in their writing tasks. It can be tried with free apps or features on many smart phones or word-processors. However, WWW. With all the options described above it has to be the personal choice of the user together with appropriate support and training. This choice may change with age and curricular demands. Visual planners and mind mapping tools not only help in writing tasks but memory and revision.
They make a great teaching tool. Their features of onscreen virtual post-it notes, hyperlinks to key web information or images, and presenting information in a non-linear format, can match the thinking style of many learners affected by dyslexia. Other forms of support Many popular programs to improve reading, phonics and spelling skills were originally written to help dyslexic learners. They provide well designed, structured tasks presented in appealing self-corrective and challenging games or activities. They can offer a range of user and teacher options to meet pupil need, together with excellent pupil progress tracking.
There is a wealth of apps now available that can help support those affected by dyslexia. They range from talking texts to activities to improve phonics and spelling, together with free apps that convert spoken digital recordings into written text or screen capture any text and read it aloud. Often, a small, simple, hand-held device can be equally as effective, for example a memo microphone, digital recorder pen or scanning pen to read tricky vocabulary.
The use of assistive technology is allowed in many exams, including GCSEs precious time. It is particularly concerning that after six years of being available, such support is still not regularly made available to qualifying candidates. These facilities are meant to allow the dyslexic user to work independently alongside their peers as their normal way of working in exams and in their lessons. Using selected programs and speech-supported tools must be one of the most effective ways teachers and those supporting learners affected by dyslexia can ensure all have access to the curriculum, and support for writing tasks, to enable them to become independent learners and demonstrate their true ability.
Specific uses for assistive technology The use of assistive technology is allowed in many exams, including GCSEs. For learners affected by dyslexia, the ability to edit easily, cut, copy and paste will save hours of. Special needs adoptions Becky White talks to parents about the challenges of adopting a child with SEN and supporting them through school.
Having spent years teaching in alternative provision, she felt sure that she would be able to meet his needs as soon as she saw his profile, and wanted to put her experience to good use not only in being his adoptive parent, but also in ensuring that he had the best chance in school. However, like many adoptive parents, Sarah faced significant challenges. Despite this, he did manage to complete his GCSEs. Supporting Callum through college was a challenge. He dropped out just two weeks before the course finished and came away with nothing.
Three quarters of adopted children come from a background of abuse, trauma and neglect, which can lead to challenges including developmental delay, sensory processing difficulties and attachment disorders. There is also a higher incidence of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders among adopted children. All of these may be present in addition to other recognised special needs and disabilities. Funding for support In England, adopted and previously looked-after children are entitled to additional funding through Pupil Premium Plus, which should be used in school to help them overcome the disadvantage caused by their early experiences.
This is in addition to any funding available to support their SEN or disabilities. Families who adopt a child from care are also entitled to an assessment of postadoption support needs from their local authority. In England, this includes access to the Adoption Support Fund which provides funding to pay for specialist assessments and therapeutic interventions that are not available through statutory services. Before the adoption order is made, adoptive parents and social workers should work together to make a robust plan for post-adoption support.
Without this, there can be delays and difficulties in accessing future help. Rachel struggled on until Kai was six, not realising that support was available. I contacted my local authority and within a year we had a course of music therapy and a sensory integration assessment. The sensory integration therapy with a specialist occupational therapist has been a game changer for us. I only wish we had made a better post-adoption plan at the start. It would have saved Kai so many years of struggle. Feeling positive Despite the challenges, Rachel and Sarah do not regret their decisions to adopt.
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