Monday, 9 May 2016

Effective Interventions For Pupils with Special Educational Needs

Yes. We do use technology. Here’s why:

If we know what matters most, and the best way to achieve it, we can immediately change outcomes and opportunities for our students.

Our expectations when working with children who have barriers to learning and special educational needs must be higher than we dare to imagine. As should our expectations of ourselves as teachers, practitioners, parents and carers. Our children grow up quickly and we know many elements and foundations are essential for an adult to have an opportunity for a happy, fulfilled and productive life. Education, of course, but never forgetting emotional intelligence, resilience, independence, self-care, communication and social skills. It is the bigger picture I see when I work with children and colleagues.

Our children will be adults soon. Will they achieve, thrive, survive? Will they be given the skills? Will they be given the chance? 

The teachers and teaching assistants who know when to step in and when to back off (and why) understand their role and the value of any intervention. An intervention should be enabling and impactful. If we tie a child's shoes every day, what will change for them? We will be doing it when they are 21? And 31?

I always try put myself in the position of the child (and their family) and try to ensure any intervention I lead or support is moving towards a positive and relevant outcome. Children who have additional needs need someone to fight for them, both at home and at school, as the system has not evolved in a way which makes things easy. Special needs require special solutions and special skills.

In my role managing Special Needs interventions with Mr Andrews Online and ongoing work with a number of schools and families, with children who have autism has taught me how solution focused, creative and determined parents and practitioners can be. The sacrifice and selflessness is focused on one thing alone, and I have gained enough experience to know that as it is a huge challenge, there is really no choice and actually those small, and often tiny, steps of progress matter so much.  The widely shared statistic (often challenged as an urban myth)  that the divorce rate among parents of children with autism is 80% reminds us that teaching, caring for and supporting a child with autism  (alongside the challenges of medical needs and education systems and procedures) takes people to a place where there is additional strain, stress, pain and  worry. 

Over the past 3 years I have worked closely with a large number of special needs co-ordinators, teachers, speech and language therapists, educational psychologists and families to develop new approaches which impact positively and immediately on the progress and life opportunities for children and young people with autism. My experience along with practical and post-graduate training in special education has taught me many things which I am able to share and bring together using new and simple approaches which use mobile technology. The focus of everything is based around progress we know we'd like to see, and a future life we would like to be available for the student we are working with.

My new training course provides a full background, practical overview and implementation plan and is suitable for both practitioners and parents. High-Impact approaches addressing challenges in communication, transition, interaction and social imagination.

Innovation with impact; linking best practice and research and a clear reason why. It matters.



For further details or to discuss how schools are working in partnership with Mr Andrews Online please email:

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