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December 2008

e-newsletter: December 2008

Welcome to the December edition of the Autism Education Trust e-newsletter.

In this edition:

  • AET Advisory Council established – and call for Youth Council representatives
  • AET National Conference 2009 – save the date
  • TV4Parents launched online
  • Autism education course round-up
  • Festive advice for parents of children on the autism spectrum

On behalf of everyone at the Autism Education Trust, I would like to wish you a very merry festive season and a Happy New Year.

Thank you for your continued support,

Sarah-Jane Critchley
AET Project Head

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Is there someone you think would be interested to hear about the AET? Please forward this newsletter to them and ask them to send us their details so we can keep them up to date.

AET Advisory Council established – and call for young participants for the AET Youth Council

Following our request in our last e-newsletter for applications for the AET Advisory Council, we are delighted to confirm that the selection process is almost complete and the first meeting of the new Council will take place in the New Year. Thank you to all those who expressed an interest in the Advisory Council – we were oversubscribed with excellent applications for a place on the Council and are sorry not to have been able to offer everyone a place. However, we will keep you all up to date with progress and report back in our February e-newsletter about how the first meeting went.

We are now turning our attention to the establishment of an AET Youth Advisory Council. The AET seeks to encourage participation from children and young people on all parts of the autism spectrum, so will engage a participation worker or consultant who is a specialist in autism communication to work on a one to one basis with a number of children and their siblings as part of the Youth Council.

A young adult with autism will be sought to be a representative of the Youth Council and would also be a member of the main Advisory Council. We also plan to have Youth Council events at any future road shows or conferences. If you are interested in becoming involved in the Youth Council, or know of a child or young person on the autism spectrum who you feel would be interested, please contact Kate Pettifer at the AET to find out more on 07795 667749 or email.

Save the date: 26 February 2009 – AET National Conference, London

The AET is holding a National Conference on 26 February 2009 in central London. Sarah McCarthy-Fry MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools and Learners, is confirmed as the keynote speaker. The conference will focus on sharing good practice across the autism education sector with a number of seminars running throughout the day. In addition, we will be running two consultation sessions, which delegates will be encouraged to attend, focusing on good practice toolkits for education practitioners and information for families who find it hard to reach services and whose voices are seldom heard.

The National Conference will be followed by another series of roadshows at locations around England. Dates and venues for these events are yet to be confirmed but information will be released early 2009.

We will release full details of the conference in January 2009 but if you would like to express your interest in attending before then, please email Kate Pettifer.

TV4Parents launched online

A new community online TV channel has been launched by the Tomorrow’s Child group for parents. TV4Parents is geared towards parents and carers of children aged 0-11. Parents will be encouraged to take part in programme making for the site with advice from experts covering issues close to every parent’s heart. Core themes are likely to revolve around behaviour, creativity, education, health and wellbeing. The site features ‘i-Story’, a modern day ‘watch with mother’ area for sharing stories for the under sevens. From these initial launch programmes, TV4Parents will build a catalogue, the content of which will be decided by viewers, week–by-week. The team will also tackle more sensitive issues and the basics of parenting depending on what parents say they need.

Use the link to find out more about TV4Parents.

Autism education course round-up

Here is our regular round-up of autism education related courses coming up in the next couple of months. The information below is from external sources. Its inclusion in this newsletter should not be seen as endorsement or accreditation.

Creating a Circle of Friends: a one-day workshop led by Derek Wilson and Colin Newton of Inclusive Solutions
Date: 23 January 2009
Time: 10am – 4pm
Venue: The Whitton Gateway, Whitton School, Percy Road, Twickenham TW2 6JW

‘Circle of Friends’ is an approach to enhancing the inclusion, in a mainstream setting, of any young person who is experiencing difficulties in school because of disability, personal crisis or because of their challenging behaviour towards others. The 'circle of friends' approach works by mobilising the young person's peers to provide support and engage in problem solving with the person in difficulty.

The course aims to give delegates the skills to:

  • understand the values and wider context of inclusion
  • set up and run a 'circle of friends' to reduce likelihood of a pupil being excluded or segregated
  • understand and be able to maximise the power of the peer group in supporting relationships, achievement and behaviour change

Prices for places vary. To find out more telephone 020 8894 4503 ext. 277 or email or go to the website.

Autism Spectrum Conditions: a one-day workshop led by Stephen Tyler and Sue Allison of The Together Trust
Date: 27 January 2009
Time: 9.15am – 3.30pm
Venue: The Inscape Centre for Autism, Schools Hill, Cheadle, Cheshire SK8 1JE

This introductory workshop will help participants to understand the nature of autism and Asperger syndrome and outline some educational and therapeutic approaches.

Prices for places vary. To find out more about this and the full range of courses offered throughout the year by The Together Trust and The Inscape Centre, please telephone Julia or Liz at The Inscape Centre on 0161 283 4761/4768 or email or visit the website.

Teaching and Promoting Play Skills for Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder: – a one-day training course run by TreeHouse
Date: 9 February 2009
Time: 9am – 4pm
Venue: TreeHouse, The Pears National Centre for Autism Education, Woodside Avenue N10 3JA

Children with autism find play skills and social interaction with peers extremely difficult. This course will provide an introduction to a range of play skills; the impact of autism spectrum conditions on play skills; and useful activities and techniques to build and promote early play skills with children with autism.

This is one of three one-day training courses run by TreeHouse during Spring/Summer 2009. The courses are aimed at professionals working with children on the autism spectrum and offer practical advice and solutions to some of the major challenges in working with and teaching children with autism. Some courses may also appeal to parents and carers of children with autism.

The cost for a place on each course is £130 per person, per day, including lunch and refreshments. For full details of all the training courses and to book a place, visit TreeHouse Training or call Jenny Phillips on 020 8815 5148.

Festive advice for parents of children on the autism spectrum

In the run up to Christmas, many parents of children on the autism spectrum experience higher than usual levels of stress in trying to manage changes in the environment. The National Autistic Society offers lots of information and advice for parents preparing for the festive season, including some great gift ideas. Visit NAS Christmas Advice to find out more about preparation, suitable gifts and additional reading resources.

Have Your Say

We are always keen to hear your thoughts and suggestions for the AET. Please visit the AET website and fill in the online form to tell us about your experiences of autism education. We want to hear from parents, young people with autism and professionals working in the autism education field.

Fill in our online form

Further information

We hope you would like to continue receiving the AET e-newsletter. However, if you do not wish to receive these updates in future please email with the word ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject line. If you have received this newsletter via a third party and would like to be added to the regular mailing list please email the above address to subscribe.