1. Autism Education Trust News
AET website re-launch – The Den goes live
The AET website has had a facelift, making it easier to navigate your way around. The most exciting part of this redesign is the launch of The Den, the first website of its kind designed specifically with and for teenagers and young adults on the autism spectrum. Much of the information on the Den has been filmed or written by young people with autism.
The Den is a hub of information, advice, personal stories, films and games, designed to give teenagers with autism information about the subjects which may interest or worry them in a way that is easy to use, as well as giving a way to share their opinions and experiences. It uses short films to present much of the information. It is arranged under five headings:
• Home, law and money
• Health & wellbeing
• Friends and relationships
• Work and study
• Travel & free time
Visitors to The Den can meet the expert panel online and email them questions directly, offering them the chance to ask for advice on sensitive topics. The ‘Get the facts’ section includes essential information on a range of general life topics from health and relationships to work and money, and includes links to further advice.
AET supplement on transition in EducationGuardian
For those of you who missed the special supplement sponsored by the AET published in EducationGuardian on 18th May, please find a PDF of it attached here. The central theme of transition was shared with the 2009/10 AET conferences and roadshows. We hope you find it interesting and we are very keen to hear your feedback, so please let us know what you think.
Autism in the classroom – new help for teachers
Two new resources are now available on the AET website. They sit alongside the 4-page ‘Guide for Teachers’ which is an introduction to making adjustments in the classroom environment for children with autism.
‘Tools for Teachers’ is an amazing and detailed handbook, bringing together all the relevant information and practical tools a teacher supporting a child or young person with autism might need. The tools included are those used day in day out by 10 different schools, mainstream and special and across all educational stages and was commissioned from the Educational Support Service of the NAS. The first section describes the triad of impairments in autism as well as sensory issues and behaviour, details each tool and gives guidance on how you might use it. The second section features all77 tools for you to download and customise. From visual timetables to workstations, personal organisation tools to hurt boards, pupil profiles to conversation cues. Everything you need is in one place. It is currently free to download in PDF format on the website, but we are also currently investigating the best way to make it available in hard copy to have at your fingertips!
The Transition Toolkit summarises the common issues surrounding transition for young people on the autism spectrum, and offers a guide to the considerations that should be taken by those supporting them. It offers practical strategies to support transition periods, as well as providing a list of useful links to other organisations and support materials.
2. Other SEN / education news
NAS Mental Health Campaign - ‘You Need to Know’
The National Autistic Society has launched a campaign highlighting the fact that mental health services are currently failing two thirds of children with autism. Research among families has found that thousands of children with autism in England are needlessly facing a future of mental health problems, because the NHS does not know how to help them. Over 70% of children with autism also experience mental health problems such as depression, OCD and other anxiety disorders, despite the fact that many of these problems are preventable.
The You Need to Know campaign calls for NHS reforms, so the system can better help children with autism through more training for mental health professionals and access to specialist autism support in every area. The Government is not being asked for more money, but to better spend the budget it has, as the current situation of more children in long term mental health services for what can be preventable conditions is actually costing the NHS more.
Visit www.autism.org.uk/youneedtoknow to find out more and pledge your support.
Sentence Trouble site now live
A new website www.sentencetrouble.info has been launched to help staff working in the youth justice system understand and communicate with children and young people. At least 60% of young people in the youth justice system have additional communication needs and struggle to understand written or spoken language. The website has been created by The Communication Trust in partnership with the Autism Education Trust and the Dyslexia SpLD Trust and supports the Sentence Trouble booklet launched in November 2009.
Sentence Trouble was written for everyone who works or volunteers in Youth Offending Teams, Secure Children’s Homes, Secure Training Centres and Young Offenders Institutions, but is also a useful reference for anyone working in and around the youth justice system. The website features information about what speech, language and communication needs are, provides examples of what these might look like, gives advice to staff in these situations and offers a selection of resources. The website also features a forum where the youth justice workforce can network, share ideas and share best practice related to communication needs.
Visit the site at www.sentencetrouble.info
Resources listed on the Sentence Trouble website include information on autism for criminal justice professionals written by the NAS at www.autism.org.uk/cjp and the opportunity to download a PDF of Autism: A guide for Criminal Justice Professionals.
Campaign on children’s communications skills
The Communication Trust has been commissioned to run a national campaign in 2011 to raise awareness of children's communication skills. This campaign is a result of the government's Better Communication Action Plan and will have a particular focus on supporting children with speech, language and communication needs.
The Trust, alongside Jean Gross the Communication Champion, is busy planning the campaign and working with key stakeholders but they need your help. If you have any ideas and suggestions on what you would like to see the Trust do during this campaign and how they can engage with local groups to ensure this campaign has maximum effectiveness, please e-mail your suggestions to: email@example.com
For more information please visit www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk
3. New Resources
Managing Money – new website and workbook
The National Autistic Society has developed a new website www.managingmoney.org.uk and workbook to help people on the autism spectrum learn about managing their money. Funded by the Financial Services Authority, it covers every day situations such as opening a bank account and budgeting, and the website includes video clips, quizzes, downloadable resources and a virtual cash machine. The printed workbook is available to order free from the NAS website (www.autism.org.uk/shop). The NAS will be running a series of seminars on this topic to accompany the resources.
Innovate My School – independent product and service reviews
The new Innovate My School website is a free independent review website run by teachers for teachers. It was created out of the need to increase awareness of the different innovative products and services available to schools, and from a desire to help schools work together by writing honest reviews of the products and services they have used. In-depth listings are combined with independent user reviews, so that teachers can find out as much as possible about a product or service before they invest in it.
Find the AET, plus numerous other educational product and service suppliers listed at www.innovatemyschool.com
4. Events and Training
Here is a selection of autism education related courses in the coming months. The information below is from external sources and its inclusion in this newsletter should not be seen as endorsement or accreditation.
Developing Emotional Intelligence: Strategies for managing Behavioural, Emotional & Social Difficulties in the classroom
Friday 8 October – America Square Conference Centre, London
A full-day conference intended for anyone involved in supporting children with special educational needs. Keynote speech on the Inclusion Development Programme and its resources, along with a range of workshops offering techniques and tools for use in the classroom. Cost £185 - £325.
To access a booking form, visit www.nasen.org.uk/seal or call 01827 311 500.
Professional Development Courses in autism and Asperger syndrome
Upcoming courses include:
Adults on the autism spectrum 8 July Bristol
Autistic spectrum awareness 13 July Plymouth
Inside Asperger syndrome 9 July Bristol
Inside Asperger syndrome 23 Sept London
Coping with challenging behaviour in schools 22 June London
Coping with challenging behaviour in schools 14 Oct Birmingham
For full details of courses, prices and to book tickets, visit www.asperger-training.com or call 01273 711 258.
Sutherland House Children’s Services
Using Intensive Interaction to develop reciprocal communication with children and young people on the autism spectrum
29 June - Park Hall Autism Resource Centre, Nottingham
The seminar covers the principles and practical implementation of Intensive Interaction among children with autism, both in school and family settings.
Cost: professionals - £120, parents - £60.
For further information, visit: www.sutherlandhouse.org.uk or call 0115 976 1805.
SENJIT / Centre for Research in Autism Education Conference
Autism and Education: new developments in research, practice and policy
15 July – Institute of Education, London
New findings from research on autism and how children with autism process the world around them, have led to a re-think of approaches to early intervention and education. Alongside this, there have been major autism policy initiatives in the education and health sectors. This one-day conference will bring together a panel of experts drawn from the research, practice and policy fields to update the audience on these new findings and developments.
Tickets £125 / £150. For further information and to book a place, contact Tina Catchpole on tel: 020 7612 6994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
5. New Publications
Please download a full list of recent autism related publications, which you may find of interest.
6. 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.
Visit Have Your Say on the AET website.
7. Further information
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