Recommended Resources

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Teaching Children to Understand and Respond to Feelings

Teaching Children to Understand and Respond to Feelings
Children often struggle not only with understanding their feelings, but also relating
to other people’s feelings. These skills are critical for personal well being and building
relationships. This article includes steps for teaching children to understand and manage their
feelings as well as identify and respond to other people’s feelings.
1. Identifying Feelings – Teach children to recognize when
they have a specific feeling. Whether happy, sad, or angry the
first step in coping with a feeling is identifying it. Help
children identify feelings by discussing emotions when they
occur. If a child is angry say, “I see you are angry. You have
your arms crossed and are stomping your feet.” Another tool
is to role play times when specific emotions surface. Use
novel examples as well as recent experiences for the child.
Discuss and write about different feelings in a feelings
journal. Use the journal to write about events and the
emotions, responses, and consequences the events elicited.
From the story Feeling Scared
2. Planning for Strong Feelings – Help children cope with intense feelings by creating coping
strategies. Have a quiet place for children to take a break when angry or sad. Give children
tools and teach them how and when to use them such as a stress ball or a trampoline. These tools
help children release energy in a positive way. Encourage children to use words or write about
their feelings. Establish a phrase the child can use to remove themselves from stressful or
upsetting situations. The phrase gives children a way to politely excuse themselves, regain
control, and then return to the situation. Select a short phrase that can be used in a variety of
situations such as, “Excuse me. I need a minute to think.”
3. Recognizing Other People’s Feelings – Learning to empathize with other people and respond
appropriately to another person’s feelings, is an important skill for building relationships. Show
pictures and drawings or role play situations to discuss the words, body language, and
experiences that indicate a person’s feelings. When discussing a child’s own feelings,
incorporate the concept that peers and adults have similar feelings in the same situation. This
helps children develop empathy. Read stories where characters experience events that are happy,
sad, surprising, or frustrating. Discuss why the characters felt the way they did and what they
said or did to indicate their feelings.
4. Responding to Other People’s Feelings – Not only do children have to identify other
people’s feelings, but they also need to learn how to respond when someone is angry, sad, or
excited. Teach children appropriate responses through role play and reviewing past events.
Discuss how different people in the role play feel, how their body language and words show their
feelings, and the best response for the situation. Also discuss how the child would feel if this
happened to them and how they would like other people to respond. This helps children learn to
empathize with other people.

ADHD Ladders for Life

I've just got off the phone with Teresa from ADHD ladders for life in Liverpool. Theresa runs a support group for ADHD young people and adults. Their service is voluntary and they are extremely knowledgeable in the field. Here are their details:

Welcome to our ADDult ADHD/Aspergers group its here to help people with ADHD/Aspergers achieve their full potential through education and support. Does ADHD impact you as a individual?. Your family?. University?. The workplace and community if so, come and join us for a coffee and a chat. WHERE: We meet every Thursday - Parents 10.00 - 12.00am, and 1.00 till 3.00 for Adults with ADHD. Held at the West Everton Community council
33 Everton Brow
L3 8PU

Teresa 0779 8585 656
Shirley 0782 6004 436

Want some peace and relaxtion to help with your ADHD & Aspergers?
Visit our sister website! -

New Books Coming Soon

People First Education are delighted to announce that we shall soon be releasing a new range of SEN books written by our in-house trainers and consultants. This project has been ongoing for some months now whilst we have been searching for an illustrator who understands SEN. We can now confirm that we have been in meetings with a top children's book illustrator who is working on images for our books as we speak. More information, including a formal announcement of the illustrator's identity will follow soon.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Dyslexia Day Course

Strategies for effective inclusion of learners with dyslexia: a day course for educators, support staff, and trainee teachers, designed to enable an understanding of differences in thought processing which make acquiring literacy skills more challenging for learners with dyslexia.
The day includes
 An overview of the ways in which dyslexic learners think differently.
 An overview of how acquiring literacy skills can be more challenging for students with dyslexia.
 Some of the ways in which ICT can be used as a learning tool for learners with dyslexia.
 A range of structured, multisensory strategies/teaching and learning methods designed to improve literacy skills.

Date and venue:
Friday 9th April 2010
10:30am – 4pm
Holiday Inn Express, Aberford Road, Oulton, Leeds, LS26 8EJ

Contact for course fees

Book online at
Or call 01427 667556/0794 383 8819
People First Education
Stonehouse, Fillingham, Lincolnshire, DN21 5BS

Fiona, Autism Canada would like to correct the misconception that Dr Wakefield claimed an undisputed connection between MMR and autism.

In fact, his original study never stated that the vaccine caused autism.

The following is taken from his original study: "We did not prove an association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the syndrome (autistic enterocolitis) described."

Dr Wakefield's study ends with a call for more research. His study was published in February 1998, 12 years ago. Nowhere does Dr Wakefield tell parents not to vaccinate children - despite misreporting on this topic.

A new thought-operated computer system which can reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children

Ten children with an attention deficit from Hertfordshire schools took part in reseach conducted by Professor Karen Pine at the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Psychology and assistant Farjana Nasrin, which investigated the effects of EEG (Electroencephalography) biofeedback, a learning strategy that alters brain waves.
They used a system called Play Attention, supplied by not-for-profit community interest company, Games for Life, three times a week for twelve weeks. The system involves the child playing a fun educational computer game whilst wearing a helmet similar to a bicycle helmet. The helmet picks up their brain activity in the form of EEG waves related to attention.
As long as the child concentrates they control the game, but as soon as their attention waivers the game stops. The researchers found at the end of the study that the children’s impulsive behaviour was reduced, compared to a control group who had not used the system.
“Children with a diagnosis of ADHD find it hard to control their impulses and inhibit inappropriate behaviour,” said Professor Pine, “This can lead to educational and behavioural difficulties. The Play Attention method may prevent long-term problems by helping the children to be less impulsive and more self-controlled.” Professor Pine and Dr
Rob Sharp a senior specialist educational psychologist are continuing to work on futuristic projects with Ian Glasscock, Managing Director of Games for Life. One project aims to develop the system as a means of assessing learning in children with severe communication and physical difficulties. A thought-controlled computer game method is likely to have considerable potential for these children who cannot operate a computer manually.
“Attention-related difficulties including ADHD affects many children and has a significant impact on their lives,” said Mr Glasscock. “The Play Attention System is absolutely the first technology to help children with ADHD. Historically if someone was diagnosed with this condition, the first line of treatment was medication. Our system is a non-medical, non-invasive treatment.”

Teaching Children to Practice Acts of Kindness

Being kind to other people and yourself is important for being a good friend and being happy. Modeling kindness, reflecting on kind actions, and practicing acts of kindness can help children develop this skill. This article includes strategies for helping children learn to be kind to other people and to themselves.
1. Be a Role Model – When adults say unkind things about other people or themselves, children learn this is acceptable behavior. Be a role model and say kind things about co-workers, neighbors, people in the community, and yourself.
2. Use Lists – Have children write lists or make collages representing what they like about their friends, family members, and people in the school. Hang the lists or art projects where classmates and friends can see them. Have a separate activity where children make a parallel list or art project that includes things they do well and why they are a good person.
3. Read and Write Stories – Read stories about kindness and respect in school and at home. Discuss how being kind makes the characters feel. Ask children to share times when they were kind and times when people were nice to them. Also have children write stories about being kind to other people.
4. Practice and Discuss Small Acts of Kindness – In addition to having children write and say things that are kind, have them practice little acts of kindness. Teach children to help other people in day to day situations such as when someone needs help carrying an item, they can’t reach something, or they drop an item. Create a set of pictures or make short stories with opportunities for small acts of kindness. Have children role play what they would do to be helpful in these situations.
5. Learning to Do Kind Things for Yourself – Have children write or create a collage about things they like to do or activities that make them feel good about themselves. Discuss how taking time to participate in these activities can make them feel better and decrease stress.
6. Pick a Cause or Charity – A long term investment in a volunteer or charity activity teaches children that even a small amount of time and energy makes a big difference. First create a list of volunteer opportunities then let the class or family select an activity to join. Whether it is collecting food for a food bank, donating toys, or cleaning up a community area, these activities demonstrate how working collaboratively with other people can make a big difference. Discuss or have children keep a journal about the experience. Ask them to include how they felt and how they think the people benefitting from their time and effort felt.