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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Children With Autism Face a Year Long Wait for Education Support

Actress Jane Asher with autistic pupil at Sybil Elgar School: 27 Per cent of survey spond Waited THEY Said Than Two more years for Appropriate Educational support. Image: NAS

By Janaki Mahadevan | Children & Young People Now
Almost half of all children with autism wait for More than a year for Appropriate Educational support, a report by the National Autistic Society (NAS) HAS found.
The Findings Accompany the launch of the charity's Great Expectations campaign, Aimed at Influencing Government Reform on Special Educational Needs (SEN) to Ensure the expectations of Both children and parents are met.
More than 1.000 parents of children with autism Were Surveyed by the society, with 48 per one hundred Saying THEY Waited More than a year to get the right support for Their 27 per child and one hundred WAS Saying the wait More than Two Years.
Eighteen per one hundred parents of Said THEY HAD taken legal action to get support for Appropriate and Their Children HAD gone to court year average of 3.5 times each.
Only 52 per one hundred of parents Said Their child WAS Making Good Educational Progress and seven out of 10 Did not Think It Had Been easy to get the education support Their child needed, while a further Top 47 per one hundred Said Their Child's Needs Were not Picked Up in Timely a way.
Mark Lever, NAS chief executive, said: "It Is Completely Unacceptable That So Many parents are still fighting a daily battle for Their Fundamental right to get education year for Their child. The government Rightly Recognise That Action Is Needed, and THEY That Need to Reform That system has continued to Many Children with autism let down.
"Our report sets out the Practical, Often simple steps That Can the government take to create a system That Works for everyone. Let's get it right. "
NAS Is Now That recommending Local Authorities work with schools and Other Services Such as to Ensure Health Have access to all schools and specialist support for chairs of governing bodies to Be Given Specific Training in SEN. According To the charity, health visitors and school staff must aussi Have Specific training in autism to Ensure THEY Can Identify early signs of the condition.
Referring to the new Health and Wellbeing boards, the report Said There Should Be more representation from schools. CYP Now Reported Earlier this month That initial research HAD Shown schools look Unlikely to Be Among the hand is on the boards.
NAS aussi wants Local Authorities to Increase transparency by publishing Their Strategic Plan for Children with SEN. The charity Said government must work with councils Also, parents and the Voluntary Sector to explore how Local Authorities Can Become parent champions.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Strategies for Teaching Children to Make Good Choices

Choice is a big part of people’s lives. We decide daily what to wear, what to do, and how to treat people. Teaching children how to make good choices is critical for independence and self-control. This article focuses on a variety of strategies for teaching choice making.

1. Allow Children to Make Choices - Often it is easier to choose for children than allow them to decide for themselves. Unfortunately, lessons learned by making good and bad choices help children become responsible, independent adults. Choice also gives children a sense of ownership in activities. Take time to offer choices, create situations for choice, and reinforce the importance of good choices in your day.

2. Limit Choices - Keep the number and types of choices within reasonable limits. For example, if you let a child pick a snack, give them two or three healthy choices. By providing only allowable choices you reduce opportunities for conflict and create a situation where they succeed at making a good choice.

3. Discuss Options – When faced with decisions, think through and discuss the options to help children understand why one choice is better than another. Discuss possible choices, consequences, and why one option is better. For example, when leaving the house look outside and discuss the weather. Is it cold? Is it raining? Which coat is the better choice? What happens if you pick the light cotton coat and it rains? By guiding children through choices you teach them how to make decisions for themselves.

4. Consider Other People – When decisions involve other people, discuss the implications of the choice for the other people. For example, if a child wants to use the swing for the duration of recess discuss: Have other people asked to use the swing? Are other children waiting for the swing? How would you feel if you didn’t have a chance to use the swing? Are there other places you can play for part of recess? This helps children realize their choices affect people other than themselves.

6. Use Past Choices as Opportunities – When a child makes a bad choice such as cutting in line, saying something hurtful, or playing rather than finishing homework, use the opportunity to discuss why the choice was bad, consequences, and better choices for the future. Ask the child what other choices they could have made and what may have happened. Additionally, use past decisions and consequences as reminders. For example, “Noah, remember how you played video games rather than clean your room yesterday and had to miss your favorite show and clean up? What do you think you should do today?”

7. Praise Good Choices – When children make good decisions let them know what they did and why it was a good choice. For example, “Jason, I like the way you moved over to make room for Ella on the bus. It was nice of you to share your seat. That was a very good choice.”

8. State When There Is No Choice – Some situations such as safety and schedules have no choices. Holding hands crossing the street, participating in fire drills, and leaving on time for school are examples of times when there is no choice. Explain why these situations do not have choices and why all people must follow certain rules and schedules. Let children know if there is an aspect of the event that is their choice. For example, “We have to leave now for the bus, but you can carry your blue or red book bag.”

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Forthcoming Events

Social Story
15th June 2011 Wiltshire
17the June 2011 Cheltenham
20th June 2011 Sheffield
21st June 2011 Lancaster
22nd June 2011 Liverpool
23rd June 2011 Manchester
24th June 2011 Huddersfield
8th July 2011 Oxford
13th September 2011 Norfolk
20th September 2011 Gateshead
3rd October 2011 Peterlee

27th June 2011 Welwyn Herts
14th September 2011 Burnley
15th September 2011 Bradford
16th September 2011 Birmingham
19th September 2011 Preston
21st September 2011 Sutton Colefield
29th September 2011 Derby
11th October 2011 Bristol

Autism Day Course
12th September 2011 Stevenage
23rd September 2011 Leeds
27th September 2011 Croydon
5th October 2011 Sevenoaks

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Helping Children Develop Friendships

Parents and professionals often struggle with helping children learn to be good friends or to understand the complexities of social interactions. Below are a number of strategies that can help children develop friendships.

1. Get Involved – Participate in community sports teams, art programs, and special events. These are wonderful opportunities for children to engage in structured activities with peers. For children with special needs, communities increasingly are offering camps and activities geared towards their specific needs. Ask professionals and support groups for information on these programs or check your community newspapers, centers, and websites. Another great activity, for children who benefit from very direct instruction, is social skills groups. These groups, which are offered in many communities, are a great way for children to develop their social skills in a fun yet structured environment.

2. Leverage the Child’s Interests – If the goal of enrolling a child in a program is to provide opportunities for making friends, look for activities the child enjoys. Some children like the arts while others enjoy sports. If a child is particularly shy, look for activities that initially have less direct contact. Tumbling and swimming are examples of individual sports while soccer and basketball involve more contact with peers. If children start in activities they enjoy, they are more likely to join other programs.

3. Role Play Difficult Skills – Practicing social skills is a way to work on specific aspects of social interactions. For example, if you notice your child stands too close to peers or repeatedly asks the same questions, help them learn about personal space or conversational skills through role play. By practicing these skills in the home, children can learn to improve their social skills and apply them outside the home.

4. Provide Examples – While reading books or watching television, explain social situations to children. Point out how helping others, using kind words, and listening when friends talk are ways to be a good friend. When characters are being hurtful or invading someone’s personal space, point these actions out and ask the child what the character could do differently to be a better friend.

5. Model Being Good to Others – Part of being well liked and being a good friend is being kind. Demonstrate kindness by saying nice things about and to others whether they are the grocery store employee or your neighbor. Point out when a co-worker does something thoughtful and how this makes you feel about them. If your child is sympathetic or says something complimentary, tell them their actions made you happy.

6. Do Not Force Friendships – Just like adults, children get along better with some peers than others. Teaching children to be kind and to include everyone in activities is important, but they do not have to be best friends with everyone.