Joe White works with children with autism and communication difficulties at Stone Bay School in Kent, supporting them to manage the frustration that leads to sometimes very challenging behaviour. In this role, both he and the children are supported by a team of experienced and very capable learning support assistants. As anyone who has worked with children who have have autism knows, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to their educational needs. Joe has a small class of seven children who each demand a completely individualised approach to enable them to succeed in a classroom environment.
My first use of the Plickers assessment app for SEN purposes was met with mixed results. Staff and students were intrigued, but too much support was required for the students to use the cards that are provided on the website in a meaningful way. The concept of holding the card up a certain way to ensure a letter was the right way round was not clear to most. The abstraction between an answer they knew and the letter depicted on the card is a concept that presents difficulties for most of my students.
In my NQT year I attended a three day TEACCH autism course. This covered the TEACCH approach research and values with both the theoretical and practical examples of their structured teach. The part I was most interested in was how to implement a highly-structured visual approach for individuals and groups. Now as all teachers know, you cannot take an approach that works in one school and shoehorn it into another setting, but the good thing was that we didn't have to do this; everything could and should be personalised within the framework.
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