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General Training About Autistic Spectrum Disorders


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I manage a large city centre nursery. we have a child who currently attends 3 mornings a week, and is going through the assessment process for Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

His mother hopes for him to come to us full time in September (8.30am til 5pm), five days per week. I am trying to access training for the staff who will be working in the same room as him, so that they have a good understanding of the difficulties involved. This will hopefully mean they feel more supported.

I will also try to access therapy support from various departments at the hospital, but this becomes hard when you're an Early Years setting, as they seem to be hesitant to commit funds too early on.

 

Does anyone have any good ideas? Have you heard of any training? Does anyone find the same frustrating delay in commiting resources to Early Years children? :o

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Hi Anna -

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for your very interesting post! :D

 

How old will your child be in September?

 

Do you get any funding for him at the moment for one-to-one care?

 

We have a little boy with ASD in our nursery at the moment, so I'm sure Helen will have plenty to say on all aspects - particularly committing resources to Early Years children!

 

Regards, Steve.

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Hi Steve, thanks for your reply.

 

The child will be three in July. Luckily we run one over-staffed in the room, so I already have available staff to support him, as much as is within our expertise.

 

We have a Special Needs Fund, which is a registered charity, that would help with funding. :D

 

I heard today from the NAS, who will do an in-house training day that sounds good. :)

 

My main drive at the moment is to try and get some commitment from 'Health' to provide necessary therapy support to the setting and the child now ... rather than the term before they go to school...

 

Am I too cynical? :o

 

I'd be interested to hear Helen's views

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Hi Anna,

I teach chldren with special needs...ASD being one of the many. I went on a TEACHH training course many years ago which is great for organisation and understanding how some of these children function.

 

It is so important to remeber thpough, that one approach is not necessarily guaranteed to work with every ASD child. Other factors impinge.

 

How Autistic is he? Can he speak/communicate?

 

Symbols are very useful for the children (all benefit) to establish a timetable on a daily basis, though I would split it into morning and afternoon or even before snack, before dinner and after dinner. Boardmaker is an excellent computer program for this and really easy to use.

 

Allowing ASD children to indulge in their enthsiasms can also be god as a reward system and motivation too.

 

I could go on and on....(I'm sure Helen will confirm this!!!), but basically, get on a TEACHH course and select the bits that you think will be appropriate for your set up and child.

 

Hope this helps

Kate :D

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Hi Anna,

I could talk for hours on this one.......... :o

Our first step is to contact the Learning Support Service, which is a service provided by teachers with an expertise in special needs. They assess the child, both at home and in the setting, and, depending on their decision, provide funding of up to £12.06 per session to help with ancillary support. They don't provide anyone, and it's up to us to advertise, interview and recruit. (They do, however supply a support teacher who comes in a few times over the year to give advice/set new targets.)

Clearly, nobody is going to work in our nursery 1-1 with an SEN child for £12.06, so we are constantly trying to find ways to make up the difference.

The EYDCP offered one-off £500 bursaries to help, and on our second application, we were awarded it, so that went in the ancillary pot too!

Finally, we made an arrangement with the child's parents that if they had the free "core" NEG-assisted place, they would make up the difference to pay for an ancillary for their child for the full four hours. It's not a great situation, but it was our only way to keep him for the four hour session, which is what the parents wanted. (One advisory teacher told me that the shortfall between an ancillary's wages and the £12.06 was "my fault because you shouldn't open for four hours"!!!!!!!!! xD )

In terms of training, our EYDCP has just appointed three Inclusion Coordinators who will be working to make access to early years education easier for SEN children, among others.

Finally, we started off the statementing process last year, and our little boy was statemented in March. We are really pleased that it was completed before he starts school, as we can now have several meetings with his new teacher and the school SENCO to discuss his statement and future needs. We did meet opposition (same person as before!) who saw no reason to start it off so early, but I disputed that and did it anyway. I'm convinced it was the right decision; we had some truly brilliant specialists involved; speech and language therapists, paediatricians, educational psychologists and health visitors, and I learned a great deal from all of them.

Hope this helps; I'll answer any other questions you may have :)

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By the way -

For anybody who knows parents who have ASD children, there's a great little forum for parents. It's new and has relatively few members at the moment, but very supportive, and with a wonderful knack for turning frustration into humour and delight - only direct experience with autistic children can let you know how wonderful they can be!

 

You can find it here. These sorts of communities depend on active participation, so the more parents who join in, the better it will get! :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have just been tracking the mails on ASD and thought it worth mentining a training course on a sound stimulation programme called The Listening Program. I work with the programme with ASD children amongst others with learning difficulties and it will often help speech development, emotional stability, eye contact etc in such children.

 

The next 2 day training course to use the programme is in York in October 2003. You can find more information on www advancedbrain.com If you would like any info please let me know at alan2@blueyonder.co.uk as we are arranging for the trainers to come over from the US for it.

 

Alan

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi

I have worked with children on the autistic spectrum for many years. They have been successfully included in the nursery settings. In Birmingham we are able to access training through the Visiting Teacher Service and the NHS, which many staff have found useful.

We find the best way forward is to work with the parents (they know their child best!) and with the other professionals who may be involved e.g. speech therapists, educational psychologists, child development centre e.t.c.

Sue Z :o

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  • 3 weeks later...

Have you approached your Early Years team to see if funding is available for courses, or specialist teams within the LEA. Try local support groups, other parents for training and support

Lesley

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