National Teaching Assistants’ Day 16 September 2020 Middletown Centre for Autism would like to extend its recognition to National Teaching Assistants' Day which celebrates the valuable contribution that Classroom Assistants make to the education and support of school children across the UK. As a Centre that promotes the education of children and young people with autism, we would like to acknowledge the dedicated work of all Classroom Assistants (CA’s) and Special Needs Assistants (SNA’s) across the island of Ireland. Their assistance within the classroom to support the academic, social and emotional needs of autistic students is instrumental to each young person’s personal development. In 2010, the Centre interviewed Ruth Fidler on the topic of Managing Anxiety in the Classroom, an area of support which many CA’s and SNA’s provide to autistic students within the school setting. At the time of the interview, Ruth was an assistant Head Teacher at Sutherland House School where she has worked for 18 years supporting pupils across the autism spectrum, aged 3 – 19. Ruth had responsibility for whole school developments, with a particular focus on interaction and social and emotional well-being.
To read the advice Ruth shared with the Centre on observable signs that indicate a child or young person is experiencing anxiety, environmental supports, important things that educational professionals can do to help prevent an anxiety provoking situation and how to work with an anxious person to alleviate their anxiety (Bulletin 3 Managing Anxiety in the Classroom)