Package summary

Middletown Centre for Autism
5 Week Parent and Professional Joint Training Programme
Autism and the Post Primary School
Programme Content:
1. Autism and Social Communication
2. Autism and Anxiety Management
3. Autism and the Promotion of Positive Behaviour
4. Autism and Life Skills, including Relationships and Sexuality Education
5. Autism and Sensory Processing
This five-week programme has been designed for education professionals, parents and family members  who are living with young people, 12-18 years, with autism.

Notes

Courses in package

Autism and Social Communication

Event summary

Date

Start Time

End Time

Dalriada School, Ballymoney Co. Antrim, Ballymoney, Antrim

Booking closes

Autism and Social Communication Social communication is a multi-faceted, complex interaction involving mastery in many of the following, • Understanding non-verbal cues • Command of tone of voice • Command of facial expressions • Understanding different purposes of conversation • Sense of humour • Familiarity with social courtesies • Making the abstract concrete • Visual structure and predictable routines • Activities that provide support for language abilities • Interactions that provide focus on peers and self-awareness • Generalisations Social communication can, therefore, be challenging for many young people with autism. Many want to be socially interactive, make friends and form relationships, be included within the classroom and wider community, but find it difficult because of the many social conventions needed to achieve effective communication. Young people with autism experiencing such difficulties may find it hard to understand the messages being given, such as the meaning we put into our voice, the expressions on our faces, and gestures such as waving, pointing or shrugging Expected Outcomes Participants will have an increased understanding of • How social communication is defined. • The social communication difficulties are experienced by those with autism • Best practices in supporting the young person in the classroom, family home and wider community • The importance of visual information as it remains available long enough to enable the young person to focus on it or return to it as needed to establish memory for the message it is communicating. • Visual tools provide a non-transient foundation for more effective communication. • How to use the strengths of the young person with autism to help him or her communicate effectively.

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Notes

Location

Dalriada School, Ballymoney Co. Antrim

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Edel Quinn

Edel Quinn

Edel Quinn is an Autism Trainer/Advisor in Middletown Centre for Autism. Before taking up this post, Edel worked in the National Health Service Northern Ireland (NHS), developing and delivering home programmes for children and young people with autism, and their families. Edel holds a Psychology degree and an MSc in Autism from Queen’s University, Belfast and a Post Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Edel's main specialisms are in early intervention and delivering training in the implementation of visual strategies and positive behaviour. Edel is a certified TEACCH Trainer with Division TEACCH North Carolina. Edel has developed and delivered anxiety trainings and anxiety research projects to parents and professionals across Ireland. She has delivered at Autism and Mental Health Conference, NAS and the Autism Congress. Edel is an associate lecturer on the Post Graduate Autism Certificate with Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. Edel is working towards accreditation with BACP as a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist.

Autism and Sensory Processing

Event summary

Date

Start Time

End Time

Dalriada School, Ballymoney Co. Antrim, Ballymoney, Antrim

Booking closes

Autism and Sensory Processing Sensory processing generally refers to the ability of an individual to register sensory information, make sense of that information, and to respond to it. This is a complex and fluid process involving all the sensory systems (auditory, gustatory, visual, olfactory, tactile, proprioceptive, and vestibular). When sensory processing is working well, an individual’s responses to sensory information are positive and support interaction. However, sensory processing difficulties are quite prevalent in the profiles of children with autism and can affect every aspect of life and development. This session examines the sensory processing differences frequently associated with autism and will demonstrate how such difficulties impact on learning, leisure activities and choices, social interactions and behaviour at home and in school. Expected Outcomes Participants will: • Develop a basic understanding of some of the sensory processing differences in autism. • Understand how sensory processing differences can affect the young person’s experience in school and at home. • Gain knowledge of strategies, which will assist in meeting the young person’s sensory needs. Course Overview • Sensory processing difficulties and how they can occur in autism. • How sensory processing difficulties can present in school and at home. • How sensory processing difficulties can affect learning and participation in school and at home.

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Notes

Location

Dalriada School, Ballymoney Co. Antrim

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Jill McCanney

Jill McCanney

Jill McCanney is an Autism Trainer/Advisor and Autism Specialist Occupational Therapist in Middletown Centre for Autism. She has Postgraduate qualifications in Sensory Integration, including SIPT registration, and has been a tutor on the Sensory Integration MSc course. She also holds a Master’s in Clinical Research. Jill worked in Special Schools for over seven years prior to commencement of her current post. She has extensive experience in the assessment of sensory motor difficulties and in the development and provision of intervention programmes for students with autism.

Autism and Anxiety Management

Event summary

Date

Start Time

End Time

Dalriada School, Ballymoney Co. Antrim, Ballymoney, Antrim

Booking closes

Autism and Anxiety Management
Post Primary aged students with autism experience anxiety in many situations, with some experiencing significant anxiety difficulties. For many, school is a major source of stress. While many reasons are shared with the full student body, there are some key factors relating to autism that mean stress and anxiety are more likely. Everyone shows their anxiety in individual ways, so the most reliable observations that a student is anxious are going to be made by the people who know the student best. This highlights the need for a collaborative approach between the family and the school.
This session is an introduction to strategies that can be used to alleviate the experience of anxiety in students with autism. This will include an introduction to cognitively based strategies and how to develop student centred strategies to deal with anxiety.
Expected Outcomes
Participants will:
• Understand how the difficulties experienced by those with autism,  including sensory difficulties, can contribute to the development of anxiety.
• Understand how anxiety can escalate and may result in an outburst.
• Develop some simple strategies to prevent the escalation of anxiety.
• Understand the basics of cognitively based management approaches.
Course Overview
• Anxiety triggers and build up.
• “On the spot” anxiety management strategies.
• Developing a “stress kit”.
• Cognitively based approaches and the emotional toolkit

Notes

Location

Dalriada School, Ballymoney Co. Antrim

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Fiona McCaffrey

Fiona McCaffrey

Dr Fiona McCaffrey is Head of Research and Development at Middletown Centre. Fiona has a graduate qualification in Autism, a Master’s in Counselling and is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society. She has worked individually and in-group sessions with older children and young adults with autism and their parents. Fiona has spoken and presented nationally and internationally on autism and the work of Middletown Centre.

Autism and the Promotion of Positive Behaviour

Event summary

Date

Start Time

End Time

Dalriada School, Ballymoney Co. Antrim, Ballymoney, Antrim

Booking closes

Autism and the Promotion of Positive Behaviour
Young people with autism can experience elevated levels of anxiety and stress often resulting in distressed and inappropriate behaviours for a variety of reasons, including interaction with the environment. Responding effectively to behaviour remains a concern for families and professionals living and working with young people with autism. Early intervention and planning are important to ensure that everyone has an array of proactive strategies to defuse rather than escalate a demanding situation. This session will examine how an understanding of autism can influence interactions and thus the behaviour of young people and challenge the term, “Challenging Behaviour”.
Expected Outcomes
Participants will:

  • Understand reasons for what we see as inappropriate behaviour
  • Learn practical strategies for recognising early warning signs and making positive interventions
  • Recognise the “Rumbling, Raging and Recovery” aspects of behaviour and what we as practitioners can do
  • Understand the behaviour and anxiety bank account


Course Overview

  • Clarity of information, including expectations and procedures.
  • Consistency: A healthy, strong home school partnership is vital.
  • Common sense: Remembering that sometimes the most effective is also the most straightforward and easiest.
  • Continuation: Keeping the teaching and the positive supports in place to continue to help the young person to develop effective life skills

 

Notes

Location

Dalriada School, Ballymoney Co. Antrim

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Frances Stewart

Frances Stewart

Frances Stewart has been a teacher for over 30 years working mainly with children with Special Educational Needs but particularly those with Asperger syndrome. Her former position was as the coordinator of the Belfast Education and Library Board Oakwood Autism Advisory Service. She has taught in both Mainstream and Special Schools. Frances worked mainly with Post Primary students who had been referred to the Oakwood Autism Advisory Service. She has helped to establish social support and friendship groups for pupils with autism in both Primary and Post Primary Schools in the Belfast area. Frances has also specialised in devising transition programmes to support children and young people with autism as they have progressed through different stages of their education.

Autism and Life Skills, including Relationships and Sexuality Education

Event summary

Date

Start Time

End Time

Dalriada School, Ballymoney Co. Antrim, Ballymoney, Antrim

Booking closes

Autism and Life Skills, including Relationships and Sexuality Education
Life skills are regarded as independent living skills or daily living skills.  It is also important to include executive function or thinking skills such as organising, planning, prioritising and decision making.
Categories of life skills include: 
•    Self-advocacy
•    Personal finance
•    Transport and community involvement
•    Leisure and recreation opportunities and activities
•    Home living skills
•    Career path and employment
Relationships and Sexuality Education, including friendships
Effective teaching of issues around life skills and sexuality education involves close collaboration between schools and parents to ensure messages are clear for the students with autism. This session will examine the impact of adolescence on young people with autism and examine the broad definition of life skills, within the contexts of work, leisure and personal care, and how the core difficulties, associated with autism, may directly affect the development of life skills.  Participants will be shown how to incorporate behavioural interventions with visual strategies to help teenagers with autism cope with some of the typical issues of adolescence and the acquisition of life skills. It will also focus on the delivery of relationships and sexuality education for students with autism
Expected Outcomes
Participants will
•    Have a greater understanding of how the core difficulties associated with autism affect the development of life skills in work, leisure and personal care.
•    Learn and develop methods to assess and teach life skills in the School and family environment.
•    Be more able to facilitate students to achieve greater independence in relevant daily activities such as play, work tasks, personal hygiene, toileting and organisational skills.
•    Have an increased understanding of the opportunities available to improve and develop students’ life skills within the school and home environment.
•    Understand the impact of adolescence on young people with autism.
•    Learn some strategies involving behavioural and visual strategies that will provide supports to adolescents with autism.
•    Provide strategies for the delivery of sex and relationships education to students with autism

Notes

Location

Dalriada School, Ballymoney Co. Antrim

Get Directions
Majella Nugent

Majella Nugent

Majella Nugent is an Autism Trainer/Advisor in Middletown Centre for Autism. Majella has experience teaching and supporting children and young people with autism in schools. Majella’s experiences include Pre-school, Mainstream Primary and Post-Primary and Special Schools across Ireland. Majella also has experience teaching autistic students in Further Education. She has lectured and assessed modules on the Early Childhood Foundation Degree and the Level Three Autism qualification, as professional development for parents and professionals. Majella’s training specialism is Relationship and Sexuality Education, Transitions and Special Education Needs. Majella has contributed to the development of the curriculum as a Professional Associate with CCEA for learners with MLD and co-ordinated specialist trainings including Transition to Higher Education (Ulster University and Trinity College Dublin), 16+ Education and Employment, and Sibling trainings. Majella is an Associate Lecturer on the Post Graduate Certificate with Mary Immaculate College Limerick.