Package summary

Middletown Centre for Autism
5 Week Parent and Professional Training Programme
Autism and the Primary School
Programme Content:

1. Autism and Social Communication
2. Autism, Learning Style and the Impact of Visual Teaching Methods
3. Autism and Sensory Processing
4. Autism and Anxiety Management
5.  Autism and the Promotion of Positive Behaviour

This five-week programme has been designed for parents, family members and education professionals living and working with autistic children in a Primary School setting
 

Notes

Courses in package

Autism, Learning Styles and Visual Teaching Methods

Event summary

Date

Start Time

End Time

Online Webinars, Middletown, Armagh

Booking closes

Autism, Learning Style, and the Impact of Visual Teaching Methods
Visual strategies are widely used when working and living with autistic children and young people, as they:

• Complement the learning style of many autistic children, young people and adults
• Can be introduced alongside other intervention strategies. 
• Are adaptable, portable and can be used in most situations. 

The use of visual strategies can have a notable impact on how an autistic child experiences family, community, and school life, as they help to clarify expectations and make abstract concepts more concrete. Visual strategies support children as they develop effective communication, appropriate social interaction, and positive behaviour skills, as well as accessing the curriculum.
This session will cover why visual teaching methods work. Professionals and parents will become more familiar with how their input will reflect a sound evidence base and be more able to adapt the school or home environment and individualised tasks to meet the needs of the child, in order, to enhance learning, play or leisure skills and social interactions. 

Expected Outcomes

• Understand the importance of visual teaching methods.
• Understand how visuals will improve the learning of the child and his or her experiences 
• Develop some visual strategies that can be used to support the child
• Why visuals work for autistic children.
• Using visuals in school or the family home
• How to develop visuals and implement visual strategies.
 

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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.

Autism and Social Communication

Event summary

Date

Start Time

End Time

Online Webinars, Middletown, Armagh

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. 

Therefore, social communication can be challenging for many autistic children.
Many wish 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.
Autistic children, experiencing such difficulties, may find it hard to understand the messages being given, such as the meaning others put into their voice, the expressions on their faces, and gestures such as waving, pointing or shrugging

Expected Outcomes

Participants will have an increased understanding of

•    How social communication is defined. 
•    Social communication difficulties 
•    Best practices in supporting the child in the classroom, family home and wider community.
•    The importance of visual information as it remains available long enough to enable the child 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 autistic child to help him or her communicate effectively.
 

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Notes

Location

Online Webinars

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Eleanor McStay-Fearon

Eleanor McStay-Fearon

Eleanor McStay-Fearon is a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist at Middletown Centre for Autism. Eleanor works as part of the Learning Support and Assessment Service, working directly with children with autism across school and home. Prior to this, she worked in Essex, providing assessment and intervention to children and young people with learning disabilities and associated needs such as autism and behaviours of concern. She has worked closely with parents, teachers and health professionals to support the implementation of communication, sensory and behaviour management programmes across home and school environments. She has experience in supporting children and young people with autism and mental health needs in Glasgow, as member of a multi-disciplinary Learning Disability Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team. Eleanor holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Sensory Integration and is a registered Sensory Integration Practitioner

Autism and Anxiety Management

Event summary

Date

Start Time

End Time

Online Webinars, Middletown, Armagh

Booking closes

Autism and Anxiety Management

Primary aged autistic children may experience anxiety in many situations, with some experiencing significant anxiety difficulties. For many, school is a major source of stress. 

This session is an introduction to strategies that can be used to alleviate the experience of anxiety for autistic children. 
This will include:
•    An introduction to cognitively based strategies 
•    How to develop child centred strategies to deal with anxiety.

Expected Outcomes
Participants will: 

•    Understand how the difficulties experienced by autistic children, 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
 

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Notes

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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

Online Webinars, Middletown, Armagh

Booking closes

Autism and Sensory Processing

Sensory processing refers to the ability of a child to register, interpret and respond to sensory information. This is a complex process involving all the sensory systems, auditory, gustatory, visual, olfactory, tactile, proprioceptive, vestibular, and interoception. When sensory processing is working well, a child can engage in daily functional activities and social interaction. Sensory processing differences are prevalent in autistic children and can affect every aspect of life and development.

This session examines the sensory processing differences experienced by many autistic children and will demonstrate how such differences impact on learning, play, social interactions, and behaviour for the primary school aged child.

Expected Outcomes

Participants will: 
•    Develop an understanding of the sensory processing differences.
•    Understand how sensory processing differences can affect the child’s experience at school.
•    Understand how sensory processing differences can influence the child’s participation in daily activities.
•    Develop an understanding of general intervention strategies to accommodate sensory processing differences in daily activities at school and beyond.
•    How sensory processing differences can present in an autistic child.
•    Intervention strategies to address sensory processing differences in school or the family home.

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Jill Mc Canney

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 autistic students.

Autism and the Promotion of Positive Behaviour

Event summary

Date

Start Time

End Time

Online Webinars, Middletown, Armagh

Booking closes

Autism and the Promotion of Positive Behaviour

Autistic children can experience elevated levels of anxiety and stress often resulting in distressed behaviours. This session will examine how an understanding of autism can influence interactions and thus the behaviour of children and challenge the term, “Challenging Behaviour.”

Expected Outcomes

Participants will: 
•    Understand reasons for what we see as inappropriate behaviour, is it a behaviour of concern?
•    Learn practical strategies for recognising early warning signs and making positive interventions.
•    Recognise the “Rumbling, Raging and Recovery” aspects of behaviour. 
•    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 child to develop effective life skills
 

Notes

Location

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Frances O'Neill

Frances O'Neill

Frances O’Neill is an Autism Trainer/Advisor in Middletown Centre for Autism. Frances has worked in Special, Post Primary and Further Education settings. She holds Post Graduate Certificates and Diplomas in Education and an MSc in Autism.