Package summary

Middletown Centre for Autism.
Five-Week Joint Parent and Professional Training Programme.
Children and Young People with Autism and Learning Difficulties. 
Programme Content: 
1. Autism and Learning Difficulties, Communication and Motivation. 
2. Autism and Learning Difficulties, Relationships and Sexuality Education.  
3. Autism and Learning Difficulties, Anxiety and Promotion of Positive Behaviour.
4. Autism, Learning Difficulties and Sensory Processing. 
5. Autism and Learning Difficulties, Developing Social and Leisure Activities.
Course Description: 
This five-week programme has been designed for parents, family members, teachers and other education professionals who are living and working with autistic children and young people in a Special School. 
 

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Courses in package

Autism and the Special School, Communication and Motivation

Event summary

Date

Start Time

End Time

Online Webinars, Middletown, Armagh

Booking closes

Autism, Communication and Motivation for Students in the Special School
For children and young people who have autism and learning difficulties, the difficulties relating to communication can often be magnified. Many autistic children and young people have significant difficulties with speaking, language and communication.
This session will examine why students experience difficulty not only with communication but also the motivation to communicate thus impinging on them becoming socially active partners. Understanding communication is as difficult as using language to express needs, wants or offer commentary. Autistic students are more likely to be successful communicators in environments that are designed to encourage and support their efforts. In order for the student to initiate effective communication, two conditions should be met.
1. The student must see a reason to communicate (Why). 
This is encouraged by the use of motivating materials and activities combined with creating situations in which he or she must communicate to make something happen. 
2. The student must have a means to communicate (How). 
The student may need to be taught the communicative behaviour needed, and visual supports for such communication will need to be available.
Expected Outcomes
Participants will: 
• Understand the various modes of communication used by students with learning difficulties.
• Recognise that visual supports, as tools of communication with and for students, are critically important.
• Understand the need to differentiate the visual support to meet specific needs in definite areas thus helping the student to understand you and develop his or her expressive means.
• Understand how to use engagement as the starting point for communication.
• Recognise various forms of communication and use of a variety of communicative tools.
• Gain ideas for making meaningful communications with the student, even those who are largely non-verbal.
• Look at the importance of motivation to learning and life.
• Gain practical strategies and ideas for maximising the student’s motivation to learn and participate in social life.
Course Overview 
• A look at verbal and non-verbal methods of communication.
• Looking at novel approaches to communication such as intensive interaction and using technology to promote communication.
• What is motivation and why is it important?
• How do we motivate students with autism and learning difficulties? 
• Ideas for promoting greater engagement and motivation to participate in the wider social world.

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Location

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Carolyn Frazer

Carolyn Frazer

Carolyn Frazer is an Autism Intervention Specialist in Middletown Centre for Autism, formerly employed in Ashfield Girls High School, Belfast, where she supported children and young people with autism to access the curriculum. She coordinated and supported the delivery of social skills groups designed to develop the social and communication skills of pupils with autism within Post Primary mainstream education. She qualified in Speech and Language Therapy and has a Master’s degree in Psychology.

Autism and the Special School, Sensory Processing

Event summary

Date

Start Time

End Time

Online Webinars, Middletown, Armagh

Booking closes

Autism and the Special School, Sensory Processing 
Many autistic children and young people have differences in how they process the sensory stimuli in the world around them. A child or young person who presents with additional learning needs may experience more challenges with how they perceive and respond to sensory input. This course is designed to look specifically at the sensory processing needs of individuals who have autism and other complex learning needs, such as communication difficulties, physical difficulties or sensory differences, attention difficulties and medical needs
Expected Outcomes
Participants will: 
• Gain an understanding of the concept of sensory processing and how this relates to participation in daily activities.
• Understand how sensory processing differences can affect the child or young person at home, in school and in other settings.
• Understand the importance of identifying the potential sensory function of a behaviour.
• Gain knowledge about intervention strategies, which can address the sensory processing needs of the children and young people with additional and complex learning needs at home, in school and in other settings.
Overview: 
• Introduction to sensory processing.
• The sensory processing differences, which may be experienced by a child or young with additional and complex learning needs.
• The impact of these sensory processing differences on participation in daily activities
• Identifying the sensory functions of some behaviours.
• Strategies to support sensory processing needs of the child or young person with additional and complex learning needs.

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Location

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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 students with autism.

Autism and the Special School, Developing Social and Leisure Activities

Event summary

Date

Start Time

End Time

Online Webinars, Middletown, Armagh

Booking closes

Autism and the Special School, Developing Social and Leisure Activities.
This course looks at developing play, social and leisure skills for autistic children and young people and learning difficulties. It looks at how to enable children and young people to make active choices in how they spend their free time, at the specific teaching strategies to enable understanding of the social rules of recreational activities and at involving students with learning difficulties the wider learning community. This can range from something as simple as being able to watch a DVD for ten minutes while a parent makes a phone call, a teacher works with another student, to more complex skills like turn taking, sharing, waiting, making positive choices, and communicating personal preferences.
Expected Outcomes
Participants will: 
• Gain an understanding of the importance of developing social and leisure skills for independence, personal well-being and for extra-curricular life.
• Identify strategies to promote choice making, access to leisure facilities in the community, and teaching points for practicing the small steps towards the over-arching skills required to engage in social and leisure activities.
Overview: 
• What do we mean by social and leisure choices? Why are they important?
• How can we identify student preferences and allow for meaningful communication of these?
• What strategies can we use to teach children and young people with learning difficulties how to engage in social and leisure activities appropriately, and with increasing independence?

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Location

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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 the Special School, Relationships and Sexuality Education

Event summary

Date

Start Time

End Time

Online Webinars, Middletown, Armagh

Booking closes

Autism and the Special School, Relationships and Sexuality Education.  
This session will examine the impact of adolescence on autistic young people with learning difficulties. Participants will learn how to incorporate behavioural interventions with visual strategies to help teenagers cope with some of the typical issues of adolescence, particularly, if they do not have verbal language or reading skills. The training will provide practical strategies for developing an appropriate and accessible Relationships and Sexuality Education curriculum for students with learning difficulties.
Expected Outcomes
Participants will: 
• Understand the impact of adolescence on young people with learning difficulties.
• Learn some strategies involving behavioural and visual strategies that will provide supports to adolescents, even those using pre-verbal communication means and limited literacy skills.
• Provide strategies for the delivery of sex and relationships education, in the family home and in school.
Overview: 
• Adolescence, learning difficulties and autism, how does adolescence affect the student ?
• How to prepare students for physical changes. 
• Some strategies for developing sex and relationships education as a core element of the curriculum.

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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 the Special School, Anxiety Management and the Promotion of Positive Behaviour

Event summary

Date

Start Time

End Time

Online Webinars, Middletown, Armagh

Booking closes

Autism and the Special School, Anxiety Management and the Promotion of Positive Behaviour
Autistic students experience anxiety in many situations, with some experiencing significant anxiety difficulties. For many, school is a major source of stress and 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 shows the importance of working closely not only within the family structure, but also with the school staff.
This session is an introduction to strategies that can be used to alleviate the experience of anxiety. 
This will include 
• An introduction to cognitively based strategies 
• How to develop student centred strategies to deal with anxiety.
Expected Outcomes
Participants will: 
• Understand how the difficulties experienced, 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

Online Webinars

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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.