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Autism and Communication

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Limerick Educate Together Secondary School, North Circular Road, Limerick

Booking closes

Autism and Communication
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  
Communication can, therefore, be challenging for many autistic young people. 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 autistic people 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.

Participants will have an increased understanding of
•    How communication is defined. 
•   Communication difficulties 
•    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 autistic young person to help him or her communicate effectively.
 

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Location

Limerick Educate Together Secondary School

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Dee Hogan

Dee Hogan

Dee Hogan is an Autism Trainer/Advisor in Middletown Centre for Autism. Dee has extensive experience teaching and supporting autistic children and young people. Her experiences include Pre-school, Early Intervention ASD Classes,S Primary ASD Classes, Mainstream Primary and Special Schools. She has written, lectured and assessed modules on the Special Needs Assistant and Level Four Autism qualification, as professional development for parents and professionals. Dee has also worked as a part time Lecturer with University College Cork designing and delivering the Diploma in Autism Studies as well as providing training for teachers, third level students, parents and professionals. Dee’s training specialism is Promoting Positive Behaviour, Early Intervention, Classroom Strategies, and Transitions. Dee holds a MEd in Special Education Autism from the University of Birmingham.

Autism and Sensory Processing

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End Time

Limerick Educate Together Secondary School, North Circular Road, Limerick

Booking closes

Autism and Sensory Processing
Sensory processing refers to the ability of a student 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 young person can engage in daily functional activities and social interaction. Sensory processing differences are prevalent in autistic young people and can affect every aspect of life and development.
This session examines the sensory processing differences and will demonstrate how such differences impact on learning, leisure activities and choices, social interactions, and behaviour in school. 
Participants will: 
•    Develop a basic understanding of some of the sensory processing differences. 
•    Understand how sensory processing differences can affect the young person’s experience in school. 
•    Gain knowledge of strategies, which will assist in meeting the young person’s sensory needs. 

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Notes

Location

Limerick Educate Together Secondary School

Get Directions
Dee Hogan

Dee Hogan

Dee Hogan is an Autism Trainer/Advisor in Middletown Centre for Autism. Dee has extensive experience teaching and supporting autistic children and young people. Her experiences include Pre-school, Early Intervention ASD Classes,S Primary ASD Classes, Mainstream Primary and Special Schools. She has written, lectured and assessed modules on the Special Needs Assistant and Level Four Autism qualification, as professional development for parents and professionals. Dee has also worked as a part time Lecturer with University College Cork designing and delivering the Diploma in Autism Studies as well as providing training for teachers, third level students, parents and professionals. Dee’s training specialism is Promoting Positive Behaviour, Early Intervention, Classroom Strategies, and Transitions. Dee holds a MEd in Special Education Autism from the University of Birmingham.

Autism and Anxiety Management

Event summary

Date

Start Time

End Time

Limerick Educate Together Secondary School, North Circular Road, Limerick

Booking closes

Autism and Anxiety Management
Post Primary aged autistic students experience anxiety in many situations, with some experiencing significant anxiety difficulties. 
This session is an introduction to strategies that can be used to alleviate the experience of anxiety in autistic students. This will include an introduction to cognitively based strategies and how to develop student centred strategies to deal with anxiety.
This will include:
•    An introduction to cognitively based strategies 
•    How to develop student centred strategies to deal with anxiety.
Participants will: 
•    Understand how the difficulties experienced by autistic students, including sensory difficulties, can contribute to the development of anxiety.
•    Understand how anxiety can escalate and may result in an emotional stress response.
•    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

Limerick Educate Together Secondary School

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Joan McDonald

Joan McDonald

Joan is a second level science teacher working independently as Posautive. Following many years teaching in mainstream classrooms, Joan worked on individual planning in centres for adults with learning disabilities and those with mental health struggles. She, then, became one of the first SENOs in Ireland, observing and providing school supports for students with atypical needs across eighty rural schools. While studying for an M.Ed. in Autism, Joan was taught by and met a variety of autistic adults, which ultimately led to her own autism assessment. Prior to meeting such a diverse range of autistic people, Joan would only have recognised autism in people with profound and complex support needs. Joan is passionate about using students’ interests to support autistic learners of all levels of cognitive ability to access education and contented lives. She currently works on a variety of projects with agencies such as Middletown Centre for Autism, Dublin City University, Nua Healthcare, Fingal Libraries. In recent years, creating and delivering the Posauteen and Posaudult courses to help autistic people understand and advocate for themselves has been a major focus of Joan’s time.

Autism and Life Skills, including Relationships and Sexuality Education

Event summary

Date

Start Time

End Time

Limerick Educate Together Secondary School, North Circular Road, Limerick

Booking closes

Autism and Life Skills including Relationships and Sexuality Education  
Life skills are the skills needed daily for independent functioning. Often a young autistic people need explicit modelling and teaching of these skills to develop them as they grow and progress through life. Whilst life skills involve practical skills, it is important to include executive function and thinking skills in the list. 
This session will explore practical strategies to support the development of daily living skills including understanding of the changes that occur to the body during the teenage years. Effective teaching of life skills, including relationship and sexuality education, involves close partnership and collaboration between school and parents/carers to ensure teaching is clear and consistent between settings for the autistic teenager. 
Participants will:
Have a greater understanding of how autism impacts on the development of life skills during the teenage years. 
•    Explore methods effective in assessing and teaching life skills to autistic teenagers in the school and home environment.
•    Explore strategies that are effective in supporting autistic teenagers develop life skills including relationship and sexuality skills. 
•    Have increased understanding of how to optimise opportunities to improve and develop autistic teenagers’ life skills within the school and home environments.
Overview:
•    What are life skills. 
•    How does autism affect the development of these skills for autistic teenagers?
•    Explore categories of life skills, including the changes that occur to the body during the teenage years. 
•    Explore some resources effective for developing and delivering life skills including relationship and sexuality education (RSE) to autistic teenagers. 
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 autistic students. This session will examine the impact of adolescence on young autistic people and examine the broad definition of life skills, within the contexts of work, leisure, and personal care, and how difficulties may directly affect the development of life skills. Participants will be shown how to incorporate behavioural interventions with visual strategies to help autistic teenagers 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 autistic students.    
Participants will:
•    Have a greater understanding of how difficulties may 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 autistic students.
•    Learn some strategies involving behavioural and visual strategies that will provide supports to autistic adolescents.
•    Provide strategies for the delivery of sex and relationships education to autistic students.

Notes

Location

Limerick Educate Together Secondary School

Get Directions
Joan McDonald

Joan McDonald

Joan is a second level science teacher working independently as Posautive. Following many years teaching in mainstream classrooms, Joan worked on individual planning in centres for adults with learning disabilities and those with mental health struggles. She, then, became one of the first SENOs in Ireland, observing and providing school supports for students with atypical needs across eighty rural schools. While studying for an M.Ed. in Autism, Joan was taught by and met a variety of autistic adults, which ultimately led to her own autism assessment. Prior to meeting such a diverse range of autistic people, Joan would only have recognised autism in people with profound and complex support needs. Joan is passionate about using students’ interests to support autistic learners of all levels of cognitive ability to access education and contented lives. She currently works on a variety of projects with agencies such as Middletown Centre for Autism, Dublin City University, Nua Healthcare, Fingal Libraries. In recent years, creating and delivering the Posauteen and Posaudult courses to help autistic people understand and advocate for themselves has been a major focus of Joan’s time.