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Middletown Centre for Autism
5 Week Parent Training Programme
Autism and the Post Primary School
Programme Content:
1. Autism and the Transition to Adulthood
2. Autism and Anxiety Management
3. Autism and Sensory Processing
4. Autism, Relationships and Sexuality Education
5. Autism and the Promotion of Positive Behaviour
This five-week programme has been designed for parents and family members living with Post Primary aged young people with autism 
The Centre also provides a similar five-week course for Education Professionals. 
Please check the Centre’s website for details. www.middletownautism.com
 

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Autism and the Transition to Adulthood

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St Laurence College, Loughlinstown, Dublin

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St Laurence College

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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 & 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 Anxiety Management

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St Laurence College, Loughlinstown, Dublin

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Autism and Anxiety Management
Primary aged children 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 typically developing children, 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 child is anxious are going to be made by the people who know the child best. This shows the importance of working closely not only within a school staff team, but also with the families of children with autism.

This session is an introduction to strategies that can be used to alleviate the experience of anxiety in children with autism. This will include an introduction to cognitively based strategies and how to develop child centred strategies to deal with anxiety. This session is most suitable for teachers and resource teachers who work with children with autism who already have a good understanding of autism.
Expected Outcomes
Participants will:
• Understand how the core impairments of 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.
 

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St Laurence College

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Dee Hogan

Dee Hogan

Dee Hogan is an Autism Intervention Specialist in Middletown Centre for Autism. Her background is in teaching children with special educational needs, with 15 years’ experience teaching in an Autism Unit and Early Intervention Class within a Mainstream Primary School. Dee has also worked as a part time Lecturer with University College Cork delivering Diploma in Autism Studies as well as providing training for teachers, third level students, parents and professionals. Dee holds a MEd in Special Education (autism, children) from the University of Birmingham.

Autism, Relationships and Sexuality Education

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St Laurence College, Loughlinstown, Dublin

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Autism, Relationships and Sexuality Education
Effective teaching of issues around sexuality 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. 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. The training will provide practical strategies that educational professionals may use to support teenagers with autism. It will also focus on the delivery of relationships and sexuality education for students with autism, including:
• Sense of self and self-determination – for example, saying “yes” and “no” and this being accepted.
• Respect for and understanding of others – for example, understanding emotions and developing a level of empathy.
• Friendships and social contacts, including power in relationships, being assertive, public and private behaviours and using public toilets safely.
• Physiological knowledge.
• Intimate or sexual relationships.
Expected Outcomes
Participants will:
• 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.
Course Overview / Content 
• Adolescence and autism, how does adolescence affect the student with autism?
• How to prepare students for physical changes. 
• Some strategies for developing sex and relationships education.

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Location

St Laurence College

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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 & 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 Sensory Processing

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St Laurence College, Loughlinstown, Dublin

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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 difficulties frequently associated with autism and will demonstrate how such difficulties impact on learning, play, social interactions and behaviour in the Primary School environment.
Expected Outcomes
Participants will:
• Develop a basic understanding of the sensory difficulties in autism.
• Understand how sensory difficulties can affect the child’s experience in school and in the classroom.
• Understand how sensory difficulties can influence the child’s participation in the classroom.
• Develop some simple strategies to alleviate sensory difficulties.
Course Overview / Content 
• Sensory issues in autism.
• How sensory issues can present in a child with autism.
• How sensory difficulties can affect the child’s experience in school and in the classroom.
• Some strategies that can be individualised.
 

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St Laurence College

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Ano

Trainer to be announced at a later date

Autism and the Promotion of Positive Behaviour

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St Laurence College, Loughlinstown, Dublin

Booking closes

Autism and the Promotion of Positive Behaviour
Children and young people with autism can experience elevated levels of anxiety and stress often resulting in distressed behaviours. Responding effectively to behaviour remains a concern for professionals working within education. Early intervention and planning is important to ensure that children have an array of proactive strategies to defuse rather than escalate a demanding situation. 

This session will examine how the core features of autism can influence the behaviour of children. Finding the function of behaviour will be highlighted as the starting point of any Behaviour Support Plan.
Expected Outcomes
Participants will:
• Understand how the core features of autism can influence behaviour.
• Understand the importance of identifying the function of a behaviour and developing a basic Behaviour Support Plan.
• Learn practical strategies for recognising early warning signs and making positive interventions, reducing potential triggers.
• Anxiety and its impact on behaviour.
Course Overview / Content 
How the core features can affect behaviour.
Introduction to Behaviour Support Plans recognising the benefits of:
• 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 or young person to develop effective habits and more adaptive skills.
 

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St Laurence College

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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.