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Middletown Centre for Autism
5 Week 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 teachers and other education professionals who are working with children with autism in the Primary School environment. 
The Centre also provides a similar 5-week course for parents. 
Please check the Centre’s website for details. www.middletownautism.com 
 

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Autism and Social Communication

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County Wexford Education Centre, Bellefield, Enniscorthy,, Wexford

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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 children 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.

Children 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 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 child with autism to help him or her communicate effectively

Notes

Location

County Wexford Education Centre

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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 children and young people with autism. 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, Learning Styles and the Impact of Visual Teaching Methods

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End Time

County Wexford Education Centre, Bellefield, Enniscorthy,, Wexford

Booking closes

Autism, Learning Style and the Impact of Visual Teaching Methods

Visual strategies are widely used when working and living with children and young people with autism as they:

•             Complement the learning style of many with autism.

•             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 a child with autism experiences school 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 will become more familiar with how their input will reflect a sound evidence base and be more able to adapt the school environment and individualised tasks to meet the needs of the child, in order, to enhance learning, play or leisure skills and social interactions. These methods may help professionals provide consistent teaching methods.

Expected Outcomes

Participants will:

•             Understand the importance of visual teaching methods in autism.

•             Understand how visuals will improve the learning of the child and their experience in the classroom and school.

•             Develop some visual strategies that can be used to support pupils

Course Overview

•             Why visuals work for children with autism.

•             Using visuals in the classroom.

•             How to develop visuals and implement visual strategies.

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Notes

Location

County Wexford Education Centre

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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.

Autism and Anxiety Management

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County Wexford Education Centre, Bellefield, Enniscorthy,, Wexford

Booking closes

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 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 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.

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

County Wexford Education Centre

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Tara Vernon

Tara Vernon

Tara Vernon is an Autism Trainer/Advisor with Middletown Centre for Autism. Prior to this Tara has worked across home, school and external agency settings to provide autism specific specialist teaching, training, and behavioural support in these environments. Tara has also worked as a Class Teacher for nine years in an Applied Behaviour Analysis school for children with autism and complex needs. Tara holds a degree in Psychology and is a CABAS board certified Teacher in Applied Behaviour Analysis. She is a member of both the Psychological Society of Ireland and the Teaching Council of Ireland and is a certified Sleep Counsellor.

Autism and the Promotion of Positive Behaviour

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Date

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End Time

County Wexford Education Centre, Bellefield, Enniscorthy,, Wexford

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Autism and the Promotion of Positive Behaviour

Children with autism can experience elevated levels of anxiety and stress often resulting in distressed and inappropriate behaviours. Responding effectively to behaviour remains a concern for professionals working with children with autism. Early intervention and planning are important to ensure that everyone has an array of proactive strategies designed 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 children and challenge the term, “Challenging Behaviour”.

Expected Outcomes

Education professionals 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 education professionals 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 child to develop effective life skills

Notes

Location

County Wexford Education Centre

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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.

Autism and Sensory Processing

Event summary

Date

Start Time

End Time

County Wexford Education Centre, Bellefield, Enniscorthy,, Wexford

Booking closes

Autism and Primary School Programme Professionals

Autism and Sensory Processing

Sensory processing refers to the ability of an individual 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, an individual can engage in daily functional activities and social interaction. Sensory processing differences are prevalent in 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 differences impact on learning, play, social interactions and behaviour in the Primary School environment.

Expected Outcomes

Participants will:

• Develop a basic understanding of the sensory processing differences in autism.

• Understand how sensory processing differences can affect the child’s experience in school.

• Understand how sensory processing differences can influence the child’s participation in the classroom.

• Develop an understanding of general intervention strategies to accommodate sensory processing differences in school.

Course Overview

• Sensory processing differences in autism.

• How sensory processing differences can present in a child with autism.

• How sensory processing differences can affect the child’s experience in school.

• Intervention strategies to address sensory processing differences in a school context.

Notes

Location

County Wexford Education Centre

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Kate Cullen

Kate Cullen

Kate Cullen is an Autism Specialist Occupational Therapist for children and young people. She has Postgraduate qualifications in Sensory Integration, including SIPT registration. Kate currently works within autism diagnostics in the Belfast HSC Trust. She is a tutor and assessor for the graduate Certificate in Autism Studies course delivered in partnership with Middletown Centre for Autism and Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. Kate previously worked as an Occupational Therapist for Middletown Centre for Autism and in Special Schools with children and young people with physical disabilities, developmental disorders and autism, aged 3-19 years, providing assessment, intervention within trans-disciplinary and multiagency teams. She has experience writing and delivering training on autism related topics to parents, professionals, undergraduate and postgraduate students. She has delivered programmes in schools and homes addressing difficulties in engaging in personal care, life skills, leisure, school and work as result of motor coordination, sensory processing, sensory motor and perception for children and young people with autism. She has training in a variety of therapeutic approaches