Empowering Teachers to realise the full potential of students on the Autism Spectrum with Learning Disabilities in an Education setting

DESCRIPTION

This self-paced online masterclass course is designed to provide teachers in mainstream settings the knowledge and skills required to support the educational and social needs of students on the autism spectrum with learning disabilities in order to achieve their full potential.

Empowering Teachers to realise the full potential of students on the Autism Spectrum with Learning Disabilities in an Education setting consists of five modules. Each module has a specific aim and learning targets and concludes with further reading or resources which the learner may find helpful. Each module builds on what was learnt in the previous module. This results to a broad and in-depth knowledge & understanding of a series of important aspects and challenges faced by students on the autism spectrum in an education setting.

More specifically, the course aims to increase knowledge and understanding of the signs and symptoms of the autism spectrum; this is achieved via a detailed analysis of Special educational Needs (SEN), neurodiversity & Autism. To this extent, the course provides detailed references on how the autistic brain functions as well as the importance of co-occurring conditions to individuals on the autism spectrum.

Moreover, this masterclass course places emphasis in increasing the knowledge and understanding of the informal assessment and diagnosis of the autism spectrum. This is achieved through examining the diagnostic process of Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) as well as issues related to the diagnosis of ASC and importance of IQ, SPLD’s and educational skills tests.

Furthermore, in this masterclass course there is a dedicated module on how to extend teacher’s understanding of students on the autism spectrum and learning disabilities, and this is achieved by providing detailed reference on the key areas of difficulty experienced at school and the various approaches and strategies that can be developed by teachers in order to deal with the disabilities and general difficulties associated with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC).

Individuals on the Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) often deal with a variety of social & emotional challenges and difficulties. It is for this reason that this masterclass course aims to increase the knowledge and understanding of teachers with regards to the social and emotional difficulties of students on the autism spectrum and how to support them efficiently & effectively. Equally important, the course provides a detailed analysis on the specialist interventions and ways of developing social understanding as well as how to prepare students for the most important transition of all, that is, adulthood.

Finally, the course includes a dedicated module on the ever-important concept of Inclusive Education with the aim to increase knowledge and understanding as well as the strategies required to achieve Inclusive Education. This is achieved by a thorough analysis of Inclusive Education and SEN provision and the role of a catalytic teacher in the world of autism. The module concludes with detailed reference on the various pathways to an Inclusive Adulthood for all individuals on Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC).

Empowering Teachers to realise the full potential of students on the Autism Spectrum with Learning Disabilities in an Education setting is an indispensable tool for teachers in mainstream educational settings to acquire the necessary in-depth knowledge to support the educational and social needs of students on the autism spectrum with learning disabilities.

All presentations in this course are both visual and audio. The course is being developed by highly experienced tutors with vast expertise in the area of Special Educational Needs (SEN).

This course is part of the Special Educational Needs (SEN) online academy of ShipCon.

 

MAIN AIMS

  • Recognize the early signs and symptoms of the autism spectrum and co-occurring conditions
  • Respond to the impact of the autism spectrum condition on a child’s overall functioning
  • Understand the importance of a formal diagnosis
  • Understand the difference between learning difficulty and learning disability
  • Develop teacher’s knowledge and understanding the definition and diagnosis of the autism spectrum and the conditions that fall within this umbrella
  • Recognize the appropriate assessments required to fully understand the individual profile of each child on the Autism Spectrum
  • Respond effectively and proactively to individual student’s educational needs as informed by diagnosis, IQ tests and other assessments
  • Implement the educational strategies required to support students on Autism Spectrum Condition (ACS) to achieve their full potential
  • Understanding and responding to the distinct cognitive differences of students on the autism spectrum
  • Understanding the social and emotional difficulties students on the autism spectrum face
  • implement strategies to help students develop emotional resilience, social understanding and friendship skills which is essential for their wellbeing and academic achievement
  • Extend and further develop teacher’s knowledge and understanding of inclusive education and the range of strategies to achieve this
  • Respond effectively and proactively to individual student’s educational needs in order to prepare them fully for adulthood

 

WHY this course?

Autism is a complex, lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during early childhood and can impact a person’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects people differently and to varying degrees.

According to a 2018 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 59 – twice as great as the 2004 rate of 1 in 125.  

Although autism impacts people regardless of race or ethnicity, there are racial and ethnic disparities in diagnosis. According to the CDC, ADDM reports have consistently noted that more white children are identified with ASD than black or Hispanic children. Previous studies have shown that stigma, lack of access to healthcare services due to non-citizenship or low-income, and non-English primary language are potential barriers to the identification of children with ASD, especially among Hispanic children. A difference in identifying black and Hispanic children with ASD relative to white children means these children may not be getting the services they need to reach their full potential.

Currently, boys are also approximately 4.5 times more likely to have an autism diagnosis than girls of the same age. However, recent research suggests that girls may not show autism in the same way as boys and might go undiagnosed because of that. 

Autism is characterized by persistent differences in communication, interpersonal relationships, and social interaction across different environments. When it comes to education, individuals on Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) are confronted with ‘learning difficulties’ or ‘learning disabilities’.

A ‘learning disability’ is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities which affects someone throughout their life (Mencap) It can be mild, moderate, severe or profound and children. A ‘learning ‘disability’ is linked to overall cognitive impairment. On the other hand, a ‘learning difficulty’ refers to conditions that affect the person’s ability to learn. A ‘learning ‘difficulty’ does not affect a person’s general intelligence. Specific learning difficulties include Dyslexia and Dyspraxia.

Empowering Teachers to realise the full potential of students on the Autism Spectrum with Learning Disabilities in an Education setting focuses on autistic students with ‘learning disabilities’, hence, students with cognitive impairment.

Therefore, the overall goal of this masterclass course is to provide teachers in mainstream settings the knowledge and skills required to support the educational and social needs of students on the autism spectrum who have learning disabilities in order to achieve their full potential.

 

WHO TO ATTEND?

  • Teachers in mainstream education
  • SEN Teaching Assistants
  • Educators working in SEN field and want to polish their knowledge and skills
  • Coaches/mentors/professionals working on SEN and/or with pupils with Autism and learning disabilities.

 

METHODOLOGY OF THE COURSE – ADDED VALUE

Empowering Teachers to realise the full potential of students on the Autism Spectrum with Learning Disabilities in an Education setting is an online self-paced (asynchronous) course. All presentations are both visual and audio.

It consists of xxx hours of video covering five (5) distinct modules. Highly experienced tutor goes through the whole course, providing ample explanation – in an easy-to-follow manner – to all the areas & concepts covered by the course. Moreover, the tutor will provide a significant amount of useful background information and explanations throughout the course and in a way which is easy to follow and understand.

Each module has a specific area to cover and consists of various learning Units. Each Unit has its own distinct objective (Unit Learning Objective). Finally, each Unit has its own topics, each one with a specific objective (Topic Learning Objective). 

Therefore, each Module has its own distinct aim/outcome, which is being served by distinct Units and Topics.

In this way, the attendee can easily follow the tutor as he/she goes through the whole material of the course.

The attendees of the course will be hugely benefited from the fact that they can have a 3-month online support by the responsible tutor of the course. This is very important to all those with busy working or personal schedule who need to go through the material at their own pace. 

The methodology of the course is based on a combination of three important elements:

  • Provision of knowledge required
  • Use of training tools, such as case studies, videos, games, animations & exercises (practice – hands on experience)
  • Feedback/reflection (review)

 

CERTIFICATIONS AWARDED

  • Certificate of attendance/competence (skills & competences acquired) by ShipCon with CPD units

 

COURSE CONTENT

Module I: Signs and Symptoms

                  Unit I: Introducing the autism spectrum

                    Topic I:  Understanding Special Educational needs (SEN), Autism and neurodiversity

                     Topic II: History of the development of understanding of the Autism Spectrum

                             Topic III: Facts about the Autism Spectrum

                   Unit II: Understanding the Autism Spectrum

                              Topic I:   How the ‘autistic brain’ functions

                              Topic II:  Characteristics associated with the autism spectrum

                              Topic III: Key impacted areas in development

                   Unit III: The main areas of difficulty

                               Topic I:     Impact on social communication

                               Topic II:    Impact on social understanding and interaction

                               Topic III:  Impact on social imagination and thinking

                               Topic IV:  Supporting students on the autism spectrum

Module II: Informal assessment and diagnosis

                   Unit I: The definition of an autism spectrum condition

                               Topic I:    The importance of a definition

                               Topic II:   The main components of the definition

                            Topic III: Routes to identification and diagnosis of the autism spectrum

                    Unit II: The assessment and diagnostic process

                              Topic I:    The diagnosis of an autism spectrum condition

                              Topic II:  Issues with the diagnosis of an autism spectrum condition

                              Topic III: Understanding IQ, SPLD’s and educational skills tests

                     Unit III: Diagnostic signposts for teachers

                         Topic I:    The autism spectrum as a continuum & co-occurring conditions

                              Topic II:   Why teachers may not pick up signs of the autism spectrum

                              Topic III:    How diagnosis can inform teaching strategies

                              Topic IV:   Working with parents

Module III: Educational support and strategies

                  Unit I: Extend teacher’s understanding of the specific learning difficulties of students on the autism spectrum

                              Topic I:  Key areas of difficulty experienced at school

                              Topic II: Key facts that teachers need to know when teaching students on the autism spectrum

                               Topic III: An introduction to autism specific approaches

                       Unit II: Educational strategies required

                               Topic I:   Factors affecting learning

                               Topic II:  Strategies to enhance learning

                             Topic III: In-depth understanding of the cognitive differences in autism

 

                Unit III: The development of teacher’s abilities to respond to individual student educational needs

                                  Topic I:     Translating theory into practice when teaching students in the autism spectrum

                          Topic II:    Specific strategies to address the subgroups within the autism spectrum

                                   Topic III:   The qualities of effective teachers

Module IV: Social support: Understanding self and others

                  Unit I: The autism spectrum and socio-emotional difficulties

                                   Topic I:   What it feels like to be on the autism spectrum

                             Topic II:  Behaviours commonly seen in the classroom and simple strategies

                                    Topic III: Mental Health and the autism spectrum

                   Unit II: The impact of anxiety on behaviour

                                    Topic I:   Anxiety explained

                                    Topic II:  Anxiety led behaviours

                                    Topic III: Strategies to support anxiety led behaviours

                    Unit III: The importance of emotional wellbeing

                                  Topic I: Strategies to support emotional wellbeing                                                 Topic II:    The autism spectrum and ways of developing social understanding

                         Topic III:  The autisms- specialist interventions geared towards subgroups

Module V: Inclusive Education – Best practice

                Unit I: Understanding the infrastructure underpinning Inclusive education

                                Topic I:  Inclusive education and SEN provision

                                Topic II: What really gets in the way of achievement and attainment?

                                Topic III: The catalytic teacher in the world of autism

                 Unit II: Routes to Inclusion

                                Topic I:   The impact of autism on families and how to support them

                                Topic II:  Autism specific good practice

                                Topic III: The importance of Transition planning

                 Unit III: Pathways to an inclusive adulthood

                                 Topic I:     Strengths, attributes and role models

                                 Topic II:    Person Centered Planning and autism

                                 Topic III:   Topical issues and the autism spectrum

TRAINER

Jacqui Ashton Smith (Dr) has over 35 years’ experience working in the field of education, autism and SEN. She has presented at numerous conferences world wide, delivered international training and consultancy and post graduate training at a number of universities in the UK, Europe and Japan.

Jacqui is a qualified teacher with post graduate qualifications in SEN and autism. She has a Doctorate in Education and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and has undertaken a range of training in the field of autism and education. Her specialist areas are Educational Leadership, the identification of Girls and Women on the autism spectrum, autism specific quality assurance and autism specific education. She was a lead trainer for the National Autistic Society in the UK and has had her research and papers published in professional journals.

For 25 years Jacqui was Principal then Executive Principal of specialist residential schools for autistic children and for the past 9 years has led the Education Division of a national organisation which runs eight schools as Head of Operations then Director of Education. She led all aspects of strategic development, business development and operations. As the Director of Education Development she has recently been involved in the opening of 4 specialist schools and has gained valuable expertise in this field.

Jacqui is a member of the Autism Education Trust Expert Reference Group and a member of the Expert Advisory Panel of Autism Accreditation, a UK quality assurance system run by the National Autistic Society for autism specific schools and adult services. She is an Associate Consultant for AT-Autism and has provided specialist consultancy in the UK, delivered management and autism training in the middle east and involved in a number of research projects.

Experience:

  • ShipCon Head Trainer, 2019 – Present
  • Director of Education Development. National Autistic Society Academies Trust, (NASAT) UK. September 2017 – July 2019
    • Responsible for the opening of Autism specific free schools for children and young people on the autism spectrum. Primary and Secondary ages and specialises in meeting the needs of able students on the autism spectrum with complex needs including mental health needs.
  • Executive Director of Education. National Autistic Society and National Autistic

Society Academies Trust, UK. January 2014 – August 2017

  • Strategic lead of the education division and managed the 8 specialist schools for students

on the autism spectrum UK wide. All aged and residential schools specialising in

the education of the full spectrum of need.

  • Head of Operations. National Autistic Society, UK. January 2011 – December 2013
    • Operational management of 6 specialist independent residential schools for students on the autism spectrum UK wide All aged and residential schools specialising in the education of the full spectrum of need.
  • Executive Principal. Helen Allison & Robert Ogden Schools, NAS. January 2007- December 2010
    • Strategic leadership and operational management of specialist ASD primary and secondary schools, further education colleges, weekly and termly boarding schools and children’s home. Specialising in the education of the full spectrum of need including a specialist unit for students with Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome.
  • Principal. Helen Allison School. NAS. May 1993 – December 2007
    • Specialist all age residential school and FE college. Catered for students on the autism spectrum
  • Principal: Glendale School (Autism & SEN), Cape Town. 1987 – 1993
    • Specialist SEN all age school with specialist provisions for students on the autism spectrum and those with mental health and/or social/behavioural needs.
  • SEN Teacher SEN and Autism, 1981-1986 Experience in the full range of special needs including SLD, ADHD, Dyslexia and a range of specific learning difficulties and behavioural and social difficulties.
  • Personnel Officer. Unilever, Johannesburg. 1979 – 1981
  • Mainstream Primary, Middle and Secondary ages. 1977 – 1979

Achievements & awards:

  • Appointed as one of the youngest and female Principals in South Africa.
  • Headed the first special school in South Africa approved by the government to admit all children.1991
  • Merit award- Exceptional Ability and Service to the Teaching Profession – Department of Education (RSA) 1988
  • Runner up: Lifetime Achievement Award- Autism Professional awards 2015. ..\Lifetime achievement award.doc
  • Part of the team who developed the SPELL framework.
  • Part of the team who developed the Autism Accreditation standards.
  • Opened 4 all aged SEN schools and 3 specialist units attached to mainstream schools to support students on the autism spectrum.

Publications:

  • How do we attract the right people to work in the field of autism- the identification of the personality characteristics, skills and leadership styles of effective staff in residential schools for students on the autism spectrum. Journal of Research in Specialised Education. 2016
  • Mutual attraction? How do we identify, recruit and retain the right people to work with people on the autism spectrum. Good Autism Practice Journal. Volume 12, Number 2. October 2011
  • Miss or Missed Diagnosis: Girls and Women on the autism spectrum. Ashton Smith, J & Gould, J. Good Autism Practice Journal. Volume 12, Number 1. P 34-41. May 2011
  • Developed the full teaching curriculum (Primary and Secondary) for the new schools I developed including all policies and procedures.

Training: United Kingdom:

  • Lead trainer in Autism, Asperger syndrome and Education for the National Autistic Society (NAS).
  • NAS accredited SPELL trainer, Training the trainer
  • Trainer for Canterbury Christchurch University course: Post Graduate Certificate in Education- Autism & Asperger Syndrome in your school.
  • Co leader/ tutor- Sheffield Hallam University: Post Graduate certificate in Asperger Syndrome.
  • Kent County Council – delivered a range of courses on SEN, Autism, Asperger Syndrome and Education
  • England– Local authorities: training in the autism spectrum, challenging behaviour, neurodiversity.
  • Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – a range of training delivered.

International training and consultancy:

  • Universities of Athens and Thessaloniki: Autism, Asperger Syndrome and Education.
  • Tokyo, Japan. Taisho University – A course on the identification and education of girls on the autism spectrum.
  • Amman, Jordan – Led a team to deliver 5 days training for the British Council & Jordanian Government on Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Education, Leadership, Management, Organisational Structures and Autism specific Quality Assurance Systems.
  • Oslo, Norway – 4 day training delivered to schools on education strategies in autism specific schools
  • Zurich, Switzerland – 2 days training on the Identification and education of girls and women including social understanding and mental health issues.
  • Saint Helier, Jersey – Consultancy and training delivered in autism and gender identity.
  • Israel. Parent training in SEN and autism, education and challenging behaviour.
  • The Republic of Ireland: Middletown Centre for Autism. Training courses on:
    • Girls on the autism spectrum
    • Autism and Transition
    • Accreditation – Autism Specific Quality Assurance Systems.

United Kingdom Conference presentations:

  • Presented at National Autistic Society International conferences:
    • Quality assurance in autism specific schools and services
    • Transition planning and managing change for people on the autism spectrum
    • ASD and problem solving and decision making.
    • Girls and women on the autism spectrum (annually)
    • Miss or missed diagnosis – with Dr Judith Gould (annually)
    • Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome (annually)
    • PDA and diagnosis with Dr Judith Gould (annually)
  • Autism Scotland Conference: Girls and women on the autism spectrum
  • Queens University, Belfast: Leadership and management of SEN & ASD schools
  • BELMAS (British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society)
  • Kings College London: Asperger Syndrome – Innovative methodology in educating students with Asperger syndrome
  • Exeter University. Annual conference for SaLT Doctoral students:
  • New Schools Network, Brighton UK: How to successfully open a new autism specific school.
  • Birmingham University Conference with Theo Peeters and Rita Jordan on Asperger Syndrome
  • Autism Education Trust: Asperger Syndrome – Innovative methodology in autism specific education.
  • Research Autism UK –
    • The first conference on the identification and education of girls on the autism spectrum
    • Information Technology and autism
    • Autism/AS and SEN
    • Gender identity.- presentation & led an interactive brainstorming professional workshop.
  • CoSPPA Professional Conferences-
    • Person Centred Planning and autism
    • Transition Planning and autism
    • Feuerstein methodology an autism
    • Leadership and management of SEN and autism specific schools
    • Cutting edge practice in autism and education
    • Identification and education of girls and women on the autism spectrum
    • Taking Heads: what is innovation in the field of autism
  • Durham University Research Conferences
    • Baseline assessments and autism
    • Transition planning and autism
    • Challenging behaviour and autism

International Conference Presentations:

  • World Autism Congresses:
    • Melbourne, Australia 2000- Autism Specific Quality Assurance Systems,
    • Cape Town, South Africa 2006 – Autism and Transition, Quality Assurance
    • Monterrey, Mexico 2010 on Autism & Girls and Women.
  • Autism Europe Conferences:
    • Glasgow, Scotland – Best Practice in autism and Asperger syndrome
    • Lisbon, Portugal – Transition planning and the autism spectrum
    • Budapest, Hungary – The identification and education of girls on the autism spectrum
    • Catania, Sicily – The identification and education of girls on the autism spectrum
  • Dubai Autism Society Conference: Quality assurance systems in autism specific education
  • Japanese Autistic Society, Tokyo: Autism specific education strategy and systems in the UK
  • Spain, Autismo Burgos Conference: Girls and women on the autism spectrum
  • Malta Conference: Postponed to 2020 Girls and women on the autism spectrum

Research programmes and collaborative work:

  • Ground breaking work with Dr Judith Gould (Wing & Gould) on the Identification, Diagnosis and education of girls and women on the autism spectrum.
  • HANDS project: EU funded to develop smartphone technology to support autistic pupils in social situations. Other participants- Norway and Hungary.
  • MBA: Evaluation of the effectiveness of quality assurance systems in SEN education
  • EdD: The identification of the personality characteristics, skills and leadership styles of effective staff in residential schools for students on the autism spectrum.
  • Hosted and participated a range of research programmes eg Bridges in Social Understanding, Universities of Birmingham, Kent and London School of Education and the Tavistock Clinic
  • Worked with a range of local authorities in their development of education provision.

Memberships & Collaborations:

  • Autism Accreditation- Standards Body & Expert Advisory Group: 1994 – present.
  • AET (Autism Education Trust) Expert Reference Group
  • Autism Accreditation- Lead Panel member: 1998 – 2015.
  • CoSPPA (Professional Autism Association) 1996 – current. Chair for 5 years
  • NASS: National Association of Special Schools.
  • BELMAS: British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society
  • PDA (Pathological Avoidance Syndrome) Research lead group

Consultancy roles:

  • Affinity project in collaboration with Scottish Autism.
  • Associate Consultant: AT-Autism. UK
    • Autism and education consultancy
    • SEN consultancy
  • Education Consultant: Bridges in Social Understanding, Singapore/UK
    • International programme development

What is included?

Life time access XX hours of video 5 Modules,

15 Units,

47 Topics

Three months online support Certificate/CPD