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ReachoutASC:BLOG

Our Blog will include contributions from a number of autism specialists. Lynn, Matt and Emma work for Reachout ASC, plus occasional guest bloggers.
We love to hear about your ideas, opinions, challenges and tips so please join in the conversation!
Lynn McCann

Would you expel a four year old?

"Did you hear about that four year old that got expelled from school?"

"Gosh, a four year old, that's shocking.  What must a four year old be like to get expelled?"

What would you say in answer to this?  Would you think hitting other children, running away, refusing to comply, screaming loudly, throwing themselves on the floor, running away and…shock…horror…even hitting the teacher…be grounds enough for expulsion…at four? 

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Is Peer Mentoring the Answer?

​Lately We've been listening to a lot of teenagers who struggle with school.  The ones we know are usually ASC students and struggle with social relationships, organisation, sensory issues and find school enormously challenging.  Especially in mainstream schools. This can be enormously isolating for them.  One of the things we like to try is finding them a peer mentor.  An older student or mixed age student group seems to work well, as they have the advantage of having been through some similar difficulties already.  If the mentor has ASC too, it can benefit them both.  But how do you organise a peer mentoring so that it IS successful...

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Have you noticed? Girls on the Autistic Spectrum.

​ I've recently worked with some schools to assess and apply for an autism diagnosis for girls.  What was interesting was that each school had had some autism training from me and began to realise that these girls showed some of the same characteristics that I had spoken about.   For some, the diagnosis was straight forward.   However, for at least one, it was not so.  (continued below...)

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Whats in a Name? Understanding Autism Labels.

It was in 2004 and I was working as an EYFS teacher that I first heard the term autism.  This was strange in itself as I'd already been teaching since 1991 and had done a lot of SEN training as a student, a teacher and then as a SENCO. Two boys in my class came with Statements, one saying 'Autism' and the other 'Aspergers Syndrome'.   Each boy was very different.   One mainly communicated by screaming, the other had language.   We were lucky, early on we had some training about autism, put the strategies in place and we got through the year, learning together.  The boy with the 'Autism' label went to a special school after that, the other continued in mainstream, left high school last year and is now at college.

It was those boys who sparked my fascination with autism and soon after that year I left to pursue my career in a specialist autism school, did my autism qualifications and ended up using my mainstream experience to support other schools as I set up the outreach service from the specialist school. (Continued....)

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​Help! I've Got a Child with Autism in My Class

Don't panic

If you are getting a child with autism in your class for the first time this September, you may have heard many things about autism which makes you nervous about being able to meet the child needs within your class this year.  The first thing to remember is that every child with autism is different, has their own strengths as well as difficulties and with the right support can usually have a successful year in your class.

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