So, you’d like me to fix your car over the phone?

Sensory Project

Today I was catching up on my phone calls and emails from earlier in the week. I have been asked to assess a young man and “determine his dyspraxia and his sensory needs” so that his parents can request in his EHCP that he has a special cerebellar rehabilitation programme (doing the social media rounds) to address his dyslexia and difficulties at school. It is a Sunday, I have had a busy week with few moments to spare, but I feel so passionate about this I cannot help but write this blog today.

My response remains …

“I am sorry, but I cannot assess your son knowing in advance it is to recommend this or any other similar programme. Here are my reasons, because this is what I do and how I do it.

I am an independent professional. Assessment is what determines my recommendations – so that what I…

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SEN Support in Schools – We’re Missing the Point

Having been through the broken and very frustrating EHCP process in the UK this last 2 years, I firmly believe that a wholistic approach to supporting each child’s needs would be far better for everyone.

We have fought and succeeded in having provision of weekly sensory integration/ occupational therapy for Charlie. It has come 4 years after he most needed it. It doesn’t feel like a victory yet because the provision for the other children in the city, the school and in the wider system hasn’t changed.

I feel like I am walking a fine line, we are in a system where “he who shouts the loudest and wisest” get what he wants or needs. In shouting I hope I am not just getting “what I want” or solely what my child needs, but also raising the voice of others too, I pray that I am breaking new ground for others too

It Must Be Mum

Every school-age child with a special educational need (SEN) should have a written plan of support.  Every single one.  That is my interpretation of the SEN Code of Practice (SEN COP) and I will explain why. 

Published in June 2014, Chapter 6 of the SEN COP describes the provision of SEN Support in Schools.  It describes a system that is far removed from the days of Individual Education Plans and from setting targets for children who are not achieving someone else’s idea of ‘good enough’ progress.

The new approach talks about children fulfilling their potential, about achieving their best.  It talks about understanding barriers to learning and providing support.  Critically, nowhere, anywhere, does it talk about targets.  Implied is: ‘make the environment right for the child and they will progress’. 

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Lack of imagination in autism is not what you may think

Lack of imagination in Autism is not always what you may think

faithmummy


What do you think of when you think of imagination? Do you think of children making up games, people writing fiction stories, or perhaps role play? It is true that all of these, and so much more, require imagination yet imagination is so much more than just forming new ideas and being creative.
Many autistic children (and adults) struggle with a special type of imagination called social imagination.

Firstly let me explain what this is NOT:
1. It is NOT the ability to be creative. 

In fact many people with autism are highly gifted artists or musicians and have unique and highly talented ways of presenting their ability.

If your child is diagnosed with autism it does NOT mean they will not be good at drawing, or be able to express themselves in creative ways.

2. It is NOT a lack of ability to play with toys or act out…

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What is Praxis, and why is it important?

Praxis, the ability to plan, organise and perform a new motor activity

Sensory Project

“Praxis is … the ability by which we figure out how to use our hands and body in skilled tasks like playing with toys; using tools, including a pencil or fork; building a structure, whether a toy block-tower or a house; straightening up a room, or engaging in many occupations.”
A Jean Ayres 1985

To have adequate praxis, we must detect and register sensory input from within our bodies and from the world around us. Then we integrate this incoming sensory information, to make sense of what is happening. We interpret these sensations using our past experiences and learning. This means we are able to move about easily, doing and trying new things. When this happens well, we can interact with the world and with the people around us.Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 15.37.10

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