Specialist Experience and Skills
20 years' SEN experience. Specialist in ASD including high-functioning autism, ADD/ ADHD and SpLD including dyslexia. I have extensive experience in building confidence and ability in reading, writing, and grammar and punctuation, as well as building confidence and ability in basic numeracy up to Maths exam attainment. Along with the academic, I also have more than ten years of experience in helping young people with ADD/ ADHD and ASD to develop their social, organisational and listening skills. I have found that the highest level of success is achieved by drawing on the interests of the... Read More
20 years' SEN experience. Specialist in ASD including high-functioning autism, ADD/ ADHD and SpLD including dyslexia. I have extensive experience in building confidence and ability in reading, writing, and grammar and punctuation, as well as building confidence and ability in basic numeracy up to Maths exam attainment. Along with the academic, I also have more than ten years of experience in helping young people with ADD/ ADHD and ASD to develop their social, organisational and listening skills. I have found that the highest level of success is achieved by drawing on the interests of the individual young person and incorporating these into their development of the skill being focussed upon.
I have taught both classes and individuals with SEN across KS1 to KS4. Other SEN I have experience in supporting are APD, VPD, SPD ADD, ADHD, OCD, PDA, BESD, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Global Delay, ASD (including ASD with non-verbal and selective mutism). I have a proven record of helping young people to improve and develop their communication and language skills. For those with speech and language delay this is often the focus of support and progress is most successfully made by employing a range of fun and engaging games and activities to encourage positive development in these areas. Social skills is another developmental area that I am often asked to assist with. Through positive reinforcement, fun activities, role play and the use of social stories, I have successfully helped many young people to better understand and improve their social skills. I am also an accredited associate of the Dyslexia Guild.
I am a naturally fun and warm person. I retain a positive attitude in all situations and believe a smile and encouraging words can make a world of difference to a young person's confidence. I have two grown up children. My son is 21 and has Asperger's Syndrome and ADD. My daughter is 18 and has Dyslexia, ADHD, APD and VPD. In my SEN role I support young people in overcoming their barriers to learning, helping them to achieve their full potential. For some children this has been subject specific, and I have spent a large percentage of my time improving young peoples' confidence and ability in reading, writing and numeracy. In my current school the ages range from 2 to 16 and so I have a wealth of experience adapting to supporting the very young with basic numeracy, literacy and general engagement, all the way through to supporting subject specific goals for GCSE students. Where necessary I begin by helping children to consolidate the basics in numeracy and literacy including phonics and number bonds. For those with SPD I aim to create a learning environment that makes them feel as comfortable as possible by removing triggers and increasing calming tools such as fidget or pressure toys. My lessons aim to be fun, creative and tailored to the individual student's personality and learning style. Building a fun and friendly rapport helps create a safe and encouraging learning environment for all students, but is particularly important to those who have a dislike of learning or low self-esteem.
I am also a qualified EAL teacher and over the last ten years have spent considerable time teaching English as a Foreign Language. This has also been to a variety of ages and levels from beginner to IELTS exam lessons for University entrance.
My passion for SEN is very much because of the experiences I have had with bringing my own children up with SEN. As my passion and knowledge grew, I stretched myself further by initially completing a Master's in Autism and Asperger's, and now I am halfway through my Doctorate in Education, for which I am also focussing on SEN.
Whilst my PGCE is in Secondary teaching, I have 12 years of experience working with younger children with SEN on a 1:1 or 1:2 basis also. The school I have been teaching in for the last six years involves me working with SEN children from Year R to Year 11, and so I continue to work heavily with younger, as well as older children. With both younger children and those with SPD I have found that incorporating music, rhythm and rhyme into my lessons has made lessons more engaging and increases progress.
Many SEN such as ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, ASD and Global Delay, mean that organisation and planning is a big difficulty and cause of anxiety. I have successfully helped several 13 to 21 year olds who have struggled with organising their workload, giving in homework on time and keeping on top of their work load to feel more in control of their set work and assignments. Teaching independence in this area is as important as assisting students to organise their own work when anxiety levels rise too high for them to do it themselves. Just the knowledge that I am there to support and help them is often enough to reduce their anxiety and less anxiety always produces greater student progress. The majority of students I have supported with organisation and planning have been GCSE, A level and Degree students, when the need for good organisation and discipline becomes even greater.
Above all I believe building a rapport with each student is key for a successful learning. Therefore, I take time to get to know each child and try to incorporate their topics of interest into lessons where possible.