About Me

30+ years highly-experienced specialist SEN teacher specialising in Language and Communication Needs, Global Developmental Delay, ASD/ASC (autism spectrum), MLD, Downs Syndrome. Has taught in UK, USA and Japan. Highly-qualified former postgraduate Research Psychologist (Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London.)

£110.00 Per Hour

minimum 1.5 hour sessions

Specialist Experience and Skills

I am a highly qualified and experienced specialist SEN teacher have been teaching and tutoring in the UK and USA since the 1980s. This has included mainstream early years, primary and secondary school teaching, but the majority of my experience has been with SEN (special educational needs) with all ages. Finding fun and creative ways to overcome barriers to children’s learning is what makes SEN teaching the most stimulating and rewarding job there can be.

Specialist SEN (Special Educational Needs) teaching experience: I spent several years teaching in mainstream and special schools and u... Read More
I am a highly qualified and experienced specialist SEN teacher have been teaching and tutoring in the UK and USA since the 1980s. This has included mainstream early years, primary and secondary school teaching, but the majority of my experience has been with SEN (special educational needs) with all ages. Finding fun and creative ways to overcome barriers to children’s learning is what makes SEN teaching the most stimulating and rewarding job there can be.

Specialist SEN (Special Educational Needs) teaching experience: I spent several years teaching in mainstream and special schools and units in London and New York, and also taught English as a Foreign Language in Japan for two years. For 20 years I lead specialist advisory teams supporting mainstream schools to meet the needs of pupils with a range of learning disabilities, predominantly Global Developmental Delay/ Moderate Learning Difficulties and Disabilities, Language and Communication Needs, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Downs Syndrome. This role involved thoroughly identifying the specific needs of individual pupils, and problem-solving in order to meet those needs. In my roles I have devised and provided bespoke learning programmes as well as approaches to modify and/or differentiate the curriculum. These have included a range of targeted visual and multi-sensory approaches to make learning meaningful for pupils with limited verbal skills and understanding, as well as to develop those verbal skills.

I have specific qualifications in teaching children with Dyslexia, obtained in the UK and the USA. Additionally, I have a Research Psychology background having worked and published with world-renowned autism specialist Prof Patricia Howlin, with academic papers in the British Journal of Disorders of Communication and the British Journal of Educational Studies. Although I attend many courses and keep up to date with current thinking and approaches to teaching pupils with SEN, I always tailor my teaching to the individual child’s specific needs. If tried-and-tested methods are not leading to sufficient progress, I will devise and try new approaches until I find one that works. After more than 30 years working with children who have special needs, as well as having an academic background in Child Psychology, my instincts regarding children's learning and the best approach to use for particular children are finely honed, and I have a wealth of strategies and experience to draw upon.

I take a holistic approach to teaching, choosing activities that develop a whole range of skills and incorporate Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, social skills as well as academic targets so that learning is generalised and reinforced. I am familiar with specific SALT and OT tools, such as Colourful Semantics, PECs and Write from the Start, and my work with children often complements and reinforces Speech and Language Therapy and/or Occupational Therapy targets and strategies.

Experience with Autistic Spectrum Conditions: I have many years of experience working with children on the autism spectrum, initially as a class teacher within a specialist unit for pupils with language and communication difficulties, and later as an advisory teacher across mainstream schools. I have extensive experience of the many approaches that have been devised for teaching children with autism, including TEACCH, PECS, Social Stories, SULP (Social Use of Language Programme), and am familiar with other less widely used interventions such as Applied Behaviour Analysis (though I do not employ these strategies.)   Since every child with the diagnosis is unique, with their own individual strengths, interests and learning styles, I will choose the intervention methods that bets fit the child, which can sometimes mean developing something completely unique.

Experience developing speech and language skills: Since processing language is fundamental to learning, to understanding, generalising and remembering what is taught, my teaching addresses the combination of deficits that can present barriers to processing, such as attention and listening, short-term auditory memory, knowledge of vocabulary and syntax, as well as the social aspects of language such as understanding intent and context. skills, giving gentle feedback when (and what) I haven't understood to help them to express themselves more effectively, and ensuring they know how much I am enjoying hearing what they have to say to encourage them to keep expressing themselves. Every activity I use, whether to reinforce the more formal school curriculum or a multisensory, fun game which doesn’t seem like “work” at all, is designed to target all of these aspects and bring them together to make language meaningful. In informal interactions with children, I work on developing their social language and communication.

Experience with Early Years and EYFS: My experience as a teacher and advisor has spanned all age ranges. I have frequently received referrals to work with pupils who are in the Early Years when there have been concerns about the development. At this stage it has always been important to devise activities that involve learning through play. All play involves learning, but specific areas of need can be targeted by particular games and teacher responses. At the same time it is important to prepare the child for, and foster enjoyment in the more formal learning activities that children face in school. I have developed children's skills in Language, Literacy, Maths, fine motor kills including Handwriting, attention and listening, often by devising tasks that are based on children's own interests and motivations, and that target several areas of development to ensure all learning is linked, generalised and reinforced. My interventions have ensured that those children potentially at risk of falling behind in their learning have been given a boost at this crucial stage in their development.

My objectives: foster independence, self-esteem and confidence;  My objective is always to foster confidence and independence so that my pupils are happy to give everything a go, to try to work things out on their own, to feel proud of their successes, and to learn from any mistakes they make. To give them the confidence to try, tasks are carefully scaffolded so that pupils can see how each piece of information or part of an activity builds on the next. Visual cues, whether they are visual timetables, mind-maps, sequenced pictures or just clear demonstration are employed, depending on the learning style and preferences of the individual child, alongside simple, clear, unambiguous verbal commentary. I also develop those skills that enable children to compensate for any difficulties they have, such as slow processing, or distractibility, which can hold back their progress.

Working with Parents I understand that raising a child who has special needs can be extremely challenging and isolating. It can often seem as though your child's school is not listening to your concerns, meetings involving a range of professionals can be daunting, reports can be confusing, the system can seem impenetrable, and it's easy to feel overwhelmed and emotional. I have always been committed to supporting parents in their role in encouraging and nurturing their child's learning and development, in advising on school placements or further referrals, social opportunities and support organisations, or to just listen. When parents and professionals work together, that's when a child's progress and happiness are optimal.

Experience working with children with complex needs and syndromes:, including Down's Syndrome: During my career I have taught children with a very wide range of needs, comorbidities and sometimes rare syndromes. Some of my students have had complex medical conditions, including seizures, atypical physical development, and eating, digestion and toileting problems in addition to their learning needs, and many have had emotional issues, particularly anxiety. My teaching always takes account of the whole range of my students' needs, and their wellbeing is always at the heart of everything I do. I consider patience, a calm demeanour, respect, flexibility and humour to be vital in working with children who have Special Needs, and I bring these qualities to all of my lessons. Most importantly, I ensure I listen to what the children I teach are expressing or trying to express, whether that is verbal, nonverbal or behavioural, and that they know I am listening to them, which gives them the confidence and motivation to persevere in expressing themselves.

I have worked extensively with pupils who have Downs Syndrome, predominantly in the mainstream school setting but also in special schools and units. This has involved advising class teachers on their inclusion, and devising very specific personalised programmes of learning that I have delivered myself or have supervised an assistant to deliver.  Although there are certain learning styles and issues that children with this syndrome have in common so that specific tried and trusted strategies will be beneficial, I always teach my students as individuals and devise approaches and learning programmes specific to themselves.

My Teaching Philosophy

Although I attend many courses and keep up to date with current thinking and approaches to teaching pupils with SEN, I always tailor my teaching to the individual child’s specific needs. If tried-and-tested methods are not leading to sufficient progress, I will devise and try new approaches until I find one that works. If a child has a particular diagnosis I use this as a starting point, but my teaching addresses their own real, observed needs, strengths and weaknesses, rather than teaching to the diagnosis and relying on autism-specific or dyslexia-specific strategies.  I take a holistic approach to teaching, choosing activities that develop a whole range of skills and incorporate Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, social skills as well as academic targets so that learning is generalised and reinforced. Working out how your child learns best, and finding fun and creative ways to overcome barriers to learning is what makes SEN teaching the most stimulating and rewarding job there can be.

Something Sensational About Me

I can speak Japanese

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    Availability

    • Monday 9.00 - 14.30
    • Tuesday 9.00 - 15.00
    • Wednesday 9.00 - 18.00
    • Thursday 9.00 - 15.00
    • Friday 9.00 - 18.00
    • Saturday 12.00 - 5.00
    • Sunday Flexible -

    Qualifications and Training

    • BSc (Hons) Psychology
    • PGCE Special Needs
    • Postgraduate Certificate in Literacy Difficulties (Dyslexia)
    • 30+ years of CPD in various SEN, safeguarding, curriculum...(too many to remember, let alone list...)
    ... Read More
    • BSc (Hons) Psychology
    • PGCE Special Needs
    • Postgraduate Certificate in Literacy Difficulties (Dyslexia)
    • 30+ years of CPD in various SEN, safeguarding, curriculum...(too many to remember, let alone list...)

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    SPECIFIC AREAS COVERED

    Kingston Richmond Merton Sutton Surrey Wandsworth Hammersmith and Fulham Westminster Southwark

    Location

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    Contact us to book this tutor

      Your contact details will be sent to SENsational Tutors Ltd and will NOT be used for any marketing purposes.




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