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The purpose of this blog

The original purpose of this blog was to offer some 'autism friendly' ideas and strategies for parents, carers and families during a lengthy period of home-learning due to Covid19 in 2020. As we are now emerge, in 2021, from our 3rd lockdown and children are back at school, I will no longer add content to this blog. Earlier content will remain available, but please bear in mind that some links may no longer work and access to some resources may have changed and/or may no longer be free (I will endeavour to check all of these but it will take me some time). Not every post will be relevant to you, so pick and mix whichever are helpful.  Remember, learning takes many forms and not all learning takes place in school. Most important are relationships and making learning enjoyable. Join your son or daughter in their interests, through learning, leisure and play, and enjoy their uniqueness.  Very best wishes, Marie Howley

Post #51 Back to school (again)

Are you thinking about preparing your children for going back to school?  There are more changes to plan for as schools prepare to open on 8th March. See my previous posts #43 & 44 for considerations, tips and resources.  Some key points to consider: Dates: Find a way of visually presenting information about key dates. This may be as straight forward as writing key dates on the family calendar, whilst many youngsters will require their own personalised visual information. Obviously the date your child will return to school is important (in most cases 8th March), but another consideration is that schools close for the Easter break just 3 weeks later and reopen again 2 weeks later after Easter. This may feel like another 'start-stop-start' to your child so prepare them for this by providing them with the information they need. Structure & routines: Getting back into the usual structure and routines of school is important. Check your child's school website for key info

#50 Tuning in to your child's communication

C ommunication takes many forms. Singing or humming can be an effective communication tool for some children. Tuning in to your child's  song or tunes can lead to successful communication, so give it a go and try singing! In my previous post I wrote about Intensive Interaction as an early social communication approach and Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) approaches such as PECS which aim to develop functional communication . Whilst these are important aspects to consider at home, there are also other ways which may enable you to ' tune in' to your child's unique ways of communicating.  Communication is the intentional sending of messages, with an expectation that the receiver of the message will respond. However, it may be that your child does not yet communicate intentionally. Nevertheless, by tuning in to your child you can respond to them as if they had intentionally communicated a message to you.  Tuning in to your child's unique ways of com

#49 Lateral Flow Test and Coronavirus Vaccination Resources

Visual resources to support having a lateral flow test and a Coronavirus vaccination The following resources may be helpful if you or a loved one are having a lateral flow test and/or a Coronavirus vaccination.  Ambitious about Autism: Autism-Friendly Easy Read Guide  How to do a test for Coronavirus at home Lateral flow test resources from #LDSpeechies Great set of vaccination visual support materials from the Together Trust.  E xample:  Film made by Photosymbols  Having the Coronavirus vaccine @Beth_Tastic Download full story from ReachoutASC here: Vaccination visual story @Notts_ID_MH_SLT       Nottinghamshire SLTs ID & MH @thinkequitable Center for dignity in healthcare for people with disabilities Getting a COVID-19 vaccine

Post #48 Supporting communication at home: youngsters who do not speak

Communication is powerful. Communication is a social process through which we send and receive messages to and from other people. There are many forms of communication, but often there is an emphasis upon speech, which may not be possible, nor effective, for some autistic youngsters. In this post I reflect upon ways to support your child's communication at home if they do not speak, or if speech is not their most effective means of communication. I do not provide training but suggest tw o key aspects to think about, developing: 1) early social communication & 2) functional communication. Communication is an exchange of information between communication partners.  Communication is essential in all aspects of everyday life. We communicate throughout the day for a variety of reasons. For example, we ask for instructions at work, we communicate with a partner to arrange who is picking up our children from school, we chat with friends etc etc. We communicate for functional and for