The girls with autism and their new young adult novel

limpsfield_grange_m_in_the_middle_9781785920349You can now read the opening chapter of M in the Middle:  Secret Crushes, Mega-Colossal Anxiety and the People’s Republic of Autismthe new book from the Girls of Limpsfield Grange School and Vicky Martin.

Life after diagnosis isn’t easy for M or her friends and family  too. Faced with an exciting crush, a pushy friend and an unhelpful Headteacher, how long until the beast of anxiety pounces again?

CLICK HERE for Part 1 M’s World – Chapter 1


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M in the Middle:  Secret Crushes, Mega-Colossal Anxiety and the People’s Republic of Autism is available now from Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Ten teacher tips to keep a student with ADHD on track in class

ADHDDiana Hudson, author of Specific Learning Difficulties – What Teachers Need to Know, looks at the common challenges that children with ADHD may present in the classroom, and suggests ways that teachers can help them to stay focused and get the most out of their lessons. 

Sensitive teachers can make a huge difference to the happiness, confidence and academic success of children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Continue reading

We Need to Talk about Pornography – Vanessa Rogers

pornographyIn this extract from We Need to Talk about Pornography, Vanessa Rogers discusses the impact of pornography on young people. At a time when it has never been more accessible and the likes of revenge porn and sexting are on the rise, there is a growing need for more dynamic education around what pornography is, how sex is portrayed in the media versus reality and how pornography can affect sexual relationships, self-esteem and body image.

Click here to download the extract

Vanessa Rogers addresses this gap in sexual education by providing a comprehensive resource to support anyone who might be involved in sex education for young people. Through open conversations around sex and pornography, parents and educators can encourage healthy and respectful relationships in future generations. Packed with ready-to-use lesson plans and activities, and outlines for staff CPD sessions and parent workshops, this book is an essential resource for PSHE teachers, senior leadership teams, pastoral care teams, school counsellors, youth workers, school nurses and others. Click here to find out more about We Need to Talk about Pornography.

Parents can play a vital role in supporting their child with dyslexia – Veronica Bidwell

Bidwell_Parents-Guide-t_978-1-78592-040-0_colourjpg-printIn this chapter from The Parents’ Guide to Specific Learning Difficulties, Veronica Bidwell looks at the important role parents can play in supporting the learning of their child with dyslexia. Looking at the kind of difficulties typically experienced at different ages and stages of development, she provides some very reassuring and useful advice.

Click here to download the extract

Packed full of advice and practical strategies for parents and educators, her book is a one-stop-shop for supporting children with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs), ranging from poor working memory, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, through to ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), Specific Language Impairment and Visual Processing Difficulty. Veronica is an Educational Psychologist with expert knowledge of Specific Learning Difficulties.  She has been involved in education for over 30 years working with mainstream and special schools.  She has run a leading independent Educational Psychology Service and has assessed many hundreds of pupils and provided advice and support to pupils, parents and teachers. Click here to find out more about her book.

Dyslexia, a disability or an ability to think differently? – Veronica Bidwell

dyslexiaIn this article Veronica Bidwell, author of The Parents’ Guide to Specific Learning Difficulties, explains the numerous ways that teachers and parents can support the learning of children with dyslexia.  She suggests adopting a holistic approach that engages all the body’s senses, examining the bigger picture before delving into the subject matter and recapping little and often with the aid of memory gadgets.  Packed full of advice and practical strategies for parents and educators, her book is a one-stop-shop for supporting children with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs), ranging from poor working memory, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, through to ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), Specific Language Impairment and Visual Processing Difficulty. 

In an interview on Woman’s Hour this week Jo Malone, the brilliant fragrance queen, talked about her life and how she built and sold a multi-million pound company, battled cancer and then built up her new company, Jo Loves.

Jo mentioned her failure to succeed in school and the fact that she had left with no qualifications whatsoever. This, happily for the rest of us, did not deter the entrepreneur. Her fragrant oils, creams, candles, colognes and perfumes are loved and have made her a household name.

Continue reading

Teacher tips for supporting children with dyslexia – Diana Hudson

In this chapter taken from dyslexiaSpecific Learning Difficulties – What Teachers Need to Know, Diana Hudson gives practical advice to busy teachers who have a student with dyslexia. She provides simple but effective tips to improve their learning, organisation and memory processing skills, whilst describing indicators to help them spot a student who has not yet been diagnosed.

Click here to download the extract

Specific Learning Difficulties – What Teachers Need to Know is a straight-talking guide to supporting students with Specific Learning Difficulties. It provides an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of students with commonly encountered SpLDs, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD and OCD, and suggests ways of modifying teaching materials to make learning more enjoyable for them.

Diana Hudson is a tutor and mentor to students with SpLDs. She has been a subject classroom teacher (biology), a learning support teacher and a SENCO. She has a diagnosis of dyslexia and is a parent to four children, three of whom have been diagnosed with SpLDs.

Click here to find out more about Diana Hudson’s book.

How can parents support their child with dyslexia? – Neil Alexander-Passe

alexander-passeNeil Alexander- Passe, author of Dyslexia and Mental Health, talks about the different ways that parents can support their child with dyslexia who may be struggling at school. He explains that, with the right encouragement and communication with teachers, there is every chance that a child with dyslexia will thrive in today’s day and age.


Contrary to public perception, you do not outgrow dyslexia. The dyslexic child who struggles with literacy will likely become a dyslexic adult who also struggles with literacy.  What has changed, however, is that today’s schools have a duty of care to support the additional needs of their students.  Unlike older generations of dyslexics who quite likely had a negative school experience, teachers have a responsibility nowadays to make sure that SEN students are recognised, that they are made to feel included in the classroom, and that they are not subjected to humiliation and left behind.  In fact, teacher training is finally introducing a compulsory SEND element, which means that all teachers will be judged on their ability to support the special educational needs of their pupils.  What, though, can parents be doing to ensure their child with dyslexia enjoys school?  And how can they help their teachers provide the best support?

Continue reading

Dyslexia doesn’t have to be a barrier to success – Margaret Rooke

rooke-creative-successful-dyslexicMargaret Rooke, author of Creative, Successful, Dyslexic, explains the journey she went through in writing this book. Compelled as a mother to help her daughter, who was diagnosed with dyslexia as a teenager, Margaret set about using her 20 years’ experience as a writer on national newspapers and magazines to approach the 23 high achievers with dyslexia whose stories form the book.  Its aim, she says, is “to reassure anyone with dyslexia and their loved ones – together with any others who do not seem to shine naturally at school in these results-driven days.”

When I found out my 13-year-old daughter was dyslexic, my first response was shock. She had ticked all the educational boxes at primary school very happily.

She stopped learning as soon as she arrived at secondary school and we spent a couple of years working out why this was. Was it the school? Was she on some kind of strike? Was she simply unhappy? Continue reading

Teacher Tips for Supporting Children with SEN and Autism


Adele Devine reflects upon her new book Flying Starts for Unique Children and offers practical advice on making sure that children with Autism and SEN get off to the best start at school.   

Imagine that you are about to start a new job, but you know nothing about it. You do not know where it will be, who you will be working with, what the expectations will be or how long the day will last. How would this make you feel – nervous, resistant or even fearful?

Starting school

When children start school they enter the great unknown. There are those who will transition without issue. These children slot in, they see toys, play, interact, make friends and meet expected milestones.

Then there is the child who arrives filled with fear. They find the sounds painful, the smells intolerable, the environment overwhelming and the other children exhaustingly unpredictable. Maybe this child has autism.  Maybe this child has an undiagnosed, invisible disability

There are simple accommodations that can make the world of difference to the first impressions of a child with Special Educational Needs. These things should be in place in every pre school and reception class before the children start school. First impressions are important. There are no second chances. If we do not get it right from the start the child will remember. They may decide that they do not like school. They may resist, they may refuse or worse still they may start to withdraw.

Continue reading

Read an extract from A Practical Introduction to Restorative Practice in Schools

Hansberry_Practical-Intro_978-1-84905-707-3_colourjpg-printIn this extract, Bill Hansberry draws upon real stories from school life to give a strong sense of what restorative justice is and how it works. He begins with the story of two boys, Tristan and Jason, whose intractable conflict was seemingly spiralling out of control. Admitting that restorative justice is at times not for the faint-hearted, he nonetheless asserts that its constructive approach to conflict resolution ‘improves behaviour by improving relationships between people in schools’.

>>Click here to download the extract<<

Suitable for education settings from preschool to college, A Practical Introduction to Restorative Practice in Schools explains what restorative justice is, how it can be used in schools, what it looks like in the classroom and how it can be implemented.  Featuring case studies that illuminate the underlying restorative principles and practices,  the book covers a wide range of topics from the basics of restorative justice, through to school-wide processes for embedding the approach in policy and practice.

Drawing on the expertise of educators and consultants, this is a must-have resource for any school or centre that is serious about reducing bad behaviour and developing safer learning communities.