Speech therapy and LEGO® bricks – Dawn Ralph and Jacqui Rochester

speech therapyDawn Ralph and Jacqui Rochester, co-authors of Building Language Using LEGO® Bricks, discuss the use of LEGO® as a powerful and fun intervention tool for helping children and adults with severe speech, language and communication disorders, often related to autism and other special educational needs.

This intervention has been used with a range of children and adults.  As most of our clinical experience has been with children we have referred to participants in this article as ‘the child’ or ‘children’.  However, we have trained professionals who have used this approach with adults.

Building Language using LEGO® Bricks– a practical guide evolved from our attempts to implement LEGO-Based Therapy (LeGoff et al 2014) with children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).  We soon discovered that we needed to make significant adaptions to allow this client group to access it successfully.  Dr LeGoff, in his original research, invited extensions of his approach.  We decided to take up the challenge. Continue reading

The girls with autism and their new young adult novel

girls with autismYou 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

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.

Teacher Tips for Supporting Children with SEN and Autism

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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.

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How to Build Language Using LEGO® Bricks

Ralph-Rochester_Building-Langua_978-1-78592-061-5_colourjpg-printIn this extract, Dawn Ralph and Jacqui Rochester discuss why Building Language Using LEGO® Bricks is a flexible and powerful intervention tool for aiding children with severe speech, language and communication disorders, often related to autism and other special educational needs.

This practical manual equips you for setting up and adapting your own successful sessions and downloadable resources, enabling you to chart progress in the following key areas:

– The use of receptive and expressive language

– The use and understanding of challenging concepts

– Joint attention

– Social communication

The book is creative, practical and thought-provoking and will be invaluable to Speech and Language Therapists, parents and other professionals wishing to support children with a wide range of language and communication problems.

Click here to download the extract

Why does someone with Asperger’s syndrome become depressed? Read the first chapter from Tony Attwood & Michelle Garnett’s new book

Attwood-Garnett_Exploring-Depre_978-1-84905-502-4_colourjpg-printPeople with Asperger’s syndrome are at greater risk of becoming depressed for a number of reasons that leave them with a tendency to isolate themselves. In the opening chapter of Tony Attwood and Michelle Garnett’s new book Exploring Depression and Beating the Blues: A CBT Self-Help Guide to Understanding and Coping with Depression in Asperger’s Syndrome [ASD-Level 1] the authors explore these reasons and introduce their self-help programme for dealing with the issues that might lead someone with Asperger’s syndrome to experience feelings of depression.

Drawing on the latest thinking and research Attwood & Garnett use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy methods designed specifically for individuals with Asperger’s syndrome (ASD-level 1) to help increase self-awareness, identify personal triggers, and provide all the tools needed to combat depression and suicidal thought.

You can read the first chapter from Exploring Depression and Beating the Blues: A CBT Self-Help Guide to Understanding and Coping with Depression in Asperger’s Syndrome [ASD-Level 1] simply by clicking on the link below.


Chapter 1: Why Does Someone With Asperger’s Syndrome Become Depressed? CLICK HERE TO READ  

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The International Aspergirl® Society… author Rudy Simone talks about her brilliant new project for women & girls on the autism spectrum


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Although best known for her book Aspergirls Rudy Simone is a person of many parts (actor, musician, public speaker, AS consultant). With her latest book The A to Z of ASD’s: Aunt Aspies Guide to Life about to be published Rudy spoke with us about The International Aspergirl® Society, and her plans to improve the lives of girls and women on the autism spectrum around the world.
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Read an exclusive extract from ‘The Parents’ Guide to Specific Learning Difficulties’ by Veronica Bidwell

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Packed full of advice and practical strategies for parents and educators, this book is a one-stop-shop for supporting children with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs).

Covering a spectrum of SpLDs, ranging from poor working memory, dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia, through to ADHD, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), auditory processing disorder (APD), specific language impairment and visual processing disorder, it explains clearly what each difficulty is, how it can affect a child’s learning and how to help them to succeed despite their difficulties.

“A treasure trove of useful information and practical advice for the parents of children with Specific Learning Difficulties and anyone who teaches them… It really is a must-have.” -Claudine Goldingham BA LLB (Dist.), a dyslexic and mother of two dyslexic and dyspraxic girls

Click here to download the extract

Read an extract from The Autism Spectrum Guide to Sexuality and Relationships by Dr Emma Goodall

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Dr Emma Goodall’s excellent new book The Autism Spectrum Guide to Sexuality and Relationships: Understand Yourself and Make Choices that are Right for You is a candid guide to sexuality, relationships and gender identity that will help adults on the autism spectrum to understand their preferences and identity in the pursuit of platonic, romantic or sexual relationships. In this extract Dr Goodall introduces the idea of what sexuality might look and feel like for someone with autism.

Click on this link to read the extract >>>  Understanding Your Own Sexuality – Goodall

The Autism Spectrum Guide to Sexuality and Relationships by Dr Emma Goodall is available now from Jessica Kingsley Publishers

We talked to Veronica Bidwell about her new book, ‘The Parents’ Guide to Specific Learning Difficulties’

Bidwell_Parents-Guide-t_978-1-78592-040-0_colourjpg-printPacked full of advice and practical strategies for parents and educators, this book is a one-stop-shop for supporting children with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs).  We talked to Veronica about how she came to write the book, about her long experience as an Educational Psychologist, and what advice she has for parents whose child has an SpLD. 

What inspired you to write this book?

I always wanted a book that I could give to parents which they could use for reference.  I wanted a book that would explain the various learning difficulty labels, and one that would provide advice and support.  It has been difficult to find such a book, so I decided to write it myself.

For most parents it can be really daunting to find that their child has a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) and that they will need to roll up their sleeves and get to work.  Unlike teachers and other educational professionals, parents have had no training.  It can be hard for them to know where to start.

Parents need guidance.  My hope is that this book will be of help.  I hope it will provide encouragement and that the stories included will inspire optimism. Continue reading