How can we put Character Education into practice?

character education classroomFrederika Roberts and Elizabeth Wright discuss Character Education as a way of helping children to develop positive values and emotional resilience, and provide an example of how it can be practised in the classroom. They are the authors of Character Toolkit for Teachers, publishing 21st May, which contains 109 practical activities for making Character Education accessible to teachers.

We have seen a Year 4 boy who couldn’t sit still for a couple of minutes complete a 3-minute breathing meditation and experience incredible joy and pride at this achievement.  A year 5 girl told us that focusing on gratitude and simple meditation techniques helped her overcome her severe panic attacks.  A year 4 girl told us that learning about resilience helped her deal with her parents’ separation.  A year 8 girl decided, after a week of working with us on aspects of her character, that she would ask her parents for a new running coach and aim for the Tokyo Olympics.  The seeds we, as educators, plant in children’s minds can create wide-ranging ripples throughout their lives, and the lives of those around them.  All we have to do is start somewhere. Continue reading

Fifteen Things They Forgot to Tell You About Autism

Co-editor of the not for profit parenting magazine, AuKids, Debby Elley has now written her first parenting guide, Fifteen Things They Forgot to Tell You About Autism: The Stuff That Transformed My Life as an Autism Parent. Here on our blog, she describes the book and its aims in her own words. 

I’ll let you into a secret. It’s not really fifteen things, it’s a lot more. My son Bobby calls it Fifteen Things YOU TOTALLY MISSED About Autism, but the thing is, you’d be forgiven for missing them. No-one tells you what it’s important to know. You sort of find out the hard way. That is, with time and effort and sometimes a few tears.

Fifteen Things… is the sort of book that I could only write having amassed a decent body of evidence from my own experience of raising twins. It’s now 12 years since they were diagnosed and I’m one of those parents who can look back with the benefit of hindsight and tell myself where I went wrong. That’s no fun at all, so I thought that I’d prefer instead to tell those at the beginning of this learning curve where they can go right.

Fifteen Things

Continue reading

Happiness & Positive Psychology for Young People with Autism – author Q&A

Victoria Honeybourne is a senior advisory teacher, trainer and writer with a particular interest in promoting wellbeing amongst young people on the autism spectrum. We caught up with Victoria upon the publication of her latest book, A Practical Guide to Happiness in Children and Teens on the Autism Spectrumto ask a few questions about how it came about. 

happiness autism

What motivated you to write A Practical Guide to Happiness in Children and Teens on the Autism Spectrum and who is the book for?

There has been a lot of interest recently in using findings from the positive psychology movement to improve happiness, wellbeing and resilience in children and young people.  However, I realised that many of the strategies advised were not always the most appropriate for those on the autism spectrum.  I wanted to write a book which looked at these issues from an autistic point of view.  The book is for anybody working with children and young people on the autism spectrum – mainstream teachers, teaching assistants, mentors, speech and language therapists, and parents.

Continue reading