In reaching the stage of seeking an assessment for neurodiversity needs such as ADHD or ASD, parents will already have had concerns or discussions about the difficulties their child encounters at home and school, whether they are academic, social or emotional impacts or, more usually, an interlinking of all three. For all concerned, the report and any diagnosis can often be the moment to gain a far greater understanding of how, why and what makes a child or young person tick. For many this is like having a weight lifted, particularly for the child. Post-diagnosis is a crucial time for helping to bring about new levels of understanding and solution finding for difficulties, problems or concerns at both home and school. The assessment report can help to clarify exactly why things may be so difficult at school or at home and how the two environments interlink. It can help to reassure that the understanding or support provision is already in place at school or it can highlight missing provision which can sometimes create tensions or frustrations between home and school.
For many parents, however, receiving a medical diagnosis for their child with no follow up on the “whys” and “what’s next” can leave them feeling unsure of the next steps for either their child or themselves, at home or school. Having an experienced, knowledgeable and easy-to-talk to educational specialist can really help to establish a picture of how life is now for all concerned and to be able to plan the steps, strategies and resources for the future.
Our educational specialist practitioner can be the bridge for parents, child and school. They can act as a listener and sounding board, as a coach to plan and strategise with, so that there is balance, happiness, calmness and confidence. They can be a guide through SEN provision and regulations or act as facilitator or mediator between home and school. They can be a trainer to help develop greater levels of understanding for child, family or school teams.
Our Educational Learning Needs Specialist Practitioner
Katherine Rose is a Special Educational Needs specialist, working for over 20 years with young people aged 3 to 16+ in a variety of educational settings. As a SENCO and school senior leader, she has a wealth of experience and knowledge across all aspects of children’s academic and wider learning needs, particularly their social, emotional and mental health wellbeing. For the past 12 years Katherine has been SENCO, Inclusion Lead, Designated Looked After Children and Safeguarding Lead of a large primary and nursery school. She has been responsible for the early identification of, and planning and overseeing provision, for any learning needs, in full collaboration with pupils, parents, family, teachers and external agencies (for example CAMHS and paediatricians). She is an experienced SEND trainer, coach and mentor for staff and parents and headed up a team of 30 support staff. She is a strong advocate, voice, and often mediator, for all those involved in the life of each pupil. She is empathetic, and takes pride in quickly forming trusted, nurturing and confident relationships with pupils and adults. She is particularly skilled at recognizing and unpicking problems swiftly, and often imaginatively, to find resources, lasting strategies and transformative, positive outcomes. She has a particular specialism, knowledge and interest in the neurodiverse needs of children and young people and in how underlying self esteem, resilience, anxiety and mental health difficulties can often interplay. She is dedicated to supporting pupils, parents and school teams to understand how to learn to what makes each pupil tick and above all how to “join the dots” for every pupil so that they can be happy, thrive, be resilient and confident and reach their potential.
Our Educational Learning Needs Support Service can offer:
Educational provision focus sessions:
- Pre-diagnosis specific educational in-depth focus session to look at current difficulties at school, current provision and desired outcomes.
- Follow up specific educational focus session following diagnosis, looking at recommendations and what may already be in place at school or needs to be put in place and how this might look for child. Outcomes to ensure that parents, child and school feel confident that the daily provision and plans for the child and their particular needs are well planned, organised and monitored.
- Advice session to guide and support parents and carers around individual learning plans for school, Educational Health Care Plans, transition plans, next schools.
- Act as a bridge or liaison with school or outside agencies if appropriate.
- Advice and signposting for specific additional SEN support for pupil, eg writing skills, mind mapping, use of IT, concrete resources, reading, phonics, sensory pathways.
Sounding board coaching and solutions:
- Provide a parental or family sounding board, coaching and solution finding for individualised problems that may exist at home or school eg around homework, transitions, friendships, play days or parties, emotional meltdowns, poor self esteem, family relationships, sibling rivalries, mental health difficulties including perfectionism, social media, self harm.
- Provide a parental or family sounding board, coaching and solution finding around specific aspects of ADHD, ASD, co-existence of other needs and signposting to additional information/groups/research.
- Wider family discussion session – eg grandparents, relatives to ensure understanding and all adults able to support child and family.
All sessions flexible – one off, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, as requested.
Support for Child/Young Person – Before or After Diagnosis
- Talk time – Flexible sessions, one off, weekly, fortnightly, monthly. In person or online.
- 1:1 child talk time and support work around what the child finds “tricky” at school or home – academic, social, emotional. Focus on a programme of: unpicking individualised problems; helping child/young person to find solutions and use strategies; resilience, self esteem and confidence building. Provide follow up liaison with parents (and school if appropriate).
- Child with parent-carer/family talk time sessions to look at specific difficulties at home/school to find easy solutions and strategies.
- Transition support for pupil – visit to school, next teacher, next classroom, key stage changes, primary to secondary liaison.
- School visit to liaise with teacher, SENCO from “child’s” perspective.
School: Training, Coaching, Mentoring, Liaison, ECHP/Pupil Learning Plan Provision
- Facilitate an ADHD/ASD/neurodiversity circle or friendship group to support individual pupil
- Provide highly individualised and specific training as requested to meet the needs of a group or teachers/TAs or wider school. Can be delivered as a discussion forum. Some examples below:
- “Joining the dots” around neurodiverse needs or other learning difficulties in the classroom and the home-school interplay
- Emotional behaviour management: Transforming understanding and approaches:
- The impact of the senses on pupil learning, calmness and happiness. Why do we need to build in sensory breaks? Why can’t they turn the noise down? I don’t like the feel of this pencil! Finding safe spaces.
- Boredom. “Permission to say I’m bored please!”
- Individualised training, coaching or mentoring for neurodiverse teaching and learning eg for NQT teachers.
- Liaise with school, family, outside agencies as required to include school visit for pupil if appropriate.
- Individualised learning plan/pupil passport or EHCP compilation.