Following an initial programme of training delivered centrally to schools 2017-18, we reviewed feedback from schools and attendees which has informed the new 2018-19 training programme and provided some of the common training themes schools have asked for further training in. In particular; supporting children around understanding their ASD diagnosis; ASD and girls; Anxiety and Autism- a practical guide; Puberty/ Intimacy/ Relationships and ASD ; Grapho-motor skills- supporting handwriting for individuals with ASD.
We’ve also provided plenty of sessions that are morning sessions as schools fed back that releasing staff for these slots was more workable.
Following a trial of coffee sessions in 2017-2018, based on feedback from parents we’ve developed the format of these. Some parents felt they didn’t get an opportunity to speak to the professional of their choice as the format was quite open, others also felt they’d like an information sharing part of to the session, “Sleep” was also a common theme parents wanted more help around. The 2018-19 coffee sessions now consist of a presentation session on a popular topic (including sleep) and then a book-on consultation session with a professional for 20 mins to allow time for more parents to speak to the professional/s of their choice. We have also added the Sleep counsellor to the list of professionals offering consultation slots.
Throughout our work and liaison with schools and professionals feedback has been that teaching assistants supporting individuals with autism would welcome and need specialist training and support in order to skill them up and share good practice. This led to the development of the specialist ASD TA Training programme which consists of:
- Use of visuals
- The environment - structured teaching
- Supporting sensory needs
- Analysing difficult behaviour
2 x follow up / network support sessions to review and share good practice, and access ongoing support from the team.
Post diagnosis training:
This training is run by Sefton Inclusion ASD Lead Practitioner and Alder Hey NHS Speech and Language Therapists. Feedback from parents indicated that the afternoon session wasn’t really relevant for parents as it was about running social skills groups so this year we have now provided parents with a separate afternoon session on strategies for home/ question and answer session and parent resource pack.