#WAAW World Autism Acceptance Week 2024 ‘Study links reading comprehension challenges in autistic children to specific early and pre-reading skill gaps’

Many children with autism struggle with reading comprehension abilities throughout their school years.

In language development, narrative skills are a pre-reading skill, such as retelling the events of a story in order and understanding how the parts of a story work together. Inference skills develop early in reading and include the ability to link the ideas in two sentences together.

For children with autism, challenges with these two early skills were linked strongly with reading comprehension challenges as they got older. (Grimm, McIntrye and Mundy, 2020)

The Reading Framework Report published by the Department of Education in July 2023 emphasises the value of reading comprehension in supporting SEN pupils. Their suggestions for mainstream classroom teaching adaptions include group or peer reading, utilising audio, visual aids such as picture books, graphic organisers, flow charts and diagrams; multi-sensory stimulation of several senses to help convey meaning and dedicating enough time for reading for pleasure at school and at home.

Tips and ideas to support children with autism who are non-verbal: Teaching children with nonverbal autism to read | Autism Speaks

World Down Syndrome Day 2024

Marner School Celebration

The Learning Advisory Service celebrated World Down Syndrome Day with a performance around “End the Stereotypes”at Marner School. It included pupils with Down Syndrome who attend mainstream schools coming together to celebrate how amazing they are now and thinking about what they would like to be when they grow up.

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), Thursday 21 March, is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012.

The theme for World Down Syndrome Day 2024 is ‘End The Stereotypes’.

Please click on the link below. Register to access the free educational resources for all age groups.

https://www.worlddownsyndromeday.org/resources

World Down Syndrome Day March 21, 2024

The Language, Literacy and Communication team have introduced an intervention this year to improve reading and language outcomes for children with Down Syndrome this year. We are using The Reading and Language Intervention for Children with Down Syndrome (RLI) developed by DSE UK.

https://www.down-syndrome.org/en-gb/resources/teaching/rli/

The intervention is an evidenced-based teaching programme which supplements and supports regular teaching with daily 1:1 intervention sessions and is carefully targeted to the needs of each pupil.

We are currently working with 10 primary schools, and about 17 pupils, and we look forward to seeing how well they progress.

We offer 2 half day training days, as well as visiting schools before and after the intervention begins to provide support and guidance to the Teaching Assistants running the programme.

We hope to run the programme again in the Autumn term for any schools that did not take part in the first cohort.

Please note we are only currently offering this to Tower Hamlets Schools but if numbers allow, this may change.

#WorldBookDay2024

World Book Day, Thursday March 7th, is about celebrating books and reading all year round.The best way you can support your child’s reading is by encouraging a love of reading, and spending time looking through books, talking about the pictures and story, and reading together each day

Children with SEND needs lots of repetition and over-
learning of reading skills, both at school and at home.
Reading is about much more than getting your child to read to you, it is
just as beneficial for you to read to them, particularly
early on.

Children’s Mental Health Week February 5-11

Here is our latest powerpoint from our 5 minutes for inclusion series

‘What is the impact of Speech Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) on children’s mental health and well-being?’

This presentation looks at both the risk factors, the protective factors and the wider impact on mental health and well-being for young people with SLCN.

Signalong Get ready for Easter

Signalong, The Communication Charity, provides resources, training and free advice, and readily works with others in the field to promote communication skills for children and adults with speech, language and communication needs and English as an additional language.

They produce a free education resource every Friday. This week’s theme is ‘Get Ready for Easter!’

Signalong – The Communication Charity

Download the song and recipe PDF file here:

Have a Very Funny Christmas Part Deux Coming Soon!

The LAS team are busier than Santa’s elves preparing the sequel to their popular Christmas ‘wisecrackers’ series. In the meantime, enjoy these Yuletide cheery chestnuts (wink wink). Watch this space-drop date December 13th!

How to make a Coreboard

Core boards are tools used in augmented and alternative communication (AAC) with students who have difficulty with verbal speech. They feature a grid of symbols, words and phrases which represent concepts. Evidence (and experience) shows them to be invaluable in supporting communication for our SEN learners.

Eloise Bromwich, from the Tower Hamlets Speech and Language Therapy team, has developed a Core board for use across Tower Hamlets schools. Eloise demonstrates how to turn the resources into a functional low-tech AAC device. High Tech communication aids, such as Proloqu and TD Snap, use the same principle. Putting a low-tech device into practice before implementing higher-tech AAC is usually a good way of introducing the concepts.

Eloise demonstrates how to make the core boards below.

Thanks Eloise!

Special Educational Needs in the Mainstream Classroom-EEF recommendations (2020)

Essential reading for educators-‘This report presents five recommendations for mainstream primary and secondary schools seeking to improve their provision for pupils with SEND. Some of the recommendations included here will also be helpful for pupils in special schools.’
Recommendation 1 Create a positive and supportive environment for all pupils,
without exception. Recommendation 2 Build an ongoing, holistic understanding of your pupils and
their needs. Recommendation 3 Ensure all pupils have access to high quality teaching.
Recommendation 4 Complement high quality teaching with carefully selected
small-group and one-to-one interventions. Recommendation 5 Work effectively with teaching assistants.

Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools | EEF (educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk)

Download the poster summary here-Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools—Recommendations (d2tic4wvo1iusb.cloudfront.net)

To Remember, the Brain Must Actively Forget

“Without forgetting, we would have no memory at all,” said Oliver Hardt, who studies memory and forgetting at McGill University in Montreal. The process is necessary for the functioning of a healthy brain—just as important as the ability to remember.

Read this fascinating article on the latest research into the theory of ‘forgetting’ as an active component of the long-term memory process.

To Remember, the Brain Must Actively Forget | Quanta Magazine