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About coolblue

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    Ben Nevis

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    Health, child development, education, politics, sustainable environment, psychology and physiology.
  1. The AET is looking for some new members of its Expert Reference Group, including parents/carers of children with autism (including those who home-school) professionals working within PRUs A representative from a Free school or Academy Autism researcher A Young adult with autism Learning support assistants (LSA) You can read more here: http://www.icontact-archive.com/PlyyUDEFsOLFnkQjwBJkYA0D9o9huC0Q?w=4# coolblue
  2. The public have an opportunity to comment on the SEN part of the Children and Families Bill here http://www.parliament.uk/business/bills-and-legislation/public-reading/children-and-families-bill/special-educational-needs/?page=2 "MPs are particularly interested in your comments on the practical implications of specific clauses of the Bill. Please make clear whether your comment relates to a specific clause or schedule." Public reading of the Bill closes tomorrow. coolblue
  3. Might be useful for parents whose children have complex needs who are struggling to find a suitable school place - and who have PIPs. This consultancy has just been set up and offers a range of educational support. Can't vouch for the quality as I haven't used it, but have met the special school teacher who started it and was impressed by her experience and commitment. http://dianekingconsultancy.co.uk/ coolblue
  4. Posting a request from a student of a friend who'd like feedback from anyone with dyslexia, ADHD or ASD or anyone familiar with these conditions. coolblue ******************* I am a third year student at Keele University. As part of my third year I will be undertaking a final year dissertation. The dissertation I will be undertaking involves evaluating a current website: Student Finance England’s online application form, which all students applying for support to study at University are expected to use I also want to evaluate an improved design for the website for three separate user groups. The three user groups I have in mind are those who have Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism. In order to help gain a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the current and my proposed improved website(s), it would be important to receive the opinions from individuals who have knowledge of the conditions above. Your opinions would be most beneficial in discovering what individuals with such conditions feel are the strengths and weaknesses of the current Student Finance England online application form. [Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Student Finance England. The re-designing of the interface is not conducted on their behalf.] If there are any individuals interested in taking part please feel free to email me at: v4j48@students.keele.ac.uk Confidentiality of all individuals taking part in this evaluation will be adhered to. Your help would be much appreciated. Further materials for the evaluation will be sent electronically through email for those wishing to take part. Thank you for your time. Kind regards, Habiba Begum.
  5. Interesting (and important) article here https://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/news/2012/autism-research-may-require-tens-of-thousands-of-samples coolblue
  6. Under the 1996 Education Act, parents are required to cause their child to have an education suitable to the child's age, aptitude, ability and any special educational needs they might have. This requirement is derived from the 1944 Education Act, which expected the child's education to suit the child. Because of the national curriculum and other constraints, this requirement has effectively been turned on its head, so that the suitability of the education is determined by different levels of differentiation in the curriculum. As both you and Canopus have said, this approach doesn't take into account anyone with an uneven profile.
  7. A 'broad and balanced' education goes way back. To the ancient Greeks and beyond. I don't think its supporters are going to go away any time soon. No, because the subjects taught in secondary schools continued to be determined by the content of GCSE courses. Prior to 1988 there wasn't 'a' school curriculum, primary or secondary. It was entirely up to teachers, schools or local authorities what was taught in schools. The 1988 Act was a massive change to a standard curriculum under central control. There are still teachers around who were originally expected to develop their own curriculum and would be happy to go back to that situation. I've come across many teachers trained since 1988 who would be happy to give it a go.
  8. And grammar schools traditionally led on to university. Personally, I wouldn't want a curriculum designed for the 'masses', but one designed for the diversity of needs both of learners and of the knowledge and skills the larger community relies on. Well they managed a pretty rapid reform with the Education Reform Act 1988, so I imagine it wouldn't be that difficult to reform back again. Plenty of teachers would welcome such a change. Agreed. cb
  9. I think they are quite right. The school curriculum has always tended to be derived from university entry requirements (ie A levels support university entrance, GCSEs support A levels, lower levels are working towards GCSEs), even if there have been attempts to make it more skill-based. What it should do is enable students to understand how the world works and allow them to rehearse the skills they are likely to need in a safe environment. That way, you could make wide differentiation possible to suit individual students' aptitudes. cb
  10. Hi Lisa My son was diagnosed with hyperacusis when he was 10, although he'd had problems with it for years. I don't know whether you are interested in the research, but if you are, there are a number of different proposed causes for it - Baguley's paper gives a good overview; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC539655/ And several different types of hyperacusis have been identified, often associated with different developmental conditions; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00376.x/full We had an auditory training cd from a consultant which my son found very uncomfortable to listen to and has never managed to listen to for more than two weeks at a time. We've also tried a proprietary (very expensive) auditory training programme, with exactly the same outcomes - ds finds it very uncomfortable and couldn't tolerate it for more than a few days. The course providers said that he needed a specially structured introduction to the course - which wasn't mentioned in the accompanying booklet. We have also tried birdsong recordings and pure tones (flute etc) which he finds easier to listen to but exhausting, so we are currently taking a break. In short, I think it would be worth trying anything that doesn't cause your son distress, but be aware that there may be different types of hyperacusis and different causes (including physiological ones) so it might not be a case of his hearing needing recalibrating. cb
  11. Tinted lenses, made noticeable difference to gait. No noticeable difference to transposition, inversion or reversal of letters and numerals, which is why we tried it. Incidentally, we didn't go to a behavioural optometrist as such, but an optometrist who specialises in developmental problems, and a hospital orthoptist who disagreed with the theoretical model used by the optometrist. Cans of worms out there in behavioural optometry land. cb
  12. Yes, it was: 'The standard 'dolly' test suggests all but the most severely compromised of children will have achieved this level of TOM by the age of six.' Oh. I thought I was trying to explain how I think rewards and sanctions should be approached. He did interpret it as TOM baddad! He was pointing out that response inhibition went out of the window in the presence of bananas. Just as it can go out of the window in some circumstances with HFA children. I know you don't want to continue this discussion but I'm not clear how a sanction can not be a negative reinforcer
  13. What? I haven't said any of those things. You didn't mention 'saying no', you talked about turning the tv off if the child hit a younger sibling. I was pointing out that the toddler might not see a connection. Sorry to disagree, but what the evidence shows is that TOM develops at different rates in different children. Children with impaired hearing don't develop it until later. TOM is a highly complex construct that is quite difficult to define. And which version of the 'dolly' test you use to measure it is pretty important. How on earth can you assume he is doing it 'to achieve results'? People respond in different ways to different environments. Both my children chewed their sleeves when they were younger, but interestingly, it was only the sleeves of one particular school uniform that got chewed. They didn't chew their cuffs 'to achieve results' as far as I could tell. I couldn't help concluding that the school environment might be a factor. I would question the usefulness of the concept of TOM - it's too tied up with other frontal lobe functions, and as far as I know, no one has been able to isolate it from them. I remember one researcher studying inhibition in chimps saying that if he (the researcher) dropped something and couldn't reach it, the chimps would often pick it up and hand it to him, suggesting some element of TOM. But, as he said, 'if you dropped a banana, forget it!' Which parent are we talking about? Ignoring the behaviour was what the OP was advised to do by the teacher. . No I don't. What I am aware of is how much the development of children varies. The ones I've brought up and taught and the ones investigated by researchers. Very difficult to generalise. No they are called the 'terrible twos' because they do what you said and they are still struggling with behaviour inhibition. So do you ignore the bad behaviour or not? cb
  14. The problem is that you can't assume a child has or doesn't have control over a behaviour unless you have seen them control it on a number of occasions. And even then the degree of control can vary depending on the circumstances. Even the law makes allowances for provocation. We're talking about two different issues here. One is the child's ability to control a behaviour. The other is the is the relationship between a stimulus and a response. Although very primitive organisms can learn stimulus-response patterns, they don't learn anything useful unless the stimulus-response pattern is pretty consistent. Also, although a toddler is able to learn more complex stimulus-response patterns than a lab rat or a puppy, the ability to make associations and to control behaviour develops over time and takes longer to develop in some children than others. We wouldn't expect a 6 month-old baby to be able to stop itself having a temper tantrum if mum said no to a biscuit, but we might expect a three year-old to be able to do so. So... in the screaming and biscuit scenario, the screaming and the biscuit have a causal relationship for the baby or toddler. The baby or toddler wants a biscuit, mum says no, the child screams. But a child would only use screaming as a 'controlling behaviour' if s/he had learned that it got results. If screaming isn't rewarded by anything, the kid will soon learn that screaming is a waste of effort. In a young baby, screaming is simply a response to frustration. In a two year-old it could be a response to frustration that they can control. It would be pretty counterproductive to give the biscuit as a 'reward' for stopping screaming, because, as you point out, the child then associates screaming with a reward. However, in the hitting and tv scenario, the hitting has no direct connection with the tv. The toddler isn't hitting anyone because of the tv, and turning off the tv isn't a direct consequence of hitting. What would make more sense (assuming we discount corporal punishment) would be to put the kid out of the room - ie away from the person they were hitting. See hitting and tv scenario above. A sanction that is meaningfully connected with the behaviour is far more likely to be effective than one that isn't. Even a toddler would be able to see the logic of 'you must not hurt your little brother - if you do that I will put you outside the room' and they would be deprived of the pleasure of watching the younger sibling wail. If, however, the consequence was the tv going off or not going to the park, there's no direct connection and the risk is that the kid will see punishment as fickle and arbitrary unpleasant behaviour on the part of an adult. Not a good behaviour to model. I quite agree, but it's often difficult to untangle why a child is behaving in a certain way and what to do about it. As a child I would have been pretty miffed (and mystified) if my parents had arbitrarily decided to stop me going swimming and send me to Brownies instead because I cried a lot about things I couldn't do. More support with the things I couldn't do might be more appropriate.
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