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September/October 2013 issue (SEN65)

Choosing the right school
Deirdre Donegan, Gabbitas Education
The article will discuss how to choose a school for a child with SEN, looking at both mainstream and special school options.

Deirdre is an SEN consultant at Gabbitas Education, publishers of Schools for Special Needs, an annual guide to schools and other provision for children with SEN.

SEN publishing
Our guide to the latest books on SEN for parents and professionals.

School visits
Dr Khursh Khan: Headteacher of the National Autistic Society's Robert Ogden School
The article will look at going on school trips with a pupil with autism/Asperger’s. It will provide practical advice for schools/teachers on attractions, planning a visit and how to make trips work for these pupils. It will also include a section with advice for attractions on how they can provide an autism-friendly experience for visitors.
Safeguarding Children with SEN and Disabilities
Andrew Hall: Headteacher, Success in Schools
Children with special educational needs and disabilities are at higher risk of harm than most children, yet keeping them safe can be more of a challenge. For children with the most profound difficulties, with little or no verbal communication and a need for intimate care, their vulnerability is extremely high. In a different way, young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties are at high risk too, often arising from risk-taking behaviours, poor impulse control and emotional instability. Children who have been victims of sexual exploitation are more likely to be "looked-after" and in residential care. For schools, it is vital to develop robust policies and procedures to safeguard learners with SEND and this process can begin by looking at risk.


Andrew Hall is Associate Headteacher at an SLD/PMLD school and was previously headteacher of a large, split-site, primary and secondary SEBD school. Andrew has extensive experience of working with vulnerable learners and is a specialist safeguarding consultant and trainer.

Toby Lee and Rachel Tucker: Developmental Coordination Disorder (Dyspraxia) & Dyslexia Support (on Facebook)
Using the personal experiences of the authors, their families and others, the article will look at what dyspraxia is, how it affects children and adults, and what can be done to support those with the condition.


Toby Lee tutors children with dyslexia and dyspraxia, and has dyspraxia himself. Rachel Tucker is the parent of a child with dyspraxia. They are two of the organisers of the Facebook group: Developmental Coordination Disorder (Dyspraxia) & Dyslexia Support.

Living with a child with ADHD: A parent’s story
The first of a series of three articles by Alison Thompson
“Looking back, I always knew there was something different about Daniel, so when he was diagnosed with ADHD it wasn’t really a surprise. Over the last 15 years we’ve been through diagnosis and assessments, experimented with diet and medication and experienced difficulties finding the right education for Daniel. It’s been a tough old ride, but now it feels like a combination of the right school, the right medication and our own awareness of Daniel’s abilities and limitations have helped us reach a point where the future looks bright.”

Alison Thompson is the author of The Boy from Hell: Life with a Child with ADHD.

Emma Sumner: Oxford Brookes University
Children with dyslexia face many challenges when writing but it is not always clear where to target support. The article outlines a research study that used a digital tablet to record the writing of children with and without dyslexia. The main findings demonstrate how poor spelling ability, shown by primary-aged children with dyslexia, constrains three key areas of writing: handwriting fluency, vocabulary choice, and the quality of the writing produced. Practical implications of these findings will be discussed.

Emma is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Psychology Department at Oxford Brookes University. She has recently completed her PhD on the topic of dyslexia and writing development and has worked with both children and adults with dyslexia. The findings of her research have been presented at conferences held by the BDA, National Handwriting Association, and for the Enhancing Writing Skills in Children project at Oxford Brookes.

Hazel Reeves: parent
Small changes make a big difference: a mother’s perspective on autism.
Author-mum Hazel Reeves reflects on the little things that positively affect her daughter’s life and those around her. The article will include lots of tips for helping a child with autism with issues such as social learning, communication and sensory issues

Jane Elston: British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF)
The article will discuss the need for more adopter’s to come forward to adopt children with SEN, complex needs or disabilities. It will also provide a brief preview of National Adoption Week (4 - 10 November 2013).

Behaviour TBC
Katie Lees and Margaret Bullock: Educational and Child Psychologist at Lightbulb Psychology
The article will discuss inclusion for those with behavioural issues and how adults – including parents of the pupil concerned, teachers and parents of other pupils – can pose real stumbling blocks in terms of inclusion. People often adopt very unforgiving attitudes to such behavioural issues or very defensive attitudes that can be hard to shift and, in some respects, can present as more challenging to deal with than the original behavioural issues.

Asperger’s syndrome
Jennifer Cook O'Toole: parent, author, person with Asperger’s
As an “Aspie” herself and a former teacher, Jennifer will discuss her experiences of growing up with Asperger’s and how she made sense of the world. She will also provide effective ideas for teaching and parenting kids on the autism spectrum.

Jennifer Cook O'Toole has Asperger syndrome and is the mother to three young children with Asperger’s. She is the author of Asperkids: An Insider's Guide to Loving, Understanding and Teaching Children with Asperger Syndrome.

Attachment syndrome
Nicola Marshall: Director of BraveHeart Solutions, trainer, author and Adoptive Mother
Attachment difficulties and education. The article will explain what attachment is, how to recognise it (symptoms). It will also provide tips on how to engage with children who have attachment difficulties, using examples from the author’s and other children.


The articles above are scheduled to appear in the above mentioned issue of SEN Magazine. Please note, though, that we cannot guarantee to include specific articles in specific issues.

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