Introducing our new Axcis South West Consultant…

Axcis is continuing to grow as more and more schools hear about us and start using our services. As a result, our South West & Wales office has a new consultant – Evie North, so if you’re seeking work (or staff) in the Swindon & Wiltshire areas, why not get in touch with Evie? Find out a bit more about her here.

We asked Evie to tell us about herself:

Evie North

I have a degree in Theatre & Performance from Plymouth University and a PGCE in Primary Education. During my initial teacher training, I volunteered to be part of an inclusion project. As part of this, I received additional SEND training. And from it, I gained an incredible insight into supporting pupils with a range of complex needs including ASD, Down’s syndrome, visual impairment, dyslexia and cerebral palsy.

 

As a class teacher for four years, I adored the opportunity to attend and lead residential camps. I directed a lower school Christmas production and enjoyed running a series of after school clubs such as sock puppets and a drama club. My favourite subjects to teach are art and drama as pupils often surprise themselves in what they can achieve, which is lovely to see and be a part of.

 

In my third year of teaching, I worked at a school with an ASD and DLB resource base. This was a fantastic opportunity to support children with a range of needs and the chance to learn from many professionals within the SEND sector.

 

Seeing children flourish when they have a supportive team of staff around them has given me the drive to work closely with schools to help them find only the best employees for their SEND provisions.

 

I feel passionate about supporting children with SEND as children rarely come to school with a diagnosis so it’s up to staff to be sensitive and proactive in recognising their pupil’s needs.

 

In my spare time, I like to be active through hiking and attending exercise classes. I enjoy being creative and like to paint, make cards and knit. I’m an avid reader and relish challenging my friends to board games.

 

Would you like to work with Evie?

Evie covers the Swindon & Wiltshire areas for Axcis. If you are seeking work (or staff) in those locations, then get in touch with Evie today to see how she can help. Or if you’re seeking work in any other area, register online and we will put you in touch with your personal consultant in your local office.

 

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An Italian art teacher’s journey into the UK education system with Axcis. (Guest post)

Axcis candidate Emanuela Di Filippo shares the story of her journey into the UK education system in this guest blog.

About me

Ema has kindly shared her story of what it’s like to work with Axcis.

My roots run deep in Italy. Born and raised in Rome, I experienced a wonderful education in the public school and University system while enjoying the local artistic scene – such as the fantastic Roman ancient ruins, the local museums and art galleries, the wonderful weather and the Italian lifestyle. Since 2010 I have been living between England and Rome. Studying English and enthusiastic about the British culture, I started my first teaching experience in local English schools and my first art exhibitions in the local museums. I have obtained a BA in Painting and a MA from Academy of Fine Arts in Rome in 2009, and qualified teacher status (QTS) in 2012. Currently, I am working as an online tutor and as an artist. However, I am also looking for a position as an art teacher, Being both an artist and a teacher has accentuated my ability to perceive, understand, and create art. I am registered with Axcis in Bristol, and I invite you to visit my next artshow: Biba Inspiration, The Vestibules, City Hall, Bristol, supporting Studio Upstairs a Bristol and London art therapy charity.

My journey into the UK education system

Knowing of the teacher shortage in England and the difficult situation for teachers in Italy, in 2012 I gained my QTS in order to teach in England, and I started my new British adventure ….

 

In 2013 I moved to London looking to build my experience in the British school system, I started sending my CV to some local schools, but only a few answered and there were disappointments. I found lots of education recruitment agencies but I did not know which were the the most professional and honest so I felt lost and confused. This resulted in spending my first weeks in limbo in the vortex of voracious London, with only my hopes and dreams to support me.

 

One afternoon, I was in a photocopy shop in Ealing to print my CV for my next interview where I met by chance a lovely young lady who suggested  Axcis Education to me.  So I went home and  I sent my application … after a few hours I received an invitation for an interview at the main office in London …. and from there everything changed: I felt protected as an EU trained teacher, receiving understanding and support  from consultants. I started to work immediately as a TA in some special schools for the first months with the aim of working  as a teacher in the new school year.

 

My first day as a TA was in an SLD college in London –  I will never forget it. It was an intense and difficult day. I was thinking it could have been a very tough  journey in these schools but thanks to my determination and the support of the Axcis consultants, I went on collecting different experiences in different SEN schools – ranging from an SLD (specialist provision) to Primary (mainstream) They helped me to develop more skills and after six months of working as a TA, I moved to Essex and Axcis offered  me my first teaching role in a happy school in Romford. This gave me the opportunity to learn many more new things, and to meet teachers and support staff who dedicated their lives to these wonderful special students.

 

Today I am in Bristol – enrolled with the local Axcis office and looking to get closer to my goal of working as an art teacher and in the meantime carrying on my artistic research between fashion and art, aware of the importance of art as therapy, especially with some students.

 

I do not know if in the future I will have a career as an art teacher but I will never forget the support and professionalism of all the people who contribute to Axcis education. Many Thanks!

Are you seeking work with young people with SEND?

If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a special needs teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register today and find out how we can assist you? We have offices nationwide and a team of expert consultants who have proven relationships with specialist and mainstream schools in your area.

7 helpful ways for your child with autism to get a good night’s sleep (guest post)

 

Guest blogger Sarah Cummings gives us some useful tips for helping autistic children to sleep well at night.

 

Getting children to sleep at night is a problem all parents face. For parents with children with autism however an already difficult task is often even more complicated.

 

It’s estimated that between 40-80% of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) suffer from sleep related problems. These include: waking frequently, problems dropping off, restlessness and waking early.

 

The exact reasons for sleeping problems in children with ASD aren’t completely understood. Some studies have established that children with autism don’t release the sleep hormone melatonin as efficiently as their non-ASD contemporaries. While an increased sensitivity to stimuli such as noise. light and touch may be another contributing factor.

 

A lack of sleep can obviously impact a child’s day, resulting in drowsiness, learning problems and behavioral issues such as anger and hyperactivity. It’s important then to do everything in your power as parent to ensure your child sleeps well.

 

Below we take a look a number of helpful ways to improve the chances a child with autism gets a better night’s sleep…

Keep it quiet

All children can be kept awake by bumps in the night, however as autistic children often suffer from increased sensitivity to noise, these bumps can play an even greater role in broken sleep.

 

It’s impossible to control all the noise your little one might be exposed to at night, the traffic outside is obviously no fault of yours, but if there is something that can be done, do it.

 

Do a regular sound audit of your home. Doors should be kept oiled. Creaky floorboards can be replaced. Wooden floors can be covered with thick carpet. Slippers can be worn inside instead of shoes. Even things like when the water heating is scheduled to come on (rumbling pipes) can be altered to better fit in with your child’s sleeping patterns.

2 Reduce pre-bed stimulation

By now we are all aware that screens before bed can have a huge detrimental impact on sleep. But it’s a point that bears repeating. The blue light emitted by tvs, tablets and smartphones impairs the body’s melatonin production.

 

In addition to the impact of the light, the content consumed by little ones on screens and the interactive nature of today’s devices all lead to one thing – overstimulation. Children with autism are more susceptible than others to the dangers of overstimulation.

 

It’s important then to build in some wind-down time into the evening schedule of your child. This means shutting off all screens at least an hour, ideally two, before bedtime. It also means avoiding any other activity that could lead to overstimulation, replace game playing with book reading and listening to music.

3 Invest in blackout curtains

As we mentioned above, children with autism are often more sensitive to outside stimuli – this includes light. Take this into account when preparing their sleep environment. Replace ineffective curtains and blinds with blackout curtains.

 

Light pollution from outside plays a similar role to screens in keeping the mind overstimulated. The impact of having a completely dark room can be a very big one when it comes to sleep.

4 Minimize distractions

Ensure that all toys and distractions are out of sight, if possible. Their bedroom at bedtime should be a place of rest not play. Minimizing what is within view will minimize overstimulation.

5 Engage in some colour therapy

The decor of a child’s room, especially a child with autism, should be designed to generate calm. Bright, bold colours will lead to overstimulation, rooms should be painted in muted tones. Blues, light greens and mellow yellows are all known to promote healthy sleep.

6 Get the bed right

This may seem like an obvious one but ensuring the surface your child is sleeping on is fit for purpose plays a very important role in how well they sleep. Children with autism are often more sensitive than their contemporaries, if their bed is uncomfortable, the wrong size etc, they will likely feel it more than most.

 

Choosing a good bed is hard, for some help take a look at this guide if you need a little help.

7 Exercise is essential

Nothing will help a child, any child (autism or not), sleep better than going to bed properly tired. This means you have you make sure your child gets sufficient daytime exercise. Go out, run around, jump about, do whatever it takes to ensure your little one gets out of breath at least once a day. Take a look here for some autism friendly activities.

 

Avoid however scheduling your exercise sessions too close to bedtime, too much adrenaline too close to sleep time can have the opposite effect than intended.

 

Well, there you have it  – 7 simple tips on how to help your autistic child get better sleep. With a better night’s rest under their belt your child will be in a better position to cope with whatever the day throws at them. And with your child sleeping better, so will you.

 

Are you seeking work with young people with SEND?

If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a special needs teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register today and find out how we can assist you? We have offices nationwide and a team of expert consultants who have proven relationships with specialist and mainstream schools in your area.

 

SEND news roundup from our partners

At Axcis, we are thrilled to be associated with the National Autistic Society and nasen. Each month, we bring you the latest news highlights from our partners, so if you’d like to know what’s been happening with these great organisations and in the world of SEND, read on.

NAS News

Below you’ll find a list of some of the latest autism news, compiled by our friends at Network Autism. Each title is clickable and the link will take you to their website where you can find the full story.

Get the latest SEND news here with Axcis

  1. Camouflaging may delay diagnosis for autistic girls
  2. Bilingual autistic people may have improved cognitive flexibility
  3. Edinburgh airport receives Autism Friendly Award
  4. Proposals to include autism in Blue Badge scheme
  5. Victory in Personal Independence Payment legal case
  6. Lack of support for autistic people in criminal justice system
  7. Glasgow Shopping Centre first to open quiet space for autistic people
  8. Lauri Love, the autistic man accused of hacking, wins US extradition appeal
  9. Calls for better autism support in France
  10. Caution suggested over new “autism blood test”

Nasen News

Below you’ll find a list of the latest SEND news from our friends at nasen. Each title is clickable and the link will take you to their website where you can find the full story.

  1. nasen’s response to consultation: Changes to the teaching of Sex & Relationship Education and PSHE
  2. Nadhim Zahawi is confirmed as being responsible for SEND
  3. nasen Members can claim complimentary places to The Special Education Needs event
  4. nasen launch new sponsorship with Nisai Group

Are you seeking work with young people with SEND?

Register with Axcis and become connected to a range of specialist and mainstream schools in your area for work.

Register with Axcis and become connected to a range of specialist and mainstream schools in your area for work.

If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a special needs teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register today and find out how we can assist you? We have offices nationwide and a team of expert consultants who have proven relationships with specialist and mainstream schools in your area.

 

Candidate of the Term – nominations now open

Do you have an Axcis contractor who is doing a great job this term? Do you want to nominate them for an award? Find out what’s on offer and how to nominate them here.

At Axcis, we are extremely proud of the fantastic work our SEND teachers and support staff do every day in the classroom. We know that being a supply worker isn’t easy; often you are thrown in the deep end with challenging classes and little time to read up on school policy or procedure and your work could end at any given moment. And yet, we hear so much fantastic feedback about our candidates that we feel it is only right to give a bit of recognition where we can. Read on to find out how to nominate your favourite Axcis contractor for our Spring 2018 award.

What are we looking for?

We want to hear from you if you have an Axcis contractor who you feel has done a fantastic job, or who has gone above and beyond the call of duty. We know that it’s not just classroom practice that makes for a good supply worker – it’s also reliability, punctuality and willingness to step out of their usual role and take on things like school productions, trips and other extra-curricular work. Or perhaps they’ve helped to support other members of the team, made awesome strides forward with the children they work with and helped to affect positive change in the school they’ve been placed in. Whatever your reason, we are open to hearing about it!

How do I nominate?

Simply email Emily@axcis.co.uk if you have an Axcis contractor you’d like to nominate for an award, or contact your consultant. There are two awards available for the term – one for London, and one for our Regional offices. The prizes are £75 in shopping vouchers – intended for the winners to treat themselves to something nice! The deadline for entries is Friday 16th March, with winners to be announced a few days later. When you contact us, you’ll need to state the name of the contractor, along with the name of the school they are working in. We’d also like a short statement on why they should be considered for the award – it doesn’t need to be an essay – just a sentence or two. All nominees will receive a certificate of appreciation, so even if your Axcis contractor doesn’t win, don’t worry – they’ll still know they are appreciated, and this is what it’s all about, after all!

Don’t delay – do it today!

So, if you have staff from Axcis and would like them to be recognised for the fantastic work they are doing, don’t put it off – drop us an email now and we will make sure they are in the running to be considered for an award. We know you value their hard work, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to make sure they know too.

Top SEND websites to bookmark

At Axcis, we have been busy scouring the internet for useful websites. From resources and training to news and blogs, our rundown is bound to yield some gems you can bookmark. So why not take a look this half term, and see what you can make use of?

National Autistic Society/Network Autism

Mark Lever, NAS CEO (right) with Catherine Friel, Senior Director of Axcis at a recent NAS Conference.

OK, so as their single biggest corporate sponsor, we are probably a bit biased, but given the number of children in our classrooms who are on the autism spectrum, we can all stand to enhance our knowledge and skills in this area. Browse the main National Autistic Society website for news and resources, or visit their hub intended for professionals, Network Autism – either way, you’ll find articles, training, resources and much more to get your teeth into!

Nasen/SEND Gateway

Another shameless plug! We also sponsor nasen – the National Association for Special Educational Needs and their website contains a wealth of information covering a range of different needs and conditions. Nasen also run the SEND Gateway, an online portal for professionals to share good practice, articles and news. It’s another top source of information for those working in the SEND sector, so if you haven’t looked before, it’s time to have a browse!

SEN Magazine

SEN Magazine is a publication you may have spotted in the SENCo’s office or school reception. It’s one of the leading SEND publications in the UK and regularly offers useful news, articles and information. But did you know that you don’t have to be a subscriber to benefit from what they offer? Their website is worth a read if you’re a professional working in SEND and it contains many of the articles you’ll also find in the paper version!

Humans, not Robots

Humans, not Robots is a charming resource website and blog written by Matt Grant, SEND teacher and SpLD specialist. There are lots of useful ideas and resources which you could use in a range of SEND settings. This site has been running since 2012 so has an established back catalogue of materials you can use, so take a look – there is sure to be something for everyone.

Special needs Jungle

This parent-led website is designed primarily to support parents and families who have children with SEND. There is a wealth of guidance on here for those going through the process of obtaining EHC Plans as well as news, resources and much more. It’s well worth having a browse of their pages.

NSPCC

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has a wealth of resources and guides aimed predominantly at supporting child protection both at home and in school. So, if you need to plan any lessons about safer internet use, or how to teach children to avoid potentially abusive situations, their website is a must-look.

Special needs information press (SNIP)

Special Needs Information Press (SNIP) is a twelve page monthly newsletter produced by two SEND teachers. It supports staff in schools to identify and address the diverse needs of pupils in order to promote their learning and school success. We think it’s worth signing up and keeping an eye on their newsletter.

SEN Teacher

SEN Teacher is a specialist website which has printables, specialist links, free software downloads and search tools for all types and levels of special and remedial education. SEN Teacher is also used by many parents and teachers of younger students and children without special needs.

Complex Needs Training

http://www.complexneeds.org.uk/ is a website dedicated to training materials which cover multiple areas of SEND and are clustered into modules, each of which represents a specific topic. There are 16 modules in total, split across four broader subject groups. Once you have chosen a module, you can also select a study level to ensure that you are getting the information you need from each resource. Whether you’re an established SEND specialist or new to the area, this website offers an invaluable opportunity for FREE online training.

Time to Change

This website is dedicated to mental health and offers plenty of resources, training and information which you may find useful to support your professional practice.

Special needs UK

Special needs UK is a website which aims to provide parents and educational professionals with in-depth information on schools/colleges/education centres and support groups for children and young adults with special educational needs.

The learning spy

The Learning Spy is widely recognised as one of the most influential education blogs in the UK and has won a number of awards. In February 2017 alone, there were 2.5 million visitors to the site! So if you’re looking for an education blog to follow, check it out!

Are you seeking SEND work or staff?

I hope you enjoyed our rundown of online resources and take the time to bookmark a few – there really are some gems in here! And don’t forget that if you’re seeking SEND work, or looking to recruit staff in this area, Axcis can help! So why not register for work or send us your SEND vacancy today?!

 

Is variety in the curriculum the prescription children with ADHD need? (Guest post)

Graham Chatterley

Graham Chatterley is an assistant head at a school in Warrington for pupils with a range of SEMH needs. He has 4 children, of which the youngest 2 have varying ASD needs. One is very high functioning with some social and understanding difficulties, however managing well in mainstream primary. The other having significant ASD, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder needs requiring an SLD setting. This has put Graham in an unusual position of experiencing both sides of SEND which has aided his understandings of both. He has kindly provided this guest post for the Axcis blog.

 

Is variety in the curriculum the prescription children with ADHD need?

Here’s the thing – I’ve got instant credibility when talking about ASD because I live it everyday. I can fall back on real life – every hour of the day, every day experiences which add to my professional experience and give my opinions added validity.

 

My experience of ADHD is different. Yes, I encounter it every day to varying degrees at school and I have years of experience in that respect but other than it being a side-dish to Daniel’s severe ASD and other needs I can’t claim the expertise of living with it at home.

 

I witness children struggling with ADHD at school, I see them with and without their medication and how they change. I see how they see themselves as different and what this does to their self- esteem and anxiety. They become shrouded in anger and negativity because they are different and misunderstood. So often it is believed they are doing things on purpose or just not listening. This is usually far from the truth.

 

I talked about High Functioning ASD being about trying to fit a square peg in to a round hole. ADHD is so similar in many respects. There are so many crossovers and the two go hand in hand in terms of sole focus and borderline obsession. The differences are also there if we are willing to see them. A child with High Functioning ASD may be super smart and when fixated on a topic will want to know everything there is to know about it. They will more than likely be happy with knowing and be more than happy talking about it endlessly. They are the great researchers of our society and if interest is peaked in a topic then there will be no end to their questions about it.

 

This is something I have experience of because Max is learning about the Romans. I have a little knowledge of the Romans from my days as a primary teacher – but a little knowledge isn’t enough for Max. He wants to know everything that happened in 500 years of the Roman Empire whilst he has me trapped for a short car journey across town! Thank goodness for Google and Siri who do have the answers to the barrage of questions being fired at me!

 

It is brilliant that Max is so interested in the Roman’s because in this topic, he will get a brilliant report. The problem is that the rest of the class have now moved on to maths or literacy and Max is still thinking about Rome’s failed invasion of Gaul! This will cause difficulty for Max getting on task for maths but he can usually be refocused and get back on track.

A step further

ADHD is similar but can be more intense. If this child is focussed on something, it is the only thing in the world and refocussing back onto the Maths lesson is very difficult. They are blinkered to everything else and similarly HAVE to know everything they can about that topic. The difference for the child with ADHD is that they also have to know why. If there is a problem then it has to be solved, if there is a mistake it has to be corrected and if something is incomplete it has to be completed!

 

As a teacher, you might spend hours trying to get a child with ADHD to write something in literacy, but then when they write about the Romans you can’t get them to stop!

 

This desire to finish, fix and solve means that if these children can be focussed on something practical, they will often achieve amazing things.

 

This desire to finish, fix and solve means that if these children can be focussed on something practical, they will often achieve amazing things. I’ve seen children who find classrooms impossible go on to become incredible mechanics or computer engineers because of their desire to take things apart, put back together and improve. The myth is that the need for them to be practical is to do with their physical hyperactivity. When in fact the need for them to be practical, is to challenge their mental hyperactivity with a problem solving task!

Positive or negative? Obsession or passion?

Some will see this desire to know, solve and develop as being obsessive, the child will be made to feel that obsession is a negative thing and therefore they will feel like they are different and doing something wrong. This contributes to the child’s self-esteem taking a knock and we end up left with an anxious and unhappy child.

 

In many adults with ADHD, when finally working in the “right” work field the same traits are seen as passion, the desire to know is seen as positive and the problem solving appreciated and nurtured. What was once a negative thing is lorded by bosses and recognised as a great thing. The adult can finally achieve, belong and that self-esteem gets a well deserved boost.

 

Unfortunately they have to find their way to the right work field. Often they have to do this with poor exam results because despite being really intelligent, their organisational ability sucked or they couldn’t focus themselves. They end up in jobs that they aren’t passionate about so bounce from job to job and experience failure after failure when in reality they have so much to offer the right person/organisation. If we can identify that that passion and see it for what it is rather than looking down on it as an obsession which must be eliminated, you end up with incredible achievements. Just think, what would have become of Jamie Oliver if his love of food had been seen as an obsession and a negative, rather than a passion…

Schools position

This is where we often go so wrong, and I don’t blame schools. Schools have to produce children who fit a type (children who have learned a balanced curriculum so that we may tick a variety of boxes). Education is a production line of round pegs who are intended to go about their lives with a steady job and for many this model works fine. However, for some children, this production line holds them back, it’s tells them they are different, it tells them they are doing it wrong and it tells them they are bad. So many children come to me seeing themselves this way and seeing school as negative. Every single one though can tell me a subject they like, every school report contains a mixture of bad behaviour and brilliance. For many by the time they get to me the damage is done, too much negativity is associated with school and we look for an alternative for them. These children are often completely different when they get to college and are doing an activity they are passionate about like joinery, landscaping etc. If we are lucky though, we get them early, we find a passion for music or art or sport and we can use that as a vehicle in school to drive them. We know what their outside passions are and use them as a go-to whenever that child is distressed. Whatever it is, we don’t make them feel like it’s obsessive or wrong because it is our tool to help their mental health and a way to ground them and prevent them from getting into trouble.

 

If I have a child who is distressed in class about writing about something he cannot (despite all his best efforts) focus on or interest himself in, what if we tweak the lesson and he writes about something he’s passionate about instead? Which will probably be good quality, is that the end of the world? Or should we force him do it the same as everyone else; disrupting and getting into negative behaviour, probably producing a much more mediocre piece of work, if any.

We also need to look at an alternative classroom

My opinion is that much more topic based learning has to be on offer for children with significant ADHD. Whether it’s about Roman’s, Dinosaurs or Volcanoes, it doesn’t matter! What does matter is that they all present an opportunity for literacy, history, geography etc. but they do it in a way that engages our harder to reach children. Being less prescriptive and allowing these children to do what they are exceptional at lets them problem solve, write with passion and research independently. Skills that many other children may not be capable of.

 

What you might find is that the child who is easily distracted and cannot focus on a task, now cannot be dragged away from their work. The pen will need to be wrestled from their hand and the sponge that has absorbed so much information has been rung out onto the page. Surely this is better than mediocre?

 

Why does being out of the classroom and outside help the child with ADHD so much? I struggled for years to understand why a child who could not sit still in a classroom for more than 2 minutes could sit fishing on a lake for hours on end, but when you live in a world with so much external stimulus attacking your senses, removing them and being able to focus on one thing is a welcome relief. It’s not about resting the body, it’s about resting the mind!

 

Hypervigilance

Therefore being outside, reducing the lights, the noises, the other children etc gives them a rare opportunity to focus and some relief from a school world where they are bombarded with over stimulus and expected to fit in a box. ADHD once served as an incredibly important tool that kept people alive. Whether it’s Spiderman’s ‘Spidey Sense’ or Daredevils heightened senses, these are seen as superpowers – but the child who notices every sound, change, smell and is hypervigilant is seen as troublesome because they can’t focus. In the past their ADHD would have been the difference between them having food and becoming food but now it’s seen as a disability. Skills like these on a sports field, or attention to detail in an art class cannot be taught.

Resilience and working out of their comfort zone

We have so many children who want us to prescribe them everything and because we are teaching to such a stringent curriculum this becomes the normal way of learning – and when it does come to being creative or having a debate, many children find this really challenging. They don’t like to come out of this comfort zone they are used to and many are faced with apprehension and anxiety. Now the child in class with ADHD lives in apprehension and anxiety all the time but given the right topic, the desire to pursue and explore gazumps those feelings every time. The thirst for knowledge and blinkered enthusiasm means that being out of the comfort zone is an adventure and they will be able to stay on task.

Brainstormers and team leaders

Given the right topic, a child with ADHD can excel in group activities, thinking outside the box and motivating the group

 

Given the right topic, a child with ADHD can excel in group activities, thinking outside the box and motivating the group. They can take an idea and run with it. Many classes have a child who is difficult to engage but the other children look up to. As staff if we can engage that child then the rest of the class will follow their lead, all too often though we take the easy option and withdraw this pupil.
If their confidence hasn’t been destroyed by the time they leave school and they can find the right work field, this child will be a brilliant brainstormer and an infectious team leader. It is one thing to be able to complete a task well, it is something else to motivate others with your enthusiasm.

 

We put emphasis on whether a child is a visual, audio or kinaesthetic learner. Surely we are missing a trick by not teaching these children in a way that gets the most from them. What if we pooled the skills of our children with high functioning ASD and ADHD to a research and development team in school and just allowed them to learn in a way that their brain is designed for rather than trying to prescribe the same stuff they struggle to focus on everyday and setting them up to fail. These children are labelled as ‘naughty’. Were they ever labelled as naughty when they were reading their favourite dinosaur book, searching the garden for minibeasts or trying to fix something?

 

They may have been labelled naughty for breaking it in the first place but is it still destructive if you break something just to learn how to fix it?

 

A final thought is that if your child with ASD has a thirst for knowledge that allows them to be an incredible researcher and your child with ADHD has the desire to be an incredible developer, then your child with a combination of both really is a 1 person research and development team who many employers dream of. So what do we do with these abilities? We train it out of them and try to make them a round peg! We give them their prescribed education programme. Then either; at best they manage it, supress their desires and we delay them reaching their potential. Or they fight the system, get labelled naughty and disruptive. They spend their days in education believing that there is something wrong with them and they are bad. The only question then is how much damage is done by the time they reach the right education and how long will it take to repair?

 

 

Graham Chatterley

 

 

Graham would like to invite ideas for contributions, so if you have any SEND issues you’d like to hear from him on, why not get in touch with Axcis today? And don’t forget to register or check out our jobs pages if you’re seeking SEND work or staff!

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Introducing our new Axcis London consultant…

Axcis is continuing to grow as more and more schools hear about us and start using our services. As a result, our London office has a new consultant – Blake Simpson, so if you’re seeking work (or staff) in the Wandsworth, Merton or Sutton areas, why not get in touch with Blake? Find out a bit more about him here.

We asked Blake to tell us about himself:

Blake Simpson

Prior to joining Axcis, I worked as a recruitment consultant for early years education. This gave me a fantastic grounding in recruitment but also sparked an interest in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

 

I find it extremely rewarding knowing that I am making a difference to children who find learning and other activities difficult. I do this by finding them staff who can provide the exact support they need – not only academically but also emotionally. I think this is essential for the young people to reach their full potential.

 

I pride myself on my ability to form effective working relationships with candidates and clients alike. I have previous experience in hospitality which I feel really helps with this.

 

My hobbies are sport and music. In my spare time, I play 11-a-side football and also go to a lot of festivals and gigs. I love music and listen to lots of different genres.

 

Would you like to work with Blake?

Blake covers the Wandsworth, Merton and Sutton areas for Axcis. If you are seeking work (or staff) in those locations, then get in touch with Blake today to see how he can help. Or if you’re seeking work in any other area, register online and we will put you in touch with your personal consultant in your local office.

 

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5 reasons we can’t wait for the Autism Professionals Conference

As proud supporters of the National Autistic Society, Axcis are thrilled to sponsor both the Autism Professionals Conference and an Autism Professionals Award, as well as speaking and exhibiting at this event being held on the 7th and 8th March in Harrogate. Here are 5 reasons we can’t wait to go:

1. Great development opportunities

Expert speakers will present an overview of the changing environment and the latest developments in the field of autism. Hear key information and learn from case studies illustrating best practice. With four different seminar streams to choose from, delegates can select the options which are most relevant to their work.

2. Teddy bear’s picnic

picnic andy

Join us for a teddy bear’s picnic at the NAS Conference in March

Axcis are running a “teddy bear’s picnic” at the conference this year – come and collect an entry form from our stand, locate the 10 Axcis Andy bears hidden around the venue and make a note of all the food he’s bringing to the picnic for your chance to win a £50 shopping voucher.

3. SEND recruitment advice

We’re looking forward to speaking to school staff about their recruitment needs at this year’s conference. Whether you’re seeking specialist SEND staff for your provision, or looking for a new role yourself, why not come and have a chat to us on the Axcis stand? Our dedicated professionals will give you free, no obligation recruitment advice, so what do you have to lose?

 

4. Autism Professionals Awards

On the evening of the 7th March, the National Autistic Society will hold their annual Autism Professionals Awards. Axcis are again proud to sponsor an award for Achievement by an Individual Education Professional. Shortlisted for this award are:

Adele Beeson

Adele

Adele started her career as a primary teacher with an interest in special educational needs. With the diagnosis of her son she became interested in autism and retrained as an autism professional. She has since supported autistic people across the full age-range in a variety of settings.

 

Adele now works as a specialist study skills tutor for Spectrum First ltd.  supporting university students to achieve their full potential. Her special interest within the field is sensory processing and she has been working with her students to develop a sensory curriculum as an awareness-building tool. She has recently led staff training in sensory processing.

 

Adele was diagnosed with autism and ADHD while studying for the MA Autism Spectrum which she completed in 2017.

Joanna Hastwell, Disability Adviser (Autism), University Cambridge

Joanna

From studying fine art and the representation of disability in art, Joanna began her career in education. Nearly 15 years later Joanna has gone on to work on inclusion in higher education and universal design for learning. Some time ago Joanna studied Autism at Sheffield Hallam University and has co-published participatorary research and delivered projects which have contributed to positive changes in higher education. Joanna worked for Autism Victoria in Melbourne gaining an international perspective and, back in the UK is a board member for the National Association of Disability Practitioners.

 

Joanna continues to support students with autism to develop their own voice on equality and diversity, and work collaboratively across disciplines to realise inclusive practice.

5. Fantastic Networking Opportunities

As always, the NAS Professional Conference will provide unparalleled networking opportunities. Whether it’s talking to peers about best practice, or hunting out speakers after their seminars for further advice or questions, you are sure to have many useful and productive conversations during your time at the conference!

How to book a place

If you’d like to book a place at this event, please visit the NAS webpage for further details.

This is how we do “service” at Axcis, we don’t just find staff, we train them too!

If we don’t have enough staff with specialist training for a client, we don’t turn them away, we find a solution! Read on for a case study in customer service, the Axcis way!

The problem

In September 2017, one of the colleges we work with opened the ‘Safe Zone’: a specialised, safe and secure provision for students with PMLD: Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties. One of the key needs that staff need to support within the new provision is epilepsy, and the college asked in particular that all staff should have buccal training. Requests for teachers and teaching assistants with buccal training have more than trebled in the last academic year, so servicing the college’s ongoing needs as the unit continues to grow has been a real challenge.

The Axcis solution

At Axcis, we like to find solutions – that’s why we started to look into the possibility of running more regular training in this area for our staff, as part of our growing programme of CPD courses.

 

Then Sam joined the Axcis team, and her timing couldn’t have been better!

 

Sam ran an excellent training session

After consulting with the college, they were more than happy to have Sam come onsite to train their staff, permanent and Axcis alike, completely free of charge. If that’s not what service is, I don’t know what is…

 

Audery, who assisted on the course, said:

We had a great turn out, everyone in training got involved and asked detailed questions, I saw that many were inspired by her training and felt that now they are more prepared, to support the students that they work with.

Are you seeking SEND staff?

Does your SEND school or provision need well trained, specialist staff? if the answer is yes then why not get in touch with Axcis today? If we can’t find you the right people, we will do our best to train them up on your behalf. And you don’t pay a penny for our service until we find you someone you want to hire. So what is there to lose? Find out more on our website, or send us your SEND vacancy today!

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