WEBINAR CATEGORY: EDUCATION

Click on each speaker to find out more...

Laura Kerbey
Lynn Mcann
Rachel Evans
Ruth Fidler
Tigger Pritchard
Tracy Chadwick

Laura Kerbey

Webinar: Joint talk with Eliza Fricker - Speaking on alternative ways to educate

Our presentation will talk attendees through the positive aspects of home-educating a child with PDA.  We will also cover some of the challenges.   It will provide a “toolkit of strategies” that tutors and parents who are home-educating or whose children have EOTAS can use to ensure that their children enjoy this alternative, and highly successful way of engaging children with PDA to support them with their learning experiences.  We will also look at the impact on families if you home educate your child. 

Bio

I am the founder of Positive Autism Support and Training and KITE Therapeutic Learning and have been working with autistic children and young people for over 20 years.

I started my teaching career as a lecturer in the Supported Learning Department of a large mainstream college and in 2002, I became the Autism Champion for the Surrey College Network.  After enjoying this role for over a year I became Assistant Head, then Head Teacher at an independent specialist school.

In 2013 I founded Positive Autism Support and Training.  PAST provides support to autistic young people and their families and also provides workshops and training. 

In 2018 I launched KITE Therapeutic Learning Services. KITE provides bespoke learning programmes for children who are unable to access school.  The majority of children accessing KITE are autistic with a PDA profile.  

Who will benefit from your presentation?

Parents who are already or are considering EOTAS, teachers / tutors who work with children with PDA.

What problems can you solve? Please give an example of when someone has applied your advice 

As well as running PAST I run a tutoring company called KITE.  KITE provides bespoke learning programmes for children who are unable to attend school. Almost all our KITE children are autistic with a PDA profile.  All of our clients report being happier since being under KITE and can access more learning. 

Here is a quote from an article on PDA that a KITE parent wrote recently: ‘Thomas is now formally “educated other than at school”, with his learning provided by a specialist team. He has built up an excellent rapport with them, and they’ve created a curriculum around his special interests. There are still days when he can’t cope, but the team can work flexibly as his needs change.

‘Being “educated other than at school” has helped Thomas to regain his trust of education and adults, and has rebuilt his fragile confidence and feelings of self-worth. His world is still small and his anxiety is still high, but he’s happier, more aware of his emotions, and is slowly becoming more open to learning.’

Are there any other recommendations you could give, or areas you can help with that you may not be discussing?

I offer training to staff who work with children who have PDA, and also provide support and coaching to parents.

What is your link to PDA?  (Parent, professional)

Professional

Who do you work with e.g. Parents, Young people, or professionals? If applicable how 

Children and young people with PDA – support with mental health and emotions.  I also support parents and siblings and offer training to education staff.

Newsletter 

Our Facebook page is the best way to keep track of what we are doing 

https://www.facebook.com/LauraKerbeyPast

Personal links

Website address - https://www.positiveautismsupportandtraining.co.uk/

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/LauraKerbeyPast/

Twitter - https://twitter.com/LauraKerbey

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Lynn McCann

Webinar: What does PDA in the classroom look like?

Many teachers are finding that a child may have a PDA profile and can easily become confused as to how they might manage to support the child’s needs with a busy classroom and a curriculum to get through.  Lynn will share from her experience of being a specialist teacher working in primary and secondary schools how we can approach planning and supporting a very individualised programme for a child with a PDA profile, with lots of ideas that can help you feel that you are enabling them to manage school.   We will also look at what the rest of the school may need to understand and how SENCOs can monitor the graduated approach for a child with a PDA profile. 

Bio

Lynn McCann is an autism specialist teacher working with schools in North West England.

Reachout ASC is a team of specialist teachers, a TA and Sensory therapist who work with individual pupils in primary and secondary schools, developing the strategies and support they need to thrive in school. Lynn is the author of 3 books for teachers, a speaker and trainer.

Who will benefit from your presentation? 

Teachers and TAs working with a child with a PDA profile, who want to know how to support them in their class; SENCOs and parents wanting to know what schools can do. 

What problems can you solve? Please give an example of when someone has applied your advice and had great results.

We have put personalised programmes in place in schools where we have used the Priorities approach.   Adjusting demands to the tolerance levels of the child each day. There have been a number of times when this approach has been successful in either the pupil staying in their mainstream school or making a smooth transition to a more specialist provision.  Parents and the child were involved and the communication between home and school was much improved and more supportive. We have also explored creative ways of teaching the child through mystery, projects and self-directed learning, along with work on emotional understanding so that the child can learn about their own emotional responses and regulation.

Are there any other recommendations you could give, or areas you can help with that you may not be discussing?

I would always recommend that people listen to adult PDAers so that they can understand how to support the child long term and into adulthood. 

Any additional information you would like to add?

Personally I am interested in the Polyvagal theory and the intense emotional reactions of the pupils I work with.  Also about PDA in non-verbal children who use more behaviour communication.  I wonder if we are misinterpreting challenging behaviour as challenging behaviour, when non-verbal with a PDA profile.  I’d love to learn more about this.  

What is your link to PDA?  (Parent, professional)

Professional

Who do you work with e.g. Parents, Young people, or professionals? If applicable how do you support them?

Our team has supported autistic children with a PDA profile and helped their families and schools work together to put the right support in place. We also support the young person in understanding what PDA means to them.  We have written EHCP documentation to develop a PDA support package and regularly provide training for schools and services. I am also working long term with a PDA pupil who has EOTAS (home learning provided by LA).

Personal links

Website address - https://reachoutasc.com/

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ReachoutASC

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Rachel Evans

Webinar: Self-directed education for PDA children; an alternative to school

PDA Society research showed that 70% of children with PDA/PDA profile are not in school or cannot access it regularly. PDA children need high levels of autonomy to feel safe. Only when they feel safe can children learn, grow and thrive. School has limited scope to grant autonomy, but there is another way: Self Directed Education (SDE). In my talk I will be outlining self directed education, how it works and how it aligns to PDA neurology. I will be giving examples of how it works within my family for my two PDA boys. We have been home educating using SDE for nearly 6 years within home education, and we are living, learning and thriving.

Bio

I'm Rachel Evans, mum to two PDA boys. After 3 terrible years in school for my eldest, I decided to home educate. I've spent the last 6 years learning about how home education can be tailored to best suit the needs of my PDA children. Self-directed education (aka Unschooling, within the home setting) has totally transformed our lives and relationships. My eldest has now been home educated for nearly 6 years, and my youngest son has never been to school. I now share my learning and experiences to help other parents.

Who will benefit from your presentation?

Parents of PDA children

What is your link to PDA?  (Parent, professional)

Parent of two PDA boys

Who do you work with e.g. Parents, Young people, or professionals? If applicable how do you support them?

I use my social media to share my learning experience, thoughts and share relevant information with parents who are interested.

Additional Info

For more information on Self Directed Education/Unschooling:

Book: “Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life”, by Peter Gray 

Book: “Changing Our Minds: How Children Can Take Control of Their Own Learning”, by Dr Naomi Fisher.

Website: https://liveplaylearn.org/

Website: https://livingjoyfully.ca/

Website: https://happinessishereblog.com/

Website: http://yes-i-can-write.blogspot.com/

Personal links

Website address - www.connectandrespect.co.uk

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ConnectandRespect

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Ruth Fidler

Webinar: Collaborative Approaches to Learning for pupils with PDA

This talk outlines key features of pupils with a PDA profile and explores approaches to engage them in all areas of learning. It introduces Collaborative Approaches and discusses the importance of integrated working practices between parents, professionals and young people themselves.

Bio

Ruth Fidler is an Education Consultant specialising in complex presentations of autism, Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), interactive approaches and emotional wellbeing.

She worked at an all age non - maintained special school for 94 pupils across the autism spectrum for 22 years until 2014 and has worked independently since then.

During her time on the senior leadership team the school sustained Ofsted outstanding status.  Ruth worked within the school promoting interactive approaches and emotional wellbeing for pupils with complex presentations of autism. As a member of the leadership team she had a strategic role and contributed to continuing professional development for all staff. She also led an outreach pilot project working with other agencies to meet the needs of children and young people currently unable to attend school.

As well as providing training, she regularly observes and monitors teaching and learning, supporting staff to embed and refine good autism and SEND practice. She regularly presents at local and national events and conferences for parents and a range of professionals. She provides training and consultancy for a variety of schools and services across the UK and with organisations including the Autism Education Trust, the National Autistic Society the PDA Society. She is a member of the National Autism and Girls Forum and the National PDA development group.

She has contributed to publications in the Good Autism Practice (GAP) journal on the subject of promoting emotional wellbeing and is co - author of the following books; ‘Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance syndrome in children’ (2012), ‘Can I Tell You About Pathological Demand Avoidance?’ (2015) Collaborative Approaches to Learning (2019) Girls and Autism (2019) and coming soon, Being Julia (2021)

Who will benefit from your presentation?

Parents and professionals supporting children and young people with a PDA profile

What problems can you solve? Please give an example of when someone has applied your advice and had great results.

I provide training and consultation across the UK. I work collaboratively with families and professional services to support plans to meet the educational needs of children and young people with a PDA profile, as well as other autistic youngsters who have emotional wellbeing needs.

What is your link to PDA?  (Parent, professional)

Professional

Who do you work with e.g. Parents, Young people, or professionals? If applicable how do you support them?

Parents, children and young people and professionals

Book Title: Collaborative Approaches to Learning; Being Julia; Understanding PDA

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Tigger Pritchard

Webinar: Culture & Expectation Levels

This webinar will bring an understanding of how our cultural expectation levels can have an impact upon an individuals levels of anxiety.

Bio

Hello, I'm Tigger Pritchard, awesomely neurodivergent and an Autistic and Pathological Demand Avoidance, Advocate, Consultant and Trainer.

All of this with a particular "Tigger-ish" drive, insight and passion. 

I've over thirty years of professional and personal experience. Working alongside, learning from and advocating for neurodivergent individuals. In many different ways: support worker, advocate, teacher, facilitator, trainer, manager, lecturer and friend, it's been a long journey, one that I'm still traveling and learning on, personally and professionally.

Who will benefit from your presentation?

Parents and professionals

What problems can you solve? Please give an example of when someone has applied your advice and had great ​results.

Individuals that found sleeping difficult, approached via the PDA Society PANDA route, also looked at the hidden demands based upon cultural, environmental and communication and sensory issues. Until I’d worked with the family, several other professionals had been involved, but to no avail. I worked with the family to support their changes in approaches. The result was that the individual slept, perhaps not in the environment they had originally envisaged, but he did now sleep better. A reduction in anxiety for him and his family. Part of the issues here were sensory based.

Are there any other recommendations you could give, or areas you can help with that you may not be discussing?

Thoughts on hidden demands/sensory differences

What is your link to PDA?  (Parent, professional)

Professional 

Who do you work with e.g. Parents, Young people, or professionals? If applicable how do you support them?

All, training, consultancy, I also help to run a parent support group in the South West.

Personal links

Website address - www.tiggertraining.com

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Autisminfomation

LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/tigger-pritchard-01551668/

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Tracy Chadwick

Webinar: ‘Fine’ #Not Fine – In School

This empowering talk is led by Tracy Chadwick, Founder of the Child Therapy Service CIC.  Tracy is a parent of a 14 year old autistic/PDA profile child and an experienced SEMH, ASC and PDA teacher. The knowledge and practical toolkit of ideas on this talk - comes from experience and understanding of what works!

Bio

Tracy Chadwick is the Founder of the Child Therapy Service CIC. As a teacher of social, emotional and mental health children, she understands the need of greater understanding of mental health in young children. She also works as an SEN Consultant, with nurseries and schools, to establish resilient and positive well-being learning environments. Tracy is committed to raising awareness of mental health in young children and looking at preventative ways families and professionals can adapt their settings to meet a child's emotional needs.

Who will benefit from your presentation?

For families and professionals of children that mask their emotions in school, as a coping mechanism, due to feeling unsafe in their environment. #unidentified.needs #underdeveloped.skills​

What problems can you solve? Please give an example of when someone has applied your advice and had great results.

The resources, training, coaching, and support provided by Child Therapy Service CIC - focuses on empowerment.  Empowering families and professionals to come together and work on a solution focused approach to meet the individual needs of the child, based on assessment data and a quality assurance cycle of reviewing progress.

When we come from a place of knowledge gained through assessing need, we can develop a solution focused plan of action.  One that continuously improves and adapts to strengthen any underdeveloped skill for that child.

The Child Therapy Service CIC is proud to be working with a number of families, nurseries and schools to develop resilience programmes that focus on this improvement cycle, so that the child can build inner resilience and improve life opportunities.

The Child Therapy Service CIC are proud to be able to offer families and professionals an array of services:

-  Offering support, for parents and carers through FREE bi-weekly coffee mornings, held on-line via Zoom.  These ‘More than a Coffee Morning’ sessions are a great opportunity for parents and carers to off-load their anxieties and stresses accumulated due to having a child with emotional needs.  Knowing that they are in a safe-space, with like-minded people that understand!  Sharing ideas and feeling supported.

-  Offering weekly coaching, for parents, carers and professionals through ‘Mind-Body Healing Workshops’.  A wonderful opportunity to self-reflect on any unresolved emotional wounds that can be healed through guided practical techniques of rebalancing the nervous system.  When we come from a calm, reflective, open-minded place – rather than a reactive, emotionally irrational one – we are better able to deal with the emotional needs of others.  The emotional needs of the child in our care.

-  Offering access to digital resources, aimed at families and professionals looking for creative ways to support the social, emotional and mental health needs of children.  These resources are highly praised and used by; families, teachers, key workers, social workers, SENDCos, INAs, foster carers, counsellors, occupational therapists, and speech and language therapists.  They are for anyone looking for creative ideas to support the emotional needs of a child.  Children need more than ‘one way’ – these resources provide that.

-  Offering access to live and on-demand training, aimed at families and professionals looking, not only to understand the neuroscience behind thoughts, actions and behaviour – but what hands-on practical resources can be used to assess the child’s underdeveloped skills and then understanding how to implement a solution focused intervention to strengthen them.

-  Offering access to live ‘bitesized’ hands-on practical tips and ideas for families on; dealing with challenging behaviour, helping children sleep, supporting picky-eaters, ideas for de-escalation techniques, understanding the autism pathway, helping with transition, understanding the ADHD pathway, looking at what happens after diagnosis, how to support anxious children.  The list goes on! 

-  Offering bespoke resilience coaching for families – who are looking for ‘another way’ to help their child understand their brain and how to master it.  This bespoke resilience programme, assesses where the ​underdeveloped skills are – creating a programme to meet the needs of the individual child.  Providing weekly on-line sessions with the child, then with the parents/carers – alongside access to all the printable and on-line digital resources they need to implement change.  This continuous improvement cycle, ensures every child makes progress.

Any additional information you would like to add?

The Child Therapy Service CIC is delighted to be able to expand their services, later in 2021, to support families of babies, toddlers, and teens.

What is your link to PDA?  (Parent, professional)

Parent and professional

Who do you work with e.g. Parents, Young people, or professionals? If applicable how do you support them?

Parents, children 4 – 14yrs and professionals. 

I provide training, support services, resources and design bespoke resilience programmes.

Newsletter - https://www.facebook.com/childtherapyservice

Website address - https://childtherapyservice.org.uk/

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/childtherapyservice/?hl=en

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