3 days ago


3 client calls this morning and now off for a 6 mile run. 🏃‍♀️
3 client calls later and the last of my online group sessions later. 😊 Has it been 6 weeks already?!

And to think, this time last year, I hardly had any regular clients or income!

People come and go, but many stay. I’m grateful to be part of people’s neurodiverse journey and thoroughly love what I do.

I do not, however, not love the prospect of going out for a run in the cold rain. But my ADHD teenage twins have just told me they are impressed with my dedication so now I have no choice! Doh! 😫
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5 days ago


I’m researching school exclusions for children with special needs for a third party blog and I’m feeling sad. Children with SEND are 7 times more likely to be excluded than those with no SEND. 45% of permanent exclusions and 43% of fixed term exclusions have identified SEND yet only 15% to 17% of the school population have unidentified SEND. And what of those who have unidentified special needs?

‘Persistent disruptive behaviour’ is the highest stated category, accounting for 34% of the exclusions and this can be low or high disruption - usually a combination of the two. It is easy to see how our fidgets, wrigglers, stimmers, impulsives and sensory seekers fit into this. Those who struggle to comprehend, concentrate and socialise too.

�Needs don’t go away just because we refuse or aren’t equipped to identify and support them. Unmet needs lead to unwanted #behaviour and mental health difficulties. Most mental health issues surface at the age of 14 and 75% of moves to alternative provisions happen in the first 3 years of secondary school. 🤷🏼‍♀️ The behaviour iceberg (what we can see) might be more evident in the early stages of secondary school where 75% of transfers to alternate provisions take place in the first 3 years. But I suggest that the iceberg is being formed and reinforced much earlier. We can do something about that can’t we?

We must look deeper to identify the cause of the difficulty and support the child rather than condemning each act and punishing behaviour. Don’t get me wrong, some actions warrant exclusion and some children need specialist placements from the start. It is a shame many have to fail in mainstream to secure these though isn't it?!
Our children with additional NEEDS are at higher risk of exclusion which suggests a systemic and an ideological problem and a significant need for training .

Sorry for posting, deleting and then reposting. I couldn’t believe what I had written and was doubting myself. I’ve attached link to sources for those who would like to know more.

More on this to follow. 🙂





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1 week ago


🥰Happy Valentines Day🥰

In this house, Valentine’s has always been a family thing.
When Vicki (#Autism and #ADHD) was 13, she felt left out and sad on valentines, so I bought heart shaped lollipops and we had a nice dinner as a family. Each year is different because the kids increasingly have their own lives, but we all shared valentines texts this morning and those that are around will eat together later.

May you all enjoy your Valentines Day - no matter what it looks like.
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Classroom tips…

  • Sit the child in a position of least distraction and where they have a clear visual line to you, this will encourage them to ask for help or use a “secret nod” when they need help. It is very important that any seating changes are NOT directed at the child to ensure they do not feel that they are being punished or that unnecessary attention is being drawn to them.
  • A fidgeting ADHD child is a listening child; the focus needed to remain still, sitting upright, making direct eye contact will overload their brains – and what storage their working memory had is now spilling over trying to be still, look at me, put that pen/ruler down.  It is always better to find a non-disruptive way for the child to receive input, e.g.  pushing hands together (tightly),  giving the child a job (clean off the board if they would) with “please & thank you” or get them to hand out/collect text books.
  • If the child has a tangle or other fidget toy encourage the use of this to help them learn to regulate, if not often a ball of blu tack works just as well.
  • Provide students with ADHD with private, discrete cues to stay on task and advance warning that they will be called upon shortly.
  • Avoid bringing attention to differences between ADHD students and their classmates.
  • At all times avoid the use of sarcasm and criticism.
  • Use a variety of audio-visual materials to present academic lessons.
  • Probe for the correct answer after allowing a child sufficient time to work out the answer to a question and ask follow up questions that give the child an opportunity to demonstrate what he/she knows.
  • Remind students that they should check their calculations in maths problems and reiterate how they can do that
  • After giving directions to the class as a whole, provide additional oral directions for a child with ADHD.
  • Provide follow-up directions in writing. For example, write the page number for an assignment on the board and remind the child to look at the board if he or she forgets the assignment.
  • Break down assignments into smaller, less complex tasks. For example, allow students to complete five maths problems before presenting them with the remaining five problems.
  • Highlight keywords in the instructions of worksheets to help the child. Additionally,  provide the child with a print out of the work being read and allow them to highlight as you go
  • Allow students with ADHD more time to complete quizzes and tests in order to eliminate “test anxiety” and provide them with other opportunities, methods, or test formats to allow them to demonstrate their knowledge.
  • Use strategies such as Think-Pair-Share – teachers ask students to think about a topic, pair with a partner to discuss it and share ideas with the group. (Try to be aware of any external social issues between the children and pair accordingly)
  • ADHD children, in particular, can benefit from the use of ICT technology, which makes instruction more visual and allows students to participate actively.
  • Give advance warning that the lesson is soon to end, and instruct students of what is on the menu for the next lesson.  Try to check the child’s work at regular points to ensure they are not falling behind.  If any key areas are missing, incorporating a recap into the next lesson may be beneficial and give the child a discreet way of catching up.  Also, provide a print out of any missing chunks.
  • Ensure Instructions are clear; try to maintain a structured routine.  Come in, hang coats, get equipment, be seated -a visual timer and or map for this is also useful.
  • Assign the pupil a Mentor or TA – Allow the pupil to meet with this mentor on a regular basis (e.g. Monday morning) to plan and organise for the week and to review progress and problems from the past week.
  • Homework – letters and notes home should be, where possible, followed up with a duplicate in an email to the parent/carers.
  • Colour code lesson textbooks with the planned timetable. It is often easier and quicker to associate and match colours than it is to read a planner then read the front of every book in the bag (children with ADHD are often found with a week’s worth of books in their school bag or none at all)
  • Charts, lists, pie graphs and diagrams should be situated throughout the classroom to remind students of the subject material being learned.
  • Teach a child how to adapt instructional worksheets. For example, help a child fold his or her reading worksheet to reveal only one question at a time.
  • Clear away unnecessary books or other materials from their desk before beginning work.