My main area of interest is Sensory Processing. Not only do I feel this is an area which is often overlooked, I do also feel it's a misunderstood field and the knowledge and strategies of these areas can be integral for success in co-occurring differences.
Observing children with their sensory needs in mind and helping staff to identify what may help them and ways to implement change in this area is something I find both fascinating and rewarding.
As a Trainer for over five years now, I really enjoy being able to support staff to implement strategies that I know will have a positive impact on that child's experiences at school. In turn helping staff to become more confident in supporting the children they work with.
I am also a parent of a 14-year-old boy. Whilst it's not essential to be a parent when working with children I've found becoming a parent has certainly instilled a new kind of empathy for parents and the challenges they face day-to-day. I can fully relate to the ups and downs that come with raising and teaching children as they transition into adulthood.
The most rewarding part of my job now, is receiving positive feedback from staff who I have supported, knowing that my input and support has made a difference to the school experience for that child. I also love seeing the changes in children's attitude and attainment when they realise how much they really can achieve.
Life Before Training
My career began as a Learning Support Assistant in mainstream provisions, supporting children with additional needs. I have worked with children with a wide range of needs from cerebral palsy to autism to brain injuries, speech and language disorders/delays and FASD. This live hands-on experience has always been the foundations of how I've grown as a practitioner and understanding that every child really is unique.
After years supporting children with differentiating needs, I moved on to work for a local authority where I was part of a team of Specialist Teachers and Specialist Inclusion Practitioners.
My role involved supporting and advising families and settings with children with SEND; recommending, implementing and modelling strategies to use with the children in home and setting.
Additionally, I was appointed trainer for the LEA to train school and Early Years staff in all areas of SEND with a key focus on autism.
What key information about SEND should education staff be aware of?
Children with additional needs may present differently at home compared with how they are at school. This can be a challenge for parents, teachers and support staff. When a child is having difficulty in the classroom, it's important to find out why.
The first step is to talk to the child, their parents and teachers about what's happening. The second step is to assess whether there are any additional needs that you need to address. Every single child with additional needs is unique and has lots of positive qualities too.
We need to celebrate these strengths and build on them so they can reach their potential in learning and life in general. Consistency is the key to supporting children with additional needs. It's essential that we have a clear understanding of what each child needs so that we can provide consistent support at home, school and in the community.
I hold several education qualifications, including NNEB Nursery Nursing, Diploma in Learning Support and NVQ Level 3 in Learning Support.
Very educational. I have learnt a lot even from a short introduction course. The way it was delivered and the knowledge that was shown was great from Kate. I kept thinking of different children that I work with and how they show hypersensitivity as well as hyposensitivity.