Archives for Blog

Is the current funding climate making schools choose between Ethos and realism?

Is the current funding climate making schools choose between Ethos and realism?   By Graham Chatterley   I recently read a brilliant article about exclusions and the damage it does in the long run. The link between poverty and mental health is clear for all to see and 1 in 2 pupils who get permanently excluded have a Mental Health Difficulty. Children in care are 10 times more likely to be excluded and children who qualify for free school meals are 4 times more likely to be excluded. So these children have had a very challenging start to life; they
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3 Reasons I love having and hate having an autistic sister

Why I Love having an autistic sister:   1.) Since Jamie’s mind is different, she has different thoughts than other girls her age. For example, she loves Pokémon but doesn’t love chasing boys and going to parties. I also like this as I really enjoy Pokémon and can relate to her very much as we aren’t social butterflies.   2.) I love how she can just tell me the truth and tell me up front about something instead of making a lie or making it hard for me to understand or hard to catch on. For example, if Jamie said
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Stress and Mental Health

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme this year is stress.   What Causes Stress?   Stress can be caused by many things and sometimes even happy things cause stress.   Financial problems, unemployment, illness, death and divorces are all stress triggers.   Just as equally getting married, having a baby, moving house and retirement can all cause stress.   Being a parent or carer can also cause stress and it can be hard to take and break and get some time out.   What does Stress Do?   You could be feeling anxious, irritable and overwhelmed. 
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Children with High Functioning Autism in SEMH settings. Is that them failing at education or education failing them?

Children with High Functioning Autism in SEMH settings. Is that them failing at education or education failing them?   The range of needs that we work with in SEMH is vast, and on the whole the children are in the right place and we are the best option to meet those needs. Smaller classes, more staff time, more individualised learning and more understanding of how to get the best out of the children, is what they need and on the whole our children make enormous progress. Unfortunately during our process of looking beyond the behaviour and focus on the child,
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Just Ausome Crossbody Bag

We were really excited when we saw that Just Ausome were getting Crossbody Bags.  For me I think they are very stylish but for Jamie it seemed a great solution to the fact that she struggles with a regular backpack due to her low muscle tone.   We were both super excited when it arrived and took it for a road test and we weren’t disappointed.  We have been using it for a few weeks now and it is a winner for us.   As you can see in the image below, due to it being across the body the weight
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Sensory Matters Episode 4 – Stickman Communications

In this episode of Sensory Matters, we talk to Hannah Ensor from Stickman Communications about the product she produces and what led up to her creating such a quirky but useful product.   This episode details the process of creating Stickman Communications cards and how to go about requesting them to Hannah herself.   We also get to hear all about Hannah’s life as someone with a disability accessing a sometimes non disability friendly world and the struggles and funny stories that come with it. (Get ready to hear about toilets.)   Listen here   https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-yzcne-8f24d4
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Sensory Matters Episode 3 – Autistic Genius … Is he a Genius?

This week on Sensory Matters we have been chatting to Autistic Genius … Is he really a Genius?   Tom started his journey on You Tube and now covers most of social media.  He has an amazing Facebook page and is regularly asked to speak about autism.   We here about Tom’s first mobile phone and a literal thing that happened during that purpose.   This episode is also packed full of Tom’s experiences through childhood, education, diagnosis, work and now fatherhood!   You can listen here   https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-un39y-8e8593
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Functioning & Severity Labels Debunked

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock you will know that it has been Autism Awareness Week.  I loved seeing the Autism Community pulling together  but at the same time I’ve seen some real negativity (not on Chewigem though … I don’t think that would ever happen!).   Lets talk a little bit about functioning and severity labels.  When someone is diagnosed with Autism there seems to be a level of functioning attached to the diagnosis. For example Jamie was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism.  We were actually told that this would mean we wouldn’t have any real problems as
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Introducing Sensory Matters

  In the first episode of the series Sensory Matters, we talk to “The Face of Chewigem” Lorraine Scott Young to find out about her journey with Autism. It spans fourteen years (coincidently the life of her daughter Jamie).   This episode chronicles in detail what it means to have a teenage girl with Autism, looking at sensory issues, life at school, coping mechanisms and much much more. We get to hear about the ups, downs, ins and outs of what it’s like to have girl with Autism; as well as some amusing anecdotes along the way.   We also
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Using Chewigem’s as Communication Aids

Using Chewigem’s as Communication Aids   Chewigem’s are great for … well chewing.   But they can also be used for so many other things including: Hand Eye Coordination Hand Strength Jaw Strength Fidgeting Stimming Stress Anxiety and much more.   Chewigem’s also double up as effective communication and educational tools.   These are the perfect tools for those who are non-verbal, verbal or selective mute.     The Emotichew is a chewable non toxic bangle that doubles as a communication aid and message to others. Simply show the side that represents how the person is feeling.  The Red side
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