Learning from Autistic Young People- Workshops for Teachers and Classroom Assistants

 

 

WE CONNECT workshops for teachers or classroom assistants are online workshops where teachers and classroom assistants explore what it can be like to be autistic at school and how teachers and classroom assistants can support autistic people to work at their best. Informed by autistic young people and autism theory, WE CONNECT workshops are delivered by trainers who have studied Autism at Masters Level, and who have more than 9 years’ experience working with over 1000 autistic people of all ages. Learning material includes role plays written by autistic young people at secondary and grammar schools in N Ireland, and performed by professional actors, which give insight into their experience of school.

WE CONNECT Teacher or Classroom Assistant workshops are free of charge as they are funded by the National Lottery Community Fund as part of the 3-year Connect4 programme. For details on how to enrol pupils on Connect4, see link below:

https://www.specialisterneni.com/connect4-virtual/

Specialisterne NI have delivered interactive workshops on working with autistic people for 6 years, to a range of clients which include university and college teaching staff, employers of autistic people, and staff at charities related to disability and mental health. Specialisterne NI is a not-for-profit organisation which is part of the Specialisterne international network, working over 15 countries for 16 years to secure 1 million careers for autistic people.

Level 1 Workshop

What autistic young people would like you to know. Learning from autistic young people.

A session based on 6 years of listening (via group and individual sessions and surveys) to hundreds of autistic young people in secondary and grammar schools in N Ireland. This session includes:
-What do autistic young people say about being in school?
-What can a day in school be like for different autistic people.
-What barriers can autistic young people face to fully taking part in school life.
-In the classroom- what being in a classroom situation can be like for autistic pupils.
-What can help autistic young people learn and feel good in the classroom and at school.
The Level 1 workshop includes role-plays written by autistic young people and performed over Zoom by professional actors. This interactive workshop includes a pre-workshop questionnaire for participants. Content is tailored specifically to questions raised by participants ahead of the workshop.
Workshop delivery: Actors role play communication moments at school which participants can observe and have the option of discussing. The Connect4 team coach participants on the above topics.
Learning outcomes:
  • Participants will understand more about the experiences of autistic young people in school
  • Participants will be able to identify some barriers autistic pupils may experience to taking more part in school life
  • Participants will have more understanding of what can support autistic pupils to feel better in school environments

Level 2 Workshop

Strategies to connect with autistic young people. Learning from autistic young people.

This Level 2 workshop builds on the knowledge of Level 1 workshop and focuses on connecting with autistic young people. The Level 2 workshop includes:
-Being at home and being autistic – what young people tell us about learning at home.
-Social Communication and learning loops- where social communication impacts cycles of learning.  What does this mean for teachers and classroom assistants?
-Thinking styles of autistic pupils
-Where are my books? and other learning associated barriers. The practicalities of school life and being autistic.
-Interest and autism.
-Barriers to connecting with autistic young people.
Workshop delivery: Actors role play communication moments at school which participants can observe and have the option of discussing. The Connect4 team coach participants on the above topics.
Learning outcomes:
  • Participants will understand more about the experiences of autistic young people in school
  • Participants will understand more about autistic learning styles
  • Participants will have some strategies to connect with autistic pupils which are informed by autistic people

Level 3 Workshop

Autistic young people, thriving and learning, what is that like? Learning from autistic young people.

This Level 3 workshop builds on the knowledge of Level 1 and 2 workshops and focuses on how autistic people learn as well as happiness and autism and school environments. Participants have opportunity to role play communication scenarios with professional actors in the workshop.
– Learning and the autistic mind
-What makes autistic people happy, the happiness-learning connection
-What autistic people tell us are the components of environments in which they thrive
-Careers of autistic people, learn about life journeys of autistic people in leading careers in N Ireland
-Retrospectives: what autistic adults would like you to know.
Workshop delivery: Actors role play communication moments at school which participants can observe and have the option of discussing. The Connect4 team coach participants on the above topics. Participants in the Level 3 workshop have opportunity to observe the role play communication scenarios and also to take part in the role plays (taking part is optional).
Learning outcomes:
  • Participants will understand more about autistic culture
  • Participants will understand more about how autistic people thrive in school and in work
  • Participants will learn more about autistic adults and careers of autistic people in N Ireland
  • Participants will have had opportunity to try out new ways of interacting with autistic pupils

Teachers and classroom assistants access the workshops online, which can be booked per school or inter-school. Numbers per workshop are limited to support session interactivity and increase learning outcomes.

To register your interest, please email Sharon Didrichsen at Sharond@specialisterne.com, Mobile 07565936191.