We welcome John Wootton, Pivotal team member, onto the podcast this week to talk about SEN and behaviour management.
John’s background includes PE teaching, English teaching, pastoral work, and senior leadership roles including being a deputy headteacher for 14 years. He now works for Pivotal Education as well as the charity, Teaching Leaders.
Autistic Spectrum Disorders
We start by discussing autistic pupils. John points out that many of the strategies teachers need to use with pupils on the autistic spectrum are the same as for any pupil:
- Make yourself consistent and predictable – in lesson structure and in how you intervene and respond – this means having a lot of emotional control
- Plan your own language – both verbal and non-verbal – avoid complex language and the use of imagery – be plain and simple
- Model the appropriate behaviour you want to see
- Encourage positive friendships – your own friendship with these children as well as helping the children make positive relationships themselves
Paul and John agree it’s worthwhile to bring students with autistic spectrum disorders into the teaching space a day or two before the rest of the class arrive. John also tells us that his own daughter is working with an autistic child and she arranged to go round to the family home in advance of the term starting to check out the rules and routines in place at home. This will enable her to provide some kind of consistency when the child comes into school…
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