Advanced Skills Teacher & Creator of the Talking in Pictures Communication Folders
I trained as a primary school class teacher and spent 10 years in that sector working with children with challenging behaviour in. I had responsibility for Design Technology and later as ICT. Moved to a mixed secondary special school catering for youngsters with PMLD (profound and multiple special needs) Autism and Aspergers, Downs syndrome and Cerebral Palsy. As the specialist ICT teacher I subject taught all the age groups and disabilities, my brief being to differentiate the curriculum for each pupil. Various pieces of hardware, switches, stands, positioning device and software were used to enable this, Joint working with Speech and language therapists and occupational therapists was an important part of this work.
I also worked with Speech and language therapist to develop communication with our Autistic students and the use of PECS with and without ICT. I became an Advanced Skills teacher working with the Service . This involved me working one day a week on release from my school, to work with pupils in mainstream
school who had a physical disability. The aim being to develop access to the mainstream curriculum through the use of ICT software and hardware. Most of these children had the ability to follow a mainstream curriculum to higher education but just needed interventions in order to keep up eg with the use of touch typing, predictor, or voice recognition software.
My final role has been with a different authority as a full time advisory teacher for children with physical disabilities in mainstream school. For this I have drawn on the skills learnt at the Special school but also developed more knowledge in the increasing technological world , of eye gaze technology and electronic communication aids.. However I have always firmly believed that the simpler the technology the easier it is to use for all concerned. The basis of any communication system should be easy to use and easily replaceable. Hence the development of the indestructible communication book.
A communication book can be used when you are off line and have no
electricity supply. It can be used to make new friends and older
people can understand how to use it.
Founder of Talking in Pictures
I am a Special Needs Teacher and Playworker. I love the techniques, resources and ideas that the best of Special Needs Education has to offer and want to help deliver these to more schools, businesses and families who may be unaware of the powerful impact they can have.
My experience in Education shows that everyone works and learns best when happy and stress free. It is my aim to make all places of work and play as happy and effecient as possible. Through fun and shared communication I believe this can happen at a faster speed than some might expect!