ALN Resources

ISCAN Team Invite

The ISCAN team would like to invite you to attend drop in sessions at Serennu  or  Nevill Hall Children’s Centres to find out more about ISCAN (Integrated Service for Children with Additional Needs) which will be launched in October 2016 (invitation attached).  There is currently an existing ISCAN service in the Caerphilly borough.

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As parents/carers you will be able to hear more from the ISCAN team about how it will improve the delivery of services  for children / young people with disabilities and developmental difficulties who are referred to the Health Board’s Child Development Teams.

Please call in for a coffee/tea and a chat with the ISCAN team and ask any questions you may have.  We look forward to seeing you.



Autism Event 2016 London


Launching lives Post 16

David Anthony, head of Upper school gave a talk about post 16 and the issues which are faced and things which can be done

He elaborated on the idea of trying out new things and the need for this.

Spoke about detailed IEPs to incorporate important life skills

DT was highlighted as one of the important subjects as it teaches life skills.

Functional living skills linked.

Need to look at long term outcomes

Need for right approach motivation is an issue but essential to maintain that skill. highlighted the need to re learn and over learn essential suggested 121 learn the skill and it could be reinforced with group work Teaching/ support jobs is to try at times to fit squares into round holes.



Understanding the implications of an intellectual disability.

Why don’t they behave?

Annie Sutton

Having ASD, a student/learner/ young person it makes it very hard for them to integrate as they behave in a very different way.

They think differently and try to live in a neurotypical world with neurotypical.

High anxiety comes across in many different ways.

Why do Neurotypical students comply;   will do what we want them to do, they respect authority will follow instructions usually. Most of the time they want to and enjoy being told they have done well, NT have an instinct


Neurodiverse don’t know how to comply

Told not to bite, or not to swear, not to kick that means absolutely nothing to them.

Tell them how not to bite another person when I feel so stressed and angry.

Can’t apply the skills needed.

Must use an entirely positive approach with ASD, shouting, demanding, stern approach in the long run will not work.

A kinder way, when they are in or experiencing challenging time, instead of reprimanding they need protecting by us as professionals.

Be adaptable

Have a positive and flexible outlook.

Provide a high flexible individual style

Use fewer directives; reduce expectation if that is necessary.

Keep calm in the face of challenging behaviour.

They have to feel safe, valued engaged aware.

Building foundations of security....

What do you want?

How can I help you get there safely? This kind of idea.

Big difference between punishment and consequence.

If you eat too much chocolate the consequence is you are sick. You will learn, too much chocolate makes me sick”

Proven that punishments do not work. Consequence will work.

Avoid confrontation at all costs.

Every day the slate must be a clean one, can’t carry things from one day to the next. Must let it go.

Try and share the balance of control, main role is to understand each child as an individual, build in trust, and stretch them.

Goal is to help them change from negative behaviours such as kicking shouting, to expressing how they are feeling

Barriers to work.

Brief notes BBC Neuro Diversity Project employers must think smarter about employees who think differently.

Leena Haque BBC Lead Neuro diverse with Sean Gilroy

Neuro Diverse covers

ADHD, ASD, learning difficulties, Tourettes Dyspraxia Dyslexia ADD, Dyscalculia Opposition Defiant Disorder.

All of the above have strengths and challenges.

Need to focus on the positives, only difference is the way the brain is wired, effects how they see the world.

Described having ASD as Alice in wonderland living in NT world, Colours are richer the sounds are more enhanced; everything is beautiful with the increased sensory awareness.

All the above has an impact on high anxiety levels which can result in a person been judged which is very painful.

When a person experiences a meltdown it’s like an allergic reaction to the environment. Social communication is hindered by sensory sensitivity.

Leena said she couldn’t talk until she was 8 yrs old. Due to her issues parents very hard on her, as they feared for her future. Due to her personal difficulties she was bullied at school, picked on etc. She would doodle in class as she remembered things more by visual images so would draw pictures to help her, constant confrontation with teachers for doodling.

She described it like Gonzilla on the rampage, not understood lacked the communication skills couldn’t be heard. Realises that she can’t be cured.  Stated that many different approaches used to help her.

Gran Father was a massive inspiration he said Clint Eastwood says very little but he is respected, she watched loads of black and white moves and tried to model herself on this character. This helped her enormously she felt. Referred to this as a turning point in her life.

Watched a video a day in the life, which outlined all manner of sensory issues which increased anxiety.

She outlined from the interview process right through to starting the job is loaded with difficulties.

Her words we need to provide a magic carpet for these kids to fly.

Her feeling was if we look hard enough we will find it.

Solution is change people’s ideas.

She compared the world to  Mine craft the computer game, many different levels so people of all abilities can play it. That is what the world should be like.


Expiation of what Neuro Diversity is about and the BBC involvement taken off the website.

So, what is Neurodiversity and why are we interested in it?  Well, Neurodiversity refers to conditions which cause a person to process information differently; Autism Spectrum Condition, Asperger’s, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and other neurological conditions are becoming increasingly known by the term Neurodiversity and they affect at least one in 25 people.


We started working together around 3 years ago, after I (Leena, Hello) joined the BBC through the Extend Scheme – an employment scheme aimed at people with disabilities.  This is when I met Sean, who was to be my line manager (Hello.)  Now, while we each had relevant experience of each other’s respective fields, we noticed that there was a lack of information regarding Neurodiversity from the perspective of the new employee and for the employer.


Specifically, we felt there was a lack of information regarding awareness of hidden conditions and the effective management of neurodiverse individuals. Likewise we felt that there was similar lack of resources for people with hidden conditions to access when facing the prospect of applying for roles or starting employment.   Basically, where was the consolidated best practice for employers to draw on which provided support for both managers and staff.


So, we set up an anonymous, online survey to explore both the employment experiences for people with hidden disabilities and the knowledge and awareness of line managers. We promoted the survey via social media – an excellent forum often frequented by Neurodiverse individuals and anonymous so as to encourage people to tell us how they really feel.


We managed to get an excellent response to this, 470 people completed the survey broadly split 70/30 between staff and managers.  There were positive stories out there from people that replied, citing the individual creativity of line managers and where people felt they were being actively supported.  But there was also the message that Stigma is still a concern for people and that managers didn’t always know where to go for support and information.


Until recently the disadvantages and negatives of hidden disabilities (if not all disability) have been focused on, while the special talents that often come with these conditions are overlooked. From our perspective on this project, the need to increase awareness is mainly about dispelling the myths, perceptions and even prejudices people may have about these conditions, especially in employment.


This situation is possibly easier to understand if we consider that the conversation around diversity in the work place usually concentrates on visible differences; race, religion and physical disabilities. Increasingly though, more companies are now recognising the need to embrace, nurture and facilitate those with hidden disabilities, especially in those areas where Neurodiversity tends to excel – Creativity and Technology.


While organisations are increasingly aware of the broadest spectrum of what Diversity means, there are still those barriers to employment which Neurodiverse individuals have to overcome in order to get the chance of employment.


Take for example the application and interview process, once you have managed to find a job you’re interested in.  The first barrier is having to complete an application form, which is often full of employment jargon, non-specific descriptions of responsibilities and hidden expectations.  The type-face and font may not be easy to read and decipher and it can be unclear as to who and how you might ask for assistance.  There is also only the one way to apply – in writing, which is not necessarily someone’s preferred method.


Then, if you manage to be selected after deciphering the application, the second barrier is having to suffer a face-to-face interview.  How best to cope with the protocol of maintaining eye contact, answering open-ended questions based on hypothetical scenarios or being invited to give a brief history of your experience to date.


To be fair, as well as anyone with ASC for example, this process is something many of us will probably relate a certain sense of anxiety to.  Which brings us on to a rather interesting side-effect of our research…


When we highlight some of those aspects we’ve identified as being problematic for Neurodiverse conditions, we often receive a positive response from Neurotypical people.  Whether it be the anxieties of applications, the patterns on the wall or floor being distracting, social cues at work being misunderstood, buildings being difficult to navigate or emails difficult to read; it appears that we all share certain things that we would like to change, that perhaps we are all on the spectrum?


So, if we can make changes to help people with Neurodiverse conditions the payback could be larger, in that these changes are likely to help a wider population.  If we can review our recruitment practices, we may begin to identify new streams of talent.  And if we look at making the working environment accessible for all, considering both physical and hidden disabilities, that retention rates and working efficiency could improve for everyone.


We believe it is important to keep in mind that an individual is a unique learner; that no two people are exactly the same and no two people learn and work in exactly the same manner. If we can open up to new ideas and allow individuals to demonstrate skills and talents in a way they feel best able, might we not be able to find more appropriate ways to identify and retain key talent in the workplace.



Emma Woodhouse Maudsley Hospital Neurodevelopmental Specialist London

These two systems which are used in the UK one which  are DSM American, other is the ICD which is  used worldwide.

ICD  IV (World health Organisation) International  Statistic Classification of Disease Related Health  Problems. Still use the Term Asperger’s


DSM IV (American Psychiatric Association)

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

No more new cases, the word Asperger’s will be dropped,

Co- morbid Psychiatric disorders






Drug and alcohol issues


Outlined that when an assessment is carried out it must include a detail account of  a childhood history.

Co-morbid Developmental Disorders

ADHD  30 - 45%

Intellectual Disability

Epilepsy up to 30%




Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule 2

Five Models for different language abilities for 12 months to adulthood.

Interview takes up to 60 mins

What can help.


Specialised Psychological Therapies.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy


Changes to the environment

Medication for co-morbidities

Awareness and understanding.



PDA Information Booklet For Teachers And Professionals








Fetal anti-convulsant syndrome (FACS)

Fetal anti-convulsant syndrome (FACS) can occur when a woman takes epilepsy medications (anti-convulsants) during pregnancy. Not every child who is exposed to these medicines will have FACS. A child with FACS may have a delay in developing speech and language or may have difficulties with social interaction, memory and attention. Some may also have other conditions, such as spina bifida. A number of children with FACS also have a diagnosis of autism.

Find out more from the Fetal Anti Convulsant Syndrome Association (FACSA) and the Organisation for Anti-Convulsant Syndromes (OACS).

Fragile X syndrome

Fragile X Syndrome is the most common known cause of inherited learning disability, affecting one in 4,000 men or boys and one in 6,000 women or girls. People with Fragile X can have mild to severe learning disabilities. Their speech and language development may be delayed and they can experience anxiety in social situations.

Behaviours associated with Fragile X can include a short attention span, impulsiveness, overactivity, dislike of eye contact, difficulty in relating to other people, the need for a familiar routine, repetitive speech and hand flapping or hand biting.

Some of these are similar to difficulties that people with autism may experience. However, autism and Fragile X syndrome are two different diagnoses. Some people are diagnosed with both.
For more information, visit The Fragile X Society (01371 875100).

Adapted and reproduced by kind permission of the Fragile X Society


Hyperlexia is characterised by an intense fascination with letters or numbers or, in younger people, an ability to read far beyond their age. People with hyperlexia may, nevertheless, have difficulty understanding verbal language and interacting and socialising with others. Find out more at Hyperlexia UK.

Learning disabilities

People with autism can have different 'degrees' of learning disability, which can affect all aspects of their life, from studying in school to learning how to wash themselves or make a meal. Some people will be able to live fairly independently - although they may need a degree of support to achieve this - while others may require lifelong, specialist support. People with a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome do not usually have accompanying learning disabilities, but may still have specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia.

Find out more from BILD, Foundation for people with Learning Disabilities, and Mencap (0808 808 1111).

Social Communication Disorder

This diagnosis might be given where someone exhibits the social communication and interaction aspects of autism, but does not show restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests or activities.
A person with social communication disorder will have difficulties with verbal and non-verbal communication that cannot be explained by low cognitive ability, will have difficulties in learning and using spoken and written language, and will give inappropriate responses in conversation. Social relationships, academic achievement and occupational performance can be affected.

Some people with these characteristics may have been given a diagnosis of Semantic Pragmatic Disorder or Pragmatic Language Impairment.

Find out more at Afasic and I CAN.

Visual impairment

Visual impairment is 'a profound permanent reduction or absence of vision that cannot be corrected with spectacles or contact lenses'. A child may be found to have a visual impairment in the first few months of life, before it is possible to diagnose an ASD; start life sighted but later lose their sight; or lose their sight through self-injury. There are no published tools for diagnosing ASD in visually impaired people.

We do not know how many people have both visual impairment and an ASD. Visual impairment itself is low incidence, so visual impairment and ASD must be very low incidence. However, for the people concerned, for their families and for the practitioners working with them, the impact is very high. When visual impairment and ASD occur together, it is not a question of simply adding together the impact of the two disabilities - the impact is much greater because the difficulties arising from each disability interact with each other.

People who have both a visual impairment and an ASD will all have individual characteristics, abilities and needs. Commonly-used approaches will not always be suitable.

Find out more from RNIB’s Visual impairment and autism resource pack (0303 123 9999).