I learned about the importance of connecting with autistic students and developing a trusting relationship.
Having attended a workshop run by Jane Gurnett and Tessa Morton for staff in a mainstream school, their professional skills and energy in engaging a group are impressive. Their passion, good sense and respect for pupils and staff underpin all they present. Both have a background in drama and use this to good effect. Their key aim is to enable staff to connect with and understand the emotional state and perspective of pupils with autism, focusing on difference not deficit.
Jane and Tessa work together and intersperse short exercises with discussion very effectively. By the end of the session, the staff had gained ideas on how to understand and connect with pupils with autism and were keen to adapt their practice accordingly.
I will definitely use the calming strategies.
Experiencing how autism feels changes your thinking of how to teach.
The physical activities really made me feel I was in the child’s shoes.
Excellent delivery I wish it was longer.
I would definitely recommend doing this for all teacher training students.
The tutors were extremely informative and engaging. The brilliant use of drama enabled students to empathise with the experiences of an autistic child or young person. This clearly moved some of our students, particularly those with personal experiences of autism in their families. Challenges for autistic children were outlined clearly and many useful strategies were provided for students to use in schools. I am so grateful to Tessa and Jane for coming and strongly recommend them to other Universities with teacher training programmes.
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