The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Autism

Gareth D Morewood

Becoming an adult [with autism]

Preparing for the independence of university life is a big change for most teenagers. What's it like to make the transition into adulthood as an autistic woman? Our blogger shares potential challenges and her solutions. Ellen (not her real name) last wrote for us in a powerful blog about her...
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Gareth D Morewood

International perspectives and broadening horizons

Gareth D Morewood reflects on his latest international conferences, sharing lessons from the inspirational contacts he has made during the last few weeks. I have been very fortunate over the last few years, not only to gain some amazing insights and experiences in UK schools and settings but also...
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Gareth D Morewood

Autism and peer relationships

What can research tell us about peer relations among autistic learners, and what can we do in our schools to support? I often talk about the peer group being one of the most untapped resources in our schools. Indeed, previously we have heard first-hand from young people about their real, lived...
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Gareth D Morewood

Transition into adulthood: moving from school to college

The transition from school to college can be daunting for any teenager. Gareth D Morewood shares the experiences of a former student with autism, and how she deals with the challenges she faces at college. I am fortunate to work with some truly empowering young people and many fantastic families...
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Gareth D Morewood

Autistic girls: my steep learning curve

To better support girls with autism, we need more research. Here's what I've discovered so far. Previously I have written about my growing understanding of autistic girls and more recently I have had the opportunity to learn further from our pupils and specialist staff. I never consider myself to...
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Gareth D Morewood

Emotional regulation in the context of whole school inclusion

Helping pupils understand the importance of emotions and how to regulate them can reduce stress, anxiety and dysregulation. Gareth D Morewood explains how research can inform a nuanced approach. A range of studies in different countries have demonstrated that autistic pupils are among the most...
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Gareth D Morewood

The value in listening to new voices

No matter how experienced we think we are, fresh perspectives will help us grow. Gareth D Morewood recaps his experience of attending the inaugural New Voices. Buoyed by the success of my first #BrewEd earlier this month, it wasn’t long before I was preparing for another new experience at an...
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Charlie Roden

Review: Fifteen Things They Forgot to Tell You About Autism

Debby Elley's latest book is a sweet treat, offering a valuable perspective on autism and acceptance. Since being appointed as a teaching assistant at a secondary school with a large SEN department, I have worked with a lot of brilliant children who happen to be autistic. Having had limited...
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Debby Elley

Understanding autism: what they forgot to tell you

Much of what we're told about autism gives little sense of what it's like to live comfortably, but one parent's new book is jam-packed with positive experiences. Debby Elley, co-editor of AuKids magazine at the launch of her new book, describing her experience of raising two sons with autism Note...
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Joanna Grace

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: in need of our understanding

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) may sound obscure, but misdiagnosis or misunderstanding in schools can have a lasting effect on young people who have the condition. It’s likely that your school supports young people with autism. It’s also likely that, if you were to have trouble supporting a...
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