Helping Your Child To Thrive
Childhood passes in the blink of an eye. So how can we savour every second of their muddy faces, cheeky smiles and infectious laughter? How can we help our precious children to thrive?
At the Bridge Flexi School we take a holistic and person-centred approach which takes into account neurodivergent sensibilities and sensory perceptual differences and sensitivities. We use subjective accounts to adapt all of our teaching as well as integrating cognitive theory and the most empirically validated, peer reviewed research. To help your child to thrive we aim to:
– Build understanding and communication between us and our children, between the children and their families, between us and our families and between the children and staff. We work hard to nurture each child's relationships.
– Enable environments to be more accessible and to enable learning across a range of environments
– Reduce direct confrontation. Confrontation doesn't help anybody, especially those with autism spectrum conditions and other neurodiversities and learning sensitivities. Our children are likely a bit more fragile and may have more anxieties and have faced some unpleasant learning challenges. We will, however, teach your child to have crucial conversations safely. It may be that your child currently lurches between avoidance and aggression... We can help with this.
– Build ethical considerations into every step of the process of both your child's Learning as well as ours. This will be the same when we are acquiring professional competencies. An example of this is our most recent Physical interventions training. This is a compulsory, legally obligated, training for the work we do at another setting with children who engage in extreme acts of aggression towards themselves and others. What we did as a team was to build in to the learning what it would feel like from our learner's perspective to be touched like this. We ALWAYS look at things from our learner's point of view.
– We know that behaviour that is observable to others is simply a result of something else going on. It is that 'something else going on' that we seek to work with. The training that we have developed for own team is now being used in schools for their staff who deal with the most challenging of behaviours. Person-centred interventions, even emergency interventions to protect the individual and those around them, is always the best way forwards. Physical interventions should only ever be used at a very last resort and for an absolute emergency to save life or prevent significant Injury. It is unlikely to work long term and we now have a wealth of literature to support effective, preventative, interventions as well as light 'calm down' and 'come down' strategies. Louise and Andy train others in these perspectives and approaches and are proud to be able to combine literature with the experiences of their learners to change not only their approach as well as approaches of other schools, but with a view to changing policy. One of Louise's Masters was in Policy, so it is an area she is particularly passionate about. Look our for her radio interviews and blogs on this.
– Utilise strengths and interests, rather than focusing on perceived weaknesses and absent skills. We use a skills tracking system to track what our child (or teen) is able to do. We absolutely teach missing skills which are pre requisite skills for your child to be able to learn next skills and to be able to thrive. We choose these skills according to the assessments we complete but also in conjunction with our children and their families. Despite what you may have been told, learning does not actually follow a completely liner pattern. There will likely be many pre prequisite skills to choose from before moving on the next step. Some will be more important to your child and to you than others and some will help get your child to where they want to be more than others!
– Build neurodivergent perspectives in to every step of every one of our processes. We are so lucky that our school was built purely to fill the needs of the neurodiverse children we were teaxhing and that these children inform our planning and decision making every single day
– Build local expertise and communities of practice, drawing upon multi-disciplinary expertise that places the neurodivergent person at the centre of all considerations and decisions.
If you'd like to talk through our experiences and how we can help you then give us a call on 07741 646 875.