We are all different, we are all unique, we all have our peculiarities, we all have our sensitivities; in that respect we are all the same. What makes us different makes us amazing. Being different adds variety. We need diversity in this world. We need and have diversity in our schools. We need diversity in our lives. If we were all the same, the world would be a very boring place. We often judge those who are different rather than try to understand. If we were all the same, we would never develop empathy, we would never develop understanding, tolerance or respect. A perfect world is one in which we truly appreciate and respect each other’s’ differences.
At Langar C of E Primary School we aim to provide a rounded education for all children, underpinning our curriculum with Christian values and learning skills, whilst encouraging learners to aim for academic excellence - being the very best they can be. We are proud to support pupils with a range of special educational needs including Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Hypermobility, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. For some pupils, you may not even realise that there is a diagnosis in place. These pupils have a hidden disability. Support for these pupils comes in a variety of forms, whether this is through a teaching intervention, differentiation, adaptations within the classroom, adult support or simply differentiated strategies for supporting pupils in their learning.
This year we are holding Respect Week, commencing 3rd July.
We will be focussing on invisible disabilities. The children will be participating in a number of different activities to promote understanding, respect and tolerance whilst celebrating all our fabulous differences.
Information About ADHD
Children with ADHD are often considered to be simply ‘naughty’, ‘troublemakers’ or ‘undisciplined’. This is not the case. Yes, they may present with challenging behaviour in the school, they may appear to be disruptive and even rude. However, for these children, the behaviours that they exhibit are beyond their control. Brain imaging studies suggest that those children with ADHD have brains that work a little differently than the brains of children without this condition.
ADHD is much more than an inability to sit still, much more than fidgeting, much more than not being able to listen. ADHD is a complex mental health condition which can affect a child’s academic success, social interaction with their peers, everyday relationships and self-esteem. ADHD affects everyday life from being unable to concentrate, finding it difficult to resist temptation and being unable to process information, to difficulties remembering, frequently losing or forgetting things, being unable to plan ahead, talking excessively and ‘butting in’, emotional outbursts and angry rages. Imagine being in an environment all day long that expects you to do all the things that you know you are physically unable to do. This is what school can be like for a child with ADHD, where they are expected to remain seated for a minimum of an hour, to listen, to concentrate, to pay attention and to process a series of instructions. For these pupils, we encourage the use of stress balls, specific praise, and exercise. We allow them time to let off some steam. We build opportunities into lessons in which they can be active but set clear expectations and routines, whilst being flexible, knowing that we need to take each day as it comes and yes, in some cases we ‘ignore’ some behaviours focusing on the one behaviour we have asked for.
Information About ASD
Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder. It cannot be cured. It affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. There is no physical marker for people with Autism, so individuals on the autism spectrum look no different to anyone else. Parents sometimes report that others think that their children are badly behaved; that they themselves lack parenting skills and that the child or young person doesn’t look as though they ‘have anything wrong with them’. This can be very unhelpful for a family. ASD is quite simply what the diagnosis says - a spectrum disorder, a vast spectrum disorder, meaning that no two individuals are the same. They all experience autism in different ways.
Understanding and relating to other people, and taking part in everyday family, school, work and social life, can be harder for children and young people with autism. They often have difficulties reading and interpreting verbal and non-verbal situations, often not understanding facial expressions, jokes or sarcasm or tone of voice. They have difficulty reading and recognising other people’s emotions and feelings and are often unable to express their own emotions or recognise what has caused it. Those on the autistic spectrum often are routine driven and not comfortable with change; they may have intense and highly focused interests and may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light, colours, temperatures or pain.
Research and brain imaging techniques show that the brain of a person with autism works differently to the ‘typical’ brain. Neurons within the brain of a child with autism receive more inputs which can affect how efficient and focused they are when paying attention to a task or person. Those with autism are unable to filter out information from their environment, which can cause increased anxiety, leading to what is often referred to as a ‘meltdown’. These are not as some people may think ‘temper tantrums’. They are not a result of poor behaviour or naughtiness but occur when a situation becomes too overwhelming for the autistic child, who then temporarily loses behavioural control. When a person is completely overwhelmed, and their condition means it is difficult to express that in appropriate ways, it is understandable that the result is a meltdown. Imagine trying to work in an environment where you are expected to be the same as everybody else, undertake the same tasks as everybody, perform to the same standard as everybody else when all you can think about is the intense ticking of the clock, how itchy your clothes feel against your skin, the scratching noise that the pencil of the person sitting next to you makes on the paper, how strong the smell is of the perfume that the teacher is wearing that day. Imagine not understanding why the adult opposite you is staring at you the way they are or why on a particular day when you know that you go straight home you are going to the shops instead. Imagine this and take time to consider why we make allowances for these children, why we give them space, why our behaviour policy may be slightly different and why we allow these children time in the school day to release anxieties and frustrations through, what may look like play, but is actually providing them with time to download and process all of the information they have had to take in in a short space of time.
If you would like to find out more about any of these conditions, please make an appointment to speak to your child’s class teacher or Mrs Richardson our SENCO.