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Flying Starts for Unique Children

Flying Starts for Unique Children

Adele Devine


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Book Details


Help children with SEN and autism to have a good first impression of your school and it can make all the difference to their entire school experience.

Regular Teach Early Years contributor and SEN expert Adele Devine shares her top tips for making the school environment as welcoming and inclusive as possible for children with SEN and autism. This book covers essential topics such as working with parents, supporting transitions between home and school, helping children with sensory issues to cope in a stimulating classroom, teaching waiting and patience skills, using visual teaching methods, understanding behaviour, promoting independence and much more. Case studies and practical examples show you exactly how a truly inclusive classroom can be achieved, by demonstrating how a range of situations are experienced from the child's perspective. Designed to be perfect for dipping into and referring back to as problems arise, this book is a fantastic resource for busy educators.

Supporting the development of children with special educational needs may seem a daunting proposition, but Adele illustrates how simple changes to practice and attitude can transform any classroom into a welcoming and nurturing place for all. Always engaging, this book is essential reading for every inclusive teacher.
Jacob Stow, Editor, Teach Early Years magazine
Written with warmth and care, and showing how young children with special needs can feel comfortable. I highly recommend any Early Years Teacher to read this book. It has prompted me as a mainstream Early Years Teacher to ensure that all children in my setting can have a "Flying Start".
Lesley Bailey, Heatherside Preschool Supervisor & SENCO
Adele Devine is a Special Needs teacher at a school for young people with severe learning difficulties and autism. She has over a decade of experience teaching children on the autism spectrum and worked as an ABA home tutor before qualifying as a teacher in 2004. Adele has a regular two-page feature in Teach Early Years magazine and shares her knowledge of special education needs through 'A Special Blog' ( In 2010, she co-founded the multi-award winning SEN Assist autism software with her husband. They have three children and live in Surrey, UK.
Flying Starts for Unique Children focuses on ways to facilitate a supportive transition to school for early learners with special educational needs. It provides information on ways to set children up for a positive school experience from the outset. It is full of practical tips and strategies for schools, useful information and personal narratives. The book is written from a strong place of inclusion and respect for children and their parents.
Jeanette Purkis, autism self-advocate, public speaker, government official and author of three books including The Guide to Good Mental Health on the Autism Spectrum

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Flying Starts for Unique Children by Adele Devine 3
Acknowledgements 6
An Introduction - Once Upon a Time… 11
1. First Impressions - The Difference First Impressions Can Make to a Child’s School Experience 17
2. Keeping Mum - Supporting, Listening to and \nLearning from Parents 26
3. Good Communication Can Save You Time - Communication Boards, Books, Tick Lists, Emails, Phone Calls and More 38
4. Unlocking that Special Child - Observing, Investigating \nand Getting Creative 45
5. Colour Coded Symbols 53
6. Show Them the Way - Using Visuals – \nPractical Ideas and Examples 61
7. What's Next? Seeing from All Angles – Understanding the Reasons Behind Behaviours 68
8. Be A Supermodel! Teaching Children Through Using Staff and Other Children as Positive Role Models 76
9. Toilet Training 84
10. Flower Power Seeing Through a Child’s Eyes and Finding Roots 95
11. If You’re Good… - A Positive Approach to Behaviour \nand Using Rewards 102
12. I Can’t Wait! - Teaching Waiting Skills 108
13. Choice Time - Helping Children Who Find It \nDifficult to Make Choices 116
14. Good Sitting - Supporting the Child \nWho Cannot Sit Still 122
15. Against the Clock - How Using Timers Can Enable a Special Child to Stay on Track 131
16. The Relationship with Technology - How to Use that Love of Technology 139
17. Volume Control - Ways to Help the Sound Sensitive Child Survive and Thrive at School 144
18. Space Invaders - Increasing Awareness \nof Personal Space 154
19. The Sixth Sense (Proprioception) - Is that Bouncy Child Still Learning Where Their Body is in Space? 161
20. The Child who Chews - Strategies for the Child who \nChews Toys or Clothes 172
21. When Clothes Hurt - Helping Children with Sensitivity \nto Clothes and Shoes 179
22. Personal Care Scares - Supporting the Child with Anxieties about Hair Washing, Hair Cuts and Brushing Teeth 185
23. Food Phobia! - Children Who Refuse to Eat or Have Extremely Limited Diets 195
24. Recipes for Success - Cooking with Children with SEN 201
25. Eating Out - Taking Children with SEN\n to Restaurants 208
26. Retail Therapy - Taking Children with \nSEN to Real Shops 214
27. Pet Therapy - How Animals Can Encourage Interaction, Communication and Calm 221
28. Dealing with Different Days - Strategies and Supports for Halloween, Dress-Up days, Sports Days, Fireworks Night and Other Events 229
29. Planning for Christmas - Why Christmas Causes Anxieties \nand Ways to Help 238
30. The Christmas Play - Helping that Special Child Shine 244
31. Present Danger! - Teaching Children to Handle \nGift Giving Times 251
32. A Change of Setting - Transition Tips for Your Special Children, Inspired by the Experiences of a Rescue Cat… 258
33. Reasons to be Hopeful - Changing Our Attitudes and Language Can Change Outcomes 267
34. Extending Learning - Extra Information on Attention Autism, Intensive Interaction, Makaton™, Social Stories™, PECS® and TEACCH 273
25. Happily Ever After 292
References 299
Useful Websites 303
Index 304