HFT would like to say a huge thank you to two GMP police officers who very kindly ran a Road Safety Awareness session for us today.

The children listened whilst the PC explained the importance of road safety. She kept them engaged well by asking questions throughout and also provided visual information to back up what she was saying. The children were each given an information pack to take home which included a road safety awareness leaflet, wordsearch, crossword and road safety quiz.

As well as listening to the very informative talk, the children got to put what they had learned into practice by crossing some nearby roads in groups, accompanied by the PC.

And to top it all they even got to have a sit in a police car and press the siren.

image

A fab time was had by all – thank you GMP.

It was also great to hear how GMP officers are having autism training to learn how to spot when somebody might be on the spectrum and the best and most appropriate ways to deal with them.

useful roadsafety websites:

Think:  http://think.direct.gov.uk/education/early-years-and-primary/pupils/over-7s/play/

Brake: http://www.brake.org.uk/schools-communities/young-people-and-road-safety

Karate kids

 

Well despite the bad weather we had a good turn out for our first karate taster lesson.  The children all enjoyed themselves and they all joined in brilliantly, showing great attention and listening skills and following instructions given by the coach really well.

The parents were all very proud and the coaches gave some lovely feedback.  Well done to everyone who came along. Looking forward to the next one now.

 

 

A group of children from High-functioning Trafford have spent 9 weeks learning film-making skills like stop-frame animation, editing, script writing etc and they even got to use a green screen.

As well as learning new skills through the project they also gained confidence and self-esteem and had the opportunity to make new friends and develop their social skills.

All children really enjoyed making the film and having fun with their friends. One commented “I wish I could really travel back in time so I could go back and do film club all over again”

The premier night was a great success and family and friends were all extremely proud and thought the film was fantastic.

HFT would like to thank our funders for providing the much needed cash to provide such a unique and excellent opportunity for our children. We would also like to thank Lydia, Carmen and Leo for their work with the children and for inspiring them to produce such an amazing piece of work.

A HUGE Well done to everyone involved

HFT are pleased to be able to provide a 10 week ‘Film Club’ for children aged 10 – teens.

Film club, session 1, getting to know each other & brainstorming

This week we had our first session, where the children had fun getting to know a little about each other and sharing their likes and things they’re good at.

Over the coming weeks the children will learn what is involved in making a short film, including things like researching, script writing, interviewing, filming, acting, voice over, costume and set design etc.

This will be a great opportunity for children to learn a new skill, work together as a team and develop their social skills.

There will be a premier night for friends and family to come and view the films the children have made at the end of the course.

Starting on June 13th, HFT have been running fortnightly therapy sessions for children aged 7-11 who have dyspraxia or co-ordination issues alongside their autism.

image

The sessions are provided by Twinkleboost and put together by a multi-disciplinary team who have taken the latest evidence based interventions from SALT, psychology and OT. The sessions are delivered by a Senior SALT and activities are designed to work on social communication, vocabulary, fine & gross motor, attention & listening skills and emotional understanding.

The children who have attended so far have enjoyed the small group sessions and have all engaged well with the SALT. They have took part in some fun activities, many of which can easily be practiced at home also.

 

 

 

image

HFT are delighted to be able to offer parents/carers the chance to enjoy an 8 week Mindfulness & Relaxation course, provided by a qualified teacher with firsthand experience of autism & Asperger’s.

The aim of the course is to support physical and mental health and wellbeing. You will learn how to wind down from the stresses of the day and focus on the hear and now. What better way to have some quality ‘you time’!

No previous experience is necessary and all equipment will be provided. There is a charge of £3/session to help cover room hire.

Sessions are on Wednesday mornings, 10-12, at Flixton House on the following dates:

March 11th and 25th,  April 1st, 22nd and 29th,  May 6th, 13th and 20th.

For further info or to confirm you plan to attrnd please email hftrafford@outlook.com

Getting creative with Hama beads

Getting creative with Hama beads

So today we had our first session at The Fuse in Partington. It was great to see lots of familiar faces and also some new ones too. Everybody was very excited to be at a new venue and parents and children alike commented on what a great place it is for our group; “It is lovely to have all the children in one area so they can interact more and share interests”, “it’s such a nice, bright, open space”, “I liked playing on the Wii and the table football” were just some of the comments. The parents room was nice and spacious and there was lots of discussion regarding things like diagnosis and the difficulties some people face in getting this.

Laptop games

Laptop games

Wii dance

Wii dance

Today saw the start of our course of Art Therapy sessions, run by a qualified artist.

image

Our first session had a ‘Space’ theme and the children all created a space model using wire, pipe cleaners, ping pong balls and special pens which glow under ultra-violet light. they were assembled on recycled wooden blocks which some children chose to decorate.  Everybody also made a night sky ‘constellation’ picture, by tracing around animal shapes on black paper, adding glow in the dark stars and joining the stars using glow in the dark paint.  The children loved it when Jo turned off the lights and all the models and night pictures glowed under the ultra-violet light, showing off their hard work and fantastic artiness.

We are running a course of six 1.5 hour art therapy sessions. Places for this course are already filled but if you are interested in learning more about art therapy or would like details of other classes that Jo runs please contact us via email.

image

image

January saw our last meet-up at the ASGMA building, where we have been meeting for the past 16 months.  The HFT committee and members would like to say a huge thankyou to all at ASGMA for their support during our time there, it was much appreciated. We wish them well in all they do for teens and over who have autism/Aspergers.

From February we will be meeting at our new venue – THE FUSE in Partington.  We look forward to seeing all of our regulars and hopefully some new and old faces at this exciting new venue. THE FUSE has fantastic facilities on offer; there are laptops, play stations, wii, pool table and art/craft activities for the children, whilst parents can meet in a separate room to chat and support each other.

Please see our EVENTS TAB for monthly meet-up dates or if you would like more information feel free to contact us.

For parents who are just starting on their autism/Asperger’s journey there is a lot to take in and understanding the terminology and abreviations for the various professionals, procedures etc can be confusing on top of trying to come to terms with their childs diagnosis. We have listed some of the abbreviations/terms you may come across below, however if there is something you think should be added please feel free to contact us so we can update this post.

Annual Review Meeting – If your child has a Statement or EHC plan this will be reviewed yearly at an Annual Review Meeting (people who should attend are parents, school SENCo, SALT, class teacher)

ADOS – Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. In order to get a diagnosis your child may have an ADOS test as part of their assessment. The test is carried out by a trained professional (usually a paediatrician) and usually takes around an hour.  They are looking for the prevalence of autistic behaviour and once completed the scores will be totted up and if the total is above a certain number it is likely that your child is on the spectrum. You should receive a detailed report which will also state where your child scored.

AS – Asperger’s Syndrome

ASC / ASD – Autistic Spectrum Condition/Disorder

CAMHS – Child and Adult Mental Health Services

Carers Allowance – A benefit which you can apply for if you are a parent/carer of a child who receives middle rate DLA and if you earn less than £100/week.

DLA – Disability Living Allowance. A benfit which you can apply for if your child has a disability (diagnosis not essential) and needs extra support over and above that of a typical child of the same age.

Dyspraxia – affects fine/gross motor skills and also organisation and planning ability (eg difficulty using knife and fork, slow and unsteady coming downstairs, cannot ride a bike, needs help to organise belongings etc)If you think your child may have Dyspraxia it is best to ask for referral to an OT. For further info see our useful links section.

EP / Ed Psych – Educational Psychologist. Most children with autism will have seen an Ed Psych as part of their original assessment. The Ed Psych can advise as to how the child can be best supported in school.

EHC Plan – Education, Health & Care Plan (brought in Sep 2014 to replace the Statement of SEN, this is a document issued when a child needs extra support at school over and above that of their peers)

Hypermobility – double-jointedness. Many children will have hypermobility, it can affect one joint or several. Most commonly seems to occur in fingers, elbows, hips and feet. Children may also have low muscle tone and may complain of aching legs when walking or sore hands when writing. An OT referral is the best route for diagnosis.

IEP – Individual Education Plan. A plan agreed between school and parents to help a child with a Statement/EHC to achieve their own personnal tagets. A paper copy is normally provided listing the targets and how they will be achieved. The plan is normally reviewed at least twice per year.

Irlen Syndrome – some children are reluctant to read or may lose their place a lot, misread words, skip words etc. It may be worth getting them assessed for Irlen Syndrome (certain opticians are able to do this). If the child is found to have Irlens they will be recommended overlays or even glasses in the specific colour which is appropriate to them.

LSA / TA – Learning Support Assistant/Teaching Assistant. If it is deemed that your child needs extra support in school they may be assigned an LSA/TA who will help them to access the curriculum.

OT – Occupational Therapist. If your child has coordination difficulties they may be referred to an OT for assessment. The OT can help with things like pencil grip, use of scissors, dressing etc. and can give advice on how to best help your child with their difficulties. See also SPD below re Sensory OT.

SALT / SLT – Speech and Language Therapy(ist). Many children with ASC will see a SALT, they help with understanding of words, knowing what to say, pronunciation, helping with stammers etc.

School Action. Help for a child using the schools own resources.

School Action Plus. Help for the child using extra (outside) resources.

SEN – Special Educational Needs. Any child diagnosed with autism or Asperger’s syndrome is considered to have SEN, even if they are very clever.

SENCo – Special Educational Needs Coordinator (every school should have an assigned SENCO)

SPD – Sensory Processing Disorder. Most children who have autism will have some degree of sensory processing disorder. They may be hyper or hyposensitive to things such as bright light, certain noises (hand-dryers being a common one), smells, tastes (picky eater or over eater?), being touched etc. Trafford has a Specialist Sensory OT (waiting list) but you can also see one privately. See our useful links section for a link to more info.

Statement – a document issued when a child needs support over and above that of their peers. The document states the childs diagnosis’ and what support is needed in order to help them achieve in an education setting.

For further information on some of the above please have a look at our Useful Links section or if not try Google or contact us.