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Empowering People, Launching lives

BeyondAutism Professional Conference 2021 – Full Agenda

Full event agenda with speaker biographies & session synopsis below:

 

Wednesday 26th May 2021

 

10:00 – The importance of early identification of autism in children and how a proactive approach can lead to better outcomes and reduce cost

10:00 – 10:45

Session synopsis:

Although, we are still in the process of finding out the cause of autism and understand why it manifests very differently in each individual, it is evident that it has an impact on the development of the brain. We have only just begun to understand how the brain of a person with autism is different from a neurotypical person`s brain and research is looking into brain structure and chemistry, connections, and neurological processes. The most important is that the better we understand that difference in development, the earlier we can intervene to support the individual.

This session will be looking into the neuroscience of typical and atypical brain development at different stages, and the impact these changes can have on language, social interaction, and behaviour.

We also look at the psychobiological concept, which means brain structure and experience are interconnected, especially in early childhood. If brain development can have an impact on social interaction and experience, it is also possible the other way around. Parent-child interaction and professional intervention at an early stage can have an impact on brain development and wiring. The brain is not fixed at birth, it keeps transforming and developing, and if it`s not transforming to the right direction, it makes sense to intervene early.

There is increasing recognition that the first few years of a child’s life are a particularly sensitive period in the process of development, laying a foundation in childhood and beyond for cognitive functioning; behavioural, social, and self-regulatory capacities; but what exactly “brain plasticity” means and why it is so important?

Many children with additional needs, and their caregivers face various stressors during these years that can impact on their healthy development. Early years intervention programs are designed to mitigate the factors that place children at risk of poor outcomes.

Early intervention should go hand in hand with professional training to have a long-term impact. Building capacity in schools by training staff will improve relationship between staff and pupils and enhances school performance overall.

A long- term impact on a wider scale is also significant for the local authorities. Early intervention combined with professional training reduces the risk of exclusion, the number of EHCPs, the need for high level funding and residential placement.

Session will include a Q&A

Bernadett Rankasz Biography:

Since graduating as a Teacher of Health Sciences, Bernadett has been passionate about teaching children with special needs. She gained significant experience teaching in a wide range of educational settings, including mainstream primary and secondary schools, special schools and ASD units, becoming an outstanding teacher across all year groups and then a Head of Primary Phase in a free special school for children with autism.

After completing and MSc in Clinical Neurodevelopmental Sciences at King`s College last year, she is even more interested in the neuroscience behind autism and is keen to understand the changes in brain development, chemistry, and connections and their impact on language, social interaction, and behaviour.

Bernadett firmly believes that every child holds an innate potential to rise above their circumstances and succeed beyond expectation in life with the presence of empathy, equal opportunity, and a supportive and competent multidisciplinary team. As Head of Early Years, working with families and professionals in mainstream and special schools and nurseries, Bernadett now feels privileged to have the opportunity to witness even more children and young people with autism pursue growth and happiness in their educational setting and throughout life.

 

Bernadett Rankasz

Bernadett Rankasz (MSc Clinical Neurodevelopmental Sciences; BEd Hons. Teacher of Health Sciences; QTS)
Head of Early Years
BeyondAutism

11:00 – Developing relationships with families to support people with autism

11:00 – 11:45

Session synopsis: Exploring how to build positive relationships with families to support those with autism. Utilising resources created by Skills for Care. The webinar will cover key values and standards, based on research, as well as the importance of person-centred planning. The session will explore strategies to reduce difficult situations occurring; the importance of communication; and effective ways of managing concerns. The webinar is designed to engage all levels of professionals and provides an opportunity for delegates to reflect on their own practice.

Session will include a Q&A

David Anthony Biography:

David has over 15 years of experience of working within special educational needs and joined BeyondAutism in 2015. Since then, he has worked in leadership roles in our Schools, Sixth Form and Post-19 provision. He has experience of working in independent and mainstream settings. David is passionate about all students having access to an education that ensures they develop the skills and knowledge to become active citizens in their local communities, and having the ability to have choice, independence and control over their lives. With the right support, David believes all students can reach their individual aspirations and outcomes

 

David Anthony

David Anthony
Head of Research
and Learning

BeyondAutism

12:00 – Integrating behaviour analysis into maintained schools: The importance of collaboration

12:00 – 12:45

Session Synopsis: Behaviour analysis provision in maintained schools in the UK remains rare, despite robust research evidence supporting the use of school-wide positive behaviour support, function based behaviour interventions, direct instruction, and early interventions for children with learning disabilities. Behaviour analysts have a great deal of specialist knowledge that is beneficial to the classroom including teaching adaptive skills and preventing the development of challenging behaviours. To increase the implementation of evidence based practice in schools, behaviour analysts need to be mindful of the contingencies of the setting. In our practice we often consider the very best intervention for the client, we do not always consider if that intervention is a good fit for the classroom. Teachers, school leaders, and all school staff need to find interventions easy and beneficial if they are going to implement the plans with fidelity. I will discuss my group’s work in establishing behaviour analysis as a universal provision in mainstream and SEN schools and Pupil Referral Units. In our practice and research, we have collaborated with local authorities, school leaders, and teachers to make ABA an effective intervention in each setting. I will discuss the collaborative process, the compromises, and the role of the behaviour analyst in the classroom. I will share our data that shows that collaborative models produce significant, long-term positive behaviour change.

Session will include a Q&A

Maggie Hoerger Biography:

Dr. Maggie Hoerger, BCBA-D is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at Bangor University, where is she the course director of the MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis. Her research interests and practice include working with school leaders and teachers to integrate behaviour analysis into maintained schools. She works with Local Authorities, SEN schools, and Pupil Referral Units to establish universal behaviour analysis provision, with an emphasis on early years teaching and functional based interventions. After several years of supporting students with challenging behaviour, Maggie became convinced of the importance of working with primary schools to teach children the skills that protect against the the development of severe challenging behaviours. She works with mainstream schools to adapt positive behaviour support for a UK context. She has published her work in peer reviewed journals and is currently serving as the President of the UK Society for Behaviour Analysis.

Dr. Maggie Hoerger, BCBA-D
Dr. Maggie Hoerger,
BCBA-D

Senior Lecturer
Bangor University

 

13:00 – 14:00 – Break

 

14:00Avoiding silos: The Education, Health and Care Plan touch points and the impact on families

14:00 – 14:45

Session Synopsis: TBC

Sarah Wakeling Biography:

TBC

 

 

 

Sarah Wakeling

Sarah Wakeling
HCPC Registered Clinical Psychologist and Board Certified Behaviour Analyst
Positive Behaviour Support Consultancy

15:00 – Developing a Business Hat: why we need to think from the Employer’s perspective

15:00 – 15:45

Session Synopsis:

During our work with young people with disabilities we have to wear many hats, as an OT I was sometimes confidant, trainer, advocate, therapist, supporter, teacher, team member, organiser, manager, etc. We often become steeped in the ways of working in a ‘Service or Education World’ there is a language, culture and set of values that we work to. Often we don’t think about them or are even aware of them, they are just part of our working day, we switch those hats without thinking. As we move into working a different environment, in order to be successful we should learn the language, culture and values of that environment and work within that.

So often staff who are keen to find opportunities with employers take the language, culture and values that they work in, into those meetings and then either don’t understand why, or even blame employers for not being receptive to their goals.

During this session we will focus on some of the key areas that we need to think about to develop the hat that will help us work with employers and the world of business and commerce. I had to work really hard to get to the point where this ‘hat’ was as comfortable as all the others, this session is based on my journey and hopefully will provide you with some information to begin to develop yours, and inspire you to seek more training around employer engagement.

Session will include a Q&A

Liz Garnham Biography:

Originally training as an Occupational Therapist, throughout my career I have focused on providing opportunities for people with learning disabilities and/or autism to have a better life. I hold a strong belief in Occupational Justice, which says that no matter your disability you should have access to the same age-appropriate experiences and opportunities as your non-disabled peers. Early in my career I could be found on teams closing down the old larger institutions and supporting people to live in and be part of their local communities, including having a job.

I was fortunate enough to be part of the first cohort in the UK to taught Systematic Instruction by Marc Gold & Associates from the USA. I have taught TSI workshops since 1988 and have both developed and run Supported Employment Agencies at various stages in my career. In Norfolk I went back to Occupational Therapy leading the countywide OT and later on the county therapies services to people with learning disabilities, lecturing at the University of East Anglia and finally studying for my Masters Degree. I was part of the team that started the first Project SEARCH programme in the UK, have relied working with a number of sites and am now a DFN Project SEARCH Associate. Since 2006 I have worked independently, training and mentoring staff in their use of Systematic Instruction and other skills needed to successfully support people into valued, paid employment.

Liz Garnham

Liz Garnham
TSI Trainer and Consultant, DFN Project SEARCH Associate

 

 

Thursday 27th May 2021

10:00 – ABA is not an intervention

10:00 – 10:45

Session Synopsis: There is a common misperception often cited that ABA is a ‘therapy for autism’ with the aim of ‘normalisation’. This is not the case. ABA is an applied science that focuses on the causes of socially significant behaviour change. The underlying principles of the science guide practitioners on their decision making processes ensuring that any programme/support is developed based on the needs of the individual at that particular time. This presentation will discuss the prevalent misconceptions that surround the science with an aim of dispelling them and showing, with applied examples, how ABA can be and is incorporated into many everyday situations.

Session will include a Q&A

Nichola Booth Biography:

Nichola has been employed as a lecturer in Queen’s University Belfast for three years and is currently the course director for the MSc ABA programme. She lectures on both the MSc  ABA and the MSc ASD at QUB and is passionate about disseminating the science of behaviour analysis. Prior to her employment at QUB she was the Consultant Behaviour Analyst and Director of Training for the PEAT charity for ten years that offered in-house ABA training and support to families across Northern Ireland. During this time she also completed her PhD looking at effective training strategies in home-based ABA programmes. Nichola’s current research interests lie in using virtual reality for education and she is about to trial a pilot ‘VR classroom’ to teach maths activities in a special education setting. Away from work Nichola enjoys spending time with her dog (who has now become her work colleague!), going to the theatre, and reading.

 

Nichola Booth
Nichola Booth

MSc ABA Course Director
and Lecturer in ABA and Autism
Queen’s University Belfast

11:00 – Creating a more inclusive society: Improving local provision for children and adults

11:00 – 11:45

Session Synopsis: 

A session exploring how local provision can support those with autism to be active members of their local communities.

Session will include a Q&A

Elizabeth Robinson Biography:

Liza joined BeyondAutism in January 2021. She has worked in the field of autism for the last 17 years as a teacher, coordinator, manager, Head of Department and Head of School and College. She also made contributions to setting up a DFN Project SEARCH Supported Internship and Specialist Independent College in Tower Hamlets. Liza is committed to seeing young adults thrive.

 

 

Elizabeth Robinson

Elizabeth Robinson
Head of Post-19
BeyondAutism

 

12:00 – Looking back – Looking forward

12:00 – 12:45

Session Synopsis: 

A short key note ‘Looking back – Looking forward’ which will reflect back on what he has learned about Autism in schools, both personally and since the publication of the ‘Salt Review’ (Independent Review of Supply for SLD and PMLD) published for the secretary of state of Department for Education (DfE) in 2010, and how things have changed/lessons learned. He will then look forward to the generic challenges and opportunities that face us and hopefully provoke enough interest to have a lively Q&A!

Session will include a Q&A

Toby Salt Biography:

Toby was the Chief Executive of AQA the largest exam board in the UK. AQA established some trading subsidiaries  including Exam Pro and Teach it. AQA also started an international exam board during Toby’s tenure – Oxford AQA. Previously he was CEO of Ormiston Academies Trust, one of the first MATs, with 40 schools, including specialist provision. He has previously director of the DfE Innovation Unit and as Deputy CEO of the National College for School Leadership. With 40 years of education experience Toby is a teacher at heart and has led several schools, (mostly specialist) and established ASC provision before the millennium. He has a Masters in SEN and Education Leadership and is a visiting professor for education leadership.

 

 

 

 

Toby Salt

Toby Salt
Former CEO and now
Advisory Director
AQA, Thomas’s and Academies Enterprise Trust

 

13:00 – 14:00 – Break

 

14:00 – “Whose behaviour is it, anyway?”

14:00 – 14:45

Session Synopsis:

Children are returning back to school after what has been a tumultuous start to 2021.  The majority of SEND children have been attending school, but routines have been severely disrupted.  The presentation of a variety of behaviours has challenged parents, school staff and children and young people as we navigate our way out through the lockdowns and subsequent restrictions.  Who does your behaviour policy serve?  What can we do to best serve and equip our children and young people?  What does this mean for us?  How will our expectations change?

Session will include a Q&A

Audrey Pantelis Biography:

Audrey is the Founder and Director of Elevation Coaching and Consulting Ltd that enables transformational school improvement by means of the following programmes: strategy planning, inclusive leadership including coaching (1:1 and group), training – diversity and inclusion with specific reference to race and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Audrey was the founding Head of School of a new free special school, based in north west London, that opened in 2015. The school, under Audrey’s leadership, went on to gain a ‘Good with outstanding features’ judgement for the school’s first Section 5 Ofsted inspection.  She has significant experience of change management through designing and implementation of systems and processes that showed tangible increases in attainment and progress, parental engagement and staff wellbeing.  Audrey has first-hand practical experience of all aspects related to pre-opening project management as a principal designate, including working with multiple stakeholders, developing and establishing community relationships, governance, curriculum design, marketing, FF&E, policy development and staff recruitment.  Audrey has recently worked closely in supporting a SEND multi academy trust in their preparation for opening.

Audrey has thirty years’ experience in the education sector as a teacher, middle leader, senior leader and school leader in both mainstream and SEND.  As a mainstream practitioner she was a Music and Drama specialist and a performing arts leader.  She gained the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) in 2007. She has supported SEND schools with interim leadership support since 2019.

Audrey Pantelis

Audrey Pantelis
Director
Elevation Coaching and Consulting LTD

15:00 – The impact of COVID

15:00 – 15:45

Session Synopsis:

Examining the impact of COVID-19 on SEN schools, lessons learned from the pandemic that will influence teaching children with SEN in the future. How leadership approaches had to be adapted to support our pupils and staff as well as exploring the different perspectives of all those involved, from the executive head to the parents.

Session will include a Q&A

Kieran Bird Biography:

Kieran joined the school in 2016. He has extensive teaching experience and has worked across both mainstream and specialist education, specialising in understanding behaviour and communication. Kieran’s passion lies within SEN and lifelong learning. His ambition for all pupils is for them to develop the skills necessary to function happily in society. Kieran promotes learning through exploration and discovery, and believes in the importance of personalised target setting in ensuring learner progress.

Kieran Bird

Kieran Bird
Executive Head
BeyondAutism

16:00 – We’ve said something more interesting, now what?… – Panel Debate

 

Conference early bird ticket

*Sessions and speakers are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. We will do our best to keep you informed of these changes

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