SOCIAL COMMUNICATION AND BEHAVIOURAL DIFFICULTIES

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					PROMOTING POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR FOR CHILDREN WITH

SOCIAL COMMUNICATION AND BEHAVIOURAL DIFFICULTIES

SENaPS Central Area Team

Acknowledgements
Thanks should be given to all those involved in any way with this document in particular members of

Central SENaPS Educational Psychology Service, Specialist Teacher Team, Primary Behaviour Support Service Secondary Behaviour Support Service

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CONTENTS
Page Chapter 1 Introduction Autistic Spectrum Disorders Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Tourette’s Syndrome Comorbidity Chapter 2 Whole School and Classroom Approaches Checklist 1 Whole School Practice Checklist 2 Checklist 3 Whole School Policies Organisational and practical arrangements in the classroom 5 6 8 8 9 11 12 13 14

Checklist 4 Establishing good pupil management Positive Anger Management Communicating with children with ASD at Home and at School

18 19 22

Chapter 3

Individual Programmes Primary Resources Secondary Resources Social Stories

25 29 53 83 93

Chapter 4

Supportive Partnership with Parents and Carers Information and Leaflets for Parents References and Further Reading Resources for Parents use 3

98 99 103

SUPPORTING PUPILS WITH COMMUNICATION AND BEHAVIOUR DIFFICULTIES CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Most of the time, teachers find they can manage the behaviour of most of their pupils effectively. A variety of skills make this happen, such as good organisation, established routines and well planned lessons with effective differentiation. However, at times a few young people can create specific challenges, in spite of all these techniques. We would often describe this group of young people as those with Emotional, Behavioural and Social Difficulties (DfES definition). There is a group of young people who present particularly challenging behaviour to schools and their families, where the behaviours arise from complex difficulties such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Tourette’s Syndrome (TS) and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Diagnosis of these types of difficulties tends to be made by health practitioners. Some of the young people you are working with will already have such medical diagnosis of these conditions, others may show these behaviours without ever having been diagnosed. Diagnosis can be helpful in assisting families and others to understand the young person and their learning needs. It is important that parents take the lead in arranging any medical appointments for further assessments to ensure that this process is in line with parents’ wishes (see Chapter 4). Diagnosis, however, is not essential to inform a profile of relevant needs and appropriate strategies for intervention. Young people presenting these behaviours should be discussed with specialist outside agencies such as Special Educational Needs and Psychology Service staff (educational psychologists, specialist teacher team, behaviour support service, pupil referral unit tutors) as to whether raising referral for a medical assessment with the parents is appropriate. This resource will look at approaches to those behaviours that are specific or most common in young people with these difficulties, although it is important to realise that these approaches can also be used to good effect with other pupils showing similar behaviour and they represent “good practice” in managing a range of complex behaviours. The child's response to the strategies will help you understand his difficulties. If it then appears he does not have long standing complex needs you can be reassured that your intervention has been positive. These strategies correctly implemented can not prove harmful. Young people diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may also show other behaviours such as obsessions, self harm, eating disorders and so on. 5

These difficulties are serious and would necessitate a multi-agency approach to support and intervention. Schools and professionals should consult the publication ‘Mental Health in the School Environment’ (see references), to help determine ways forward. The first approach for any behaviour difficulties is to read and implement the strategies advised in the Essex Approach. You need to give these strategies time to work and you should set time to review the pupil's response to the intervention. The strategies recommended should deal effectively with many presenting behaviours. However, should they not prove effective with young people with these complex difficulties it may be necessary to seek further analysis and explanation of their difficulties in order to find effective management approaches. When reviewing the pupil's response to your intervention it is important to consult the pupil, and parents as to their views on what has been achieved and how the intervention was helpful and unhelpful. This introduction offers a brief description of the behaviours that schools most commonly find challenging and resistant to usually effective approaches. AUTISTIC SPECTRUM DISORDERS (This includes Autism and Asperger Syndrome, and other pervasive developmental disorders). Autistic Spectrum Disorders are characterised by three areas of difficulty, known as the ‘Triad of Impairments’. These concern the following areas:
• • •

social communication difficulties; social interaction difficulties; difficulties in imagination and flexibility of thought.

Social Communication Difficulties Social communication is the skill of getting a message across to another person and accurately interpreting their response. We can get our messages across through speech but body language, facial expression, gestures, tone and intonation of speech are also important. In school, problems in social communication can commonly cause problems such as:failure to follow group instructions; failure to understand implied meanings; taking things literally; making inappropriate remarks; going off the subject.

In addition young people may show limited use of non-verbal means of communication such as facial and vocal expression. 6

Social Interaction Difficulties Social interaction is the ability to interact with others appropriately, as individuals or in groups. If a pupil has poor social interaction skills he/she may have problems such as failing to understand gestures; having difficulty ‘reading’ teachers’ or pupils’ facial expressions or body language; lacking any interest in interacting with others; actively withdrawing from social contact; trying to mix but always ‘getting it wrong’; having difficulty working in groups or with a partner; failing to understand the hierarchy of authority.

Impairment of Imagination and Flexibility of Thought Pupils with an autistic spectrum disorder will show a preference for routines, and have a restricted range of interests, which may be obsessional. They may have ritualised and stereotyped behaviour such as rocking, or flapping hands. Underlying these behaviours are difficulties in imagination and flexibility of thought. These difficulties can be shown by: extreme dislike of change (except when this is part of a routine such as the bell in school); reliance on routine – which may become ritualised; problems with seeing others’ point of view; difficulty completing open ended tasks ; difficulty organising self and belongings; steering topics back to own (restricted) interests which may present as obsessions; inability to generalise skills; difficulty in accepting praise; attention difficulties – intense focus or difficulty in tuning in, especially in a busy environment.

They may also have the following strengths: − − − − − − − − − − hardworking and committed (if pupils know what is expected of them); law abiding – they like to follow rules; very methodical and tidy; good time keepers; often skilled in using ICT; brilliant at managing numbers; good at observing routines; can have detailed knowledge about particular subjects of their interest; can have an excellent visual memory; can be very polite; 7

− may be good at reading (although comprehension may be a problem). ATTENTION DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is characterised by persistent inattentivness, and impulsiveness with or without hyperactivity. These difficulties may have been present for a long period of time but may not always have been recognised at an earlier age. Commonly these pupils may: be fidgety and impulsive; be in and out of their seats; be easily distracted; have difficulty staying on task; become totally absorbed in topics of interest; have difficulties taking turns; call out while adults are talking; find it difficult to follow instructions; have difficulty playing with others; have difficulty making friends; find it difficult to organise equipment; engage in physically dangerous activities.

They may also have the following strengths:− − − − − energy; sharp observational skills; an ability to concentrate on favourite activities; a creative imagination; a sense of humour.

TOURETTE’S SYNDROME Tourette’s Syndrome is characterised by motor and vocal tics. A tic is a rapid involuntary movement (motor tic) or vocalisation (words or sounds) which occurs repeatedly in the same way. Tics may be classified as simple or complex. Motor Tics Simple: eye blinking, head jerking, shoulder shrugging, and facial grimacing. jumping, touching other people, smelling, twirling and hitting or biting oneself (rare); copropraxia – socially unacceptable gestures; echopraxia – imitating others’ actions. 8

Complex:

Vocal Tics Simple: throat-clearing, yelping and other noises, sniffing and tongue clicking. words or phrases out of context; echolalia - repeating own or others’ words; palilalia - repeating the last word or phrase in a sentence; coprolalia - unacceptable words and swearing.

Complex:

The conditions range from very mild to extremely severe. The symptoms may change or develop over time; sometimes one behaviour stops altogether to be replaced by another. Tourette’s Syndrome often decreases in severity around or after adolescence, although it can be life long.

COMORBIDITY Some individuals may be described as having one syndrome ‘co-morbid’ with another. This simply means that they suffer from more than one of these syndromes occurring together. Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Tourette's Syndrome are those that are ‘associated difficulties’ and can occur in combination; it may be difficult to make a definitive diagnosis between them. In all cases each child needs an individual profile of their difficulties, strengths and needs.

SUMMARY This resource offers advice within a number of contexts. It includes sections on whole school and classroom approaches, individual programmes, and approaches to working in partnership with the family. The latter is important since some young people manage to ‘hold things together’ at school but show major difficulties and problem behaviours at home causing severe stress for the family.

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REFERENCES 1. Bayley, S et al 2003 – Mental Health in the School Environment – Essex County Council (ECC) 2. Promoting Positive Behaviour – The Essex Approach - ECC

FURTHER READING Directory of Specific Conditions and Rare Conditions (2002). Contact-a-Family (CaF) available from www.cafamily.org.uk Honeyford S. (1998) Seeing Past the Symptoms; in Special! Tourette’s Syndrome Magazine, Summer 1998, pp 6-9. Currie V., Leach J., and Stevenson G. (1998). Asperger Syndrome – A practical guide for Teachers – David Fulton, London Cooper P and Ideus K. (1996). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A practical guide for teachers – David Fulton, London National Autistic Society. What is Asperger Syndrome and how will it affect me? A guide for young people National Autistic Society. Autistic Spectrum Disorders. A guide for parents and carers. Jackson L. (2002) Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome. A user guide to adolescence - Jessica Kingsley, London Campbell-Sadler A. A Fresh Start - ECC Asperger Syndrome AD/HD Dyspraxia a leaflet for parents - ECC a leaflet for parents - ECC a leaflet for parents - ECC

CONTACTS Special Educational Needs and Psychology Service

Central Area East Area South Area West Area

01376 555656 01206 711136 01268 886318 01279 439266

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SUPPORTING PUPILS WITH COMMUNICATION AND BEHAVIOURAL DIFFICULTIES

CHAPTER 2

WHOLE SCHOOL AND CLASSROOM APPROACHES The needs of many pupils with complex behaviour difficulties can be appropriately met and their difficulties minimised through the use of general whole school and class strategies. Such a whole school or whole class approach will also provide them with the supportive, flexible context which they require. Such approaches should form part of the school behaviour policy as they will also benefit other pupils. Therefore the suggestions in this section should be read in conjunction with Chapter 2 of ‘The Essex Approach: Promoting Positive Behaviour’. The use of the following checklists will provide a starting point for schools to establish a baseline and determine actions that can be taken in order to create the supportive environment that will help these pupils and many others. Checklists included relate to: − − − − − − − whole school policies whole school practice classroom organisation classroom management classroom rules and routines routines outside the classroom pupil management.

Checklists are also included to help staff develop approaches aimed at reducing the incidence of angry outbursts and managing any that may occur. Finally, advice is provided on the effective use of language to minimise misunderstanding and stress. These checklists are designed to help staff look at the environment in which the problem is happening and it is suggested that they are completed with a colleague. Once the checklists are completed they provide a basis for future planning.

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Checklist 1

WHOLE SCHOOL PRACTICE Set up staff inset training on child’s needs – strategies and approaches Consider staff deployment: CT, LSA and planning slots for the behaviour programme/using appropriate strategies Consider the input from outside agencies: SENaPS, Speech & Language Therapy and the Behaviour Support. Build up a profile – strengths and needs Establish home-school links, home-school diary to celebrate success and inform on difficulties and possible stress points (this needs to be sensitively done). Consider homework issues. Consider having a designated person – adult to act as a supporter to the pupil in times of need. Consider practical arrangements of room layout, visual timetable, task planners, distraction minimised area, work bays Consider IEP targets including difficulties with Triad and behaviour targets Circulate behaviour targets to staff with strategies and approaches for a consistent approach. Use supply teacher information sheet if needed. Consider whether the work offered to the pupil is differentiated to their level. Consider offering the pupil a range of methods to record information: word webs, mind maps, multiple choice answers.

Yes

No

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Checklist 2
Considerations when establishing a whole school approach to managing the behaviour of pupils with complex behaviour difficulties

WHOLE SCHOOL POLICIES
Rules and Implications: A behaviour policy exists and is effective Staff have clear understanding of the policy Rules are communicated frequently and effectively to pupils, all staff, parents and governors Staff have a clear idea of the range of rewards available to pupils Staff have a clear idea of the range of logical consequences Staff are aware of ‘The Essex Approach: Promoting Positive Behaviour’ Pupils, as far as they are able, know the reasons behind the rules in the school Behaviour problems are dealt with effectively in the light of equal opportunity issues Support Staff: There is collective responsibility for behaviour management in the school Staff feel confident to acknowledge difficulties Staff have clear means of gaining help Staff have effective guidance on dealing with conflict Behaviour problems are recorded fairly and efficiently Staff roles are clearly defined Support services are used systematically and effectively Parents and Governors: Parents are involved to best effect in helping with problems Parents are routinely told of pupil’s good Behaviour Governors have agreed written principles Governors are appropriately involved in issues relating to behaviour

Yes

No

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Checklist 3
Section A Organisational and practical arrangements in the classroom

Classroom Organisation Is equipment easily accessible? Is furniture arranged to best effect? Is the temperature of the room appropriate? Is ventilation sufficient? Are pupils protected from glare? Are materials well labelled and safely located? Is it easy to move around the room? Can pupils store their belongings appropriately? Are pupils grouped appropriately? Do groups reflect social relationships? Does room organisation meet curriculum demands? Can boards be easily seen? Is furniture suitable? Is the external environment calm and quiet?

Yes

No

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Checklist 3
Section B Organisational and practical arrangements in the classroom

Classroom Management Does teacher arrive before pupils? Are the teachers voice and instructions clear? Is good behaviour noticed and acknowledged? Are small achievements recognised? Is pupils positive behaviour named and reflected back? Does teacher act as role model for the desired behaviour? Are materials and equipment pre-prepared? Is the correct equipment made available? Are lessons well prepared? Is curriculum delivery varied? Is curriculum delivery differentiated? Is the timetable arranged to best effect? Is peer support used where appropriate? Is adult support used where appropriate?

Yes

No

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Checklist 3
Section C Organisational and practical arrangements in the classroom

Classroom Rules and Routines Rules:
Are they few in number and clearly phrased ? Are they negotiated with and understood by pupils? Are they regularly referred to and reinforced? Are supported by visual cues eg. photographs? Are they clearly displayed in the classroom? Is the expected behaviour regularly rehearsed and modelled?

Yes

No

Rewards:
Are they valued by pupils? Are they awarded fairly and consistently? Are they clearly related to positive behaviour? Are they small and readily achievable? Do they link with the school reward system?

Consequences:
Are they logical and related to behaviour? Are they administered fairly and consistently? Are they understood by the pupils, parents and carers?

Routines are established for ?:
Pupils leaving the room to: access the toilet, borrow equipment, work outside with a member of staff. Pupils arriving in the mornings (cloakroom, lunchboxes, registration) Distribution and collection of materials/equipment. Gaining teacher’s attention and help. Changing activities. Gaining quiet/ silence/ attention.

Clearing up.

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Checklist 3
Section D Organisational and practical arrangements in the classroom

Out of Classroom Routines for movement around school site clear Break time rules are negotiated with and understood by pupils Break time systems adopted by all staff Break time rewards/consequences system clear Behaviour policy adopted by ancillary staff Problem site areas identified and overcome Suitable activities/equipment available for break time There is an effective system for resolution of pupil conflicts

Yes

No

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Checklist 4
Establishing good pupil management Yes Is the pupil able to access the focus of attention ? Is the pupil seated comfortably? Is the pupil in the best position not to be distracted by external distractors ? Is the pupil working with positive supportive role models ? Is there a distraction minimised area available ? Is the pupil using a visual timetable ? Does the pupil use a task planner ? Are there designated work bays ? Does the pupil know where and how to access equipment, e.g. pens, paper and pencils ? Does the pupil know where to put completed work ? Is there a safe supervised place outside the classroom to use in times of stress ? No Action by who & when

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Positive Anger Management
10 Ideas to reduce the incidence of Anger in the Classroom 1. Think 'prevention' put in place classroom management strategies but also plan for angry outbursts. What will you do if….? 2. Catch the pupil before they come in the classroom- try to calm them, ask them to breathe calmly if they are stressed -try to distract them. 3. Get to know the needs of the student- try to form positive relationships- show an interest in their interests. 4. Be aware of the pupil's unique difficulties but be consistent as well as being flexible in managing them. 5. Check your response to the pupil's anger- what is the behaviour communicating? Try to respond positively, stand back, breathe slowly, stay calm. 6. Be aware of your body language and tone of voice. Do not become excitable or bombard the pupil with language. Give them plenty of time to calm downkeep language simple. 7. Keep teaching if you can but acknowledge with the pupil that you know there is a problem and you will talk to him about it at a specific time - this will need to be soon. 8. When the pupil is calmer encourage the pupil to express their feelings through the use of direct teaching supported by visual cues or stating the 'help' phrases they have learnt before the behaviour becomes inappropriate. 9. Don't take the outbursts of anger personally. 10.Teach, model and rehearse the appropriate behaviours the pupil needs to use supported by a 1 to 1 approach from an adult.

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What can adults do when a child is angry?
1. Don’t retaliate, (joining in the child’s anger will wind him/her up and show poor ways of resolving conflict). 2. Model the behaviour you want them to learn 3. Acknowledge how they are feeling, “I can see you are upset”. 4. Leave explaining another point of view until the anger has been expressed and has subsided. 5. Ask what he/she would like to do to improve things 6. Acknowledge what he/she has said. Reaffirm the feelings and then help look at the options, “What might happen if you did that ?” 7. Don’t force children into apologising when they don’t feel sorry. You may be forcing them to bury their anger and to be hypocritical.

If two children are angry with each other
1. Reflect what you see is happening, “I see you two are fighting over a ball”. 2. Separate them if need be for safety sake. “Someone might get hurt” 3. Give them both a way of venting their anger, maybe later when they have calmed down. 4. Find out what they both need, “It looks like you need something to play with”. 5. Find out what they are afraid of, “ Are they worried if you give up the ball you won’t get a turn ?” 6. Ask for solutions.

Key Concepts
Children learn how to behave from adults’ models Children learn more from what adults do than from what they say Good listening helps to dissipate anger and increase a child’s self-esteem. The diagram on the following page offers a representational understanding of the stages involved in an angry outburst and the strategies that may prove effective at each of these stages.

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The Anger Mountain in C.B.D (Communication & Behavioural Difficulties)
Strategies Before, During and After an Incident Behavioural difficulties tend to increase as levels of stress increase. Steps can then be taken to improve the underlying conditions which may be causing stress, and provide strategies for coping with difficult situations.

Trigger Phase

Escalation

Crisis/Outburst

Recovery

After the Incident

Strength of Emotion/Anger/Tension/Anxiety

TIME
• Be aware of child’s body language – Communication limited – Stressed, behaviour gives clues. Remove trigger Give alternative activity Visual Reminder Exercise May need to: • Remove from room – may need to be quieter/darker • Defuse • • • Give space Summon Help Protect • • • • • Safe place Safe person Go for a walk Student needs calm reassurance No blame

Feeling Low
• • • • • • Use Social stories What to do when….. Rehearsal of situations Agree visual reminders Where to go/who will help Teach strategies for relieving or controlling anxiety

• • • •

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Communicating with Children with ASD at Home and at School
When working with children on the ASD spectrum the following styles of communication have been found to be effective. (Thanks to the National Autistic Society’s help page; www.nas.org.uk for ideas for this section.) − Only use necessary words. − Try to remove any information that is not providing key information. For example: ‘John, sit here’ (indicating with hand which chair), rather than ‘Would you mind coming over and sitting down there’. − Provide as much information as possible especially when preparing for change. Distress will be lessened and the child helped to cope if they are informed in advance and enabled to anticipate the event. It may seem easier to chose to minimise stress by delaying ‘bad news’ of changes in routine but is better to manage things before they happen rather than wait for the unpredictable response. − For example: ‘John, tomorrow Mrs Jones will not be in school. She will be on a training course. Mr Smith teaches you for maths. He will be your teacher for the whole day tomorrow.’ − Be prepared to answer questions. − Be honest. E.g. in the example above, be honest if you do not know when the teacher will be back but explain what will happen in that eventuality. A child informed is a secure child. − Monitor changes in the child’s behaviour as aggressive or obsessive outbursts can be a sign that the child needs more reassurance about the change in routine. − Be positive. Tell the child what they should be doing. For example: ‘John, pick the books up from your table. Put them in your tray/ in my box, in your bookcase.’, rather than ‘John, I don’t want your books left all over the table like that.’

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− Avoid sarcasm ASD pupils have a very literal sense of language. Use direct clear non-figurative language. For example: ‘This part of the cloakroom is untidy. John, please, put your bag on its peg, thank you’ rather than, ‘Goodness me how very tidy this cloakroom is today’ (in a sarcastic tone). The ASD child may well take this statement as genuine. − Use concrete terms where possible. For example: ‘John, I know you want to go to do PE now but we have to wait until Mrs Cox’ s class have finished in the hall.’, rather than, ‘We can’t do PE now, we will do it later’.

−

Respond to questions within reason. Try to balance being informative and concise. Use what knowledge and experience you have of the child to give him/her the amount of information that can understand and process. ‘We cannot do PE until 10. 45am/period 5’ may be appropriate for some children.

− Use positive praise to make clear what behaviours you are pleased with so that they are encouraged to repeat the behaviour. For example: ‘You’ve put those books away in the tray/my box/the bookcase, well done.’, rather than ‘You are good’ − Provide extra thinking time as ASD children need longer to process information. Acknowledge this by coming back later for the answer to a question. Only repeat the information/question if you are sure it was not understood as the ASD pupil may well experience additional frustration as they are trying to respond but need more time.

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REFERENCES

Directory 2002 of Specific Conditions and Rare Conditions. Contact-aFamily (CaF) www.cafamily.org.uk Honeyford, S. – Seeing Past the Symptoms; in Special! Tourette’s Syndrome Magazine, Summer 1998 pp 6-9. Currie, V. Leach J and Stevenson G (1998) Asperger Syndrome – A practical guide for Teachers – David Fulton, London Campbell-Sadler, A - A Fresh Start - ECC Bayley, S et al 2003 – Mental Health in the School Environment - ECC Asperger Syndrome AD/HD Dyspraxia a leaflet for parents - ECC a leaflet for parents - ECC a leaflet for parents - ECC

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SUPPORTING PUPILS WITH COMMUNICATION AND BEHAVIOURAL DIFFICULTIES

CHAPTER 3

INDIVIDUAL PROGRAMMES This section contains advice and resources for the planning and implementation of individual behaviour programmes suitable for primary and secondary aged pupils. It is worth noting that all behaviour programmes should reflect school policy. The first step in planning any individual programme should be an analysis of the behaviour taking place. This arises from the collection of data based on observations of the pupil and discussions with parents, school staff and other professionals involved. Observation data can be obtained using proformas and schedules contained within the Essex Approach, Promoting Positive Behaviour, Chapter 5. For Secondary Pupils, further analysis may be obtained through use of the Behaviour Improvement Goals questionnaires (BIGs). Examples of BIGs and proformas for primary and secondary aged pupils are included alongside this chapter.

Following the analysis of behaviour, individual plans can be drawn up. Proformas to assist in this process are also shown in the next section in this chapter. A range of resources to support children in improving their own behaviour, suitable for primary and secondary pupils, follow, including examples of Social Stories.

Planning an individual programme

-

Advantages of individual behaviour programmes are that they: often have an immediate and positive effect on a pupil’s self-esteem and behaviour break negative cycles are less time consuming – once they have been set up – than managing unwanted behaviours allow parents or carers to be included and offer a clear role often encourage all the adults involved with the pupil to be more positive can facilitate changes in whole-class or whole-school approaches to behaviour 25

-

-

-

give pupils the opportunity to participate in changing their own behaviour, as they can negotiate targets and rewards, and often succeed very quickly.

Although the benefits of designing programmes to suit individuals can therefore be significant, they can have drawbacks. The most immediate drawback is that while they are more efficient in the long term than managing difficult behaviour, they take time and energy to set up. Once a school has decided to go ahead with an individual programme, the teachers and non-teaching staff involved must be committed to putting in extra work in the early stages. Other issues to consider are that the programmes: can make a pupil feel singled out from the rest of the class if they are not set up carefully are less effective in isolation and work more effectively when combined with a whole-school approach are less likely to work if the context in which the behaviour occurs does not change – this means that classroom organisation and management must be addressed require frequent monitoring are unique – no two programmes are ever the same and each one requires a fresh approach and different methods of recording progress.

-

-

-

Setting up an individual programme There are a number of steps to consider when setting up a programme, from identifying the pupil’s needs and difficulties, to evaluating the programme’s success. For more detailed information see the “Essex Approach, Promoting Positive Behaviour”, Chapter 11. The steps are as follows: 1. Gather up to date information about the pupil’s progress and difficulties through observation and discussion with other staff, parents or carers and the pupil 2. Describe some of the pupil’s positive attributes 3. Describe the behaviour(s) causing the most concern 4. Give priority to a small number of behaviours that need to change or skills that need improvement 5. If necessary gather more information about the chosen behaviour

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6. Describe what the pupil should be doing instead 7. Negotiate with the child, other staff, and parents or carers what the target(s) should be, how they could be achieved and who could be involved (see “Negotiating a programme overleaf.) 8. Implement a short-term plan (approximately half a term) 9. Review and monitor regularly and keep detailed weekly records 10. Change the programme if necessary 11. Gradually fade out the programme 12. Evaluate: Has the programme been successful? Use IEP reviews to evaluate the programme. Does the pupil need to learn further skills or behaviour? Does a new programme need to be negotiated?

Negotiating a programme Successful programmes must involve pupils and parents or carers as well as other professionals from the early stages of planning, so that everyone can co-operate and move towards the same goals in an agreed progression.

The Listen, Ask, Provide (LAP) Process Negotiation relies on the willingness of teaching professionals to listen to the opinion of others, ask for as much information as possible and provide suitable conditions for the behaviour to change. We have found that the LAP process is particularly useful in this regard.

LISTEN • • • • To the perceptions of all teaching and non-teaching staff involved with the pupil To the pupil’s perception of the problem To the parents’ or carers’ perception of the problem To specialist advisory staff, social services and any other professionals involved with the pupil.

ASK • Teaching and non-teaching staff, the pupil and parents or carers about which behaviours are causing concern and need to be changed in the short or long term 27

• • • • •

The pupil what s/he feels able to target The pupil at what time of day s/he thinks s/he is most likely to be successful The pupil which reward s/he would prefer The pupil about how progress will be recorded The pupil which record sheet s/he would prefer (there is a wide selection at the end of Chapter 11 of the ‘Essex Approach, Promoting Positive Behaviour’) Teaching and non-teaching staff, the pupil and parents or carers about who will record the progress The pupil about how s/he will be involved in monitoring their own progress The teachers, parents or carers and school what rewards they can offer The class teacher and other adults involved about when the programme will run Other staff, professionals and parents or carers how they will be involved: How they want to be kept informed How often the programme will be monitored and reviewed Who will be involved in the monitoring and review process.

• • • • •

PROVIDE • • • • A clear description of the behaviour to be increased An opportunity for the pupil to rehearse the behaviour Time for the pupil, parents or carers and staff to make suggestions and discuss any difficulties they envisage The necessary record sheets, an agreement for the pupil and class teacher to sign, and certificates to be given as rewards for achieving the target behaviour (see graphic sheets at the end of chapter 11 of the ‘Essex Approach, Promoting Positive Behaviour’) Copies of the programme for the pupil, staff, parents or carers, school file and any other agencies involved Consistency of approach.

• •

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SUPPORTING PUPILS WITH COMMUNICATION AND BEHAVIOURAL DIFFICULTIES

PRIMARY RESOURCES

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RESOURCES While some resources are suitable for either primary or secondary age children, some may be more clearly appropriate for either age group. Care should be taken in selecting materials according to the age of the child. Primary Age Pupils The resources which immediately follow are designed with a primary age child in mind. My Plan This resource can be used as the basis for a behaviour management plan, and tailored according to an individual pupil’s needs. Reviews and monitoring should be carried out on a regular (possibly weekly) basis, with “small” rewards given every week where appropriate, e.g. favourite activity, certificate, or “well done” note.

What do I need? This resource can be photocopied, and the pupil given an overhead transparency pen to mark off equipment needed at the start of each lesson. When I am stuck I can This is a useful resource for the whole class. However very valuable for the pupil with CBD, providing a “cue” for what to do next. Visual Timetable This resource can be photocopied, then laminated. Affix icons with Velcro or blu-tack. Can I Play? Use as visual cue cards. Laminate, cut out and join in one corner with a treasury tag.

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My Plan

Name Date

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If someone were to take a video of me when I was being “good”, they would see that…
I can… I can…

I can

I can

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What I would like to change about my behaviour
I would like to… I would like to…

I would like to… I would like to…

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The people most affected by my behaviour are…

If someone were to ring these people up on a magic telephone they would say that I am…

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In the next few weeks I would like to change some things

The easiest things to change will be…

?

The hardest things to change will be…

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Who will notice and be most pleased about these changes?

Who will be the next person to be pleased?

I want to change my behaviour so that…

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When I change my behaviour I will feel…
Clever

Happy Great Glad

Excited Pleased

Proud

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I want to change my behaviour. What should I be doing instead?

My Targets 1. I will… 2. I will…

Ready! Get set! Go!
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I will record my progress using…

a diary

a tape recorder

a computer

an exercise book a sticker chart
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?

another way?

I would like the following people to help me…

I would like the following people told when I achieve my targets

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When I achieve my targets, I will deserve to…
Take a “well done” note home Have a “well done” phone call home

Have a “well done” e-mail sent home

Have a treat

Be given a certificate

Think of my own idea

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I can change my behaviour by taking 4 steps

Fantastic!

1. Remembering my targets 2. Practising what I should be doing 3. Asking for help when I need it 4. Thinking about who will be pleased

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What do I need?

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When I am stuck I can:
Put up my hand for help.

Ask the teaching assistant for help

Ask my teacher for help

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Today is…

My tasks for this session are:

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R.E.

Playtime

Science

Puzzles

Geography
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History

Computer

P.E.

Technology

Handwriting

Games

Music

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Assembly

Reading

Numeracy

Art

Drawing

Literacy

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Monday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Lunchtime

Lunchtime

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How to start a game

Can I play, please?

1. Think of a game 2. Find out who else would like to play by asking “ Would you like to play with me?”

3. You may need to explain your game

How to join someone else’s game

1. Stop and Look. 2. Find out whose game it is

Smile and look at the leader. You could say.. “Can I join your game please?”, or “ Whose game is this?” Remember, not too close, not too far away

If they say “ No!”

You could…

1. Stay calm 2. Count to 10, to cool down 3. Walk away

1. Find another game 2. Start your own game 3. Find someone to start a game with

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Find out how to play the game

Play fairly

You could say… “ How do I play?” or “ What do I do?” or “Whose side am I on?” or “What shall I be?”

1. Take turns 2. Pick a leader fairly e.g. one potato, or dip,dip 3. Let others have a go

You could leave the game if…

People start arguing or you feel angry or you’re not enjoying the game. You could say..” I want to stop playing now” or “I’m not playing anymore”

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SUPPORTING PUPILS WITH COMMUNICATION AND BEHAVIOURAL DIFFICULTIES

SECONDARY RESOURCES

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Resources for Secondary Age Pupils The following resources are designed with pupils of secondary age in mind and can be photocopied. Instructions with objectives are included for each session. My Plan This resource can be used as the basis for a behaviour management plan and tailored according to an individual pupil’s needs. Reviews and monitoring should be carried out on a regular basis, with “small”, negotiated rewards given regularly where appropriate, e.g. certificate, “well done” note or ‘phone call home. My Targets B.I.G.s forms can be used to help set targets with the pupil. These forms have been devised as a supportive analytical tool for in-school support. These completed forms will highlight areas of difficulty to focus on. Social Stories can also help with target setting. These can be used to address a number of topics and are often written in response to a difficult situation. The topics are as varied and individual as the pupils for whom they are written. They may describe social or academic skills or translate a target into understandable easy steps. Often they are used to describe a classroom routine, including variations of that routine.

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My Plan

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My Plan

Page 1: Objective: The objective of ‘My Plan’ is to place in the hands of the student a document which will enable her to clarify her own thinking about her difficulties in school and enable her to formulate her own objectives and strategies. Hence ‘My Plan’, rather than ‘My Teacher’s Plan’. Instructions: Following brief introductions, the student is invited to affix a picture of himself to the front of the ‘My Plan’ booklet.

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MY PLAN

(Picture)

Name

Date

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My Plan
Page 2: Objective: The ‘My Plan’ schedule draws on insights derived from solutionfocussed brief therapy. The initial emphasis, therefore, is upon those elements of the students’ experience in school that appear successful from their own point of view. In addition, reasons for the success of those elements are sought, since these provide the seeds from which students may begin to find their own solutions to their difficulties. Instructions: Invite the student to answer the two questions posed on page 2 and the answers are recorded in the spaces in either a written or pictorial form. It is particularly important that the student is encouraged to consider the latter question; why are things going well?

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MY PLAN
What is currently going well for you at school? Why?

☺
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My Plan
Page 3: Objective: Within the solution focussed context established on page 1, the student is invited to consider less functional aspects of school life at the present time. Instructions: Invite the student to answer the two questions posed on page 3 and the answers are recorded in the spaces in either a written or pictorial form. It is particularly important that the student is encouraged to consider the latter question; why are things not going so well? It will be difficult for them to do so but the attempt to do so initiates a valuable dialogue which will continue through the booklet.

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MY PLAN
What is currently not going quite so well at school? Why?

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My Plan
Page 4: Objective: The scaling activity enables students to measure their own progress and achievements as they can refer back to this later. Instructions: Students are invited to rate themselves on a scale of 0-10 – 0 would indicate that they feel extremely negative about school life in general, 5 would indicate that they feel generally okay but recognise the need to make improvements, 10 would imply that things couldn’t be better. Once the scale has been completed, students are invited to think further about the other questions and answers are recorded in the boxes. Number 4 represents the beginning of the student setting her own targets.

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MY PLAN
The Scale 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

10

Questions to Answer 1) Where am I now? 2) Why?

3) Where would I like to be?

4) How will I get there?

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My Plan
Page 5: Objective: Assuming that some of the issues identified on page 4 contain behavioural issues, page 5 enables students to focus on specific targets, phrased in positive terms; ‘I will..’. Instructions: Invite students to continue the reflection begun in number 4 on page 4. They are asked to formulate 3 targets, which can be written or drawn on the sheet. In addition, the supplementary illustrations drawn from the ‘Behaviour Improvement Goals’ can be used and can be cut out and glued into position, if they are appropriate.

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MY PLAN
I want to change my behaviour. What should I be doing instead?

MY TARGETS
1. I will

2.I will

3.I will

☺
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My Plan
Page 6: Objective: The focus for these activities is particularly upon students with complex behaviour difficulties. The use of concrete visual representations is important to reinforce the reflection and learning. Also the affective dimension must be harnessed if we are to be successful. Instructions: Invite the student to consider how she will feel if she is successful. The student can tick the box and talk about his current feelings also.

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MY PLAN
When I change my behaviour I will feel…? (Tick the boxes)

Happy

Proud

Surprised

Worried

Pleased

Thoughtful

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My Plan
Page 7: Objective: The agenda is for students to consider their own plans and goals. Inevitably, however, there are others, primarily adult caregivers, who are involved in the students’ feelings and consideration. Instructions: They are invited to decide who will be affected positively by their success and to record the names and/or draw the faces.

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MY PLAN
Who will notice and be pleased the most about these changes?

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My Plan
Page 8: Objective: The role of adults in and out of school can be a key factor in assisting students to modify their behaviour. As much as possible, students should be encouraged to choose their own ‘mentor’ to help them. Instructions: Ask the student to suggest who might help them in their task. Encourage them to think of individuals on the list and to consider the kinds of help they might provide.

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MY PLAN
I would like the following people to help me. Tutor

Teacher

My Family

Mentor

☺
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My Plan
Page 9: Objective: Thinking back to page 7, in which adult figures were identified, who would be pleased with the students’ success, they are asked to think about specific people whom they would like to be informed when they meet their targets. Again, the emphasis is placed on the solution and the ‘positive’, rather than upon negative factors. Instructions: Invite students to write names or draw people whom they would like to be informed of their success.

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MY PLAN
I would like the following people told when I achieve my targets-

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My Plan
Page 10: Objective: Continuing the positive theme…

Instructions: …Students are invited to decide on ways in which they would like to be ‘rewarded’ for their success. Number 5 is especially important, alongside the others, since rewards that the students themselves choose can be very motivating.

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MY PLAN
When I achieve my targets I would like to:

1.

Take a 'well done' note home

2.

Have a phone call home

3.

Have a certificate

4.

Have a treat

5.

Think of my own idea

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My Plan
Page 11: Objective: A key area in issues of behaviour change is the issue of strategies that students might employ to achieve their goals. Page 11 suggests 4 essential strategies and invites students to tick the ones they will employ. The assumption is that all would prove useful. The process of thinking, discussing and choosing helps students to become engaged in the process. Instructions: Invite students to consider each of the ‘doing’ suggestions and choose and tick those that they will employ.

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MY PLAN
I can change my behaviour by doing 4 things:

1.

Look at my targets everyday

2. Practise what I should be doing

3. Ask for help when I need it

4. Think about who will be pleased

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My Plan
Page 12: Objective: As the booklet is completed and the behaviour programme proceeds, it is important to revisit the initial scaling activity, in order that students can judge the extent to which their feelings may have changed. Instructions: Invite students to consider, as they embark on their plan, and at later stages, to symbolise their feelings on the scale as they did at the start. This will help to reinforce the feel-good factors, which are essential to the success of the plan.

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Celebration of Success

The Scale
0 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9
10

NO EXCEPTIONS

NO EXCUSES DO THE RIGHT THING!

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Behaviour Improvement Goals (BIGs)
Pupil Teacher Support Assistant

Practice working with pairs

Sit pupil with a good role model Encourage friendship skills

Create opportunities for sharing Encourage friendship skills

Sit away from distractions Keep equipment in pencil case until needed

Give choices/ consequences Reinforce positive comments

Try to redirect pupils attention to their work

Remember to look at person you are in conversation with

Remind student to make eye contact

Remind student to make eye contact

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Pupil

Teacher

Support Assistant

Remember ‘4 on the floor’ Pretend your bottom is glued to your seat Consider safety risk to self and others

Encourage appropriate sitting posture Use time limit – reward staying in seat appropriately

Encourage appropriate sitting posture Use time limit – reward staying in seat appropriately

Check night before/ morning Put post it note on door Ask Mum/ Dad to remind me See teacher if you have forgotten before start of the day/ lesson Get a pencil case to keep it together If necessary ask your teacher to look after it at end of day

Reminders Have labelled spare equipment students can sign up and borrow Have equipment available for sale in the classroom

Have a spare set of equipment available Check and encourage pupils to pack equipment and take it away at end of each lesson

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Pupil

Teacher

Support Assistant

Try to reflect on what you are doing – how does this affect others? How would you feel if it were done to you?

‘Surround’ with positive role model

Remind pupil of appropriate behaviour

Be prepared to have a go Make an attempt before asking for help Think positively – this is a challenge

Encourage courage to have a go Give help / praise if work attempted

Encourage courage to have a go Give help / praise if work attempted

Remember to put hand up for help Think ‘POLITE’ Be prepared to wait for help

Give reminders of ‘hands up’ rule Practise appropriate behaviour Respond to appropriate request politely

Give reminders of ‘hands up’ rule Practise appropriate behaviour Respond to appropriate request politely

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SUPPORTING PUPILS WITH COMMUNICATION AND BEHAVIOURAL DIFFICULTIES

SOCIAL STORIES

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Social Stories
Extract taken from ‘The New Social Story Book’ by Carol Gray.

Children and adults with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) struggle to read, interpret, and respond effectively to their social world. From their perspective, the statements and the actions of others may at times seem to occur without meaning or identifiable purpose, occurring randomly and without warning or logic. To those working on their behalf, the same experience may be echoed; parents and educators may report that a child is demonstrating a behaviour that seems to occur “for no apparent reason” or totally “out of context”. Social Stories address this social confusion by requiring parents and professionals to first stop and consider a situation from the perspective of a child or adult with ASD, and second to identify and share information that may be missing with a Social Story. The result is often an improvement in social understanding on both sides of the social equation.

What is a Social Story?

A Social Story is a short story- defined by specific characteristics- that describes a situation, concept, or social skill using a format that is meaningful for people with ASD. In this way, each Social Story addresses the needs and improves the social understanding of people on both sides of the social equation. The result is often renewed sensitivity of others to the experience of the person with ASD, and an improvement in the response of the person with ASD.

Social Story Topics

Social Stories may be used to address a seemingly infinite number of topics. Social Stories are often written in response to a troubling situation, in an effort to provide a person with ASD with the social information he or she may be lacking. It often does not take long for a parent or professional to identify a situation where a Social Story may be helpful. For example, parents may notice their child has difficulty riding in a car, playing with other children, or expressing emotions. Sometimes a person with ASD asks a question or makes a comment that indicates he is “misreading” a given situation, and a Social Story is developed.

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In educational settings, Social Story topics are as varied and individual as the students for whom they are written. They may describe skills that are part of the academic or social curriculums, personalise social skills covered in a social skills training program, or translate a goal into understandable steps. Often, Social Stories are used to describe a classroom routine, including variations of that routine. For example, a Social Story may describe the factors that may lead to the cancellation of outdoor playtime, or the use of substitute teachers. In addition, every school experience includes trips, fire drills and assemblies. A teacher may write a Social Story to describe each event in advance. Social Stories have another purpose that is equally important and frequently overlooked: acknowledging achievement.

Example:

Asking a Question in Class

When I am in class, sometimes I have a question.

When I want to ask a question, I try to raise my hand and wait until the teacher calls my name. If I raise my hand, the teacher will know I would like to ask a question. When the teacher calls my name, that means it is my turn to ask my question.

My teacher will try to

answer my question. I will try to listen carefully to my teacher’s answer.

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Variations

Social Stories may be adapted to suit varying ages and abilities. They can also be personalised with photographs and individual situations.

Example:

My School Day

Once upon a time there was a boy named John. He goes to Green Lane School.

Every morning John says ‘goodbye’ to his mum. He meets his teacher at the door.

John hangs his coat on his peg.

Page 1

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Social Stories Teaching Social Understanding
Extract taken from ‘The New Social Story Book’ by Carol Gray.

Social stories describe social situations in terms of relevant social cues and often define appropriate responses. They provide social information, while minimising the social aspects of teacher / student interaction.

They can be used to: Describe a social situation and provide correct responses Emphasise social skills being taught Translate targets into understandable steps Help the student to distinguish between fantasy and reality Teach routines Address a wide variety of behaviours.

Step 1 Observe a situation, which is difficult for the student. Through observation, try to determine what is motivating the student’s response (from the student’s perspective).

Step 2 – Writing a Story Social stories comprise 4 types of sentences: Descriptive (define ‘where’, ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘why’) Perspective (describe the reactions and feelings of others) Directive (individualised statements of desired response) Control (identify strategies to use to recall information in the story)

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The most important of these types of sentences are the descriptive and perspective sentences. There should be a ratio of at least 3 to 5 descriptive and / or perspective sentences for every directive and / or control sentence.

Guidelines Write well within the student’s comprehension level Usually they are written in the first person and in the present tense They may be written in the future tense, to describe a forthcoming situation to make it seem less threatening They may not need illustrations to be effective. These may be too distracting and might define a situation too narrowly They often describe one aspect or step of a social situation per page, to further define the separate steps of a situation. Use only a few sentences per page Avoid terms like always, using instead words like usually or sometimes State directive sentences positively, describing desired responses instead of describing problem behaviours.

-

-

-

Step 3 – Presenting a Social Story Choose print size, illustrations and layout according to the child’s needs. Making an audiocassette to accompany the story might be helpful.

Step 4 – Introducing the Social Story Establish the understanding and co-operation of all involved. For the first reading, choose a quiet place with few distractions. Sit at the child’s side, slightly back from where the student is sitting. The focus needs to be on the story, not on interaction. Try to read the story with the student once per day, perhaps just before the target situation occurs. Once the student gains independence from the story, leave it on display for constant reference.

-

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Further examples.
Sharing Toys I like to play with toys. When I play with toys, I have fun. Other children like toys too. It may be fun to play with toys with other children. I can share toys. Sharing might be fun. When I play, I will try to share and have fun.

Sharing I can share with people. Sometimes they will share with me. Sharing is a good thing. Sometimes if I share with someone, they will be my friend. Sharing with others makes them feel welcome. Sharing with others makes me feel good.

Playing Fairly It is a good idea to play fairly with my friends. Sometimes my friends may win the game that we are playing. I will try to stay calm if my friend wins a game. If my friend wins a game, I will ask them to play again. It is good to play fairly at games.

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How to ask for help. Sometimes, children have school work they cannot understand. Sometimes, when children cannot understand school work, they get upset. I will try to stay calm. Children need to ask their teachers for extra help when they need it. It is OK to ask for extra help. If I need help with my school work, I will ask for it. Staying Calm in Class Most classes are fun. If I stay calm in class, I will learn more. The more I learn, the more I can do. If I stay calm, my teacher will be happy and will teach me new things. Learning new things is fun most of the time. Staying calm in class will help me understand the teacher. Listening to the Teacher It is good to listen to the teacher. The teacher helps us learn. When I have a question, or an answer, I raise my hand and wait for the teacher to speak to me. I can listen when the teacher is teaching. I will try to listen to what the teacher is saying. Sometimes we might have a different teacher. I can listen to the different teacher.

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REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING

Davies, J. Able Autistic Children- Children with Asperger Syndrome, National Autistic Society (NAS) Cumine, V. Leach, J. Stevenson, G. (1998) Asperger Syndrome, David Fulton, London Warden, D. Christie, D. Teaching Social Behaviour, David Fulton, London Search, D. Autistic Spectrum Disorder-Positive Approaches for Teaching Children with ASD, NAS Davies J. Children with Autism (for brothers and sisters), University of Nottingham, Chid Development Research Unit. 1993 Alban-Metcalfe, J. (2001) Managing ADHD in the Classroom – David Fulton, London Fletcher, J (1999) Marching to a Different Tune – Jessica Kingsley, London Sainsbury, C. (2000) Martian in the Playground – Lucky Duck Gorrod, L. My Brother is Different - NAS Jackson, N. (2002) Standing Down Falling Up – Lucky Duck Barnes, B. Colquhoun, I. The Hyperactive Child - What the Family can do – Thorsons Publishers Ltd, Northants. Carroll, A. Robertson, M. Tourette Syndrome, David Fulton, London Quinn, P. Stern, J. Putting on the Brakes, Magination Press, Washington D.C. Maines, B. (2002) Children Can Learn With Their Shoes Off - Lucky Duck Leicester City Council (1999) Asperger Syndrome – Practical Strategies for the Classroom- NAS.

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SUPPORTING PUPILS WITH COMMUNICATION AND BEHAVIOUR DIFFICULTIES

CHAPTER 4

SUPPORTIVE PARTNERSHIP WITH PARENTS The child at home and at school All behaviour occurs within a context and it is often the context which defines whether a behaviour is good or bad, appropriate, or not. What happens at home may not be acceptable at school and vice-versa. Sometimes children with CBD behave differently in different contexts. For example, a child may respond well to the relatively structured school day, liking the predictability and routine. In the less structured home environment a child’s behaviour may be much more challenging. Such differences in behaviour may create tension between parents and teachers, with parents feeling that their difficulties are not being recognised or acknowledged, their voices unheard. Of course, the complete opposite may also be true: a child may behave in a perfectly acceptable way at home and prove to be extremely challenging at school where different expectations apply. Some parents may turn to their GP for support. They may then be referred on to a specialist within the paediatric health care service. This may be the start of a diagnostic process, the search for a medical label which describes more accurately a child’s difficulties.

What about a diagnosis? A frequently asked question is “Does my child need a firm diagnosis of a specific condition?” It is difficult to give a general answer because there are many factors to consider. The final decision must always rest with parents so it is important to think about the benefits, or otherwise, of a diagnosis. Some parents prefer not to seek a diagnosis. Reasons given include: I don’t want my child to be labelled Our doctor and paediatrician say it’s probably developmental delay We just about get through each day, I can’t take on another battle My partner gets angry/upset when autism is mentioned My child is fine at home, It’s the school’s problem We get Disability Allowance already Schools prefer not to take children with difficulties I can’t take the stress of knowing it’s autism I have similar difficulties and I don’t want to be told I have autism.

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Some parents are keen to acquire a diagnosis to explain their child’s difficulties and may go to great lengths to obtain this. They feel that a firm diagnosis will: Label the condition, not the child Enable those concerned to access information in order to understand strengths and weaknesses and provide appropriate support Stop anyone from blaming them or their child for his/her difficulties Make it easier to obtain benefits, assistance and support Help the family to accept him/her unconditionally Give the child an explanation, when the time is right Ensure a statement of Special Educational Need is granted. Statements of special educational need Following careful consideration of the evidence available in each individual case, a statement may be issued. Absence of a diagnosis will not stop the child getting a statement any more than a firm diagnosis will guarantee one. Statements are granted according to educational need, so if the child is making steady progress at school but has difficulties at home, requests for initiation of a statutory assessment may be turned down. In line with national and local guidelines, the majority of children’s educational needs are now met within mainstream schools without the need for a statement at all. What’s best for the child? Parents need to decide on their reasons for wanting or not wanting a diagnosis. They should seek information to ensure their beliefs are based on fact. Some of the references within this resource may prove helpful. Only the parents know how the child is within the family and how this affects family life. If they feel that it would help to obtain a firm diagnosis, then they should do so. However, only a medically qualified professional such as a paediatrician or clinical psychologist can diagnose these syndromes / disorders. Referral should be sought from the family GP.

Supporting Children at Home
Many of the strategies used by professionals in educational settings can be adapted for use at home. Visual timetables help to provide the structure within which many children with CBD flourish. For secondary aged children it is useful to have a copy of the child’s daily school timetable and homework timetable displayed at home (in the kitchen perhaps) which can be referred to each evening to help the child organise their school bag for the next day. Visual prompts such as pictures and lists of what to do, or in what order, can aid attention and independence skills. Non-verbal gestures such as ‘Give me five’ (‘Primary Essex Approach, Promoting Positive Behaviour’, chapter 6 page 101) are helpful.

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‘Social stories’ are specially written to enable a child to understand the reasons for socially appropriate behaviour and can often help at home. (See Chapter 3, page 83 of this document for examples of these.) The way in which language is used with the child can affect their ability to understand and carry out instructions. For example – “Harry put your coat on the peg, thank you.” Rather than – “How many times have I told you to hang your coat up when you come in. I’m always picking it up of the floor, you know where it goes……” “Harry, ask Katy before you borrow her felt tips.” Rather than – “Katy is really upset, you’ve been in her bedroom again and taken her felt tips, you know that you should ask, I’ve told you a thousand times!” The important points to note are that instructions should be given in a calm voice and be kept simple and repeated if necessary. Children whose behaviour challenges Being the parent of a child with a complex pattern of difficulties is likely to be very stressful. In fact it can be so stressful that the only way to prevent family life being destroyed completely may be to plan coping strategies to survive. Although patterns of family life are changing in the UK, it still remains true that Mum generally takes on the role of primary carer. It is, therefore, the mother who may feel more stressed. In fact, infuriatingly, it has been found that children with complex difficulties often behave better when with their father; a situation that only adds to the stress and guilt that a mother may already feel and that can generate problems within the parents’ relationship. If a child behaves differently with different adults and in different contexts then a parent may begin to react emotionally, feeling blamed, inadequate, demoralised. Children with complex difficulties often have problems dealing with the uncertainties created by reacting emotionally.

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One way of reducing the stress involved in parenting is actively to make decisions in advance and with partners about what are the things that really matter and what are the things that don’t. Have a plan. Prioritise the critical, the important, and the things that do matter, but can reasonably be ignored for now. This helps in trying to decide what has to be dealt with immediately and what can be left for another day. Supporting the child with appropriate strategies often reduces or eliminates difficult behaviours. The book and web site lists offer more information. Case Studies

James had difficulties with behaviour and social skills at pre-school. He was referred by his GP to a developmental unit for assessment. On entering school, James was placed on School Action Plus. In school, this gave him access to some one-to-one and small group support. An Individual Education Plan was drawn up. Advice from the medical professionals and a specialist teacher, who had assessed him, was taken into account. James has benefited greatly from this as it covers his social and communication skills, which are his main area of need. He is now able to communicate his needs in the classroom, share resources and take turns with peers. His needs continue to be met at School Action Plus and he goes off to school quite happily each day.

Harry was a bright boy, but was a little odd in his ways. He had always found school difficult but became unhappy in year five. Harry became increasingly reluctant to attend school and withdrew into himself during lessons, staring vacantly into space or talking to himself. At playtimes he stood in the corner by the fence and had no desire to be with anyone. Sometimes he hit people who tried to engage him in play. Harry was falling behind in school, both parents and staff were concerned. A meeting was called and it was decided to make a referral to the school doctor and the Educational Psychologist. With their help, the school was able to provide a quieter work space so that Harry could concentrate on tasks and to present these visually in order to help him understand what he needed to do. Rewards helped to motivate him. The doctor’s referral to a Clinical Psychologist resulted in a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome. The Educational Psychologist and Specialist Teacher provided advice and training to school staff. Once Harry’s needs were fully understood at school and at home it became possible to address these on a daily basis. Harry began to enjoy school and make progress again.

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Elizabeth had presented with behaviour difficulties since early childhood and had a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and a Statement of Special Educational Needs. She had benefited from period of input from the Behaviour Support Team. At secondary school she was constantly in trouble for arguing, hitting out and running out of lessons. Parents were extremely concerned that she was making no academic progress and her needs were not being met. A referral to the Child and Family Consultation Service led to an assessment at the Maudsley clinic in London. Elizabeth was found to have an autistic spectrum disorder and a global learning delay. Following an amendment to her Statement she remains in mainstream school. The Educational Psychologist and Specialist Teacher have worked with the school to provide social and life skills programmes alongside a reduced curriculum and Elizabeth is calmer and making good progress.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PARENTS The following parents' leaflets, book and web site lists offer more information. Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) Every school has a SENCo who can provide you with information about who to contact and where to go for additional help and advice.

SAFE (Supporting Asperger Families in Essex) Local Central Essex contact names: Carol Ann Jackson Telephone No. 01206 240931 Jane Pearson Telephone No. 01206 210855 Nottingham Regional Society for Autistic Children and Adults A useful information service and publications list can be obtained from: Early Years Diagnostic Centre 272 Longdale Lane Ravenshead Nottinghamshire NG15 9AH The International Autistic Research Organisation The organisation is a National Registered Charity No. 802391 It offers Individual and general information on autism to parents, carers or teachers. 49 Orchard Avenue Croydon CR0 7NE Telephone No. 020 8777 0095 (24hours) Fax 020 8776 2362 e-mail: 106130.2170@compuserve.com

Helplines Parentline Plus – Tel: 02072092460 (Help and support) 08088002222 (Helpline) Stressline – Tel: 08005870014 (Confidential counselling, support and advice) Connexions – Tel: 08080013219 (Direct advisor for confidential advice and practical help) Youth 2 Youth – Tel: 02088963675 (Helpline for a confidential listening ear) 98

REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING

*Able Autistic Children - Children with Asperger's Syndrome Julie Davies Child Development Research Unit University of Nottingham A booklet for brothers and sisters of children with Asperger's Syndrome. Available from the Early Years Centre 272 Longdale Lane Ravenshead Notts. NG15 9AH Tel: 01623 490879

*All About Autistic Spectrum Disorders: a booklet for parents/carers. Glenys Jones, Rita Jones and Hugh Morgan. Mental Health Foundation 2001 ISBN 0901944998

*Asperger Syndrome – practical strategies for the classroom: a teacher’s guide Leicester City Council & Leicestershire County Council Aimed at teachers, this practical book is divided into six areas where difficulties may arise for a child with Asperger Syndrome: social interaction, communication (verbal and non-verbal), imagination, sensory and motor difficulties and work skills. The book describes the type of behaviours a pupil may present and directs the teacher to the relevant section for guidance. Each section is divided into ‘Making sense’ followed by ‘Things to try’ to help the child’s behaviour. The National Autistic Society ISBN 1 899 280 01 4

*Asperger Syndrome the Universe and Everything Kenneth Hall (Forewards by Ken P. Kerr and Gill Rowley) An easy read - the personal story of a ten year old boy with Asperger Syndrome. Jessica Kingsley Publishers ISBN 1 85302 930 0

*Autism: how to help your young child Leicestershire County Council & Fosse Health Trust “This publication is practical and refreshingly accessible. Written primarily for parents it is very helpful for professionals (both teachers and learning support assistants). Advice is available on problems as diverse as touching and obsessions. I highly recommend this publication”. National Autistic Society (1998) ISBN 1 899280 65 0

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*Challenging behaviour and autism: making sense - making progress Philip Whittaker This book is for parents, teachers and carers of youngsters with autistic spectrum disorders. Written in a jargon free style, it offers practical strategies for preventing or managing the sorts of challenging behaviour most likely to be encountered. With detailed case studies and key tips that allow it to be used as a quick reference, it also offers a step by step framework that enables readers to devise their own solutions. The book's core message can be summed up in a single sentence: to change a child's behaviour you need to be able to make sense of that behaviour - and making sense of that behaviour means making sense of the child's autism. The National Autistic Society (2001) ISBN 1 899280 51 0

*Developing pupil's social communication skills Penny Barratt, Julie Border, Helen Joy, Alison Parkinson, Mo Potter and George Thomas This book offers dozens of simple but highly effective strategies for developing communication and social skills, designed for use by parents, teachers, teaching assistants and speech and language therapists. Written by the team who produced the popular NAS publications Autism: how to help your young child and Asperger Syndrome: practical strategies for the classroom, this book is accessible and practical, providing a structured approach to children's social development in their early and primary years. David Fulton (2001) ISBN 1 85346 728 6

*Everybody is different Fiona Bleach A new, delightfully illustrated book for school friends or brothers and sisters aged 8-13 of children with autism. It explains the characteristics of autism, investigates what it feels like to be a brother or sister of someone with an autistic spectrum disorder, and suggests some approaches to making life more comfortable for everyone. Written with insight and charm, this book offers real and accessible support. The National Autistic Society (Feb.2001) ISBN 1 899280 33 2

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*Good Beginnings Essex County Council A comprehensive guide for families and professionals working together for preschool children with social and communication difficulties. The document covers many of the problems encountered at home and includes tried and tested strategies. Essex County Council ISBN: 1 84194 0143

*It can get better… Dealing with Common Behaviour Problems in Young Autistic Children Paul Dickinson & Liz Hannah, illustrated by Steve Lockett This is a pocket-sized book written by two health professionals who have worked with challenging behaviour in autistic children. Specifically written for parents and carers of young children, it looks at common behaviour problems encountered by families of children on the autistic spectrum and offers strategies and tips on how to deal with them in a jargon free format. The issues explored include temper tantrums, toileting problems, self-help skills and learning to play, coping with obsessional and repetitive behaviour and self-injury. The National Autistic Society (1998) ISBN 1 899280 03 0

Little Rainman (Autism through the eyes of a child) Karen L. Simmons Suitable for explaining to a child that other children feel the same. Future Horizons inc. ISBN 1-885477-29-5

Martian in the Playground - understanding the school child with Asperger's Syndrome Clare Sainsbury A personal account of Clare Sainsbury's childhood experience of growing up with Asperger's Syndrome. Lucky Duck Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1 873942 08 7

My Little Brother is Different A picture story book to explain Autism to siblings The National Autistic Society 101

Teaching Young Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders: A practical guide for parents and staff in mainstream schools and nurseries. Liz Hannah, illustrations by Steve Lockett This wide ranging, well-illustrated book offers all kinds of tried and tested strategies to help young people with autistic spectrum disorders develop and learn. Designed to be a really practical guide for nursery nurses, teachers and support staff in mainstream schools, as well as parents, the guide focuses on both work and play, and includes helpful guidance on numeracy and literacy. The National Autistic Society ISBN 1 899280 32 4

The Autistic Spectrum: a guide for parents and professionals Lorna Wing This book describes the autistic spectrum disorder, how to help those with the condition and the services available. It explains how people with autism experience the world, the reasons for their disturbed behaviour and resistance to change, why they need an organised, structured environment with a daily routine and the changes that occur with increasing age. Ways of teaching basic skills, improving experience are fully described. Sound advice is offered on coping with stresses within the family and information on the various services, state and voluntary that are available. Constable (1996, reprinted 1998) ISBN 0 094751 60 9

What is Asperger Syndrome and how will it affect me? Martine Ives A guide for young people. Describes the difficulties young people with Aspergers Syndrome may face, gives useful strategies to try and answers frequently asked questions. The format is clear and user friendly with illustrations that may appeal to young people. Useful if you are considering how to tell your child he/she has AS. The National Autistic Society ISBN 1 889280 04 9

Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome Luke Jackson A user guide to adolescence Jessica Kingsley, London.

Please note: Those books marked with an asterisk are available from libraries throughout Essex. Staff at any library will be able to advise you. 102

RESOURCES FOR PARENTS’ USE

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Timetable Timetable 2004/2005

Monday Friday
English French Textiles IT Science Maths English PE Music

My School Timetable

Thursday
Art IT PE Resistant Materials Supported study

Tuesday
English History PE French Food tech

Wednesday
Geography History Maths Science English

Each day I must remember to take the correct school books

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Homework Timetable

Friday
•

Monday
• • Science Maths

•

English French

My homework reminder

Tuesday Thursday
• • Art IT • • English Food Tech

Wednesday
• •

Geography History

Each day I must look at my spider graph to remind me what homework I must complete

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Friday English French Textiles IT

Monday Science Maths English PE Music

Thursday Art IT Resistant Material Supported Study

My Timetable Reminder

Wednesday Geography History Maths Science English

Tuesday English Food tech French PE History

Homework timetable
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Monday
Spellings Reading book Reading diary Homework diary Arsenal book Lunchbox Drink

Tuesday
Reading book Reading diary Homework diary Arsenal book Netball PE kit (shorts, T-shirt and tracksuit if it’s wet) Lunchbox

Wednesday
Homework Reading book Reading diary Homework diary Arsenal book Lunchbox Drink Cornet

Thursday
Reading book Reading diary Homework diary Arsenal book Lunchbox Drink

Friday
Homework Reading book Reading diary Homework diary Arsenal book Indoor PE kit (shorts and Tshirt) Lunchbox Drink

Drink No necklace

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What I need to do in the morning?
Time Task

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MY EVENING ROUTINE

Change clothes Put dirty shirt in wash basket Have snack Do homework Watch TV or go out to play Have supper Time to relax Bath or shower Clean teeth Get into bed and read or you can listen to a tape Go to sleep

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1)Change clothes. 2)Put clothes in the right way out. 3)Put dirty clothes in the washing machine. 4)Hang up or fold clean clothes. 5)Eat my meal and help granny. 6)Play or watch T.V. 7)Clean my teeth. 8)Have a bath or a good wash. 9)Get into bed and read for al little while. 10) Go to sleep

When I have earned 7 cats I can choose a ………
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What I need to get ready for school tomorrow!

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My P.M. / A.M. Routine
What I need to get ready in the evening –
• • • •

What I need to do in the morning – Time Task
• • • •

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Things to do before bedtime
• Homework • Think about tomorrow (what will I need for school) • Get bag ready for the morning • Get into bed (7.45pm) • Read book if I want • Lights off at 8.30 pm All ready? Well done.

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MY BEDTIME ROUTINE
1) 2) 3) I will put my pyjamas on. I will carry my drink upstairs. I can choose a video, book or story-tape, get in to bed and enjoy it. Mum or Dad will say “Goodnight” Now I will settle and go to sleep. In the morning I can do my chart. I can do it!

4) 5)

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