I've always known a little bit about Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) through my work and training around Autism and the sensory needs involved within the spectrum; however I never really saw sensory needs as a separate or self-contained issue, unrelated (in some ways) to Autism.
This has been until a boy within our setting arrived and displayed some clear sensory and processing needs. Skip ahead a few weeks later and I've become his mentor and am, really, the only one championing him and supporting his needs. By this point I've had numerous chats with his mum and trips to his house, numerous serious incidents in centre, countless mentoring sessions and therapeutic conversations, trips to the beach, police involvement, arguing his needs till I'm blue in the face, sitting in the rain for an hour after school alongside him listening and allowing him to process a horrendous incident that took place and not to mention I've developed a whole new interest in rap music f…
This is like my millionth attempt at writing a blog, but here goes the one millionth and one attempt!
I'm a teaching assistant and mentor at a alternative provision school for students who have social, emotional and behavioural needs. My day to day role is split between being in centre; where I act as a mentor and try to support students in their pastoral and welfare needs, and out-of centre; where I travel around teaching and mentoring young people whose needs are too complex to be in our centre full time.
I'm also a trainee counsellor who is currently undertaking my level 4 diploma in counselling and, as I'm advocate and strong believer in mindfulness with young people, I have completed my Connected Kids certificate in mindfulness and meditation for children and young people.
I hoping this blog will not only be used as a platform to share and explore my ideas and interests regarding my job, but also as a place where I can truly document the unexpected and spontaneous nat…
I use 5 Point Scales all the time at work. The 5 Point Scale is a visual, non-verbal way of communicating emotions and feelings.
The Scale can be completely unique and customisable to the situation and child/young person you're working with but the basic version consists of the numbers 1-5 with each number being associated to a feeling and a colour:
5 - Mad, I can not cope! (RED) 4 - Angry (ORANGE) 3 - Frustrated or Anxious (YELLOW) 2 - Annoyed, but can cope (GREEN) 1 - Calm OK (BLUE)
How do I use the 5 Point Scale?
I often use the 5 Point Scale alongside trigger lists and questionnaires to help identify specific triggers for my students that may automatically put them on a 3 or 4. This can the also help us identify things that make them feel calm and okay.
The 5 Point scale can also be used to help students self-regulate their own emotions by giving them a visual to associate with and by giving them greater awareness over their feelings which, if used consistently and regularly as p…