Category Archives: Autism

What is the best way to support students on the autism spectrum with teen issues and relationships?

For many teenagers on the autism spectrum the world of feelings, emotions, relationships, and indeed the whole range of issues related to being a teenager, can be extremely difficult.

While many young people develop their ability to handle these topics and cope with such issues as sexuality, personal hygiene, body image, social drinking, fashion, self-confidence, and so on, for the student on the autism spectrum this can be difficult.

The same is true with everyday situations such as going to the pub, responding to suggestions that a friend is gay, speaking in public, having a tattoo, etc, etc.

As a result your SEN students can require a bit more support if they are to become able to form and maintain healthy relationships throughout adolescence and adulthood and deal with all the issues that can make the teenage years problematic.

Which is why we have devised the “Relationships” series and its companion “Teenage Issues” series of resources.

These are comprehensive resources offering guidance to teenagers with a reading age of around seven. The approach is one of being sympathetic to the way that autistic teenagers and others with related special needs typically view the world.

Each series consists of:

  • Two copies of each of six story books which support the ASDAN Transition Challenge and Towards Independence Life Skills courses.
  • A CD-ROM providing electronic versions of the six books, making it ideal for interactive whiteboard presentations and for students who would also benefit from listening to the text. It is also possible to edit and save the text to make your own story, create differentiated texts, and personalise the text.
  • Supporting resources for teachers including page-by-page notes for all the stories and assessment resources (feedback sheets and student record sheets).
  • An extensive range of activity worksheets and interactive activities that encourage reading comprehension.

Each of the two series come in Value Packs costing £139 plus VAT (save 10%). Individual elements from the two packs are also available separately. There is information on the contents of each pack through these links:

 Relationships Value Pack           Teen Issues Value Pack

Alternatively, please email info@senpress.co.uk or call me on 01582 833205.

Janie Nicholas

What is the simplest way of reducing anxiety levels among autism spectrum students?

Everyone suffers from anxiety at some stage in their lives.  Some of us feel more of it, some less.

As such, anxiety is a normal everyday emotion.  But too much anxiety can lead to a psychological condition that might need help and support.  Too little ability to respond to situations that should induce anxiety can lead to a foolhardy approach to risk-taking, which itself can be disastrous.

Students on the autistic spectrum can be particularly vulnerable to issues relating to anxiety, not least because, for some of them, much of the world can seem an unfathomable place. Thus autistic teenagers can continue to become anxious about situations beyond the age when their school friends have stopped being worried.

However, anxiety is never a fixed emotion. When anxiety levels do run a little too high they can be reduced, often through very simple means.

A series of resources from SEN Press helps autism spectrum teenagers deal with anxiety by taking examples from their everyday lives centred around themes such as “Scared of bullies?” “Scared of the dark?” “Scared of getting lost?” and so on.

With examples drawn from six different common sources of anxiety the students can not only be helped to overcome the anxiety that is portrayed in the materials, but they can also learn about anxiety.

They can thus appreciate that it is a natural human reaction to become anxious in certain conditions, and that everyone has some issues in life about which they might become anxious.

The aim therefore is not to remove the anxiety, but simply to make it more manageable and not detrimental to everyday life.

There are three different ways of purchasing the materials.

First it is possible to buy one copy of each of the six “Scary Things” readers in the “Readers Pack for £28.50. For further information please click here.

As an alternative there is the Scary Things Activity Pack which contains a CD Rom of e-books, worksheets and Teacher Book with copymasters for £55.

Finally the Scary Things Value Pack including all the materials from the Activity Pack above plus two copies of each of the six Readers for £105.

If you require further information please call 01582 833205  or email info@senpress.co.uk

Unlocking autism

What is the most effective way of encouraging students on the autism spectrum to read and engage with new ideas?

It has in recent years been increasingly understood that children on the autism spectrum can respond well to working with digital technology.

The problem, however, is often one that relates to the question of how digital technology can be introduced, both in terms of appropriate reading material and the IT processes themselves.

One approach is to offer short texts with illustrations that the students can not only read on any digital device, but which also can be manipulated, so that the events and information in the text can be reduced or expanded as the individual student requires.

At the same time such text can be listened to by the student, read aloud by the student, or followed on an interactive whiteboard or on the student’s own digital device.

Thus these stories, centred around key themes that affect the students’ lives, not only have an everyday relevance but can also be made increasingly to relate to them and their world.

SEN Press has produced 22 such digital readers which can be used as whiteboard presentations, and as changeable stories for other digital devices.  What’s more the stories have human voice read-throughs (rather than electronic voices) to add to the accessibility.

The e-book library from SEN Press contains editable e-books and corresponding pdfs for print out across four themes: Relationships,. Everyday Challenges, Work Experience, and Simple Meals.

Thus students can be introduced to 22 different situations and themes as varied as “Mum’s new boyfriend”, “Travelling by Yourself”, “Working in a charity shop”, and “Preparing a packed lunch”.

Additionally the pack includes one free copy of the printed edition of each of the books.

The full pack, including the printed copy of each of the 22 books costs £250 (plus VAT).  Full details can be found on our website.

Alternatively if you require further information please call 01582 833205  or email info@senpress.co.uk