Learning Support Newsletter

Seventh Edition April/May 2016

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For The Special Attention Of Personal Tutors & CMs

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This is a reminder to Personal Tutors/CMs when they are doing their course interviews for next year's learners regarding ALS HNS funding.

Local Authorities are prioritising students for High Needs Funding to learners with an Educational Health Care (EHC) Plan. High Needs Funding will include learners requiring, for example, 1:1 in-class support for over 7 hrs per week on their course. The big change for next year is that students, who have a Statement but no EHC Plan, will probably not be eligible for HNS funding for 2016-17 from any Local Authority. If Tutors/CMs are unsure, they should contact either Ines Asis or Pete Way for further guidance and advice.


In this monthly newsletter we will be focusing on Autism.

(Main contributor to this section, Jill Allan, LSP and Nadia Anwer LST)

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Autism is a developmental disability that affects the person’s ability to communicate and understand other people and the world around them. While there are common traits that affect people with autism their condition is as individual as they are and it affects them in different ways. Autism is a lifelong condition but people with autism can live a relatively normal life and with the right kind of support can study, live and work independently.

Neuropsychologist Michael Rosenthal of the Child Mind Institute. Dr. Rosenthal is an author of a new study on executive function problems in teens with ASD and intelligence.

“People use executive skills when they make plans, keep track of time, remember past experiences and relate them to the present, change course if they hit a roadblock, ask for help, maintain self-control and work successfully in a group”.

“Teens with autism mature at a slower pace in executive skills, according to recent research. They may have particular trouble with flexibility, organization, initiating activities and working memory. "In kids with autism spectrum disorder, cognitive flexibility is the standout problem for them and seems to remain a problem as they get older," Dr. Rosenthal.”

Asperger is a form of autism and is known as ‘high functioning autism’ to describe individuals. For further information please follow this link.

The autistic spectrum (including Asperger’s syndrome) is very broad, encompassing a wide range of intellectual and cognitive skills, so strategies that help one learner may be very different from those that work with others.

Tips for supporting learners with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC)

  • Autistic students are often visual learners, so bear this in mind when preparing lessons.

  • When addressing an ASC learner, it helps to say their name at the outset and give clear, concise instructions.

  • Use literal language and be as precise as possible, avoiding metaphors, sarcasm and abstract concepts.

  • ASC learners may be extremely sensitive to noise, light or touch and can easily be distracted by an over-busy environment.

  • Students may need help with social interaction, as their understanding of social conventions may be limited. Eye contact may be difficult for them.

  • Be sensitive to the fact that they may find group work very stressful and do not force participation. If absolutely essential, explain clearly the purpose of the group activity.

  • Aim for consistency and structure wherever possible. When changes cannot be avoided, discuss these with the student and help them to accept the change.

  • Offer a consistent response to inappropriate behaviour, making clear where the boundaries lie.

  • Where learners have obsessive interests, it may be possible to use these to promote learning, e.g. by featuring the topic in a lesson or basing a project on it.

  • Use carefully worded questions to elicit and check learning. Also provide extra time at the end of sessions to check for understanding, offering notes if relevant.

To find out more about strategies, please click here.

Autism "Awareness" - Ten Things You Should Know

This video shows a learner with Autism telling us about the 10 things he feels we should know about autism:

Autism "Awareness" - Ten Things You Should Know

Autism Awareness Word Search

Try this Word search game and get familiarised with words related to autism.

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Further videos, websites, books and article links you maybe interested in:

  • Please click here to read more about Strategies to support people with autism, including Asperger syndrome.

  • The Autism Spectrum and Further Education, A Guide to Good Practice by Christine Breakey.

In this book, Christine Breakey provides practical advice on teaching young adults successfully, emphasising the development of resources and skills for use specifically in FE colleges. She offers strategies for communicating effectively, helping students to manage transition, and understanding and minimising the causes of ASC behaviours.


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  • Susan Boyle - Singer
  • Jane Austen - British Novelist
  • Albert Einstein - Theoretical Physicist
  • Sir Isaac Newton - English Physicist, Mathematician, Astronomer, Philosopher and Alchemist
  • Henry Cavendish - British scientist
  • Derek Paravicini - blind British musician
  • Stephen Wiltshire - British architectural artist


Why Reflector 2 is a good tool to use during the lessons?

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Reflector 2 is a mirroring tool that allows to project the image of iPad/iPhone on a big screen. An excellent tool that can be used to present information such as PowerPoint presentations, interesting video clips, and website information and so on, on a SMART board, so everyone can benefit with the information.

How to use Reflector 2 in the College?

  • First of all, start the computer.

  • Then, click on Reflector 2 icon on the desktop.

  • Secondly, switch on iPad/iPhone and make sure that it is connected to the College Wi-Fi.

  • Then swipe up on your iOS device which will bring up the control section; on the bottom right click on the AirPlay icon.

  • Then select the computer screen which shows the room number and computer number e.g. SG/B104 (PJ857) that’ll show up because your iOS device knows that there is something wanting to share the screen with it or the screen mirror with it.

  • Then, turn Mirroring on and the dialogue box will appear, click ‘Allow and show all’ and give it a couple seconds it shouldn’t take long and your device screen will pop up.

  • Then close the bottom section and you are ready to share the screen of your iPad/iPhone to do presentations.

  • When you want to disconnect the device bring up the control section on the iPad/iPhone and turn the Mirroring off.

I hope these simple steps help you to connect to your iOS device to Reflector 2 easily.

How to use Reflector 2 at home?

Mirror iPad or iPhone Screen on a PC Using AirPlay and Reflector

Mirror iPad or iPhone Screen on a PC Using AirPlay and Reflector

Further Information on Reflector 2

If you would like to use Reflector at home then follow these instructions:

1. Install Reflector 2 app on Windows/Mac laptop/PC. There is a small charge to download please check before download.

2. Reflector 2 receives connections from a number of different devices. Please check the list below for instructions to connect your device.

3. Once Reflector 2 is connected then it is easy to present information.


Next month's topic is Better Speech and Hearing.


Please leave your feedback here. Thank you.

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Responsible For Layout & Coordination

Nosheen Ashraf

Assistive Technology Coordinator - Learning Support


Phone: 0203 7644347