I'm always on the look out for best practice examples to bring to you on SNJ, whether you are a parent or a practitioner. I believe that the more knowledge there is out there, the greater chance of it being seen by an enterprising parent or a forward-thinking teacher and used to help children.
It means the balance between poor and great help tips further in a positive direction over time and as more new practitioners come along, this is what will surround them and what will be the natural course to take. A big part of this is finding inspiring mentors and those promoting high standards and innovative practice.
That's why today we're highlighting the National Autistic Society's Autism Professional Awards and the Director of the NAS Centre for Autism, Carol Povey is here to tell us more about it. The deadline for nominations is Friday October 26th.
Why it’s important to share best autism practice
There’s been a huge growth in awareness of autism over the past few years – 99% of the public now say they’ve heard of the lifelong disability. But understanding of the autism spectrum, as well as support and teaching for children, still isn’t anywhere near as good as it should be. Far too many parents tell us they’re still facing long and often exhausting battles to get the education and support their child needs, as we made clear in our 2016 School Report.
The National Autistic Society and a range of other organisations and individuals have been campaigning for better support for children on the autism spectrum, a wider range of provision and more understanding from professionals, including teachers.
A key part of this is identifying individuals, projects and schools who are doing great work so we can share their stories and inspire others to improve their own practice. This is why we run the Autism Professionals Awards and Professional conference each year, so we can find out about and celebrate the latest innovations in teaching, learn from experts, including autistic people, and share best practice. We’re currently preparing for the 2019 awards and are calling on families and professionals to nominate individuals, projects and schools that are making a difference.
Inspirational professionals and teams come in all shapes and sizes and definitely don’t need to be in a position of authority or have high level academic qualifications. It could be a teaching assistant or volunteer who has helped a child to achieve something great, an innovative school project that has boosted the confidence of autistic students, or an autistic person who is working hard to increase understanding of autism. Whatever the story, we want to hear it.
There are a few qualities that link all of our previous finalists, and winners: patience, understanding, innovation and creativity. These attributes are vital in any professional, volunteer or project and are always appreciated by families. It may seem simple, but it’s often the smallest thing that makes the biggest difference to a child and those around them.
Autism can have a profound effect on a child and their family and life can be hard. But understanding and support from caring professionals, schools and projects can make all the difference. It’s essential we recognise the people and teams going the extra mile so we can inspire others to do the same.
To find out more about the 2019 Autism Professionals Awards or to nominate an individual or organisation, please visit: www.autismprofessionalsawards.org.uk/
The deadline for nominations is 26 October 2018