Our Forest School: how the outdoors benefits our children

It has been an exciting start to the Outdoor Learning programme at RSM and hopefully an enjoyable one too, despite the wet feet and chilled fingers! I am a passionate believer that the natural world is where we are meant to be and that it has great benefits to our wellbeing.  This is doubly so for many of our young people who are super-sensitive and find the man-made environment distracting and disturbing.  Indeed how many of us instinctively take ourselves off for a walk at times of stress?

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Four Key Tips for Supporting Mental Health in Children and Young People with Complex Needs

As part of Children’s Mental Health Week (w/c 6 February) our Therapy Outreach Services Team put together some practical advice for supporting mental health in children and young people with complex needs.

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Supporting Children with Autism over the Festive Period

Christmas!  It generally brings up mixed feelings for each one of us. Feelings of joy, excitement, and perhaps some element of stress and panic!

But imagine if you were particularly bothered by bright lights, if sudden unexpected sounds really hurt your ears, you’re expected to try unfamiliar food at strange times of the day, and there’s a tree in the front room which smells funny and the branches make your skin itch. There is no school during the week and your routine is out the window which makes you feel anxious and out of control!

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Team Seashell – meet Emily!

In the first of a new series, we’ll be introducing you to some of the amazing staff members who make up #TeamSeashell. Emily Jones has worked at Seashell Trust for 3 years, and is a teaching assistant at our Royal School Manchester.

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Holistic person-centred therapy that changes lives

This week is National Occupational Therapy (OT) Week, an opportunity to talk about the difference that OT makes to peoples’ lives.  One of Seashell Trust’s occupational therapists, Emily Kellett talks about her role with our children and young people.

Occupational Therapists have been described as the health and care system’s “secret weapon”. We are the only registered profession qualified to work across mental and physical health and in NHS and social care settings. This means that they are uniquely placed to see a whole person holistically.

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AAC Awareness Month: James Gains His Voice

October is International AAC Awareness Month, which seeks to raise awareness of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and the many different ways people can communicate using communication devices.  Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) refers to the communication methods used to supplement or replace speech or writing for those who have difficulty producing or understanding spoken or written language.

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Pioneering AAC Technology to aid our children and young people’s communication

October is International AAC Awareness Month, which seeks to raise awareness of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and the many different ways people can communicate using electronic devices.  Here we introduce you to some of the AAC devices used by Seashell Trust’s therapy team to help our children and young people to express themselves and communicate effectively. 

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A Day in the Life of Chloe

Chloe follows Royal College Manchester’s Sensory course and splits her time between living at home and in our state-of-the-art houses onsite. At the moment, Chloe shares a house with two other young adults who both have similarly complex physical skills, and their house is specially designed to help them maximise their independence with facilities like the rise-and-fall kitchen counters, ceiling track hoists and a sensory room.

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Your Time Changes Lives

At Seashell Trust, we believe that anyone can play sport - and everyone has the right to enjoy it! In fact, for children and young people with special needs, physical activities (like running, cycling or swimming) are a great chance to play with other children - they're fun, with a clear structure and none of the pressure to make yourself understood and understand other people that might make children with learning disabilities, autism or other communication difficulties feel worried about joining in. 

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Children enjoy fully inclusive CADS activity programme

This summer saw Seashell Trust hold our half term CADS events – two days of fully inclusive sport, music, art and games.  More than 70 children and young people had fun trying a range of activities including golf, swimming, athletics, playing musical instruments and arts and crafts.

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“Listen to Me”: Supporting Learners with Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI)

MSI learners are a unique group of children with distinctive needs for learning and development. All children and young people with MSI experience the following difficulties:

- Access to information about the world
- Communication and forming relationships
- Independent movement and mobility

This presents huge challenges for their support and learning needs. A ‘one size fits all’ model is not effective and person-centred approaches are essential in planning interventions and packages of support.

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Giving Families More Tools To Stay Involved In Education

Whether you are practicing communicating so you can express yourself to your family, learning about social rules so you can visit more places in the community safely or even preparing for big events like attending a wedding or going on holiday, being able to transfer your learning from the classroom to your home is an amazing achievement, and one that offers up so many more opportunities to enrich your life outside school or college.

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