About Me

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I am a special education teacher in England, working in a mainstream academy with a centre for children with learning difficulties. I teach a class of 7 students of secondary age with profound and multiple learning difficulties. These include autism, visual impairment and sensory integration disorder. I love love love my job. It inspires ,enthuses .and lifts me and I never intend to retire. :)

Saturday, 6 March 2010

what do your bookmarks say about you?

My Mother said that you can tell a lot about someone by what's in their bookshelves, or indeed if they have any at all.I remember being very embarrassed by her on any visit to a new friend as she'd immediately peruse their shelves intently and,even worse,take one out and say "I'm borrowing this ok?" I never felt able to tell her how socially unacceptable that was!

My bookshelves have 3 main themes:God and spiritual growth;work,that is,autism and special needs; and literature that is,in turn separated into already read and waiting to be read.I tend to have one on the go from each group at a time. I'm currently reading "Landmarks" by Margaret Silf.I cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone who wants to grow in their relationship with God and become more like Him. It has brought me through a very difficult part of my life,still trusting.For work,its "the out of sync child", a fascinating insight into sensory integration disorder,which really only touches the iceberg of this enormous subject and wets my appetite for more information.I have already diagnosed myself with certain sensory integration problems, a subject I may touch on in another blog :).I am also reading Neil Gaiman,having finished Coraline, and moving straight on to Anasi Boys.

Anyway, I started thinking in this technological age of ours you could say the same thing about which websites people bookmark.Not of course as accessable as a bookshelf which may disappoint my dear Mother,but they would certainly show whats important to you,your interests,your priorities and pleasures.
Of course my bookmarks reveal the same things initially. I have a huge work folder which contains useful ideas websites [for planning my teaching],educational blogs which can be incredibly helpful,and recently ideas that would help me in lecturing mainstream teachers about ASD. For example, that notorious AutismSpeaks video as an example of what NOT to believe and the "I do not suffer with Autism statements".
I frequently visit the Northumbrian community website http://www.northumbriacommunity.org/ where I get much prayer support and friendship from the forum members.Sacred Space is a website that leads you into prayer for 10/15 minutes at work when you need a little pocket of peace and God's presence in the day's stress.http://sacredspace.ie/ In contrast a ship of fools is a half serious half hilarious website that brings Christians together to discuss thorny issues but also rate religious jokes as which is the funniest and advertises the most ridiculous christian websites and religious kitsch.http://www.ship-of-fools.com/index.html I have trouble with Christians who can't laugh at themselves.

Another main theme in my bookmarks is humour and my search for a good laugh.I currently love http://www.engrish.com/ and http://notalwaysright.com/.[basically a laugh at other peoples extreme stupidity] http://mstaken.com/blog/ has many laughable examples of celebrities making fools of themselves and it was here I discovered http://themessage-board.blogspot.com/ ,a very talented lady acting out the utter craziness of brides to be talking with each other.

The main thing in my bookmarks is the blogs I follow, which seems to get bigger on a daily basis! Many of the blogs I follow are written by parents of autistic children or teachers or people with aspergers.It helps to keep me grounded, and not lost in the theory of autism and education but aware of how it impacts daily life for them and their families.Not only that but I love making new friends and a blog can help you get to know someone far better than facebook or twitter's short updates.For a moving and funny blog about her autistic son,which is beautifully written read http://mamabegood.blogspot.com/,whilst http://asd2mom.spaces.live.com/ Elise's sons are older and her wisdom and wonderful descriptions of advocating for them is a joy to read. For plain crazy people [in the nicest possible way,of course!]read http://blog.winett.com/ and http://neuroaster.wordpress.com/

so whats in your bookmarks? Will anyone be brave enough to tell me? please do.

oh and I forgot the shopping websites!LOL One of my favorite activities.

1 comment:

  1. There is more and more research that links many learning and developmental difficulties to poor communication and synchronisation between the two brain halves. An effective way of improving the processing functions in the brain is to listen to specially altered sound or music through headphones as pioneered by Dr. Alfred Tomatis (Tomatis method) and Dr. Guy Bérard (Auditory Integration Training - AIT).

    Now there is a new Sound Therapy Programme which has been specifically developed with the aim to improve sensory processing, interhemispheric integration and cognitive functioning and it is entirely free to download and use at home. It has helped many children and adults with a wide range of learning and developmental difficulties, ranging from dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder to sensory processing disorders and autism. It is not a cure or medical intervention, but a structured training programme that can help alleviate some of the debilitating effects that these conditions can have on speech and physical ability, daily behaviour, emotional well-being and educational or work performance.

    Check out the Free Sound Therapy Home Programme from Sensory Activation Solutions. There is no catch, it's absolutely free and most importantly often effective. Find it at: http://www.uk.sascentre.com/uk_free.html.