Welcome to the Autism Advocate initiative at The Cottesloe School. We are both established, dedicated Teaching Assistants within the Special Educational Needs department, as well as Form Tutors. In 2018 the school appointed us Autism Advocates to raise acceptance and awareness of the key areas of difference of the spectrum and other related conditions.
This is not a one size fits all solution and therefore we aim to provide tailored person centred support for students on the spectrum. Autism Advocates are trained and mentored by the Autism Teaching Company Ltd (AuTC), so that we can promote autism acceptance throughout The Cottesloe School. We will provide a first port of call for students with autism so that small problems can be overcome before they escalate into bigger issues.
Autism Advocates has been set up to meet the needs of individuals with autism. We recognised a growing need to provide a more responsive and cohesive service within the school. We are both experienced professionals who have a wealth of knowledge in the field of autism.
We have a range of skills developed from our professional and personal experiences.
ELSA for SEN
(Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)
There are two trained ELSAs within The Cottesloe School. Mrs Brimmell, who is based in TEAM Hub and is also the school's Wellbeing Officer, and myself, Mrs Kimber, based within the SEND department. I have training in SEN, and many years experience of working in this area. We have both completed the ELSA course and are supported by the Bucks Educational Psychologists team.
An ELSA provides support for children who are finding it hard to decipher their emotions. This support is given over six to eight weeks in a relaxed one-to-one session and aims to teach the student how, why, and what they are feeling, as well as equipping them with tools and techniques to manage their emotions themselves.
ELSA sessions for our SEN students are tailored to each students’ specific needs, and will provide support in a way that is accessible to them. ELSA sessions will take place on the same day each week, and in the same format, in order to minimise any anxiety around coming to a session. Sessions begin with a game and move on to a tailored activity. The activities range from looking at the science behind our emotions, helping to unravel a confusing feeling, or building skills for friendship. I will be working in close partnership with the Autism Advocates and Ms Hibbert (SENDCo).
For more information please contact Mrs Kimber.