Rising Above Bullying: Powerful new book from Red Balloon shines light on 15 years of success in recovering bullied children

“Rising Above Bullying is a book for all those who encounter bullying. For those who are being bullied and their families, for the perpetrators and their families and for teachers and other adults who are in a position of influence. And for the bystanders – those who ‘turn a blind eye’ thinking it is not their business. We all have a shared responsibility to ensure the safety of our children; adults must be proactive in putting a stop to bullying behaviour. This involves doing something if you believe a child is being subjected to unkind and unpleasant treatment.”

How to Make School Inclusion a Success for Children with Autism – An Interview with Kay Al-Ghani and Lynda Kenward

“Children with ASD are not good at generalising. They cannot transfer knowledge from one situation to another. Something as simple as having a different symbol to show ‘choosing’ for example, may result in the child being unable to understand what is expected. Not all schools have access to symbol writing programmes or they may be different from those used by early years practitioners. Parents usually have no access at all and are not even aware of the visual symbols they could be using to aid their child’s understanding at home…The aim of the book is to promote and foster collaboration between the home and the school. This will result in improved generalisation of skills and opportunities to exchange ideas and to decide what methodology works best for the child.”

A New Take on Language Function and Literacy: An Interview with Dr. Ellyn Lucas Arwood

“The bottom-line, is that the programs, materials, and curricula that are sound-based do not match with the way the children think to learn. So, teachers work harder but don’t always receive the positive success they deserve. Older students work harder to produce the sound-based patterns for tests, homework, and so forth without the conceptual learning. Working harder but not smarter stresses everyone–students, families, and teachers.”

John Merges on Social Enjoyment Groups for young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders

“Social enjoyment, as both an important life and employment skill, needs to be taught and practiced as early as possible. We need to provide our young people with safe, predictable situations to practice enjoying a social interaction. The successes I’ve seen in my own work demonstrate that social enjoyment is indeed a skill – and thus, can be learned.”

Kay and Haitham Al-Ghani on ‘Learning About Friendship’ – Stories to support social skills training for children with ASD in the classroom

“One small boy in my class was having great trouble going on school outings because he would not wear a seat belt. The bus driver came to tell me that he would not be allowed to go on any more trips. I thought this was rather harsh and so the very next day I told my class a story about Tedrick the teddy who would not wear a seat belt…We role-played the parts of the driver, the teachers and the other children on the bus. I emphasised how happy the driver was when all the children wore their seat belts and I asked the boy in question if he would mind taking Tedrick on the next trip. Guess what, that boy was the first one on the bus doing up his own and Tedrick’s seat belt!”