Breaking down preconceived ideas

An example of how one-page profiles can be used to introduce the person rather than the diagnoses.  Alfie’s dad talks about how his son’s profile has helped people get to know him and all of his positive traits rather than just his diagnoses of Aspergers.

Alfie's one-page profile

Alfie’s one-page profile

Written by Damien Nolan, Alfie’s dad

Alfie is our ten year old son who has had a formal diagnoses of Aspergers Syndrome since he was three years old. Alfie is a great boy with a big heart and loving demeanor.  He is very cuddly in an innocent kind of way. His friends and family are incredibly important to him and he is obsessive with all things transport related.

I decided to help Alfie produce a one-page profile after attending a person-centred approaches course run by Yvonne Linton, Family Footings Facilitator.  I thought it would come in very useful to show to teachers, doctors and people new to Alfie, so that they could gain a quick understanding of who he really is as opposed to seeing him only for his diagnoses.

Alfie and I talked through his one-page profile. I wanted him to be happy with the picture that his one-page profile would paint and for him to feel that I had got his traits and passions correct. He also chose the photos to be included which he really enjoyed.

Since making the profile we have used it at every opportunity. It has been particularly useful at school when meeting with new teachers or teaching assistants that might not have worked with Alfie before. Alfie likes to be included in class and gets upset if he feels left out. He needs a lot of encouragement at PE and he needs to know well in advance if there will be a change to his timetable. As well as communicating this vital information, Alfie’s profile has helped his new teachers get a good feel of who Alfie really is (all his lovely traits) and be at ease in terms of how to support and interact with him.

Has having the one-page profile made a difference? Well I like to think so. It’s nice to involve Alfie in how the world will see him and hopefully break down some preconceived ideas that people might have about a boy with a diagnoses of Aspergers.

Most recently I used the one-page profile at a Transition meeting with a SENCo from Alfie’s new secondary school which he starts in September. I don’t think she had seen one before and she took it away with her which was great. Especially as it was the first time she had met Alfie and it gave her some points to talk to him about, ensuring they got off to a good start. Once Alfie starts secondary school I will make sure that all his new teachers take a copy.

My hope is that by using the one-page profile more and more, the people who come into contact with Alfie will quickly get to know the ‘boy’ rather than the ‘label’ of Aspergers.

You can find more examples of using one-page profiles and other person-centred thinking tools in a school setting from this website www.personalisingeducation.org

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