A wonderful example of how one-page profiles can help schoolchildren who experience autism communicate what is important to and for them whilst sharing their personal skills and gifts in a way that works well for them. Connor’s story demonstrates how one-page profiles can be used in person-centred reviews as an alternative to solely setting targets through SEN Statements; putting him at the heart of all decision making.
Written by SENCo Debra Ayers from Blaenbaglan Primary School
Connor is eleven years old and has a dual diagnosis of speech, language and communication difficulties and autistic spectrum disorder. He is very caring and loves singing and drama. His personality endears him to adults and he has built some good friendships. He speaks as he finds and has a sense of humour if the joke isn’t on him.
Connor’s one page profile was created in readiness for his transition to Comprehensive school so that the new people in his life could get to know him a little before meeting him and Connor could tell them what he thought was important for them to know about him.
Connor completed ‘what’s important to me?’ independently and ‘good day bad day’ was shared with staff to create ‘how best to support me’. His peers, staff and family contributed to ‘what we like and admire’. He created his profile in school using ‘Pages’ (i-pad) and included a video. The profile was completed over the course of five teaching sessions in a week.
Connor’s profile is on display in school and has been shared with staff in his new school, his family, the LEA and professionals who are currently working with him. It was sent out with his invitation to his first person-centred review. It has been used in preparing for this review through discussion with Connor, his mother, teacher and speech and language therapist, identifying what’s working / not working and possible outcomes to be considered in the review meeting. It’s a working document which he can amend and add to.
He has loved making it and it portrays so much about him, even down his choice of colours and use of video. It has helped staff working with him gain a deeper insight into his views in and out of school. It has certainly helped us realise the importance of not assuming we know everything! Even his mother was surprised at one thing he included in ‘best ways to support me’. It helped us realise how astute Connor is about his likes, strengths and needs. It has helped family and professionals realise how they can support him and use the profile as the link to encouraging him to become increasingly independent by offering something that we know he wants or is important to him and putting in strategies that will enable this to be successful.
Connor loves sharing his profile with others and it has helped him to build relationships with less familiar adults and peers. The profile, as part of the person-centred review process, has, undoubtedly, made Connor central to the decision making process and the outcomes are pertinent to him at this moment in time, rather than having targets set linked to his Statement of SEN and what we as parents and professionals consider to be important for him.
We thought we knew Connor well before producing his one-page profiles but he still surprised us and his mother. It gives an amazing insight that we just hadn’t managed to achieve before! The person-centred review process, has changed the way we will prepare for and conduct review meetings. Connor is now at the heart of the process, being fully involved in the meeting and actively buying into the outcomes because they are important to him.