A two-day neurodivergent extravaganza conference

The Nurturing Neurodivergence Programme

Who: For those who are involved in the teaching and support of neurodivergent pupils within an education setting.

Where: Online.

When: 28th and 29th of October 9am-4pm.

Aim: Our unique approach aims to equip professionals with vital insight, knowledge and tools to better support neurodiverse children and develop a nurturing environment for all.

Are you a teacher, SendCo, member of the SLT at a school, school governor or panel member within a local authority?
Do you feel overwhelmed with the number of children whose needs don’t seem to be met?
Are you wishing there was a way you could help them thrive?

We hear you!

Do you have neurodivergent students in your school who are just surviving rather than thriving? Have you ever wondered why the interventions you are using aren’t working as well as you’d been told they would? Do you wish to create truly nurturing environments so neurodivergent individuals have equal opportunities for great outcomes in the future? Do you have children with neurodivergence who are also on a journey with their sexuality or gender? Ever wondered how to support transitions for neurodivergent children/adults who wish to become the gender they feel on the inside?

We understand and empathise, and most importantly, we have done something about it.

Professionals within an educational environment are often the most inspirational people in our young children’s lives. These professionals are usually overworked, largely underpaid and hugely unappreciated. Access to training is potluck and access to the right kind of training is like finding a needle in a haystack.

We are inviting you to come and take part in what will be a life-changing event.

As you may already know, there is a current crisis within the system that leads many families to be on waiting lists for CAHMS who are desperate for further support. Often, these children are simply misunderstood, and their needs aren’t being met. The education system has been built on the assumption, that whilst differentiation is required, all children will fit into this mainstream picture and thrive. This isn’t the case, and the rise in need for EHCPs and support is a significant indication that, if we always do what we have always done, then nothing will change. 

The Nurture Programme is responding to this outcry of need within the schooling system by putting on a two-day conference aimed at giving anyone working with or supporting children and young people, the opportunity to come together and learn how best to engage, support and nurture the next generation.

About the conference

Our two-day conference includes internationally-renowned speakers who will provide you with insight, the toolkit needed to better understand the needs of neurodiverse children and practical solutions to create a more nurturing environment. With interactive workshops, case studies, opportunities to broaden your knowledge, and the chance to ask questions based on your own challenges and experiences, you will leave this conference feeling better equipped to help support children, enable them to thrive and achieve their attainments.

You will also learn how simple and effective acceptance of those with differences can benefit them hugely and make a real difference to the mental health of the next generation of pupils. We will give you the opportunity to look though a different lens; one that brings about change, diversity, inclusion, acceptance and understanding. One where disability is not stigmatised by the judgment of a label.

Don’t worry, we are aware of costs and barriers!

We keep this in mind and deliver cost-effective strategies, tips and first-hand experiences of navigating various pathways.

Children with neurodiverse needs such as autism, ADHD and PDA are often misunderstood and sanctioned, with many being placed in isolation, all because they cannot manage within mainstream settings. With long waiting list times, these children are at risk of being excluded and losing out on crucial education.

Imagine if you could have two full days training, delivered online directly from the best neurodivergent trainers around, and be able to make a difference to these children? Imagine not having to worry about travelling fees, hotel rooms and long-distance journeys in order to attend?

Do you have neurodivergent students in your school who are just surviving rather than thriving? Have you ever wondered why the interventions you are using aren’t working as well as you’d been told they would? Do you wish to create truly nurturing environments so neurodivergent individuals have equal opportunities for great outcomes in the future? Do you have children with neurodivergence who are also on a journey with their sexuality or gender? Ever wondered how to support transitions for neurodivergent children/adults who wish to become the gender they feel on the inside?

Professionals within an educational environment are often the most inspirational people in our young children’s lives. These professionals are usually overworked, largely underpaid and hugely unappreciated. Access to training is potluck and access to the right kind of training is like finding a needle in a haystack.

We are inviting you to come and take part in what will be a life-changing event.

We will take you back to the very basics and on a journey with our guest speakers delving into the many myths, facts and misunderstandings that spread through the media like wildfire. We will also show you how everything you thought you knew about what it means to be neurodivergent was taught to you by people who aren’t neurodiverse themselves and how this practice is extremely damaging for young children who mask, fawn and camouflage. This conference doesn’t exclude a whole community of us who do not fit into that neat little neurodivergent box – instead it makes us the very centre.

Two full days of learning from actually autistic, ADHD, physically disabled and other neurodivergent people will change your perception of inclusion entirely. We will have you scrapping the textbooks and making us your go-to source of information, help and advice every time you find yourself in a pickle.

INTRODUCING

The Nurturing Neurodivergence Programme

It’s time that people moved on from the out-dated research and practises created by non-neurodivergent people, and let go of the textbook. Now we need to learn from those of us who are neurodiverse, who have lived experiences and seen first-hand what living in a world geared towards non-neurodivergent people is like.

Since launching The Nurture Programme® during lockdown 2020, the number of families in desperate need of support with nowhere else to turn has risen. It has become even clearer to us that we need to take society back to basics with understanding and knowledge of what it means to be neurodivergent, and also what it means to support and create neurodivergent-friendly environments. Our courses not only help the attendees, their children, and the young people they work with, but the wider community too.

But how can we effectively support those in our classrooms who are struggling with anxiety, mental health issues and unmet SEN needs?

It is safe to say, since the pandemic, we have learned that thinking and doing outside the box does work within an educational setting and is beneficial to teachers, parents and students. We need to take this opportunity and re-think our environments. What could we do better? What could we change to make this inclusive for all? How can we teach the curriculum to a variety of different learners at the same time? How can we implement this across the whole school, while still making sure we meet all government expectations and Ofsted criteria? How can we make a plan of action, trial it and use the evidence to roll this out across the board?

Our conference will address all of these questions and show you how.

Let’s not waste the only gift that Covid has given us and settle back down into a system that is designed for the many, whilst excluding the few. Let’s NURTURE these children to be everything they are, instead of training them to be everything they aren’t.

Day 1

Introduction to Neurodiversity and What it Really Means: How to be truly inclusive

Put down those books, get away from your textbooks and prepare to be speechless. On Thursday 28th October, we kick off this conference with an introduction to neurodiversity. I know, I know, you already have “awareness”, but what if I told you that this isn’t about awareness anymore? What if I told you that this is about acceptance, understanding and validation?

At the beginning of this conference, you are going to be asked one very specific question; “Is your classroom and teaching style inclusive?”, you will most likely say, “YES”! We may challenge you! If your classroom isn’t inclusive, don’t worry, we know this isn’t your fault. Our experts and speakers from various fields are here to help you. Together, you will be guided through supportive, compassionate self-reflection to consider ways you could have approached a situation differently, how you could have done better and help open your mind to different approaches. This day will take you on a journey through neurodivergence, race and autonomy, and leave you with the passion to make substantial changes that will transform the lives of those vulnerable people who strive for acceptance.

28th October 2021

09:00 - 16:00 (BST)

Day 2

Nurturing Neurodivergence, Inclusivity and Hope

This second day is focused on truly developing your understanding. It explores the practicalities of what neurodivergence really means. How can we be better? Where do we start? How do we apply what we have learnt at this conference to a classroom setting? Are just some of the questions that will be racing through your mind, and rightly so. There is a lot to cover here and this is where we can begin to help you establish the groundwork needed to validate neurodivergent experiences and create truly nurturing environments for your pupils. There will be four workshops available and you can choose two to attend that best reflect your environmental needs. During these interactive workshops, our facilitators will take your learning spaces from “inclusive” to nurturing!

This conference not only focuses on neuro differences, it also focuses on those communities that are often discriminated against (race, ethnicity, LGBTQ+) whilst also being neurodivergent.

29th October 2021

09:10 - 16:00 (BST)

It will always be the intention of The Nurture Programme to make a positive difference to the outcomes of children and young people. The programme thrives to be part of the change in how neurodivergent individuals see themselves, as well as how best to support each other in different aspects of life – from schools to hospitals to the workplace and beyond.

Covid has taught us that we can think out-of-the-box and adapt our ways of teaching and supporting children, but Covid has also put even more strains on an already overwhelmed service. With waiting times at an all-time high, it is now more important than ever to start changing attitudes, understanding and strategies, which makes our conference incredibly important and never more relevant. You, and those you work with, can help end the ongoing disabling that often our neurodivergent peers experience. If you would like to attend the conference and learn how you can become part of this change, then we will be delighted to welcome you.

Book your place

Use our online booking system to book your tickets.

For educators

Both Days

28th & 29TH October 2021

For parents

Day 1

28th October 2021

Day 2

29th October 2021

Both Days

28th & 29th October 2021
Clear

Week 3: Worrier to Warrior

In this final session, we will help you and those you support to find ways to reframe negative thoughts so that it is possible to “think better and feel better.”  We will also cover practical strategies to help you manage your anxious self, keep calm and turn you from a worrier, to a warrior, ready to battle everything that life throws at you.

Week 2: Differences I May Experience

We will also be joined by Harry Thompson who has PDA and ADHD.  In his brilliantly humorous and unique way Harry will discuss his own insight into living with ADHD, from diagnosis in his childhood years and into adulthood. We will explore the impact that ADHD can have on children and young people in terms of both physical symptoms and mental health. 

Week 2: Nurturing Advocacy Confidence

The aim of this session is to break down attendees’ advocacy skills, then rebuild them so that facts and controlled emotions are used successfully.

Laura and Jodie share their experiences of advocating for their children – both good and bad and demonstrate how to use assertiveness skills effectively and remove emotive language.

They also share their “Top Tips” before, during and after transitions to ensure that all objectives are achieved.  

Week 3: Reasonable Adjustments

The pathway of SEN / EHCP’s / Reasonable adjustments and so forth can be a scary and bewildering place. But knowledge is POWER and this session aims to provide members with this power. 

Attendees will be given clear information and knowledge so they will be able to navigate these pathways armed with confidence. This will include basic law and children’s rights including ideas about what reasonable adjustments vs unreasonable adjustments are. We give examples of our own reasonable adjustments, how to ensure these adjustments are put in place and ideas on how to approach the professionals in your children’s lives to ensure that their needs are met. 

Members will also be equipped with ideas for “reasonable adjustments” versus “unreasonable adjustments”. A guest expert speaker – Karen Stepanova – SEN Consultant is arranged for this week who will give her very own presentations on the basics of SEN Law.

Week 4: Mental Health

In this session we look at how Imposter Syndrome can cause people to doubt their abilities.

The toll of advocating for children with additional needs can be detrimental to a parent or carer’s health. Our aim is to build up confidence and restore the mental health of parents or carers so that they have the inner strength to fight as hard as they can for their children.

This week focuses on changing negative thoughts to positive ones and helps restore the mental health of attendees. Jodie and Laura provide ‘Top Tips’ to staying mentally well during tricky times.  

Week 5: No-one can help me

What can I do? By week 5 we hope that all attendees will feel more confident, less stressed and have the skills and facts that they need to successfully advocate for their children. But we know that sometimes this is not enough.

The system can be fraught with challenges, and no matter how skilled you are, it can feel like your journey keeps being taken off track. In this session, an expert speaker will join to give fantastic advice on where to turn next when you feel you have exhausted all avenues. Practical advice regarding matters such as benefits, grants and additional sources of advice is also given, leaving the attendees feeling well equipped in their journey ahead.  

The Anxiety Nurture Programme

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The ADHD Nurture Programme

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The Autism Nurture Programme

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Week 1: Introduction to ADHD

We will explore the positive aspects of ADHD, some of the challenges that living with ADHD can cause and also some of the lesser-known symptoms of this condition.  This first week will lay the foundations for the rest of the 5 week programme.

Week 3: Advocacy for ADHD

Sadly, many children and young people with ADHD are often very misunderstood within the education system.  In this session we will cover the basic legal rights of a learner with ADHD within school and college settings.

We will equip you with a comprehensive list of reasonable adjustments that schools and colleges can and should be using to ensure that learners with ADHD are able to meet and even surpass their amazing potential within the education system.  Most importantly in this session we will help equip you with essential advocacy skills to help you get the support you and your ADHD child deserve.

Week 1: Understanding Your Anxious Self

In this first session, Laura and Jodie gently introduce what anxiety can look and feel like with a real and tangible understanding that all participants come from a variety of experiences. Together, we will look at the impact anxiety can have on how we behave and interact with different people as well as the internal struggles it can bring.  By offering an invitation to reflect on and recognise our own anxiety and the negative internal voices that drive it, they begin to consider ways to quieten those voices and fears both for ourselves and those we wish to support. 

Week 4: Support for Siblings

At times living with ADHD can be challenging for the whole family. In this third session we will explore the impact ADHD can have on families and siblings.

We will discuss lots of helpful approaches to ensure that the negative impact of ADHD is minimised within the family environment.  We will also discuss how to support siblings of individuals with ADHD using empathy and understanding.

Week 5: The ADHD Experience

We will focus on techniques that can provide invaluable support for individuals with ADHD within the home and educational environment.  In this session you will also be able to ask us all questions relevant to this topic.  Finally, we can signpost you to other helpful organisations and sources of information related to ADHD.

Week 1: Introduction to ASC

We will explore the many aspects of being autistic or having an autistic family member. Jodie will share her road to diagnosis for her three children and finally herself and her own diagnosis in 2020 at 35 years of age.  This first week will lay the foundations for the rest of the Five week programme. 

Week 2: Differences I May Experience

Focussing on the saying, “When you have met one autistic person you have met one autistic person” we will take a deeper dive into the way that autism effects everyone individually.  During this session we will look at sensory needs in more detail and provide some ideas to help keep autistic children more regulated.

Week 3: Advocating For My Autistic Child

Laura and Jodie feel that “small changes make a big difference” for autistic individuals – and during this session we will discuss helpful tips for parents and reasonable adjustments for schools and colleges. 

In this session you will also be able to ask us questions relevant to this topic and we will signpost you to other helpful organisations and sources of information related to Autism. 

Week 4: Sibling Support

There is no doubt that an autism diagnosis can affect the whole family.  In this fourth session we will explore the impact autism can have on families and siblings.

We will discuss lots of helpful approaches to help you support your whole family and explore the positive aspects of an autism diagnosis.  We will also discuss how to support siblings of autistic individuals using empathy and understanding whilst also covering the importance of looking after your own mental health as parents.

Week 5: The Autistic Experience

Chloe, Jodie and Laura will discuss the medical model of autism and some of the theories of autism which are now proven to be out-dated and detrimental to autistic individuals.

Chloe will talk using her personal insight as an autistic adult, will discuss effective ways to support the mental well-being of autistic individuals and answer questions from attendees.

Week 2: Nurturing Anxious Minds

Whilst it is true that many children suffer from anxiety at any one time, those who are neurodivergent (ie are autistic, with or without PDA; have ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia etc) are more likely to have anxiety to varying degrees as part of their experience.  In this session, the anxiety experienced by any child is approached with understanding and acceptance and is jam-packed with practical ways to support children in a positive and nurturing way.

Week 1: Managing Transitions

In this first week, Jodie and Laura introduce themselves and discuss their journeys and experiences which have led them to develop this programme. Guidance for the programme is set to make sure that everyone participating feels comfortable and confident in sharing information and personal experiences. 

The basic laws and rights pertaining to all children are explained before moving on to discuss transitions. All children have varying levels of tolerance to transitions – moving from one task to another – and in this session we discuss how important it is to be prepared for even the smallest ones.

Laura and Jodie will share their “Top Tips” that parents and carers can use to ensure that the many transitions that need to be navigated when you have a child with additional needs run as smoothly as possible.