Deborah Plummer on Imagework and Helping Children to Cope with Change, Stress and Anxiety

“When a child comes up with an image that represents how he feels about a situation, he is tapping into something that goes way beyond logical thought processes. And when he realises that he can ‘play’ with these images and be creative in forming new images, then he can begin to take more control. Imagework often triggers insights and shifts in perspective which may not come through logical thinking alone.”

Ilona Roth: Some thoughts on International Aspergers Day 2010

“…just when the concept of Asperger has become so firmly established in both clinical practice and public understanding, the latest report from the DSM-V Neurodevelopmental Disorders Work Group signals the likelihood that Asperger syndrome, and other diagnostic ‘sub-types’ within the spectrum will be replaced by a single label, ‘autism spectrum disorder’ […] to those for whom the label ‘Asperger syndrome’ is a badge of identity, the change may be unwelcome. For others, it may bring greater recognition of the difficulties experienced even at the ‘high-functioning’ end of the spectrum…”

Kieran O’Hagan on Competence in Social Work Practice

“…why is it that a very small number of social workers who have striven so hard to qualify and who have demonstrably proven their competence at the end of their training fail to maintain it in practice? […] It certainly cannot happen overnight. The reports often expose terrible working conditions, e.g., inadequate supervision and resources, and unrealistic caseloads (and that’s even without mention of exceedingly difficult and often intimidating clients). All of these factors may adversely affect the worker’s level of performance, and in some cases, make it virtually impossible to maintain the level of competence already achieved in practice placements, and amply recorded and demonstrated in workers’ portfolio. Therein I believe, lies both the problem and the solution…”

Chris Taylor on Caring for Children and Teenagers with Attachment Difficulties

“Our attachment history affects us all, and children who have had sub-optimal early care are likely to be anxiously attached and to carry this anxiety as a self-fulfilling prophecy into other relationships, developing behavioural coping mechanisms that may make them difficult to care for. If the caregiver is also frightening, the child cannot organize their coping strategy in a coherent way. Such a child presents a huge challenge to be adequately cared for. Understanding attachment allows professionals charged with this task to unpack the child’s adjustment and work out ways of responding to the child that answers their attachment need and switches of the child’s self-defeating behaviours.”

Article by Phoebe Caldwell: Using Intensive Interaction to turn ‘aloneness’ into shared interest

“Contrary to what is normally understood, children on the autistic spectrum do recognise when we use their own body language to communicate, provided we respond using the repertoire of their personal behaviours. We are shifting their attention from solitary self-stimulation to shared activity, remembering that what is important is not just what they do – but how they do it, since this tells us how they feel.”

Rhidian Hughes: “Restraint does nothing to address the underlying causes of people’s behaviour”

“…the United States was the first country to take a long hard look at the use of restraint and to develop a number of innovative restraint reduction and eradication approaches. […] Progress in other countries has followed, although at a different pace. Arguably the UK has lagged behind other countries in the attention afforded to this topic and the lack of domestic research has been criticised, a point made in the book…”