ToddlerTunez prides itself on providing quality care for clients of all backgrounds, fostering a close relationship between parent, sitter and child. We are privileged to employ a large number of facilitators who have extensive experience leading activities for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), which may affect their ability to learn. Through creative education, our facilitators aim to help develop social skills; reading and writing; understanding and assimilation of new knowledge; concentration levels; and even physical coordination with a vast array of super-fun, highly interactive exercises! We have decided to shine a light on three Super Sitters who have shared a little more about how working with SEND children has immeasurably broadened their horizons 🙂
Abigail has 9 years’ experience facilitating workshops for children with autism, Down’s syndrome and many other special educational needs. Her professional knowledge is backed up by a lifetime of personal experience, having grown up with her younger sister, who has Down’s syndrome. She particularly loves working with SEND children because they often have a different perspective of the world. Whilst some may view this as disruptive in certain settings, in an artistic environment, there’s simply nothing better! 🙂 Any kind of art form allows us to express how we’re feeling or create something unique, and with this different way of seeing things, there are no limits to originality! Most importantly, SEND children deserve to have just as much “loud, messy fun” as all other children, and she is eternally grateful to have the skills required to facilitate this.
Kieran’s creative expertise lies in filmmaking and the visual arts, using his experience to encourage SEND children to develop skills that may not be uncovered through traditional teaching and learning methods. His first short film delves into the importance of cultivating dialogue with a child, as opposed to just structuring it around them, in a bid to dig deeper and unlock their many talents. This short was a great learning experience for him and he wishes to apply this way of thinking to any situation in which he encounters people with SEND. Kieran views the process as a sign that we all have “hidden abilities” within us which we need to bring to the surface, following singular paths that require individual encouragement to reach those higher places 🙂
Leanne has 4 years’ experience working with SEND children and young people aged between 5 and 19. She has been employed as a playworker for a charity and a learning support assistant at a secondary school, as well as running her own drama group! She ensures her session content is as inclusive and accessible as possible by creating her own text and image resources and drawing on skills like sign language and Makaton to communicate effectively with SEND children: a key ingredient for creative storytelling and “inspiring emotions” within the characters they invent together!