Blog

The Fruits of Reflective Practice

The main reason I promote the use of the 7 levels engagement is so staff have a shared language with which they can describe and analyse their practice.  In a ...
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Musical Interaction vs Intensive Interaction

Every Tuesday I work at Wilsic Hall School in Wadworth, Doncaster.  The service is a residential secondary school for people with complex needs mainly arising from autism and learning disabilities ...
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A post a day for II week – Monday – Woolley Wood School

Every Monday I visit Woolley Wood School in Parsons Cross, Sheffield.  I have worked at the school for one day per week since 2013 and, according to our evaluation of the ...
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What's in it for you?

Once up on a time I believed that all practitioners (and potential practitioners of intensive interaction) would share the same motivations - to help the person they are supporting to develop ...
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Intensive Interaction Recording PDF

The completed summary of all the level descriptions plus the recording sheets, baseline sheet and methodology is now available to download using the link below or on the front page ...
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Analysing and Recording – PDF Summary

The completed summary of all the level descriptions plus the recording sheets, baseline sheet and methodology is now available to download using the link below or on the front page ...
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Working for the eye contact

Communities of practice can operate at various levels in a care setting.  When I began working in the capacity of Social Learning Mentor at the Hesley Group, the most obvious communities ...
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Three Pieces of Advice – Part 3

As I explained in the other parts of this series, the first two pieces of advice to people starting an interaction with a person with a communication disability is first ...
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Three Pieces of Advice – Part 2

In the first part of this series I explained my first piece of advice to new support workers – to observe a person’s behaviour and ask “What are the offer’s ...
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Three Pieces of Advice – Part 1

Part of my role for the Hesley Group is deliver induction training to new support workers. The autistic people they will soon be caring for have a reputation for being ...
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Training Opportunities

In Spring 2017 I will be offering 3 courses on Musical Interaction and Intensive Interaction 15th March 2017 9.30 - 3.30pm Musical Interaction Training This full day training will help ...
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(no title)

Currently I am working at four care settings near Doncaster run by the Hesley Group. Two of the services are secondary schools, one is a college for 18-25 year olds ...
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This is why I come to work! (or Intensive Interaction and staff engagement)

Currently I am working at four care settings near Doncaster run by the Hesley Group.  Two of the services are secondary schools, one is a college for 18-25 year olds ...
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Storytelling & Leadership – 4 Point Story Method

Storytelling is the art of engaging, moving and inspiring people but it is difficult to do without a good story.  The stories that are most likely to inspire people will be about ...
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Storytelling and Social Learning Leadership

I am a professional storyteller and have been trained in Social Learning Leadership by Etienne Wenger and Bev Wenger Trainer.  Storytelling is the art of engaging and inspiring people and it is the skill ...
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Alone or Lonely? Does the person you support have the ability to choose?

There is a difference between being alone and being lonely.  I think that being 'alone' is when you are by yourself and content with the situation while 'loneliness' is the ...
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Experiences of Intensive Interaction and Dementia

It was quite natural for me to try intensive interaction and responsive communication as a way to connect with people with dementia. I think the first time I tried was ...
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When a demand is not a demand (I'll choose the place, you choose the time)

My ideas for blog posts come directly from my conversations during mentoring and training. To explain things to a new trainee I often have to find a different explanation and ...
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How to record Intensive Interaction: Classroom Wallchart

My previous post explained how we ascertain a baseline interaction level at Woolley Wood using the engagement profile that was introduced to the Intensive Interaction community of practice by Mark ...
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Recording Intensive Interaction – Baselines

In order for a recording system to have integrity progress must be compared to a baseline level.  We can use the seven levels of engagement introduced in the last post ...
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How to record Intensive Interaction

This week I looked at the statistics for my blog and noticed that the intensive interaction recording sheet post was the most popular.  I have therefore decided to post the ...
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Parents Q&A

Every Tuesday at Woolley Wood School parents have the opportunity to attend an intensive interaction training session.  Having worked with parents on a number of occasions I have found that ...
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Parents Q&A

Every Tuesday at Woolley Wood School parents have the opportunity to attend an intensive interaction training session.  Having worked with parents on a number of occasions I have found that ...
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Intensive Interaction in Adult Services

In September 2015 I accepted a second Intensive Interaction Co-ordinator position, this time for the Hesley Group, an adult autism service based south of Doncaster. I have a contract for 1 ...
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Do What You See (Intensive Interaction Essentials)

For an approach to be taught and passed on effectively, the practice should be communicated in a way that is simple and easily understood.  For Intensive Interaction, I believe that ...
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Ofsted, Woolley Wood and Intensive Interaction

Ofsted visited Woolley Wood before Easter and the report has just been published.  The school was graded overall as good with some outstanding features.  I had the opportunity to meet ...
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Making progress

A question recently posed by a parent at a recent training session at Woolley Wood was "How do I move on from these fun interactions to make sure I really progress ...
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I'm singing your song

Music-making and singing is a way for people to be enjoy being together and I believe that an understanding of music can therefore help to create positive experiences of social ...
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INSET at Woolley Wood

This week was a bit of a landmark in terms of the work at Woolley Wood.  On Wednesday 8 staff completed the new five week intensive interaction course and today ...
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Forms of Observation

Each week at Woolley Wood I deliver a 45 minute classroom based course for 8 of the staff.  Each course runs for 5 weeks and is an opportunity for me ...
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Verbal Intensive Interaction

In response to a few recent questions I thought I would explain my thinking about how the principles of Intensive Interaction can be applied with clients/partners who are more skilled at the fundamentals ...
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Musical Interaction Training 2015

I am pleased to say there will be another Musical Interaction training day on Tuesday March 10th 2015.  This course will be open to teachers and teaching assistants from any ...
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Intensive Interaction and Mindfulness – Part 3

In the previous two parts of this series I have talked about the attitudes of non-judging, patience, beginner's mind and trust.  My opinion is that while regular practice in intensive ...
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Let's talk about themes!

When I arrived at Woolley Wood on Wednesday the first thing that was brought up in discussion by my colleague Bev was that she had been approached by staff from one ...
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Intensive Interaction and Mindfulness – Part 2

Last week I wrote about Intensive Interaction in the context of Jon Kabat Zinn's foundation attitudes of mindfulness.  The first two attitudes were Non-judging and Patience and I explained that I find ...
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Intensive Interaction and Mindfulness – Part 1

Mindfulness is an evidence-based approach that is accepted and taught across the UK by organisations such as the NHS.  This post reflects on my experience as a teacher of mindfulness and ...
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Co-ordination strategies

Establishing a sustainable community of practice requires a strategic approach.  Some of the techniques that have worked at Woolley Wood are: Whole school briefings: For the staff team to unite behind ...
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Musical Interaction Training Day

Last week I delivered the first 'Understanding Musical Interaction' training day at Woolley Wood School.  The day was for teachers and teaching assistants working in SEN settings who were interested ...
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Developing themes (what do I do now?)

At the recent Intensive Interaction Co-ordinators Weekend participants had the opportunity to show films of their practice.  One video that we watched showed one teacher doing a very good job ...
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Parents, teachers and friends

This week i delivered the first of our Intensive Interaction workshops for parents.  The school has a budget for parents events and it was decided this year that Intensive Interaction would ...
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Small talk

Every Monday I co-ordinate socially engaged arts and music practice at the Woodlands Mental Health Unit for Older People in Rotherham.  Many of the people I work with at the ...
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Intensive Interaction Recording Sheets

For the most recent posts about how we record intensive interaction at Woolley wood school click on 'recording' in the menu above. The intensive interaction recording sheets that I use have ...
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How would you feel?

I was told a story today about an interaction that took place in the playground at Woolley Wood.  The teaching assistant said that she approached the child as she was ...
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Interaction Training

Woolley Wood School are hosting 4 training events for special needs teachers during the 2014/15 academic year.  The training will be led by Matthew Laurie and take place on the ...
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Opening like a flower

These were the words that one teacher used today as she watched a 13 minute interaction with one child who had previously shown no interest in initiating interaction.  Last week ...
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Knee pads for all!

Effective Intensive interaction practice requires good positioning. Unfortunately for creaky adults this means that we need to get our eye level down low.  Next week I am going to introduce ...
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Intensive Interaction at Woolley Wood School

I am currently employed as Intensive Interaction Co-ordinator by Woolley Wood School in Sheffield.  It is my job to develop and implement a consistent school wide approach to Intensive Interaction.  This is proving ...
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Developing a healthy community of practice

Our first day of contact time when well today.  The day started with a full school briefing which seems to have been well received from staff.  Taking these opportunities to ...
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The objectives for 2014/15

Last year I worked in the school for 4 hours per week.  With limited contact time my main focus was upon modelling Intensive Interaction and mentoring the teachers.  Unfortunately this ...
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School briefing

On Wednesday we will be using the class team meeting slot at 8.45am to deliver a whole school briefing on Intensive Interaction.  There is only 20 minutes so I will ...
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New session record books

A large part of the day was spent testing out, proofing, printing and putting together the new session record books.  There will be one book for each child and the ...
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Intensive Interaction development at Woolley Wood

My name is Matthew Laurie and I am the Intensive Interaction Co -ordinator at Woolley Wood Special School in Sheffield.  Over the coming year we will using this blog to ...
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Istanbul Folkloric Dance, Music and Dementia

I am looking forward to visiting Istanbul in June to study the application of Folkloric Dance and Music with people living with dementia.  I will be supporting Dr Richard Coaten ...
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Recent Feedback

Several collaborators have emailed with feedback for my work. After working in Athens in March 2014 I received the following feedback from Areti at the Athens Alzheimers Association: Finally interesting ...
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Folkloric Music and Dance in Athens

Just returned from a 5 day trip to Athens investigating the application of folkloric music and dance with people living with dementia and their care partners. I travelled light with ...
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improvised songs as interaction

Very successful morning at stocksbridge brain injury unit.  I am using more and more improvised song making with more able clients and this is proving to be a very enjoyable ...
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Music is a way for people to be together

I have recently been commissioned by the Older Peoples Arts Forum to deliver a series of music and storytelling sessions in residential care homes. Today I have delivered a training ...
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Songmaking for people with an acquired brain injury

Just back from my session at Stocksbridge Neuro Rehabilitation centre where I spent some enjoyable time making up songs with residents. The first resident I worked with had spent the ...
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Seminar at Royal Calderdale Hospital

Today Lee Sass and I travelled up to Royal Calderdale Hospital in Halifax to deliver a seminar to staff working in the acute mental health wards. We delivered the work ...
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Derbyshire Arts in Health Conference

Just arrived back from the Arts Derbyshire conference on Arts in Health, The event was very useful indeed and there were many opportunities for some enlightening conversation. I was delivering ...
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Resources: Thumbjam for iPad

In my work I make frequent use of an iPad because is offers such an intuitive interface for people with limited manual dexterity. The application that I use the most ...
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Resources: Auris Glockenspiel

This is the first post in a series about instruments and resources that I have found useful in my work. My hope is that my experience can be of use ...
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Handchimes at Woodlands

Less Sass and I had an excellent session at woodlands MHU today. It was our first day working together in the unit and the first opportunity to try out the ...
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Hesley Village

On Thursdays I work at the Hesley Village, a residential village for adults with severe and complex learning disabilities mainly arising from autism. My remit is to work with the ...
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Stocksbridge Neuro Rehabilitation Centre

First full session at the huntercombe brain injury rehabilitation centre in Stocksbridge near sheffield. Had a very successful day using the ipad to provide accessible interfaces for adults with limited ...
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Woolley Wood School

Started weekly work at Woolley wood school today. Excellent planning meetings with staff generated a good plan for the forthcoming term of work. I will be collaborating with staff, working ...
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Woodlands Mental Health Unit for Older People, Rotherham

Myself and Lee Sass will begin a 10 week project for Action Space Mobile at Woodlands Acute Mental Health Unit for older people living with dementia and declining mental health ...
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Stocksbridge Neuro Rehabilitation

This month I have begun weekly work at Stocksbridge Neuro rehabilitation centre looking to use music and interaction to benefit the residents quality of life. I will be using group ...
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Storytelling and Music Training

I recently delivered to workshops at a conference for residential care activity co-ordinators. The event was organised by the Derbyshire County Council Arts in Health team and was very successful ...
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