Students Staff

03 September 2014

Helping those who care for children who have the most needs

Colchester Campus

With hundreds of children in Essex alone added every year to the list of those with additional needs, the need for trained professionals who work with these youngsters is greater than ever.

Now, experts from the University and the MAZE Specialist Parenting Programme have joined forces to offer a unique course for professionals to give a real insight into how children with Special Educational Needs and Additional Needs (SEN/AEN) experience the world around them.

The course is an extension of the highly successful MAZE Parenting Programme, which was developed by Sue Anderton and has been offering valuable support and advice to parents and carers of children with special needs for many years.

Blending the key insights and strategies of the MAZE approach with expertise from the University’s Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, the new course will offer a greater understanding of the emotional and relationship issues faced by these children, their families and those professionals trying to support them.

Sue Kegerreis, from the University, explained: “The blend of this course will give a real understanding of what it feels like to be autistic or have other additional needs and how the world appears to them. It is also about the experience of the families of children with special needs and the impact on professionals working with them. This emotional understanding will help with managing the difficulties and anxieties involved.”

The one-year course is aimed at staff in schools, care services and voluntary agencies who work with children with additional needs and their families.

Sue Anderton, who founded the MAZE course, said: “Parents have often said they wish the professionals who work with them and their children had the experience they had – hence the birth of this new course. Current training for professionals in this field can seem a bit mechanical. What we aim to achieve is less technical and more about the human being. Parents want professionals to have a greater understanding of what their child is going through.”
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