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Linking neurodivergence and physical health: Implications for student welfare and attendance

Neurodivergent children and young people’s attendance and attainment is not showing sustained improvement, despite all the current mental, emotional and sensory-related resources and support ‘thrown’ at it. Is there something we’re still missing?

Using her varied personal, professional and parental experience, Jane Green MBE reviews the evidence to explain the sometimes misunderstood, ‘issues with our tissues’. We know children and young people (CYP) who have emotionally-based school avoidance on their record are often noted as having ‘anxiety’, fatigue, stomach pains and headaches. But is this all in the head, or actually real but being mislabelled?  

In this talk Jane outlines the latest evidenced-based research in this area and provides suggestions for us all as educators, allied professionals, parents/carers for supporting potentially these mis-labelled CYP.

Jane Green MBE MA Ed. (Leadship & Management), Adv.Dip.Ed.(Child dev.), PGCE QTS, BSc (HONS), Psych. Ex-AHT – Jane is a professional educationalist, who has worked in all phases of education, as well as a Local Authority advisory teacher, lead trainer and steering group member for the Autism Education Trust, and education lead of the largest autism charity in the UK. She is now a non-Exec on various Boards in education, health and social care and transport accessibility. After medically retiring, Jane founded and chairs SEDSConnective which champions symptomatic hypermobility (Joint Hypermobility conditions, Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, EDS, JHS, HSD) and neurodivergence (including autism, ADHD, dyspraxia and Tourette’s Syndrome) voluntary charity.

She has published extensively in education press media and most recently published in the journal Child Care in Practice. Jane is disabled, autistic and a carer for her adult neurodivergent child.

Hosted by Dr Steve Murray MCCT (@EduResearching) and the Chartered College of Teaching (Bristol Hub) (@CharteredColl)

Dr Steve Murray MCCT, Lead Practitioner for Data and Research at Orchard School Bristol and Trust Leader in Education for Trust in Learning Academies (TiLA). Steve has a MSc and PhD in Climate Science and has taught geography in a number of secondary schools in North Bristol. He also has experience in middle and senior leadership, with both pastoral and pedagogical responsibility. Steve now also supports TiLA in linking educational research to classroom practice, in order to enhance teacher CPD and improve students’ academic progress. Follow Steve on Twitter @EduResearching.