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Consultation Services

I offer various consultation services. Frequently, services employ me to carry out hands-on work with their staff as a follow-up to course delivery. I find this aspect of my work to be hugely enjoyable and effective as a reinforcement of the issues raised during a course.

However, a consultation may not be a follow-up; often I will be asked to work with a team simply in order to help them think through a particularly challenging situation they are experiencing with a pupil or service user, or to develop strategies for helping a particularly ‘difficult to reach’ person, or to look at issues of organisation, management and teamwork. Some examples of this type of work are listed below.


  1. I spent a day in a school for children with severe learning difficulties. I was introduced to four very difficult to reach children who were socially remote in their behaviour and lifestyle. I observed and worked with each one in turn and shot video of interactive situations of the child with the staff. I had short debriefs with key staff working with each child where we sketched out communication programmes, then a meeting with the whole staff team at the end of the day.
  2. I was asked to work with a social services residential team who were caring for a little boy with autism who was starting to injure himself severely. We looked at everything that the staff team were doing to cope with the situation; we wrote a protocol and guidelines for physical intervention with the little boy; we wrote some additional action plans for measures and practices the staff could adopt to move the little boy forward with his feelings and behaviour.
  3. I spent two days in a pre-school provision for twenty children who have autism. The staff team already possessed high-quality practices for helping the children with communication and being social, but they wanted to up-rate their techniques nonetheless. I observed, shot videos, and played with children. At the end of the second day the staff team and I sat together reviewing videos, talking techniques and writing strategies.
  4. I was called in to support a social services staff team working in a house with three men who could be frequently very challenging and violent. I spent two days with a month between the two visits. I helped the staff to look at all of their coping strategies, the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the routines they needed to have in place, their record-keeping and their defusing skills. We also spent time talking about what more the staff team could do to have better teamwork, to support each other and to raise morale.
  5. A large residential school has employed me on average for one day a month for three years. They use me to help them look at many aspects of the way their organisation works. I have delivered one-day courses to teams. I have carried out hands-on work in classrooms on issues of communication and challenging behaviour centred on individual pupils. I have helped the school to develop a guidelines document on working with pupils whose behaviour can be challenging, and to implement it as a living, working document. I sit with the senior management team and help them to think about strategies for developing practice. Increasingly, I carry out similar work in the many residential houses on the campus.
  6. A charity that provides residential care asked me to spend a day observing and supporting the work of one of their teams. They were providing a home to six adults with severe learning difficulties. One of them, a twenty-eight year old man who has autism, was generally in a highly distressed state and prone to severe outbursts of violence. The violence was so great that he lived alone and in a separate part of the house from other residents. I was asked to scrutinise their management of the young man in every respect and to offer a critique or endorsement of what they were doing. I attended a case conference involving all agencies and the parents and wrote a follow-up report with my findings.
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