By Susan Stewart & Amanda Hampshire, first published in 2007, it has now been updated with new information and handouts. All the handouts are available as digital downloads to print off on demand and the manual can also be accessed digitally.
An invaluable resource for professionals working with adolescents with communication difficulties.
Understanding Me was developed in response to the needs of pupils with communication disorders. Their language difficulties make it particularly hard for them to
understand and accept their diagnosis. As they are growing up, they are increasingly aware of the widening difference between themselves and their peers, and may
perceive themselves as being “thick” or “stupid”. This painful lack of self-awareness occurs alongside all the other changes of adolescence.
The aim of the programme is therefore to enable pupils to understand what their own particular diagnosis means, so that they can explain their communication
difficulties to others, e.g. their parents/carers, peers, teachers, supervisors in work experience placements, etc.
The programme has been updated in line with the SEND Code of Practice 2015 and with changes in terms of current diagnostic labels.
Understanding Me supports pupils who have been given a diagnosis of:
Speech Sound Disorder
Developmental Language Disorder
Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Social Communication Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
NEW - updated session plans and resources are available to support both groups of pupils and now individual pupils too.
The programme of 13 group sessions covers the following areas:
Establishing the group
What is communication?
Parts of the body used in communication
Brain Activity for Communication, Introducing the 9 Intelligences
The 9 Intelligences
Intelligence Skills and the Functions of the Brain
Word Intelligence, Functions of the Brain and Receptive/Expressive Language
Role of SaLT and Diagnostic Terms
What Information do I need?
Making a Personal Passport
Sharing Information with the Family
The programme of 7 individual sessions covers the following areas:
Base line questionnaires and the unique nature of every person
Communication, body parts and the importance of the brain
The 9 Intelligences
Character descriptions and diagnostic terms
Creating a Personal Passport
Sharing the Personal Passport with parents/carers
Sharing Information about personal difficulties with Family and Friends
What resources do you receive?
A hard copy of the manual, plus access to an e-book version. This provides the information and session plans. It also shows examples of the resource sheets to use with pupils.
Full sized resource sheets available to download and print off as and when required, in black and white
How to access
Digital resources are available to access once payment has been completed. Please Log In, choose My Digital Resources from the User menu at the top right, then click the title you wish to access.
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L. Dennis 25th May 2021
This is an extremely useful and accessible resource which aims to support children and young people in understanding their communication needs and any wider clinical diagnosis such as Developmental Language Disorder and Social Communication Disorder. It can be used by a whole range of professionals who may be working with the young person including Speech and Language Therapists and Teaching staff.
The programme can be used either on an individual basis or as part of a group and includes week by week session plans and accompanying resources. The new addition of the digital access resource proves invaluable and a huge time saving facility, which now eliminates the need for any photocopying.
Most importantly, this programme is designed to be fun and engaging for the young person. When implemented as part of a group programme, it enables the young person to identify with other children who may struggle in the same areas as themselves and to learn to accept their differences and celebrate their strengths.
This review is for Understanding Me
Ms S. Marshall 9th April 2021
My son was diagnosed with autism four years ago. He is now twelve and although we have discussed his diagnosis with him on many occasions, he still struggles to fully understand and accept his identity as autistic. This has a detrimental impact on his self-image and his self-esteem.
The Understanding Me resource offers young people with diagnoses like autism and other communication disorders a vital opportunity to explore their specific diagnosis in a positive and in-depth way. I believe there is a real need for this work to be done with the young person, and, until now, a definite gap in the resources on offer to young people and their parents.
Understanding Me is just what my son needs to help him to understand and accept his diagnosis, and to begin to build his very low self-esteem.
This review is for Understanding Me
Sara Emmerton 7th April 2021
Understanding Me is a really excellent therapy programme for use with young people with a range of communication disorders, to help them understand and communicate about their diagnosis. The resource offers a sensitive and methodical approach in which young people examine their own strengths and difficulties in light of different types of brain intelligence. Crucially, the programme takes into account the language difficulties which may act as barriers to young people understanding the complexities of their diagnosis.
I am confident that Understanding Me will help many young people with communication disorders achieve greater understanding about their diagnosis and, as a result, experience an improved sense of wellbeing.