I was always told that with a name like mine, I must be destined to do great things. My name? I’m Sanchia De’Cage; a Behavioural Specialist who has worked with children with special and additional needs for over 10 years, with a background in Psychology and a particular interest in autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs). The fruits of my labor during this time have been in being a catalyst for children learning to speak and communicate effectively instead of injuring themselves out of frustration; or seeing a more holistic environment for a child due to their parents learning the effects of their behavior on their child; or even seeing a teacher learn more effective and long lasting ways of engaging with a child with a special need. I suppose in some ways, this may be observed as a great act. It has a ripple effect, impacting the lives of the child needing support or early intervention, their siblings, family members, peers, teachers and so on.
If you were to imagine going a whole day without having any of your needs met, and how this would leave you feeling, is to give you a snapshot into the importance of this work for children with additional needs and the impact on the lives of many.
Imparting change is not an easy thing to do; it requires dedication, hard work, and patience if a child can’t learn the way we teach, we must teach the way they will learn. Systematically, this is the ethos that Head Start-ASD takes when working with children with challenging behavior and additional needs.
We are a specialist training and consultancy business providing support to families and professionals with limited experience in teaching and managing challenging behaviour in their children. We are like a psychological Supernanny provision working to provide children and young people with access to happier childhoods, and this is exactly what I communicated to the judges at the 2014 Greenwich University Business Plan competition. As always (so I am told), there was a high calibre of entrants and after being narrowed down to one of 11 finalists from 150 initial applicants, Head Start-ASD worked hard to win over a range of five judges, achieving a place of second runner up! This outcome was a great achievement and validated the hard work and dedication that has so far gone into developing a viable business that meets a real social issue and need.
Some great advice was received from the judges, who also included Skills Hive’s Mike Orchard, who has since been a great business connection/advisor in business development and strategy. At an unrelated course some time back, I was told how important it is in starting a business, to prepare the network that you will need in the future. This stayed with me, and I have since had the pleasure of attending a great networking session with Skills Hive to do just that, meeting likeminded professionals, making great contacts and bouncing around ideas.
It takes a village to raise a child, and like many new businesses, to create the impact of a potential (or virtual) village, Head Start-ASD aim to grow to provide a virtual team through Skills Hive to support the work that we do, the reach that we can have and therefore the positive impact on the lives of children with additional needs. Such a team could involve sales and marketing members to widen our growth and customer awareness of our training courses and consultancy services, it could be to conduct research for our social media pages and blog posts, or the development of our merchandise through market research, sales and distribution.
Frontline team members may also be trained to implement direct social skills training and interventions with children, and/or to support in the delivery of our courses. The depth and breadth or the work that we do requires great commitment, and this often offers the greatest reward.
There are 1.5 million children diagnosed with learning and behaviour difficulties in England alone, yet it is a worldwide issue. The theory of six degrees of separation between everyone and everything guarantees that you are connected to someone, somewhere who could benefit from such a service.
Join and connect with us via our Facebook (www.facebook.com/HSASD) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/HeadStart_ASD) Pages. Visit the website at www.headstart-asd.com or write us an email at: info: headstart-asd.com
Be the change you wish to see in the world!