Ben is a residential pupil at The School for Profound
Listening to his class wishing him good morning
brings a big smile to ten year old Ben's face. Although he cannot
say hello back, his expression says it all. The Profound Education
Curriculum has helped Ben come a long way since he joined the
school five years ago. Back then he took little interest in the
world around him and was unable even to acknowledge his
Ben was born with Goldenhar syndrome, a rare condition where one
side of his face is underdeveloped. He has limited sight and
hearing and profound and multiple learning difficulties. Ben
requires a tracheostomy to breathe and needs regular operations to
help correct the curvature of his spine as he grows.
But this does not stop Ben from being an active member of Class 1,
where his special support carer Josephine (pictured) helps him
access the curriculum. "We have been assisting Ben to develop his
response skills using familiar cues and music. The day he reacted
for the first time I cried," remembers Josephine. "He responds well
to touch cues, which help us communicate to him what he will be
doing next," she explains. "He certainly makes sure we know if it's
something he doesn't like!"
Josephine works closely with Ben's teacher, the school's therapy
team and the care staff on his residential house to make sure Ben
is getting the most out of the curriculum and is working towards
his objectives, whilst keeping safe and well. "Ben can move his
hands slightly so he has learnt to use a hand operated switch,
meaning he can be fully involved in whatever activity we are doing.
He has even used it to operate a blender to make a smoothie,"
Josephine explains. "Like any ten year old boy he especially loves
anything noisy or messy!"
The social element of the curriculum is one that Ben has been
working especially hard at. "Ben's greatest achievement is his
social awareness. It has opened up his learning," explains his
teacher Alison. "The curriculum has been designed in such a way
that it encompasses everything Ben does, allowing us to celebrate
and build upon even tiny steps - progress which other curriculums
wouldn't have shown".
Josephine says the curriculum is helping Ben to continue
developing his independence and encouraging him to get involved in
all the activities the school has to offer: "Whether it's working
in class, wheelchair dancing or hydrotherapy sessions, one thing is
certain - we're always on the go."
This story has been reproduced from The Children's Trust Tadworth website with