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Liam Kelly
(PGCE, BSc Hons, FdA)

Who is Liam...?

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Special Education Teacher and Drama Specialist, whilst studying, Liam realised the importance of purpose in the effective undertaking of learning tasks and activities. Namely, that learning tasks and activities with obvious purpose led to an increased sense of meaning and fulfilment in learning. Something Liam later established as an important underpinning in the creation of his own learning resources and lesson content as a Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) teacher. 

Liam's Story

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After graduating, Liam moved into teaching in a special education setting. Inspired by his experiences at university, Liam sought to make more substantial positive differences and so moved specifically into Special Education, utilising his studies in psychology. Liam proceeded to work alongside a variety of neurodiverse young people and over time contributed toward making positive differences to their learning experiences, with the help of colleagues and peers. Oftentimes, Liam related to the young people he worked with and recognised the experiences of his autistic teenage learners as of particular similarity to his own as a teenager as well as an adult. This sparked Liam's curiosity to further investigate the learning experiences of neurodiverse young people, as he recollected and reconciled his own challenges with communication and learning at their age.

Liam became increasingly drawn to reflective learning in observing what was successful and what was not for him as a young learner, with what was successful and what was not for the young neurodiverse learners he was working with. Namely, that there seemed to be no difference between the two.

Liam realised that, outside of specialist establishments, there seemed to be a deficit in knowledge and understanding about how to meet young neurodiverse learners' needs. Moreover, Liam realised that most resources available to young neurodiverse learners seemed to require significant and repeated adaptations in order to become accessible to them. He noticed too, that there were distinctly different communication styles between the neurodiverse learners and the available resources and that this seemed to remain a large barrier to learning. As if having to constantly translate between two very different languages and ways of viewing the world. 

Consequently, Liam began creating his own resources and he soon noticed the positive impact they seemed to have on the learners he was teaching. 

Liam soon realised too, that what made things clearer, more accessible and easier to understand for him, had the same outcome for the young people he was teaching. Over a short amount of time, Liam began to notice the positive impact that individualised differentiation and bespoke intervention had upon the self-esteem and self-efficacy of his young neurodiverse learners. Most notably, his young neurodiverse learners had realised that they could achieve that which they never before believed they could. 

Yet Liam perceived, even in the revelation of the many triumphs of the neurodiverse communities, a remaining underlying sense that neurodiverse people felt that they never quite measured up to their neurotypical counterparts. In reaction to this, Liam strived evermore to instil a sense of meaningful purpose in his neurodiverse young learners and realised too, that he had found his own tribe in the autistic community.

Liam later founded Liam The Teacher as a means to share resources, strategies, and interventions which had been tried, tested and notably successful within Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) settings. Liam later used such resources, strategies and interventions for neurodiverse learners within mainstream settings with the same positive outcomes, without detriment to mainstream learners. 

Moreover, Liam has integrated his drama school training, experience and knowledge; with his experience in teaching young neurodiverse learners. With the newly formulated Performance Packages in true Liam The Teacher style, Liam entered into new realms of progress whereby he was able to draw specific focus to social-communicational needs by increasing confidence, understanding and self-belief; all with an underlying sense of purpose too.

Additionally, Liam developed training programs for educational and workplace settings, seeking to broaden the understanding of neurodiverse people and their needs. This, being both successful and fulfilling, led Liam to expand into neurodiverse-focused consultation services with education providers and employers; and later to write about his own experiences of the world in his online blog. Lastly, in support of the neurodiverse embracing who they are, but also to continue to work collaboratively with them on their journey to become the best version of themselves they can, regardless of what this may look like; Liam founded a support community for neurodiverse people, their families, friends, supporters and those who wish to broaden their knowledge and understanding. 

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