The Elephants in the Classroom is now available on Kindle

I am delighted to announce that The Elephants in the Classroom is now available on Kindle. After a delay due to Covid-19, it is now available here, complete with all the pictures.

Here are some of the testimonials:

“In this ‘upside down ‘world, Olive has revealed the scandal of thousands of talented children confined to a world of learning difficulties because they learn differently and do not have access to the simple life altering skill of mental imagery. Her groundbreaking book is the start of an educational revolution”. Dr Richard De Souza GP & Mental Coach

“A wonderful and easy book to read that gives you the tools to help your build on their confidence to learn the best way they can. I love it”.

“Read this book in no time, could not put it down and plan to re-read soon. Hopefully lots of parents and teachers/heads/TA’s and anyone else working in education in 2020’s will do the same”.

Professor Jonathan Glazzard5.0 out of 5 stars  Really great book Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 October 2019This is an excellent book. It includes lots of practical advice for teachers and the content on mental imagery and neuroscience is really thought provoking. Hickmott writes clearly and the book is accessible. The case studies illuminate the key points and bring the book to life. I will certainly use this book with my student teachers.

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful information at http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties

#theelepahntsintheclassroom #kindle #empoweringlearning #olivehickmott #neurodivergent #mentalimagery

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Breathing when wearing a mask

This is a post I recently received from Patrick Mckeown, the guy that I have learned so much from in the last 2 years about breathing.

Please find below the YouTube link to his webinar titled: How to breathe while wearing a face mask. Link to Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRzk-dilOdU&t=218s

During this webinar, he discussed the following in relation to wearing a mask:

What causes the increased feeling of air hunger
Whether carbon dioxide reaches dangerously high levels
Why your blood oxygen saturation may drop while wearing a mask
How to breathe optimally to reduce the sensation of breathlessness
How to breathe optimally to improve blood oxygen saturation

He shared an article on the importance of nasal breathing for Covid19, along with a paper showing that breathing a rate of six breaths per minute improves blood oxygen saturation at altitude. Both articles can be accessed here:
Covid19: https://www.sciencedirect.com/…/pii/S1286457920300800…
How to breathe to improve the oxygen in the blood: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3495772/

Also, here is a recent study on the impact of mouth breathing on obstructive sleep apnea: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/lary.28774

#masks #breathing #patrickmckeown

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Has lockdown shone a light……

on how much your children are struggling with literacy or diagnosed Dyslexic and you want to find out how best to help them. I can assure you that many parents are feeling just like you and you may have little time available to make any progress.

There are simple ways you can help a creative imaginative child to improve their literacy and reduce all that misery you and they are feeling – teach them to visualise words. Their reading, spelling, handwriting and even their comprehension will improve in minutes and it will be fun.

You can quickly and easily find out how to help your child and set them on a different trajectory using their strengths. Take a look here

There is more details here in my YouTube video: https://youtu.be/njNx5v8vp4E

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful information at http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties

#theelephantsintheclassroom # dyslexia #spelling #handwriting #comprehension #reading #lockdown

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A special for ADHD children who struggle with literacy

There are many highly creative imaginative children diagnosed with ADHD who are very anxious. The source of much anxiety is often literacy (or numeracy).

With so many parents home schooling at the moment I volunteered to run a zoom call, this coming Saturday 13th Feb at 10:30 to explain how to teach these children visually. Its fun and something completely different that they can use their superior visual skills for.

The zoom is for parents and if you want to bring your children along too, that is fine, but I want to teach the parents how easy literacy can be. In something like 30-40 mins you will understand the concept and be able to help your kids get started.

Here is the zoom link to register for this free session: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUucOuuqjksG9VGBGQfAgZe3h-nqPgYBXTf

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful information at http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties

#ADHD #poorliteracy #Dyslexia

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Find out about the importance of sleep and how you can help your child to get a good night’s rest.

On Monday 8th Feb, Olive Hickmott will be talking about sleep, neurodiversity and why it’s so important to help your child to get a good night’s rest. This event has been organised by Flying Start Tuition. Get your tickets to this FREE EVENT here:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/139284905903

Olive Hickmott has been a trailblazer for many years in the critical role of mental imagery in many learning differences. Her understanding of how to assist neurodivergent students is quite exceptional but remains little used in school. In the last few years she has added a wealth of experience into the effects that poor quality breathing and sleep has on these children, even for the very young. People tend to take sleep for granted but once you understand more you will realise it is not a waste of time, but a vital part of every 24 hours. Are you ready to learn new skills for you and your child?

At Flying Start, we have a different approach to tuition that incorporates a unique blend of traditional teaching skills, technology and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). We don’t just teach our students what to learn, we teach them how to learn and we help them to develop the skills to become effective, confident learners. We call this our learn smarter approach. From laying strong foundations in the primary years, through to support with exams such as the Eleven Plus and GCSEs, our expert tuition will help your child to stand tall and fly high.

Some of Flying start’s tutors use Empowering Learning skills.

Olive Hickmott is a forensic health and learning coach, qualified in many complementary therapies.  Her books are available here.  You can find many health and learning success stories here.

#sleep #neurodiversity #flyingstart

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Join the Pre-school Mindfulness Summit

I am delighted to be speaking at this summit, that is full of interesting speakers and completely free of charge when you listen live.

Here is the link with all the details to sign up here for free.

My session title is “I wish I had known this when my children were Tiny“.

Parents say that my work makes so much sense, especially for neurodivergent students.   I have learned from older children and adults  about their experiences and extrapolated backwards to shine a light on the world of small children, who are often non-verbal. Talking to a child, you realise more about their experiences, but repair for years of upset is much more difficult in later life.  You can’t start again, this is where Empowering Learning’s experience is invaluable and parents can learn simple tools for themselves, startung when their children are tiny.

Here is the link with all the details to sign up here for free.

My name is Olive Hickmott
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful information at http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties

#mindfulness #preschool #neurodivergent #mindbe

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“I wish I had known more when my child was little……”

………I could have saved so much pain for her and me.

Lovely Image seen on social media – thank you

Parents often say comments like this and this picture sums it up, for me. It isn’t until they get older that it becomes easier to see what is happening. Talking to your child, you realise more about your child’s experiences, but repair for years of upset is much more difficult in later life. But you can’t start again, so this is where my experience is invaluable.


I am a Forensic health and learning coach, author and trainer who is always searching for reasons behind the behaviour. In the last 20 years, I have come up with several “whys” that are key to understanding our exceptionally creative neurodivergent students. They are, in brief:

  1. Are you grounded, fully in your body? Gravity should be one of the first senses you experience after being born. But do you feel comfortable being grounded?
  2. What do you know about sleep? Newborn sleeping is often challenging but so vital to our development. Key aspects of both quality and quantity of sleep are freely available to the curious and is a lifelong skill.
  3. Breathing. Gentle nasal breathing reduces anxiety and oxygenates every cell in our body. Lack of brain oxygenation is a common ADHD symptom that generates hyperactivity. How are you and your child breathing?
  4. Mental Imagery. These are the pictures we hold in our head that are key to all learning. Those with Dyslexia/poor literacy have not developed mental images of words, essential for a language like English/American. Those with ADHD/ASD have most often uncontrolled mental imagery that is overwhelming; those with ASD would rather sit in a corner and shut out the world. There are simple skills for controlling mental imagery.
  5. Safety. Anxiety is overwhelming for these children and I always ask myself whether the anxiety caused the problems or whether the challenges caused the anxiety. Either way anxiety contributes to a significant lack of feeling safe. Negative emotions can jangle their energy and make them feel very uncomfortable. Add in sensitive people picking up other peoples’ energy and you have a perfect storm of sensory overload that results in meltdowns. I have learned a whole toolkit to help children and adults improve this.
  6. Strengths. These children have remarkable, typically highly visual, strengths but, in my experience, parents and teachers are often overwhelmed by the challenges and overlook their strengths. Learning from the experiences of older children and initially be inspired by Temple Grandin’s book, Thinking in Pictures, has enabled me to piece together this complicated jigsaw puzzle and give parents the skills to master these challenges for themselves. Items 1-5 above will allow these highly talented children to be happier, making excellent use of their visual strengths.

There is more details here in my YouTube video: https://youtu.be/njNx5v8vp4E

My name is Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me olive@empoweringlearning.co.uk
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful information at http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties

#templegrandin #theelephantsintheclassroom #dyslexia #grounded #sleep #breathing #mentalimagery #safety #anxiety #strengths #energy #ADHD #ASD

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Empowering Health: Sleep-Breathe-Ground

Could Covid-19 have changed our attitude to health? Government asked us; no, forced us to take more responsibility for our health; to change our long-held beliefs that we can rely on someone else to fix us when we are sick. In the absence of a vaccination or approved medical treatment, experts told us to take more responsibility – wash our hands, wear a mask, keep our distance and abide by various restrictions.  We also had recommendations to take a daily walk. Most knew about exercise and a healthy diet, rich in vitamins, but did we reliably follow through on this?

Let’s introduce Sleep-breathe-ground:

Scientists also know more things we can do to support a healthy immune system, enabling us to ward off disease or recover from the after-effects. There are many reasons to assume that doing these things could help with Covid-19, and best of all, they are free. As time goes by, the evidence increases.  Let’s start with three critical topics:

Breathe: How do you breathe? Did you know that breathing in and out through your nose will clean the air and give every cell and organ in your body more oxygenation. Breathing gently down into our diaphragm will relieve anxiety, that causes so many mental health challenges.

Sleep: We all know how vital it is. Regular quality and quantity of sleep (8 hours for adults) not only improves your immunity but also increases the number of antibodies you can create after infection or vaccination.

Ground: Grounding, quite simply is connecting us with the earth, imagining you deeply rooted to the ground with every cell in your body, will do the trick. It will keep you calm and centred. Ground yourself for a happier, healthier lifestyle.

These three things are so crucial in helping to prevent infection and recovery. They are all simple skills to learn and will positively affect your wellbeing. Just putting your attention on Sleep-breathe-ground for a few minutes every day will improve your immune system, help you fight Coronavirus and recover from it more swiftly if you get it. Over the next few days/weeks, posts will appear at my blog to share more details. Do sign up so you don’t miss an installment.

We can all learn new skills to help us to take more responsibility for our own health. Look out for further episodes of this Empowering Health series, for example:

  • How can Sleep-breathe-grounding assist every child?
  • How can you add better sleep to your own personal health?
  • What is the connection between breathing and a hyperactive child?
  • How can meditations help you recover your energy after Covid.

Olive Hickmott is a forensic health and learning coach, qualified in many complementary therapies.  Her books are available here.  You can find many health and learning success stories here.

#immunity #immunesyetm #sleep #breathe #ground #sleep-breathe-ground #covid-19 #empoweringhealth

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Updates: Covid-19 and your immune system

“Are you worried about the panic surrounding Covid-19?” I was. As a health and learning coach, I don’t disagree with the messages about public health, but there’s angles here that are being overlooked.

I first posted about your immune system in March 2020. This was to encourage people to take care of their immune system with the topics mentioned below. I am updating this today because at last, curtesy of the efforts of MPs David Davis and Rupa Raq and other researchers, summarised here government is being pressed to mention the benefits of how Vitamin D can aid a healthy immune system, that is so vital to warding off and recovering from Covid-19. In addition we have some help for long Covid and the significance of good quantity and quality sleep.

Our immune system is a learning organisation. As everyone is likely to experience it naturally or through a vacination, this virus can actually deliver an upgrade to our immune systems. It is vital that our immune system is in the best condition it can be, to learn.  The primary function of our immune system is a complex structure that defends the body against an intruder.  It keeps a record of every germ it has ever defeated so it can recognise and destroy it more quickly if it enters the body again. When you have a flu virus, your immune system remembers it and protects you from getting the same virus again. Vaccination works in the same way. Our natural immune systems are doing a great job for millions of people who experience mild Covid-19, learning all the while how to naturally develop immunity. I recall listening to a doctor, who had gone through Covid-19 herself, was praising her immune system, how it copes and has adjusted to support her healing.

Of course, we want people to adhere to medical advice. But we must be very careful not to terrorise and depress them – that will automatically suppress their natural immune system. During the roll-out of vacinations, our main ally against this virus is our immune system.

We need to take care of our immune systems; they are busy with this new invader. Here’s how to ensure it is as strong as possible.

  • Your immune system likes physical and mental exercise, healthy eating. Even if we are self-isolating there is much we can do to remain active with exercise programmes on the TV and Youtube, for example.
  • Your immune system is suppressed by toxins, such as alcohol, smoking and an unhealthy diet. Please do everything possible to improve the quality of the air you breathe.
  • Sneezing is an important part of the immune system. Sneezes protect your body by clearing the nose of bacteria and viruses. Don’t forget to use a tissue.
  • Vitamin D has proved to be a major contributor to our immunity. In the winter when sunshine is less away from the equator, we need to supplement this and in addition those with dark skins will get less naturally. According to this article, margarines were supplemented with vitamin D from 1940-2013 and many people are now deficient in this vital vitamin.
  • Other vitamins and herbs such as Vitamin C and Echinacea also support your immune system.
  • Consider how much anxiety is floating around, try to calm yourself, it might even rub off on others. For example, seek out fun TV, write down what you are grateful for, practice diaphragmatic breathing, consider a complementary technique such as EFT to release specific anxieties.
  • Sleep is another underappreciated topic that is free. According to Matthew Walker, good quality/quantity of sleep before an infection can reduce its severity and good quality/quantity of sleep after can increase the antibodies you generate. Matthew is professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He life’s work is on sleep.
  • Have you ever noticed how you speak to yourself? Your subconscious doesn’t understand negatives. When in social distancing do you see that as being negative? Try reframing “I am at-risk” to think “I am protected” and notice any difference.

This in a series about what we can all do individually and as a community to take responsibility for our own health, especially in these times of uncertainty. This will be followed by topics such as healthy breathing, reducing anxiety and how complementary therapies can support you.

You will also find a blog here to help those with long-Covid to recover their energy. https://olivehickmott.wordpress.com/2020/09/06/recover-your-energy-for-free/

The author is Olive Hickmott, a health and learning coach, author and trainer. Please register here to follow each blog at www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful information at www.empoweringhealth.co.uk

#Coronavirus #Covid-19 #immune #exercise #vitaminD #observer #daviddavis #Rupahuq #hancock #longcovid #matthewwalker #sleep

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Lets Spread a little Happiness

To maybe brighten your day I thought I would draw these crazy little characters.

2020 has been tough for so many and lets all hope 2021 will get better. I am so grateful for how our family is looking after us from afar, the services are keeping going to look after our health, deliver food, collect refuse, supply electricity and water, etc and we are able to get out for a daily walk.

Hope you are all keeping safe and lets reconnect in 2021.

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