The ‘Revolutions’ Course

The award-winning ‘Revolutions’ Course was designed by Julia Malkin in 2009 to teach Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) how to teach pupils with Asperger syndrome, Irlen’s syndrome, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia and mental health difficulties.

‘Revolutions’ is the only course of its kind in the UK, involving special needs training delivered in-car, and won Exceldia several awards including  –

  • The ‘ADI Industry Achievement Award’ in 2010
  • The East Midlands ‘Women of Worth’ Finalist Award for Innovation 2010
  • The University of Leicester Employability Award for Business and Enterprise 2011
  • The Prince Michael International Road Safety Award 2012

This course is 15 hours in duration and can be delivered anywhere in the UK. ADIs receive in-car training, specially written support materials and a certificate on completion which can be counted towards CPD.

The price of the ‘Revolutions’ course if held in Leicester is £500 when done as a one-to-one intensive course. Two can train together for £400 each. If you would like the course taught in your local area, email Julia at exceldia@ntlworld.com and she will give you a price – ‘Revolutions’ can be taught throughout the UK!

2010 appearance for the Leicester Mercury, April 2010.

 

Get yourself a 5:5 as this PDI did with Excel's systems!

5:5 – the average pass with Excel Academy.

Developing Driving Simulators – Project with the University of Nottingham – Funding approved!

The University of Nottingham has recently called upon the services of Julia Malkin MBE to help with their driving simulators in the Department of Psychology.

With two Professors of Psychology, several electronics lecturers, engineering technicians, 16 computers, many programmers and a little help from a Mini, two driving simulators have been built at the University…by everyday drivers, for everyday drivers.  But – what about learning to drive – and learning to drive with autism?

With this in mind, Julia was contacted by the University to road-test the simulators, to gain perspectives both from the viewpoint of a driving instructor and from the viewpoint of a pupil on the autistic spectrum.  There were many points observed by Julia that the University professors had not taken into account with simulators – the use of imagination, for example, the difference in real controls and simulated controls and speedometer accuracy.

The University, after using Julia’s name and Excel Academy’s backup, has now succeeded in gaining further funding for this project, with the objective of making driving and learning on a simulator accessible to all!

MBE given to Julia Malkin for special needs services – photos now available!!

Nearly a year after ‘Autistic Driving School’ was filmed, Julia Malkin received an MBE in the 2011 New Year Honours List for her services to people with special needs.

The MBE stands for ‘Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire,’ and Julia was one of 606 recipients of this honour in the New Year 2011 list.

The Investiture took place on Tuesday, 1st March 2011.  Pictured is Julia with The Queen in the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace, just after being Invested into Membership of the Order.

The MBE was reported in the Leicester Mercury on 31st December 2010  – click on the link to read it!

http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/news/Unsung-heroes-join-stars-honoured-Queen/article-3052739-detail/article.html

You can also see details on page 7 of a Leicestershire magazine, at http://idocs.blaby.gov.uk/external/news-information/contact/contact-issue-07-spring.pdf

Details were also in the Despatch e-zine for driving instructors, at http://resources.govdelivery.com/resources/UKDSA/dsa_despatch_february2011.pdf – on page 5, or click on ‘Spotlight’ at top of page.

The MBE is the greatest achievement yet for Julia and Excel Academy.

Let this MBE stand as proof of evidence that people with autism can succeed, regardless of the odds against them, and also let this be an example to the world in general so people will not write us off!!

On receipt of the MBE, 1st March 2011, 12.30pm.

Thanks everyone, for helping Excel Academy campaign for autistic pupils!

From January 2012, learner drivers will no longer have access to the official theory test questions used in the theory exam.  At present, pupils can revise questions before the test, but as from the above date only ‘practice’ questions will be available.

Many pupils with an autistic spectrum condition (ASC) will have difficulties passing the theory test under these conditions unless extra support is laid on for them.  This is because they need the meaning of the questions explained to them prior to test, so they know what the questions ask of them.  Without this support, only a few will be able to pass.

The DSA, as a result of the campaigning by Excel Academy, has agreed to have the exam questions checked in advance of January 2012 to bring them in line with the communication needs of a candidate with an ASC.  This would not have been possible with your help, and all credit is due to you for backing Excel Academy’s campaign.

What Julia Malkin has achieved, as one of the UK’s most highly qualified and decorated driving instructors, is proof of what a person with autism and Asperger syndrome can do.  The DSA has now come to appreciate this fact.


‘Thanks for all who have backed Excel Academy’s campaign and signed the petition!  Thanks to you pupils with autism have a chance to drive!’ 

– Julia Malkin MBE, September 2011

 

Together we have ensured that pupils with an ASC can continue to have the right to drive and pass the tests!!  Well done everyone!!

ASpire – Excel’s Careers Advice for AS People Coming Soon!

Excel Academy is researching careers advising for people of all ages with Asperger syndrome.  The aim of this is to be able to provide a full careers and guidance support network to help people with AS across the UK.  This service is to be called ‘ASpire.’

AS people have great potential for employment and yet their options seem to be limited.  Only 15% of them are employed, most of them part-time, and as a result of this their potential remains untapped.

Julia began advising on careers issues with an AS person who initially came to her for driving lessons and didn’t know what to do with his life.  Now he has just signed up to do a Certificate in Management Studies at the University of Leicester.

Another person with AS is changing his career and becoming a driving instructor with help from Excel Academy.

People with AS can succeed against the odds – Julia is proof of this.  She is researching the careers advice service further and will  become a Member of the Institute of Career Guidance (MICG) shortly to be able to provide this service to AS people nationwide.

The ASSET System – grow in confidence!

Excel Academy now offers the one-to-one ASSET system across the UK.  What started as a local initiative has grown into a national service.

People with Asperger syndrome (AS) often feel worthless and inferior to others, often as a result of bullying.  To grow confidence can seem like an impossible task.  The ASSET system (Asperger Syndrome Self-Esteem Therapy) was designed in 2009 in response to demand and now has helped people of all ages, both locally and nationally.

Because Julia Malkin has been trained in counselling and educational inclusion, she designed the ASSET system after finding that AS people have problems with other approaches such as cognitive behavioural therapy.  The improvement rate with this system has been proven to be excellent and testimonials are available to prove how valuable it is to building confidence in oneself!

This service is offered as a specialist one-to-one system though family members can be present.  Usually benefits can be seen in just a few hours – it can be done in a weekend!

For full details on prices you can email excel-dia@tiscali.co.uk .

Revolutions Plus – the latest challenge for driving instructors!

Could you control a pupil having a full-blown panic attack behind the wheel of your car if you were in fast-moving traffic and there’s nowhere to pull over?  How can you tell if an autistic person has the capability to become a successful driver?  ‘Revolutions Plus’ is the sequel to ‘Revolutions’ – a course which takes you further!

Autistic Driving SchoolThe original ‘Revolutions’ has increased in popularity and demand since sections from the course were shown on BBC3’s ‘Autistic Driving School.’  A sequel was never planned for this course – until instructors requested it!

Designed on demand from driving instructors, ‘Revolutions Plus’ is, like the original course, three days in length and costs £500 in Leicester – prices elsewhere vary – email for details!

This course goes further into the investigation of autism in relation to driving, teaching instructors how to assess potential pupils and their needs.  How many lessons will they need?  What must I be prepared for as an instructor?  These questions will be answered in ‘Revolutions Plus.’

It culminates in a true-to-life experience – the onset of a full-blown panic attack, behind the wheel of your car, in fast-moving traffic.

Are you ready for the challenge of ‘Revolutions Plus?’

Learn to assess how many lessons an autistic pupil will need – how to see the world through their eyes – how to control panic in a desperate on-road situation!  Only ‘Revolutions Plus’ provides this – and much more!

Interested in the challenge? Email for further details at excel-dia@tiscali.co.uk .

Diploma in Driving Instruction

On 30 June 2010, Julia Malkin passed the Driving Instructor’s Association exams for the Diploma in Driving Instruction.  This consisted of five two-hour exams, in subjects which cover the different facets of the driving instructor’s position.

The five subjects which comprised the Diploma were –

Legal obligations and regulations

This can cover anything from established regulations to recent changes in the law for drivers.  Julia’s paper included the recent change in the law about child support seats.

Driving theory

This includes questions ranging from the physical forces on a car in motion to the application of the Highway Code.  Julia’s included questions on car stability.

Teaching theory

This deals with the princlples of teaching and learning, both inside and outside the car.

Vehicle maintenance and mechanical principles

How does an engine work?  For this exam, one of Julia’s questions was drawing a diagram of an engine’s lubrication system!

Practice and procedures of management

Managing a small business can be a skill in itself.  Since driving instructors are self-employed the ability to manage people, accounts and marketing is essential.

The exams cost £85 each, as of 2010, plus an exam centre flat fee of £45.

Having this qualification can lead to a BTEC Diploma in Advanced Driving Instruction, and can be counted towards a university certificate from Middlesex University, when a dissertation on driving instruction is added.

Dip. DI training from Excel Academy

Excel Academy also provides training towards achieving the Diploma  in Driving Instruction qualification.  As a DSA registered ORDIT  Trainer, Julia Malkin understands the needs of driving instructors.

All training can be done either face-to-face or by telephone or online at very competitive rates.

Email Excel Academy at excel-dia@tiscali.co.uk for further details.

Excel Academy – Pioneers in Innovation

Beware of imitations!!

BBC3’s ‘Autistic Driving School’ video clips

With thanks to Firecracker Films for allowing permission for these clips to be shown.

Here are 4 excerpts from ‘Autistic Driving School.’

Trailer from ‘Autistic Driving School.’

Julia’s Story

This is part of the documentary, ‘Autistic Driving School’ which was broadcast on BBC3. It tells the story of Julia Malkin, the most qualified driving instructor in the UK.  It shows her battle with autism and her mission of inclusion in education both inside and outside the driver training industry.

Julia and Sarah

This excerpt from ‘Autistic Driving School’ shows Julia Malkin meeting and teaching Sarah Ponari from Birmingham.  Sarah has Asperger syndrome and hasn’t driven for several years. What this clip doesn’t tell you is that the whole session of film you will see was done on the day Julia and Sarah first met each other.

The ‘Revolutions’ Course for ADIs 

Teaching pupils with autism can present a challenge for driving instructors.  In this part of Autistic Driving School, Julia is going through sequences of her award-winning ‘Revolutions’ course with another ADI.  Julia is playing the part of an autistic pupil in a real-life on-road situation.