Author Archives: spedadvisor

About spedadvisor

College instructor in the college of education, supervisor for student teachers in early childhood and special education. Devoted mother to a kindergartener and advocate to all children.

Where to start! Teaching students with Autism: Foundational Evidence Based Practices (EBPs)

When we look at high quality interventions for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), we want to learn the foundational SIX EBPs first! When teachers are able to intervene and use strategies with fidelity, students have better outcomes!

This is one of my new lectures that I am posting here. I hope to empower and teach new teachers and parents.

I would love to hear how you are able to incorporate these foundational interventions into your work with students!

Respectfully,

Sarah

Autism Spectrum Disorder and the Secondary Student

Autism and the secondary student

  • As a teacher, have you ever noticed there is less information and supports for students with ASD in the secondary age group?
  • Have you wondered what to look out for and how to support students with autism in your secondary class?
  • Do you know why girls with autism present differently than boys with autism?

Video Lecture

The video lecture linked below has some of the answers to these questions… The intended audience is general education pre-service or inservice teachers and anyone interested in learning more about ASD! Thank you for your commitment to being an inclusive educator and supportive advocate for students with ASD.

Respectfully,

Sarah

UDL and Distance Learning

Universal Design for Learning #UDL

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) should be the bedrock and foundation in which we design any distance learning curriculum. I teach in higher education and encourage my future teachers to become flexible educators who use UDL strategies whenever possible!

Universal Design as a Support For All students

UDL strategies can be used for all students in your class to minimize barriers and maximize learning opportunities. I would love for you to watch this video lecture which describes UDL in more depth.

Additional UDL Resources

I highly recommend you listen to some of the prerecorded webinars from OCALI about UDL here…https://www.ocali.org/center/udl.

Thank you for your commitment to being an inclusive educator!

Respectfully,

Sarah

My Special Interest Social Story

SIA= Special Interest Area

Definition: SIAs are often solitary pursuits or preoccupations that dominate the person’s time, attention, and conversation

Benefits of Special Interest Areas for students with Autism

  • Improves academic skills: high motivation in SIA
  • Supports communication:develop advanced vocabulary
  • Improves self-confidence:student becomes “expert” in this area
  • Helps reduce anxiety: more relaxed and fewer meltdowns
  • Intrinsic engagement: instrisic motivation and engagement
  • Increased social engagement: when SIA is included into treatment plans
  • Executive functioning:improved focus on SIA 

My Special Interest Social Social Story

Although there are many benefits to SIAs, sometimes kids need to take a break from them to focus on something else. The social story teaches how to re-focus then go back to the SIA when done learning something new.

I created a social story to help kids with autism understand their special interest area.

Here is a sneak peak at the story:

The first part of the story defines and shares the benefits of a SIA:

The book asks the reader what they like. The story then goes on to discuss the need to sometimes “pause” the SIA to learn something new.

A free first-then schedule is included in this social story! You can laminate or use a plastic page protector and use a wet erase marker to write on it.

Get the story here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/My-Special-Interest-Social-Story-5517826

With love and respect,

Sarah

sarahrazzano@yahoo.com

I have school at my house now: social narrative

Schools are closed due to the virus and kids are all learning at home. School is being delivered remotely and some kids are having a hard time adapting to this change.

Benefit of Social Narratives:

Social Narratives aka Social Stories are widely used supports for students who have Autism Spectrum Disorder. All kids can benefit from this simple and easy to use evidence based practice!

“The goal of a social story is to improve social understanding” (Gray & Garland, 1993)

Gray, C. (2010). The New Social Story Book. Arlington, TX: Future Horizons.

I have school at my house now

My first grader did not understand why he was all of a sudden having school at his house. I made a social story to help him. Hopefully this story will help others understand how to complete school work at home and that they are not alone!

I have included a few pages here but you can download the whole story here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/I-have-school-at-my-house-now-Social-Story-5448771

Cover page of I have school at my house now.
My school is closed now! Page 2

I hope this social story will help your family as much as it has helped mine!

Email me with any questions,

Sarah

sarahrazzano@yahoo.com

My parents work at my house now: social story

Download the story here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/My-parents-work-at-my-house-now-social-story-5403639

Due to the virus, the public schools and our workplaces have closed for the time being. My son and I worked together to create a social story (aka social narrative) to teach him about what “work” looks like for mom. He didn’t realize that me looking at my phone or using my computer could be “work.” Now after reading this social story, I tell him “mommy has a work call” and he remembers some of the things he can do while I am on the phone.

This 13 page social story helped us so much that I want to share it with other families.

My son helped me come up with this title! “My parents work at home now.” I tried to make it general (not mom or dad specific…) so it can apply to any home.

Here is a sneak peak at the book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ie_Jv2pIDo0

Page 1

Page 2

The book gives children suggestions for what to do when parents are working and asks kids to come up with their own ideas.

The book goes on to give ideas for what to do while parents are working and encourages children to cooperate to help out. 

We are all in a strange time in history and if this social story can help others as much as it helped my own son I would be pleased! 

Please contact me if you have any suggestions or ideas for other social stories! 

Respectfully,

Sarah 

sarahrazzano@yahoo.com

10 Tips for preventing ASD meltdowns

My college students who are going to become general education teachers often ask me “how do you handle autism meltdowns?”

I have given my top 10 suggestions for handling them which entail preventative strategies to start with!

Please watch the video and subscribe to my YouTube Channel and Blog.

The links for the free resources mentioned in the video are here:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ASD-Sensory-accommodationssupports-tracker-4994260 ASD sensory support tracker and https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ASD-Sensory-accommodationssupports-tracker-4994260

Thank you for reading and following!

Sarah

20 tips for including students with autism in the mainstream class

My Foundations of autism class created another FREE resource for our teacher colleagues…

With the collaboration of my Fall 2019 SPED 561 Foundations of Autism class, we created this FREE resource for teachers. We want to promote inclusion and provide 20 current and helpful tips for including students in the mainstream class. These tips are support suggestions that have worked for us for students with autism spectrum disorder.

Please download our free resource here

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/20-tips-for-including-students-with-autism-in-mainstream-class-5046503

Thank you for reading and watching as I continue to share my passion for supporting students with autism and their families.

Very Warmly, Sarah