On this MLK weekend, I would like to honor the heros of inclusion and the work parents have done. Tireless effort over the years have created change and much of the credit is due to families of students with special needs. If you are a parent of a child with special needs you are my hero! Please watch this brief history of special education which started with exclusion and ends with inclusion. Lets keep advocating on behalf of our most precious and valuable students and know how far we have come!
As a teacher in higher education, I love working with teachers who are just starting out in the field. Their enthusiasm and willingness to learn is so heartening!
I put together this video lecture for them to learn more about the Autism (ASD) evaluation for our state of Oregon. I decided to publish it on my blog so parents/caretakers and others can learn more as well!
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.
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!
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.
Attending an IEP meeting as a parent can be overwhelming and intimidating. At every meeting, parents have a chance to give input. As a teacher, I have seen parents who on the spot, are not able to express their child’s strengths and challenges.
The graphic organizer I created helps parents plan ahead of time what they want to share. The document includes a section to write in strengths, concerns and remedies.
Teachers can give this form to parents to fill out before the IEP meeting to help them organize their thoughts.
What are some ways you have shared your concerns with the child’s IEP team meeting?