Category Archives: SPED Support Strategies

Special Education Support Strategies

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

ASD sensory support suggestions and tracking form

Free sensory resource for teachers and therapists

This resource is a pdf doc. for you to download with suggestions crated by my graduate class SPED 561.

The sensory supports are in four categories: 

  • Support for sensory seekers
  • Strategies for low registration (passive) 
  • Suggestions for students who are sensitive to stimuli 
  • Strategies for students who avoid sensory stimuli 

Our intention is to share this resource widely with teachers and therapists. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/ASD-Sensory-accommodationssupports-tracker-4994260

*Ensure you have consulted with the student’s Occupational Therapist (OT) and case manager for specific sensory supports. This resource is a general list of suggestions to try.

Thank you to my wonderful graduate students who have helped create this valuable resource.

Sarah

Countdown visual for help with homework

This countdown visual is an example of how a visual can show the learner exactly how many items or tasks needs to be completed. Countdown visual supports can be used for any multi-step task.

How to use

  • Print in full color on card stock. laminate and use velcro to help the numbers stay down when tasks are completed.
  • Start with all five numbers showing. You can modify this if you only have a couple of tasks that need to be completed.
  • Have the learners pre-determine what they want to work for.
  • As pages of the homework are complete, have the learner put numbers down to count down.
  • Eventually all of the numbers will be put down and the learner can earn their pre-determined reward.

Visual support for autism

Visual Support is one of the 27 Evidence Based Practices identified by the The National Professional Development Center for Autism Spectrum Disorder (NPCASD). https://autismpdc.fpg.unc.edu/national-professional-development-center-autism-spectrum-disorder

Please watch this video showing how to use this strategy to help complete homework…

He had five pages to complete so we started with all 5 tabs open.

Thank you for reading and following my blog and YouTube channel.

Sarah

Reference:

Flexible Thinking Choice Board

Who should use the choice board?

  • Parents and teachers can use the choice board. 
  • All kids can benefit from having a clear set of choices. 
  • Kids with autism can have a hard time with “flexible thinking” 
  • “Flexible thinking” is a social skill that helps people move from one activity to the next (among other skills) 
  • If students tend to perseverate or get fixed on one activity, the choice board can be helpful! 

How to use the choice board: 

  • Print out the choice board and laminate it. 
  • Use wet-erase markers (not dry erase) to write in choices. 
  • If the child can’t read yet, draw symbols or print out pictures and with Velcro, affix choices to the board. 
  • Decide with the child which choices are available. 

If you want to download it check it out here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Flexible-Thinking-blank-choices-board-4934623

Thank you for reading,

Sarah

Sibling Behavior Chart

This positive behavior chart is intended for siblings to use to work together! 

When I searched, I couldn’t find a sibling chart online so I decided to create one. The research supports siblings working together on one chart! See research link at the bottom of this post…

TPT link: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Sibling-Positive-Behavior-Chart-4885639

“Work together to get the LEGO character to the house!”

Here is a picture of my son’s chart (modified for one child)

How to set up the board:

  1. Print out both pages on card stock (colored or white).
  2. Laminate both pages
  3. Put Velcro on each square and one on the mini LEGO house
  4. Find your children’s favorite LEGO character and put Velcro on their back 
  5. Hole punch and put two O-Rings to connect the pages together to make the chart fold up. Use a binder clip to keep the chart closed and to hang it up in the house
  6. Use wet erase marker to set family rules and write in rewards
Set your family rules! State in positive terms and use a wet erase marker.

How to use the board:

  • Create three positively stated family rules “We keep our hands to ourselves”
  • Teach, model and practice the rules as a family
  • Pre-determine what each child would like to “earn” as a reward once the LEGO character gets to the house
  • Parents “catch” both children following one or more rules and advance the LEGO character one spot
  • Be explicit on why you are moving the LEGO character. For example say “I caught you both keeping your hands to yourself so we can move the LEGO character. Only seven more and you get to the house. Keep up the great work.”
  • Once the children get to the house, they get the reward and you can start over if you want. Make sure to check in and see what they want to work for as a reinforcer  

Helpful Hints:

  • When creating rules use positive language
  • Give a forced choice of two-three rewards to make sure the rewards are doable for you and the family
  • These rewards should not necessarily be huge items to work for. Small and consumable items may be a good start
  • Make sure any reward you are using is not accessible during other times of the day. 
  • Remember, a reward is only considered a reinforce if it increases the desired behavior
  • If you can’t find something reinforcing, continue to do reinforcement assessments until you find the right motivator
  • Don’t move the character backwards. If the child doesn’t earn it, just don’t advance the character. 
  • Encourage “buy-in” by having the children earn the reward quickly at first. 

Here is the research link if you are interested https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/anzf.1183

Why kids act out…exploring distal setting events

Article Review: Here is the full article I reference in my YouTube channel.

What are distal setting events?

Distal setting events are sometimes called slow triggers or setting events. They are setting events that can trigger challenging behavior but don’t happen immediately before the behavior occurs. These are things such as:

  • Lack of food (hungry)
  • Got in a fight before school
  • Lack of sleep
  • Being sick
  • Conflict at home
  • Missed medication or medication issue

We can help a student’s behavior when we know the distal setting events

Imagine this scenario: How do you feel if you have not eaten and you have to do a strenuous task? On top of that imagine that, you got bullied in the hallway going to class and you only got three hours of sleep last night. All of these factors add up to distal setting events that can set a child up for failure.

Teachers respond to challenging behaviors all day long. We often forget about the distal setting events that can lead to behavioral challenges. The focus is usually on what happens immediatly before behavior happens. A functional behavior assessment can take into account these distal setting events to help us get a full picture. This assessment will give us a better idea of “why” or the function behind the problem behavior.

Keep lines of communication open

Open lines of communication between home and school are vital for us to pinpoint the distal setting events. Having a morning check in around wellness can also help us get a “pulse” on how the child is feeling and their general wellness. A community circle is a great way to do a group check in if you don’t have time to do individual check-ins.

Watch and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

Here is another great article written about setting events if you would like to read more!

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319973271_Understanding_Setting_Events_What_They_Are_and_How_to_Identify_Them

source: Robertson, Rachel & Coy, Justin. (2019). Your Student is Hungry, Angry, Tired–Now What? Addressing Distal Setting Events in the Classroom.

What distal setting events have you seen have the most impact on your students’ behavior?

Thank you for reading and for my support on this blog and my YouTube Channel . Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgQ8h0a1a59gTbXetGlEGGA?view_as=subscriber

With Gratitude,

Sarah Razzano

Self-Management Cards and Autism

Self-Management Card for Kindergarten

Self-management systems are

“behavioral strategies used to assist students with autism spectrum disorder in monitoring their own behaviors and administering their own rewards.”

Laura J. Hall

This is a personal application of a behavior change tactic that produce a desired change in behaviors.

Student with ASD are able to monitor their own progress with acquiring new skills and decrease problem behaviors with self-management systems. From a young age, self-management strategies are an important part of encouraging independence. It is also an evidence based strategy. 

How self-management cards help students with ASD:

Self-management allows students with autism who typically have poorly developed self-management skills to participate in the development and implementation of their own behavior management.

Students are being instructed to:

(a) observe specific aspects of their own behavior

(b) provide an objective recording of the occurrence or non-occurrence of the observed behavior.

The student is in charge of determining if they engaged in a specific behavior. Research shows “the activity of focusing attention on one’s own behavior and the self-recoding of these observations can have a positive relative effect on the behavior being monitored.” 

Questions to consider

  • What is the target behavior?
  • In what settings will the student self-monitor?
  • What type of promo (cue) is most appropriate?
  • How often will the student self-monitor?
  • What external incentive or reward will be given?

There are certain steps that have been outlined that I will share here:

Here are the steps necessary for implementing self-management systems

  • Step 1: Identify preferred behavioral targets
  • Step 2: Determine how often students will self-manage behaviors
  • Step 3: Meet with the student to explain the self-management procedure
  • Step 4: Prepare a student self-recording sheet
  • Step 5: Model the self-management plan and practice the procedure
  • Step 6: Implement the self-management plan
  • Step 7: Meet with the student to determine whether goals were attained
  • Step 8: Provide the rewards when earned
  • Step 9: Incorporate the plan into a school-home collaboration scheme
  • Step 10: Fade the intervention

Have you used self-management systems? What are your thoughts?

(source-The Best Practice Guide to Assessment And Intervention For Autism Spectrum Disorder In Schools 2nd edition by Lee A. Wilkinson)

https://www.amazon.com/Practice-Assessment-Intervention-Spectrum-Disorder/dp/1785927043/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=The+Best+Practice+Guide+to+Assessment+And+Intervention+For+Autism+Spectrum+Disorder+In+Schools+2nd+edition+by+Lee+A.+Wilkinson&qid=1558837133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Myths of autism

The other day I had someone ask me if people with autism die young and I realized there are still a lot of unknowns and myths out there about autism.

I decided to create a YouTube post all about dispelling the myths. If you have any other questions please contact me. I would love to discuss this further.

I used this book as a guide to share some common myths about autism:

Thank you for reading and following my blog and my youtube channel. I feel so lucky to be able to share my knowledge and passion on autism with the world.

Thank you for reading, following and sharing my blog.

Sarah

P.S. I am not an affiliate for this book or anything on my blog. I just want to share great resources with my network.