Category Archives: SPED Support Strategies

Special Education Support Strategies

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

ASD sensory support suggestions and tracking form

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 

You can find the resource here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Autism-Spectrum-Disorder-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. This resource is not intended to replace expert advice from specialist who know the student.

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:

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.

The Incredible 5-point Scale-Teach students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to manage anxiety

YouTube video showing the incredible 5 point scale

The incredible 5 point scale for support with ASD and anxiety

All people live with some level of stress and anxiety but when anxiety gets in the way of daily functioning in school, it becomes a problem. The incredible 5 point scale is a tool to support students with autism who experience anxiety.

Who created the incredible 5 point scale?

Kari Dunn Buron created the incredible 5 point scale. She created this strategy based on many years of working with students who experience autism. This author is committed to positive support for all students. She is passionate about teaching the skills needed for social success.

“More than any other issue for children with anxiety, loss of emotional control can lead to removal from the general education classroom to a more restrictive educational environment equipped to deal with behavior challenges.”

When My Worries Get Too Big- Karrie Dunn Buron

Here is a link to the website to find all of her products. https://www.5pointscale.com. To Learn more about the calming sequence featured in this book please read my last post http://behavior-boot-camp-teach-calming-sequence

Some additional notes about the incredible 5 point scale for supporting students with autism and anxiety:

  • Many students with ASD learn social interactions by using the incredible 5 point scale
  • Emotional responses are identified by the student along with solutions to support each challenge
  • This visual representation helps student with autism and anxiety understand their emotions
  • Students work with the teacher to identity activities, or other supports that will help them calm down or stay calm
  • The incredible 5 point scale supports inclusion by helping students manage their anxiety and stay in class
  • The incredible 5 point scale is is an example of a positive behavior support strategy
  • Students learn to become self-managers

Positive behavior support strategies help support inclusion and ensure students stay calm and continue to learn in class!

Thank you for reading.

If you use the incredible 5 point scale please leave a comment telling us your thoughts…

Behavior Boot Camp: Teach Calming Sequence

A calming sequence is a great tool to support students who experience anxiety:

This picture is an example of a calming sequence.

Behavior boot camp: teach calming sequence.

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How does a calming sequence help students in school?

All people live with some level of stress and anxiety but when anxiety gets in the way of daily functioning in school, then it becomes a problem.

“More than any other issue for children with anxiety, loss of emotional control can lead to removal from the general education classroom to a more restrictive educational environment equipped to deal with behavior challenges.”

-When My Worries Get Too Big- Carrie Dunn Buron

Tips about calming sequences for teachers

  • Students with autism and other exceptionalities may experience stress during the school day
  • The stress may manifest in different ways but could get in the way of their learning
  • Teach the calming sequence when the student is calm and organized
  • Ask the student what things make them feel calm and happy
  • Follow their lead on choosing a calming sequence that makes them feel the most relaxed
  • Use a combination of words and pictures to represent the sequence
  • Keep the calming sequence somewhere the student can access it during times of stress
  • Model the calming sequence and support the student through the sequence as they experience stress and anxiety

Here is a link to Carrie Dunn Buron’s book that I reference in the YouTube video:

https://www.amazon.com/When-Worries-Get-Too-Big/dp/1937473805/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2I2SQIJUK28WL&keywords=when+my+worries+get+too+big&qid=1553056209&s=gateway&sprefix=when+my+wor%2Caps%2C227&sr=8-1

Behavior Boot Camp: Penny Token Boards

Why use penny token boards?

Penny token boards are one of my favorite individual behavior support strategies! It takes some planning and managing on behalf of the teacher but can pay off big time!

Which students benefit the most?

A penny token board can help students with autism or other special needs stay engaged, learn and be successful in class. The board helps promote inclusion and ensures all students are successful. The penny token board is a great individual reward system for a student who does not respond to the classroom-wide behavior supports. This system is a visual representation of how the student is doing and when he or she will earn the reward.

A penny token board is one example of an individual token economy. The principals of this technique are grounded in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

I got the penny token board I share in the video at:https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Penny-Token-Board-Set-3039344

Target Behaviors

Pick a target behavior you would like to increase. One example of a target behavior is for a student to raise his hand with a quiet mouth. To increase the likelihood that this target behavior continues, you can reinforce it with the use of the penny token board.

How to use the penny token board?

The pennies are considered the “consequence” for performing a desired behavior. Start the board when the student has gotten away from a 1:1 reinforcement schedule. Each penny then represents about 4-5 times of the student performs the target behavior. Teach this board by starting out with 4 pennies on the board so students will quickly “buy into” this system. When the student earns the penny, provide positive and constructive feedback. This feedback informs the student about what behavior earned the penny an can serve as a rule for future behavior.

Make sure students have “strong” reinforcers

The penny token board are only successful if students are motivated so use highly motivating rewards. Make sure reinforcers stay “strong” by conducting a “preference assessment”. This assessment helps you stay on top of what is most reinforcing for the student.

Offer a few choices on a choice board that you know are highly reinforcing.

Only offer reinforcer choices that are doable for you and your classroom. Earning candy or other primary reinforcers may not be appropriate but a quick 5 minute break in the peace corner may be more reasonable.

Please don’t take away pennies

Although “response cost” or taking away pennies is a behavioral technique, I would NOT recommend it. If the student doesn’t earn more tokens then they just don’t earn their reward… Using the board as a positive reward system will create the long term change in behavior that we all want!

I hope this is helpful and fun to start using with your students. If you have experience and success using penny token boards please share in the comments…