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!
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!
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.
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.
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?
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: