Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

Is This the Language You Use for Students with Special Needs?

We’ve come a long way from the days of using language to describe people with special needs that would make all of us cringe.   Today if you or I would hear the following words, we would be appalled: retarded imbecile educable deaf and dumb, cripple deformed epileptic feeble-minded freak gimp hare lip idiot lunatic midget mongoloid moron schizo Although I have not heard people in recent years use these outdated […]

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Need a Valuable Resource to Teach Math to Children with Down Syndrome?

I have found after working many years in the field of disabilities that often one disability may have several things in common with another disability. Take Down Syndrome and Autism for example. Students with both disabilities benefit from physical structure in the classroom, visual schedules, and sensory stimulation. In both disabilities, students have difficulty following directions and can have meltdowns due to poor communication skills. You can apply many strategies […]

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Wait till You See the Combo of the Bitsboard App and Snap Words!!!

One of the best workshops I’ve ever attended was for creative problem solving. It was a week long training where I learned things I have used over and over again. Among the strategies I learned that week was one where we were taught to use a matrix. On the Y- axis you list a set of options and on the X- axis you put another list of options. That’s kind […]

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An Amazing Core Vocabulary Board You Don’t Want to Miss!!!

Sometimes there is an idea that comes along that makes something that is already wonderful even more amazing! A few years ago a group of us visited a classroom in Bloomington, IN where we saw in action the outcome of the collaboration between students from Indiana University and a special education classroom in an elementary school. The goal was to make communication a priority in a life skills classroom. We […]

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More FREE Visuals for Writing Sentences, Yoga, Behavior and MORE!

Last week I showed you some really nice visuals for older students and this week I wanted to show you some awesome visuals for younger students. They are both from the same website and are often updated with NEW FREE visuals! Take a look! This week I was consulting with my daughter, Sarah’s architect and design firm on a sensory room for a Chicago high school. Her company has been […]

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Some FREE Visual Supports for Older Students with Special Needs!

If you are like me, it’s a rare thing to come across materials, apps, visuals for older students. It can be frustrating because then you are forced to come up with your own stuff, modify things you find for general education or resort to using pictures that look babyish….which by the way, I HATE. In the visuals you are about to see, I would even change the personal space pictures […]

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Don’t You Wish Your Child With Special Needs Could Tell You What’s Wrong?

It would be interesting to me to see just how many times a child without special needs communicates to a parent or teacher that something hurts, or there was an accident and they got injured, or they feel sick and need to lay down. That answer would give me some insight about just how many times a parent or teacher of a child with special needs cannot communicate this basic, […]

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Have You Seen How Art Embedded in Vocabulary Words Can Make Reading Easier?

When I’m trying to help students read, my goal is to make things as clear as possible. Kids respond to patterns, movement, visuals…basically a multisensory approach to help make things “sticky”. The Orton-Gillingham reading decoding strategy, Tucker Signing Strategies, Visualizing and Verbalizing from Lindamood Bell, SRA reading, Kansas Learning Strategies all help kids to make sense of reading and vocabulary. Great stuff! I’m always looking for more great stuff.   A […]

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Do You Know How To Do a “Plan B” for Solving Behavior Problems?

I couldn’t end my series of highlighting Dr. Ross Greene’s ideas from his book, Lost at School without showing you a quick overview on how to do a Plan B. Take a look!!! We’re seeing students stay in the classroom longer, making choices not to fight for the first place in line, choosing to go to a calm down area rather than becoming aggressive or destructive. Some successes come in […]

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See How a 3-D Snowman Can Help Develop Language Skills!

Have you ever noticed that when you do most anything in 3-D your kids pay more attention? I’ve brought children’s books alive with objects my students can see, touch, take, give, and manipulate. They pay attention!!! I can hold the attention of pre-school students with special needs for up to 30 minutes if I go 3-D and make whatever I’m doing interactive. Students of all ages are more engaged if […]

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