Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

Are You Taking this Vital Data for Your Non-Verbal/Low Verbal Students Right Now?

Data, Data, Data I let data do the talking. I like data to be the bad guy if there needs to be a bad guy. I use data to be the good guy too! Let me give you a couple of examples. We had a situation where one student was coming to school and literally sleeping for two hours a day several times a month. We all know that school […]

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Finally an Affordable App that Turns Your iPad into a Voice Output Device!

Before we could use the iPad as a Voice Output Device (VOD), communication devices could cost thousands of dollars. They were big, clunky and sometimes hard to program. The iPad has changed all of that for the better! Likewise the first apps for communication that made use of the Core Vocabulary concept were really quite expensive, but now there are even more affordable options. I’m highlighting that option here. Take […]

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Are You Having Issues with Your Instructional Assistants?

If you are in a classroom working with students who have special needs, every year you are probably faced with the challenge of one or more new paraprofessional staff members who may or may not have an understanding for things like confidentiality, and the importance of leaving the cell phone off during instruction time. That can be so hard because, let’s face it, you have your hands full with your […]

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Who Knew Sensory Tubs Could Be Creative and So Inexpensive!!!

Here we are about to start a new school year!!! I love this time of year because it’s full of promise and possibilities!! One idea that can help make the new school year exciting and successful is a fun and inexpensive idea for the sensory room or for the classroom to meet some of those sensory needs! There is always someone out there doing something creative yet simple. So simple […]

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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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