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Autism Awareness Unit

Mar 27

Autism Awareness Unit

April is Autism Awareness month and I use this opportunity each year to further the knowledge and understanding of my school community. Like many special education classrooms, my class of students with autism is in a general education school setting. My students share the environment with their general education peers. When I started working here, I felt that the...

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Motor Imitation Fluency Video Tutorial

Mar 26

Motor Imitation Fluency Video Tutorial

Imitation is one of the most essential and basic foundational skills we can teach our students. Our students need to learn how to attend to the movements and action of another person before you can even start on more complex communication skills, social abilities, and higher level tasks. Your student first needs to imitate. And this imitation needs to be – you...

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What’s Bugging You? Shapes & Sizes

Mar 25

What’s Bugging You? Shapes & Sizes

This is one of those moments that I really wish I could share video of my students. My one guy reading this book is just about the most hilarious thing you have ever seen. He covers his mouth and shouts “Oh no” on each page and I about fall out of my navy blue swivel chair. Now besides the cute and humorous nature of the book, let’s get to the nitty...

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ZAC Browser {free internet browser for children with autism}

Mar 24

ZAC Browser {free internet browser for children with autism}

  If you don’t use ZAC Browser yet – you are in for a real Monday treat! This incredibly awesome and FREE program is a web browser designed specifically for children with autism. I love the story behind it – it was developed by grandparents of a child with autism. So you know they knew how to make this great.   Why it’s so amazing...

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Mother & Son Bring Awareness to Autism Through Art

Mar 23

Mother & Son Bring Awareness to Autism Through Art

I wanted to share a great story of a family working together to help bring awareness to autism while simultaneously developing a life long hobby turned business venture. Read on: North Venice, Florida – (January 2013) – Patti Gay and her son Noah are a talented mother/son art team, known for their nature-themed prints. But what makes their art particularly...

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Graphing on the iPad {Numbers App}

Mar 21

Graphing on the iPad {Numbers App}

I’m excited about this one because I have a secret job promoting apple products. Okay no I don’t but sometimes I feel like I do because I’m so obsessed. Beyond obsessed. On a regular basis in tucked in med spooning my apple trifecta (macbook, iPad, and iPhone). My best and biggest technology tip is not surprisingly related to one of these loves:...

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Using Fluency Instruction to Improve the Small Skills

Mar 20

Using Fluency Instruction to Improve the Small Skills

I’m sure you all are freaken tired of hearing about fluency instruction. I wish I could say I’m sick of talking about it but you know that would be a lie. Fluency instruction is near and dear to my heart. I love the ease of setting up a new program. I love how efficiently data can be taken. And I love, love, love the almost immediate impact I see...

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Using Multiple Exemplars in Teaching {VIP}

Mar 19

Using Multiple Exemplars in Teaching {VIP}

I know VIP stands for very important person and I know multiple exemplars is not a person. So let’s just say – very important post. Because this is a very important post. I included  a little tutorial too so if you arein the mood to hear my high-pitched, super fast, rambling voice – be sure to hit that up. Now why is this such an important point,...

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Using Anchor Charts in an Autism Classroom

Mar 18

Using Anchor Charts in an Autism Classroom

I was maybe a little late the anchor chart band wagon. I get the importance of a method to remind (or anchor) important information into our kiddies’ heads but I was worried having too much on the walls could be overstimulating for my guys. But I think there is way to utilize anchor charts in a way that is majorly beneficial and maintains a visually clear...

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Great Bike Giveaway

Mar 17

Great Bike Giveaway

Why The Great Bike Giveaway? Many children with special needs miss out on the childhood joy of bike riding because their physical or cognitive limitations make riding a bicycle near impossible. The Great Bike Giveaway will give children and young adults with special needs the chance to win an adaptive bike and have the feeling of pride, freedom and confidence...

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Free AAC App

Mar 14

Free AAC App

There a loads of autism related apps floating around iTunes. It’s actually fairly overwhelming to even keep track of which are the good ones and which are worth downloading. And a lot of these apps are pretty expensive. You better believe I am going to think long and hard before putting down $9.99 for a new square on my iPad screen. Many of communication apps...

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New Daily Journal Page

Mar 13

New Daily Journal Page

One piece of advice – don’t get too comfortable. Hate to break it to you but the second think things are going well and you think you can just take a break – sit back with  your cup of coffee and relax – it’s time to up the ante. My students were getting a little too independent with their daily journal pages. They were done way  too...

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Video Tutorial: Categorizing Fluency

Mar 12

Video Tutorial: Categorizing Fluency

Another video tutorial! This one great for both students who are nonverbal or have verbal skills. Categorizing can be done as a fluency program. It’s critical to make sure that this skill is fast. Categorizing is an essential foundational skill that leads to organization abilities, discrimination, and teaches students to make sense of their world.  Using...

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Let’s Talk About… {Conversation Starters}

Mar 11

Let’s Talk About… {Conversation Starters}

Students with autism struggle with conversation skills. Many children have difficulty coming up with novel questions, staying on topic, and asking reciprocal questions. My NEW favorite resource provides targeted and on topic questions on 48 different specific topics. It’s call Let’s Talk About… {Conversation Starters} and has become an instant...

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Worksheets Resources

Mar 10

Worksheets Resources

I have gotten a bunch of questions lately about my homework system. I have also gotten some questions about what worksheets are in my independent language binders from my fluency station. I basically use the same system for selecting worksheets for home and binders. Here is my system: Any worksheets I find that I like – I print. Even if they don’t exactly...

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Guest Post: Internet Safety & Technology Tips

Mar 09

Guest post today from Gai Havkins the CEO of KIDO’Z, a mobile app for Android smartphones and tablets designed to provide a safe environment for kids to play fun and educational games. You know I love the iPad as much as anyone – but we have got to make sure our kiddos are surfing in a safe internet world before we give them the reins. Technology Tips for...

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Teaching Break Time Skills

Mar 07

Teaching Break Time Skills

We all need a break. Whether your break is some red wine and a DVR full of Bravo tv or some quality time with a slinky and an oversized therapy ball – a break is a break. However, some of our students really struggle to take a break. Unstructured time can equal over stimulation, behavior issues, and a whole mess of problems. But our whole day can’t be...

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Free Problem Solving Game {Logical Leprechauns}

Mar 06

Free Problem Solving Game {Logical Leprechauns}

I have a really fun freebie for your all – Logical Leprechauns! It is a St. Patrick’s Day problem solving game. St. Patrick’s day is right around the corner (crazy, right!?) so I have been getting all my green ready! My students really struggle with problem solving so I wanted to make a game to target this directly. I am really looking forward to...

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March Reading Group Lesson Plans

Mar 05

March Reading Group Lesson Plans

Don’t you worry. I didn’t forget about March lesson plans. I’m just a bit late to the party is all If you are new to the monthly lesson plan forecast check out how I do my lesson planning. For reference my high level group are all verbal, readers (around 2nd-3rd grade level), and can work in a group. My mid level group are verbal (less verbal,...

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Video Tutorial: Nonverbal Fluency Instruction

Mar 04

Video Tutorial: Nonverbal Fluency Instruction

I have gotten loads of emails and requests about how to run a fluency training program for students who are nonverbal. If your caseload is anything like mine, you have a little bit of everything. I have students who are both verbal and nonverbal and we use fluency instruction with all of my students to make skills more functional. Fluency instruction can be done...

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