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Vocabulary Unit

Sep 24

Vocabulary Unit

Vocabulary is one of my favorite things to work with my students. It expands their communication skills, writing abilities, and comprehension skills. I love being that efficient in my instruction. My literacy program consists of  Guided Reading, individualized spelling instruction, daily fluency timings, writing centers, and vocabulary. We need a well rounded...

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It’s Gotta Get Worse Before It Gets Better

Sep 23

It’s Gotta Get Worse Before It Gets Better

If you are trying to convince yourself of this – I get it. I have to share this story again with you because I’m dealing with it all over again. The start of the year is jam packed with all kids of testing-the-boundaries type fun and holy crap can it be exhausting. If you are using planned ignoring for attention maintained behaviors, sometimes things are...

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Autism Helper Workshops

Sep 22

Autism Helper Workshops

I spent last Friday morning chatting away about some of my favorite things in the world – adapted books, word sorts, wh- question fluency programs, efficient data sheets, and loads more literacy fun. My literacy presentation is one of my favorites. It spans from foundational level skills all the way towards more advanced readers. There’s a little...

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Setting Up a Token Economy

Sep 19

Setting Up a Token Economy

Last year we had a kick butt token economy that rocks my freaken world. It is amazing the power of some small strips of construction paper once properly conditioned. My kids are literally addicted to them. They are point hungry. They want more and more. It’s insatiable. And I love it. Let’s rewind to last year and let me give you a small glimpse into a...

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Basic Skills Bingo

Sep 18

Basic Skills Bingo

The start of the year is all about bingo games for me. We are busy. We’re trying to settle into our new schedule. I’m still figuring out data systems, curriculum maps, and all that fun stuff. I’m training staff. It’s a lot. And in order to not have a complete implosion on my hands – I need to keep my kids busy. I want my students and...

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Home School Communication Packet

Sep 17

Home School Communication Packet

The home/school connections is critically important for all children! For children with special needs, this connection can be more challenging. Some of our students may struggle to communicate with their parents about what happened at school. This Home School Communication Packet is designed to give you a wide range of options for types of systems to facilitate the...

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Writing Centers for Children with Autism

Sep 16

Writing Centers for Children with Autism

My writing centers are one of the pride and joys of my classroom. The structure, flexibility, and ability to individual makes me smile.  I am now starting year 3 with them and I find that I am always able to make them more complex for my students who have more experience with writing and use them as a perfect guided direct instruction activity for my guys who are...

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Paperwork Turning In System

Sep 15

Paperwork Turning In System

We have a million things going through our brains during those pivotal first few moments your kids bombard your doorway. Check your schedules. Make sure Johnny doesn’t sit by Sarah. Tell Ms. Thomas library is canceled. Train Ms. Woods on the new data system. Remember to try new reinforcers with Evan. Where the heck is my coffee? And before you know if you...

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Classroom Video Tour

Sep 12

Classroom Video Tour

My room has a very similar setup as last year so I want to share last year’s video tutorial. It gives a great quick peek into the different centers, structure, and organization of my room. I am a visual person myself. It’s a struggle for me to read a bunch of text or listen to someone tell me about something. I have to see it. And even better I need to...

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Classroom Schedules

Sep 11

Classroom Schedules

You need loads of schedules for your class. I have schedules coming out of my ears. You need a student detailed schedule, an adult detailed schedule, and schedules for your students. You should have a schedule for each child in your classroom. Just do it. Don’t argue. Even if you “think” they “know” what they should do. Assumptions like...

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Seven Steps for Setting Up a Stellar Autism Room {Video Tutorial}

Sep 10

Seven Steps for Setting Up a Stellar Autism Room {Video Tutorial}

There is a recipe for success when it comes to setting up a successful autism room. A healthy dose of pre-planning, a healthy slab of schedules, a whole bunch of structure, and sprinkle a ridiculous amount of data sheets on the top. I am a big believer in breaking things down into manageable steps. Educating a group of individuals with autism is an overwhelming task...

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the Little Details {Classroom Photos}

Sep 09

the Little Details {Classroom Photos}

Sometimes it’s all about the little details. Those small and almost seemingly insignificant additions that really make a classroom. Those details make a classroom functional, efficient, inviting, engaging, and warm. I spend the majority of my waking hours in my classroom. If it’s not a place that I want to be – how can I expect my students to want...

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Autism Helper Classroom Photos

Sep 08

Autism Helper Classroom Photos

The pencils are sharpened. The binders have been color coded. Bins are labeled. Bulletin board paper has been (painfully) hung up. Data sheets have been photocopied. We even got all of the nasty mystery mess out of the mini fridge. We’re ready. Excited to share some photos & movies with you this week. More details & info to come. Everything isn’t...

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Getting to Know You {Social Skill Freebie}

Sep 05

Getting to Know You {Social Skill Freebie}

During the first week of school, we did a lot of ‘getting to know each other’ and ‘all about me’ activities. In all fairness, my kids really already do know each other. But I choose these types of activities for a few reasons – 1. They are fun. 2. They are relatively easy for my students 3. They know how to accomplish these types of...

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Classroom Layout

Sep 04

Classroom Layout

Sometimes the whole room layout is hard to envision. Like I say all the time, I am a visual leaner, just like my kiddos. Even with pictures and videos getting the feel for exactly how the furniture are organized is tricky. I made a room layout diagram to illustrate how my furniture is arranged within my classroom. There is a method to the madness. The physical...

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Setting Up Leveled Homework

Sep 03

Setting Up Leveled Homework

Do you want to know what is a truly amazing feeling? Being DONE with homework for the entire school year. Yep, you read that right. I am completely ready & setup for individually levels homework for all of my kiddos right up through June. Before you think how completely insane and OCD I am, let me clarify the stress relief and time saving aspect of having this...

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Cheat Sheet for Picture Schedules

Sep 02

Cheat Sheet for Picture Schedules

I am constantly talking about my need to make things more easy and efficient. My opinion is – if you can do it easier or quicker – why wouldn’t you? We are busy enough – there is no need to add more hoopla on our ever growing plate of things-we-need-to-get-done. One thing that can take forever is setting up PECS schedules. And we all know that...

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School Vocabulary Unit

Sep 01

School Vocabulary Unit

The start of the year is the best time to work on school themed vocabulary. Because then you have the rest of the glorious year to practice and generalize this skill. No more, “Can you grab me that stapler? I said stapler. The thing next to the pencils. Oh wait, you don’t know what pencils or a stapler is…” These vocabulary words are insanely...

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Assessment Tracking Sheet

Aug 29

Assessment Tracking Sheet

A few days ago I shared some tips for staying organized in the start of the year. Guess what? We need to stay organized about our assessments as well. I know. Organization creeps in everywhere. Ridiculous. That sneaky little snake. But staying organized about your assessments, will make your life easier in the long run. I know I sound like a broken record....

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September Freebie Link List

Aug 28

September Freebie Link List

I am not quite up to speed with my September lesson plans yet, but I do have some freebie links for ya! I have to give my classroom staff something to photocopy and laminate, right? If you are new to the Autism Helper block – I post my monthly lesson plans along with loads of links for differently leveled freebies. Level 1 Learners are nonverbal, lower verbal,...

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