We Are Thankful for Special Educators Blog Hop: A Tip and a Freebie for You


Welcome to my stop on the We Are Thankful for Special Educators blog hop. I am excited to share a tip and freebie with you for this Thanksgiving weekend.  Since it's Black Friday and I know everyone has leftovers to eat, stores to visit, and games to watch, I will make this short.  

Thank You for Our Community


Those of you who follow me on Facebook may have seen this quote on my page earlier this week with a note about how thankful I am for my mentor, Edward (Ted) Carr.  When I posted that I intended it to be a daily quote through Thanksgiving with notes about things I am thankful for. However, I wasn't that successful with that, so I wanted to leave you for Thanksgiving with some thoughts about things I am thankful for, including this community.  I also have a few announcements at the end of the post (which I will do my best to keep brief).

7 Ways to Help Children with Autism Participate in Giving Thanks

In this busy time of year, it becomes particularly important to stop and take stock of what we have been given and to give thanks.  In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, sometimes it's difficult to help our students or children to be able to participate in a way that allows them to give thanks.  We all have things to be thankful for and the opportunity to say thank you should never be passed up.  So, I thought I would share some thoughts about how to help children with autism to participate in giving thanks this Thanksgiving.  And I have a few announcements at the end of the post, so make sure not to miss it.

Drowning in Internet Information: OCALICON 2014 Presentation

 Wow, I am currently at the OCALI Conference in Columbus, OH and it's a good thing I own warm clothes!  I don't know how you northerners do it!!  It's freezing here!  Today, Susan Kabot and I presented to a great group on strategies and resources for making sense of all the information that is out there about autism.  Just trying to keep up is more than a full-time job with new "scientific" information coming out every minute and everyone claiming to be a scientifically based program.  I had mentioned the talk on Facebook and said I would share the handout here after the presentation.  If you attended the presentation and want to download the handout, just zip to the bottom of the page where I've placed the link.  If you weren't able to attend, let me share just a couple of thoughts about the topic so that the handout will be understandable.

How Should We Respond to Challenging Behavior?

 Returning to the series on challenging behavior brings us to the third type of strategies to include in a behavioral support plan: Responsive strategies. No matter what we do when we plan behavioral support, there will be days when it fails and when the behavior occurs.  No matter how many antecedent strategies and replacement strategies we use, what reaction the behavior gets in the environment is going to affect it and we need to be prepared for them.  Not being prepared and as consistent as possible is sometimes what increased the behaviors in the first place, so it pays to take time to design the response.  Here are some things we need to think about in responsive strategies.

I Am Thankful for All You Do

Today I was reflecting on how thankful I am for so many things.  Timely of course since Thanksgiving is heading our way faster than I can keep up.  I am thankful for my family and friends.  I am thankful that I have the opportunity to sometimes work beside my pool and the beautiful weather that comes in fall and winter in Florida.  I am thankful for all of the opportunities I have had to work with some amazing people.  And I am thankful for all that you, the readers, followers and buyers, do.  I am of course thankful for your support and

3 Ways to Teach Replacements or Coping Strategies for Sensory-Based Challenging Behavior

As I talked about in my last post in the challenging behavior series, there are two primary ways that the different sensory experiences of students with autism might be related to the function of a challenging behavior.  It might be to escape from a situation that is too loud, or too bright or too smelly or all of those things among others.  It might also be to gain reinforcement from something internal or end an internal feeling that is uncomfortable.  Today I want to talk about how we can teach an individual replacement behaviors to get their needs met without the challenging behavior. These are some of the most difficult replacement behaviors to teach and identify so let me share some examples.


Workbasket Wednesday Link-Up-November 2014

A post about work baskets used in independent work systems for students with autism
 It's hard to believe it is that time again...time for the Workbasket Wednesday Link-up.  So, if you blog please share your work tasks, work boxes, work system tasks in a post and link up--the directions and button are below.  If you don't blog and want to share, please feel free to share them on my Facebook page or message them to me and I'll share them.  Either way, hopefully all of us will gain some great ideas to keep work baskets and systems fresh in our classrooms.

Is it Sensory or Behavior? The WRONG Question--Here's Why

OK, I know I have already ruffled some feathers with the title of this post, but please hang with me and let me explain.  I want to continue with the challenging behavior series by addressing the sensory or automatic function of challenging behavior.  You can find more of this series here.

Recently on Pinterest I have been seeing lots of posts that pose the title of Is it Sensory or is it Behavior?  I'm happy that people understand that all behaviors are not deliberately manipulative, which I think is what they are intending.  They are making the differentiation between willful behavior (which assumes that challenging behavior is deliberate) and behavior that functions because an individual (often on the autism spectrum but not always) is overwhelmed by sensory input in their environment.  However, there are some serious myths and misconceptions about this approach that I think go beyond semantics of how we talk about behavior that I want to explore in today's post.

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