Autism Sensitivity Training for the classroom” target=”_blank”>

If you would like the text to go along with the powerpoint contact me

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3 Keys for Avoiding Drama!

Is your student surrounded with school drama: gossip,and bullying? Middle school and high school students often find themselves in the middle of drama as they spend their time learning about who they are and asserting their independence. There are three keys that teens should be reminded of for making healthy decisions and avoiding drama.
First, teach your student to always be true to him or herself. When things don’t go well, let your teen know that it is okay. I always encourage self-forgiveness over peer pressure with both my students and my children.  Empower your student to say, “No, that is not right for me.” Empower your student to find new interests and new friends.
Second, teach your student to respect him or herself by making decisions that reflect his/her morals and values as well as your families. Always share that before your student makes a decision to ask, “If what I am about to do is filmed for the nightly news, will I be proud of it?”
Three, teach your student to realize that honest, open and respectful communication is best. Teach your student how to set boundaries in relationships so that they are treated how they want to be treated. If an acquaintance/friend mistreats those boundaries teach that it is okay to consider finding new friends and exploring new interests.
Let me know how it goes,


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4 Rules for a Successful School Year

Knowing that making good decisions begins with you isn’t necessarily a difficult concept; however, it is one that teens often forget. We have found that any successful relationship between two or more people is fundamentally based on four simple rules. In fact, when these rules are overlooked or disregarded relationships and the people in them are disturbed and even damaged. Teach your children to be and expect relationships that include trust, respect, open, honest, and direct communication as well as including shared goals. Discuss what each of these rules mean and how they apply to all healthy relationships. For more support checkout  self-help workbook:     Healthy Relationships

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Ready or Not?

Getting ready for back to school takes time and some planning. This school year empower your student by writing a list of things that need to happen for a successful school schedule. Include things like how much time is needed for sleep and suggested bedtimes. Develop a plan for activities prior to bedtime. Simply things like brushing teeth, organizing clothing for the next day, making lunches,snacks, and who might be responsible for organizing and packing a backpack should be addressed.

Begin early with resetting a school schedule. Have your students practice making a lunch and a snack prior to going to bed. Read a book together a little earlier every night and tuck him or her in with a kiss. Work on your morning routines: getting up with an alarm, getting ready for the day. Provide many opportunities for students to make decisions about how they plan on getting ready for school and what they might need to do to have a successful evenings and mornings. Develop systems that work for the whole family and practice and adjust the plan.

My family and I like to develop checklists of things to do for successful evenings and mornings. After we agree on what needs to be accomplished we hang the list on the refrigerator so that every family member knows what is expected.

Share your morning routines with me and I will post all of your suggestions.

Take care,



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Understand Autism


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Staircase-5Accommodations and modifications ensure that students can do the work that is being asked of them. Think about accommodations and modifications working like a staircase, they provide a means of entry to the top floor. In this scenario, the top floor houses Common Core Standards. All students need to demonstrate mastery of standards in order to successfully move to the next grade level.

There multiple ways to demonstrate mastery of standards. (Notice that this staircase has two ways to get to the top floor.) Standards don’t specify content and how the student will show they can do what is being asked. Forinstance, an anchor standard for reading: “Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development;summarize key supporting details and ideas.” Notice, what content to use isn’t specified, the delivery isn’t specified (read aloud, books on tape, movie, apps and other systems of delivery). This provides a lot of opportunities for students to use their areas of strength to access the standard and demonstrate mastery.

All students learning means that all students have access. Access assumes that every student learns differently and it is the teacher’s job as well as the IEP team to provide accommodations so that all students can demonstrate mastery on Common Core Standards.

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Everyone deserves Healthy Relationships!

Source: Everyone deserves Healthy Relationships!

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Healthy Relationships By Diana Loiewski, Tarane Sondoozi, and Linda Loiewski

Don Sloan


In the groundbreaking self-help manual called Healthy Relationships, the authors — renowned specialists in clinical psychology and special education — put forth an easy-to-follow and common sense guide that literally has the power to change lives.

This is a workbook-based, self-guided introduction to a remarkable process — the discovery and exploration of your inner worth and how you can nurture its growth while maintaining close relationships.

In the section entitled “Understanding Your Relationship With Yourself,” you will learn that by looking carefully in your inner “mirror” on a regular basis, you will come to appreciate everything you bring to all your relationships — at home, at work, and elsewhere.

In another segment, communication is revealed as an essential element in keeping lines open with others, and expressing how you truly feel. There’s even a handy checklist that facilitates communication between you and whomever you choose, making sure the conversation stays…

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Five Tips for Positive IEP Meetings

Attending an IEP meeting isn’t easy and many feel that they are too arduous. Prior to your next IEP meeting, try changing it up with these five simple tips:

  1. Meet parents/stake holders in advance and discuss the student’s present levels. Include a conversation about hopes and future dreams for the student.
  2. Share favorite stories about the student.
  3. Share things that concern you most about the student.
  4. Make time to share something personal.
  5. Be authentic.

These five tips are simple on the surface, yet are rarely taken advantage of while getting to know parents and the student’s teachers. IEP team members need to establish healthy relationships with one another in order to experience and feel trust and respect. The best way to do this is by developing common goals for the student and getting to know one another. To learn more check out Individual Education Plan Workbook for Success available through and Amazon.

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Shovel the rampCommon core has spawn conversations regarding IEP goals and alignment. Now that most states have adopted common core, it is time to have the conversation about how IEP teams will move students academically.  The answer lies in accommodations!  The IEP team’s first step is to understand the student’s disability and its impact on learning academics. Once the team has a clear understanding, then accommodations will only be limited by the team’s creativity.

The best place to start is by looking closely at the student’s disability and utilizing the evidence found with the psychological testing report, academic testing report, work samples, teacher interviews, and student interview. These five components will paint the picture needed to understand the student’s disability with academics. If the IEP team doesn’t start with data, then they are apt to miss opportunities that will be needed for thinking about and writing accommodations. Continue reading

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