About 10% of the school population — 9 to 13 million children — struggle with mental health challenges, some of the most challenging students that educators face. In our inclusive classrooms, teachers are becoming skilled at working with children who exhibit learning, physical, and cognitive disabilities, as well as those on the autism spectrum while students with mental health challenges continue to mystify and frustrate. Read the rest of this entry →
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When addressing problem behaviors in individuals with ASD, the first step is to determine the function the behavior serves. The main reason why we need to determine the function for problem behavior is so that we can teach the child replacement skills that are more appropriate that can serve the same function. There are many tools teachers and behavior specialists use when doing a functional behavior assessment to determine the function of a problem behavior. They conduct functional behavior assessment interviews with caregivers and professionals. They observe and record the antecedents leading up to the problem behavior and the consequences that follow the behavior. They collect scatter plot data in which they document when and where the behavior is most and least likely to occur. And if they are real savvy, they go as far as doing functional behavior analyses in which they actually manipulate variables in the environment to test out the hypothesis for the function of the behavior. For more info on functional behavior assessment, click on this helpful link: http://cecp.air.org/fba/ Read the rest of this entry →
This week at camp a counselor pulled me aside. I want to tell you about what your daughter did today, she said. Ok, I said, and I took a deep breath. I braced myself, waiting for the bad news. I know how these conversations usually go. I am no stranger to the bad news calls from the teacher or principal and when a teacher or counselor starts to walk towards me at pick up time, I usually cringe and pray that she is heading to some other parent.
Let us just say that generally teacher types do not approach me with good news. Read the rest of this entry →
The new school year has begun and many of your children are attending middle school for the first time in their lives. It’s a difficult transition for all kids; it’s especially difficult for a child with special needs. The curriculum becomes harder and there is new schedule of classes they will have to follow. The days of sitting in one classroom for all academic instruction is now over. In addition, kids have to be able to run to their hall lockers in between classes and make it to their next period without being tardy. To make matters worse, most kids will be required to change for P.E…..then change back into their regular clothes to go to their next period on time. It’s been many years since I attended middle school; however, when my son started last year, he had a difficult time adjusting the first semester. The following are few tips that helped my son navigate through his first year of middle school. Read the rest of this entry →