In the last year I have published lists of Special Education Facebook Pages and Autism Facebook Pages that I like. What was left off of these lists were all of the amazing communities on facebook dedicated to creating a warm, loving, supportive, and educational environment for parents raising children with down syndrome. So I have compiled the list below but if I have left any off feel free to include them in the comment section below: Read the rest of this entry →
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Last year my daughter entered 6th grade and middle school. Rachel has Down syndrome and has always been fully included. Middle school conjures up visions of all kinds of difficulties for families of typical students. Add in an intellectual disability and the imagination can go wild with all the “what if’s.” Based on the testimony of many parents and students, some of those “what ifs” are real and not imagined. We had a fabulous first year of middle school and I’d like to share some of the reasons I believe this to have been so. Read the rest of this entry →
Below is a list of Special Education Twitter Feeds worth following. The list includes Parents, Educators, Advocates, Attorneys, Therapists and National Organizations. This list should keep you up to date on everything happening in and around the world of Special Education. Read the rest of this entry →
Buddy Cruise Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit founded in 2008 by 2 siblings in honor of their brother who has Down syndrome. It’s purpose to provide educational resources for families, while promoting awareness, acceptance & inclusion for individuals with Down syndrome through unique venues. They have several programs that are not only supportive of families touched by Down syndrome but other special needs as well. One of the key programs offered yearly is a conference onboard a cruise ship. Each year families set sail to take part in sessions and activities especially designed for them. Between the planned Buddy Cruise events and all that a cruise has to offer there is something for ALL ages and abilities. Read the rest of this entry →
Realistically, your child is going to grow older. Your child with autism, Down syndrome or any other genetic disorder or special need is growing each day and will become an adult. Are you thinking about this time?
Your child’s teachers should be. Read the rest of this entry →
I was recently asked to write about the social skills kids need to have acquired to benefit more fully from an integrated setting. While this is a huge question I will write some basic thoughts on this concept.
Many of you who are familiar with my work know that I talk about the social complexities of the classroom learning environment. While we often only teach social skills for the context of playing or conversing the reality is that students use social thinking and related social skills every moment they are around people including more structured environments like classrooms. While I know our political education plan is quick to advocate the inclusion of all kids into “integrated” settings as much as possible, I encourage “thoughtful inclusion” rather than making blanket statements that “all kids should be included”. Read the rest of this entry →
When Special Education is done correctly, it is a powerful tool to educate children with a disability. I spend a lot of time writing about special education laws, parental rights, writing IEP’s and non-compliance by School Districts but decided I would spend today writing about some of the most positive, recent examples I’ve seen in Special Education. There are actually many different types of positive examples I can think of, but I decided to focus on three.
The first is a program offered for pre-school aged children, in one of the many School Districts I cover in my advocate work, called the Kid Intensive Therapy Center. This program is 2.5 hours a day 5 days a week and provides intensive/evidence-based early intervention. The program utilizes applied behavior analysis (ABA) strategies and integrates speech and language into the classroom. Read the rest of this entry →
Have you heard about the “Ike Special”? You most likely heard about Ike Ditzenberger on your local morning news, as a human interest story, or caught his video on You Tube. If you haven’t, Ike Ditzenberger is a football player with Down Syndrome. Read the rest of this entry →