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Learning Basic Life Skills in High School

August 17, 2014 in Special Education Articles by Jess

What should families expect their children to learn in a life skills class at the high school level? A simple question; however, I think many schools seem to struggle with providing valuable life skills lessons. Our students age out at 22 years old, which means the state is no longer responsible with providing the students services through public schools. When students attain that age and leave our system, it is incredibly important for them and their family that the student has learned coping skills to assist them to become more independent in their life. Read the rest of this entry →

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What are CILs, and Why Should You Know About Them?

June 17, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Another acronym? Yes! And this one’s been around for forty years. It pre-dates the first federal special education law. CILs remain a vital, but too often untapped resource for people of all ages with disabilities.

A CIL (pronounced S-ill ), is a Center for Independent Living. Sounds like a place where people live, right? But, it’s not.

Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are non-profit community-based organizations that are run by people with all sorts of disabilities. CILs are an integral part of the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movements in this country. Read the rest of this entry →

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iTouchiLearn Life Skills: Morning Routines for Preschool Kids App Review

March 26, 2012 in App Review by Doug Goldberg

iTouchiLearn Life Skills: Morning Routines for Preschool Kids by Staytoooned is a cute app that teaches young children and children with special needs life skills by utilizing music. Utilizing music is a wonderful way to teach children how to perform each task required for their morning routine. According to the app page, “Kids interact with the catchy “Ready for School” song sung to the tune of “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush”.” This makes a lot of sense since, singing and music involves both hemispheres of the brain and more parts of the brain are stimulated and light up when a direction or concept is sung rather than spoken. It makes teaching difficult concepts more interesting and less of a demand. The current price for Morning Routines in the iTunes app store is $1.99. This makes it a very affordable option for teaching your child how to get through their morning routines without a meltdown. Read the rest of this entry →

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Roadmap to Transition Planning

March 9, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Transition services are an important part of in helping students with disabilities achieve maximum success as an adult. Transition services are coordinated activities that promote movement from school to post school activities. These activities can include education, vocational training, employment, independent living, community participation and/or adult services. It is important to plan for transitioning into the adult world because each student with a disability requires a different strategy to help them be successful and independent, while living and working in the community. Read the rest of this entry →

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Social Skills and Life Skills Apps

January 17, 2012 in App Review by Doug Goldberg

What are Good Social Skills?

The ability to effectively adapt our social behavior around others according to the situation, what we know about the people in that situation and what our own needs are. (Michelle Garcia Winner & Pamela Crooke, Social Thinking at Work)

What are Life Skills?

Life skills are problem solving behaviors used appropriately and responsibly in the management of personal affairs. They are a set of human skills acquired via teaching or direct experience that are used to handle problems and questions commonly encountered in daily human life. The subject varies greatly depending on societal norms and community expectations. (Wikipedia) Read the rest of this entry →

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Today’s College Doesn’t Fit All of Today’s Students

October 10, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

In the world of education, there is always talk about preparing students for college. There is also healthy debate about whether or not college is for everyone. These conversations, though, focus on the students who are in general education or have mild or moderate disabilities. In these discussions, never have I heard mention of a person with significant disabilities attending college. Read the rest of this entry →

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Great advice from Temple Grandin

August 9, 2011 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

I was perusing on Google + the other day and something caught my eye. It was a one on one interview with Temple Grandin, conducted at The Autism Program of Illinois premiere of the HBO movie about her life story. I had seen other clips on youtube of her lectures in the past, but this one was a spontaneous interview that she participated in which I found very interesting. Watching her respond with passion and concern for children with Autism at this time in our history, reminded me that we have come so far, yet much more is needed to prepare these children for adulthood. Read the rest of this entry →

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Thinking About the Future? Your Child’s Special Education Teacher Should Be

August 7, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

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 →

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Transition Planning: Getting That First Job

August 4, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Dennise Goldberg

Transitioning into that first job takes time and planning. While the questions to be answered are similar for the individual who has graduated and for those in High School, the preparations are different. Questions include: Is the pursuit going to be part time or with a career-path? What does he or she want to do? What are his or her strengths? Preparations for someone in High School include Transition planning, planning the class schedule towards the job’s entry –level requirements, and really taking time to review what the student might be interested in. Preparations for a graduate focus on employability and include: determining potential career goals, and focused volunteer work.

Where to start?

Has the individual graduated high school? Or do they attend High School? There will be a different path depending on the answer. Read the rest of this entry →

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Into the Deep End: A Parents’ Guide to Diving into Transition

June 5, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

A son or daughter’s move from school into adulthood is one of the biggest and potentially most difficult life changes, and this is particularly true for students with special needs. As the transition approaches, students and their parents may find themselves anxious and concerned by the change and uncertainty on the horizon. Read the rest of this entry →

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