Community Based Instruction: Essential for Special Needs Individuals with Behavioral Difficulties

Community Based Instruction: Essential for Special Needs Individuals with Behavioral Difficulties

What is community-based instruction (CBI)? How is CBI different from field trips? Community-based instruction is education that is based in community environments as opposed to highly controlled locations such as schools or center-based programs. Community-based instruction is not the same as field trips. Field trips are excursions by a group of people to a place…

Moderate to Severe Developmental Disability: Eight Essential Skills for Living

Moderate to Severe Developmental Disability: Eight Essential Skills for Living

Most evaluation tools and curricula arrange skills according to the way a typical child might acquire them. Essential for Living by Patrick McGreevy, PhD BCBA-D et al takes a different approach. They group skills into categories of “must-have,” “should-have,” “good-to-have,” and “nice-to have.” This instrument also identifies deficits in functional skills that might be the…

3 Online Emotional Support Resources for Autism Families

3 Online Emotional Support Resources for Autism Families

The autism diagnosis is a lonely isolating diagnosis.  Neurotypical families may think it is difficult, but it is actually thousands of times harder than what some people may think. When my son received his diagnosis 27 years ago, there was no internet. We learned about treatments and services from books and articles. We also networked…

Autism: Does the Neurodiversity Movement and Self-Advocates Know What Is Best?

Autism: Does the Neurodiversity Movement and Self-Advocates Know What Is Best?

The Situation Your toddler is turning age 3 and does not speak, communicate, or play. Instead, he runs back and forth flapping his hands. He picks up objects and flaps them in front his eyes. He has no eye contact, does not notice other people in the room, and seems tuned out to the world….

Aggression and Self-Injury in Individuals with Developmental Disabilities: A Parent’s Perspective

Aggression and Self-Injury in Individuals with Developmental Disabilities: A Parent’s Perspective

Trauma from Abuse During a visit with our son who is diagnosed with autism, he displayed aggressive and self-injurious behavior. We thought we had driven this behavior into extinction years ago. Perhaps his medication needed an adjustment. Maybe he was suffering a flare from his inflammatory bowel disease. A few days after that fateful visit,…

Changing The Face Of Intelligence Labels for Children

Changing The Face Of Intelligence Labels for Children

Standard intelligence has been commonly defined as having an affinity for practical mathematical and logical understanding. We have all been subjected to standardized testing during our formal education years. Based on how well we solved math equations and engaged with critical thinking exercises an air-tight definition of our ‘intelligence’ was determined. From these tests, our…

The Rise of the Fidget Spinner: What, Where, When, and How

The Rise of the Fidget Spinner: What, Where, When, and How

Anyone outside of the education realm, or who does not regularly interact with children, might assume that a fidget spinner is some sort of spaceship contraption or an obscure item found on the shelves of a home improvement store. However, teachers, parents and, of course, children know all too well what a fidget spinner is—and…

Fidget Spinners: Educational Panacea or Classroom Distraction?

Fidget Spinners: Educational Panacea or Classroom Distraction?

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock this past year, you’ve probably encountered kids (and even adults) playing around with the hottest new toy craze, fidget spinners. These little hand-held toys contain a ball bearing at their center, surrounded by weighted arms that spin around the central axis. One grasps the toy between a finger…

For Parents—Engaging Individuals with Severe Autism

For Parents—Engaging Individuals with Severe Autism

Have you ever walked into your child’s program only to catch the staff doing nothing? Maybe you saw children or adults with autism displaying self-stimulatory behavior or perhaps they were staring out into space with blank looks. I wouldn’t worry about it too much if this happens every once in a while. However, if you…

A Future Artist May Be in Your Preschool Classroom—Some Things to Consider When Setting Up Your Art Centre

A Future Artist May Be in Your Preschool Classroom—Some Things to Consider When Setting Up Your Art Centre

The art area in a preschool child care center can be one of a child’s favorite spaces. Just imagine, mounds of crayons, boxes of colored pencils, markers in every color, plain paper, glue, plastic scissors, magazines for cutting or tearing, construction paper, examples of 3D creations, art displayed, paints of all kinds, clay, easels, smocks,…

Torn Between an Extraordinary Memory (HSAM) and Autism

Torn Between an Extraordinary Memory (HSAM) and Autism

“I want teenagers with autism to know it’s O.K that some days are tough and I’m here to tell you it gets easier as you mature into adulthood and find your passion.” Wise words from Rebecca Sharrock who knows only too well how difficult the teenage years can be for someone with autism who suffers…

10 Facts You May Not Know About Gifted Children But Should—Infographic

10 Facts You May Not Know About Gifted Children But Should—Infographic

Giftedness is a trait which is hugely misunderstood, even amongst professionals who should be in the know! These 10 facts from Celi Trépanier, author of Educating Your Gifted Child, are here to shed light on what giftedness really is. I hope they dispel some of the myths and misconceptions many believe about gifted children. Using…

Selecting a Communication System for your Non-Speaking Child

Selecting a Communication System for your Non-Speaking Child

When my son, Isaac, who is diagnosed with autism, was three years old, he went to a therapeutic school which was focused on teaching sign language. He caught on pretty quickly and had about a half dozen signs by the time he left the school at age four. We transferred him to a behavioral school because…

7 Superb Shape Sorters to Engage Your Little One

7 Superb Shape Sorters to Engage Your Little One

We all remember our favorite childhood toy or toys. Perhaps it was a telephone with googling eyes or a toy vacuum so you could “help” with chores. We never realized that many of the toys we played with had some educational value as well. These shape sorters are a great toy to allow your child…

The Weapon of Knowledge—Let’s Revere Knowledge, Not Results

The Weapon of Knowledge—Let’s Revere Knowledge, Not Results

I like being in control. I have joked that I have OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) about detail and organization but, truth be told, I think that is a good thing. I learned how to be organized from my teachers who repeated the maxim “a place for everything and everything in its place” several times each day…

The Benefits of Reading to Children—More Than Just Quality Time Together

The Benefits of Reading to Children—More Than Just Quality Time Together

“The more rich and multifaceted the learning experiences, the more neurons are fired. What fires together, wires together.” —Dr. Betty Rintoul (NC Infant Mental Health Association, Baby Steps, Fall Newsletter, 2013.) This is a great quote that I have used during presentations when talking about the number of benefits of reading to children. First, there is…

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