Life Skills or Academics? Which comes first and which is more important? I teach adults 18-22 and recently asked them this question. Academics, they all agreed. Academics will get you the job. People care if you’re smart, they told me. I then showed them this clip from The Middle. Sue and Axl have a life…Read More
The Ethics of Being an Adult: Can You Do What You Want When You Want?
Recently, I started teaching adults with disabilities. As part of my new position, I was sent to training on helping adults create a life they value. The trick is to help adults create a life they want but also help them create a life their support system will, well, support. The trainer advised that we…Read More
Mands, Tacts, and Intraverbals, Oh My!
The first time I heard these words I was in a VB-MAPP training surrounded by (gasp!) special education teachers. That’s right! The district BCBA was teaching a room full of special education teachers how to conduct the VB-MAPP (shocking, I know). There is a huge debate about whether teachers SHOULD be allowed to conduct the…Read More
Self-Determination & Social Skills: Using Goals to Help Students Analyze Behavior
Last year I was sent to Self-Determination (ones ability to make choices and control their own life) for Students with Disabilities training. The presenter discussed how it’s never to soon to ask your child (with or without disabilities) what their goals are and help them create a plan to get there. Your 3 year old…Read More
The Good Behavior Game: What is it, how does it work and what’s the science?
The Good Behavior Game is a PBIS practice that has been around since 1969. It is considered a whole group, tier-one intervention in the PBIS process (meaning it is meant to be used with a whole class). To play the Good Behavior Game, the teacher splits the class into two teams. When a team member…Read More
Just calm down! Breathe!
“Just calm down, breathe!” the teacher was saying as I entered the room to offer support. The student started crying louder. The teacher looked at me upset “I don’t know what he wants and he won’t calm down!” this declaration came as the student landed a punch, right in the teacher’s nose. A teaching assistant…Read More
Zones of Regulation: You (may) be doing it wrong!
It’s the start of a new school year here in Texas and like most teachers, I hopped on Pinterest to see what other teachers were putting together. I started a new position and wanted to see if anyone had used Zones of Regulation with adults transitioning to the community. In case you are not familiar…Read More
Teaching Groupwork Through Cooperative Games
Working in a public school brings its challenges. One of those is group work activities and projects. I often circumvent this by writing into student IEP’s that they can choose to do the project alone. Choosing to do the project alone adds another layer of stress – the kiddo is now in charge of the…Read More
Social Thinking: A Review (from someone who has actually taught it!)
If you follow the academia papers (and really who doesn’t!) you’ve seen this paper on Social Thinking analyzing whether or not Social Thinking is pseudoscience and harmful to those with autism. Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke of Social Thinking responded (you can see it here) that while their curriculum has not been tested in…Read More
PBIS: What is it? What’s the science? And why are people so against it?
If you know anything about education, then you know about PBIS (positive behavior interventions and supports). And if you work in education then you know that there are two definitive camps: people who swear by PBIS and those who don’t. PBIS is based on Behavioral Science principles of the ’60s. The basic (and very simplified…Read More