Every now and then, surprise students with learning activities that are fun, meaningful, and motivating. How about a Friday afternoon poetry slam? Or a morning of make-your-own math games?

This website is dedicated to promoting inclusive schooling and exploring positive ways of supporting students with autism and other disabilities. Most of my work involves collaborating with schools to create environments, lessons, and experiences that are inclusive, respectful, and accessible for all learners.

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Day 16: There’s a Boy in Here: Emerging from the Bonds of Autism

Posted on April 16, 2014 in News

Theres a boy in here cover FI

Today, Sean Barron is a successful advocate, writer, and journalist, but as a child, he isolated, unhappy, and constantly frustrated. Confused about how to interact with others , he shares that he often felt like an alien—even in his own family.

There’s a Boy in Here-written by Sean and his mother-is such a touching and unique account as we hear family stories from two voices and two perspectives. These dual vantage points helped me a lot in my early days as a teacher, because I had never before considered that the child’s experience could be so different from my own. After reading this book, I would regularly try to …

Day 15: Nobody Nowhere: The Remarkable Autobiography of an Autistic Girl

Posted on April 15, 2014 in Autism

Nobody Nowhere cover FI

I have every book Donna Williams has ever written, but Nobody Nowhere remains my favorite simply because it is the first book I ever read about autism. I was twenty-two, new to teaching, and knew next to nothing about autism. The social worker at my school recommended this book and I read it in one sitting. I highlighted content on nearly every page and bookmarked dozens of passages to share with others. I still have this copy and continue to reference it regularly.

Williams story is not an easy one to read. It is filled with accounts of abuse, pain, and challenges, but it is also beautifully written. I am particularly drawn to the many stories about …

Day 14: Through the Eyes of Aliens: A Book about Autistic People

Posted on April 14, 2014 in Autism

Through the Eyes of Aliens cover FI

Jasmine Lee O’Neill’s book, Through the Eyes of Aliens, is more about explaining the experience of autism than it is about exploring her own life, so while it is in many ways autobiographical, it is a book that does as much teaching as it does revealing.

O’Neill uses her book not to illustrate how autism has shaped her life, but to describe what it is to live on the autism spectrum. She also uses her platform to encourage friends, family and professionals become more sensitive. She has many practical suggestions for reframing behavior, building from strengths, and supporting communication differences.

Above all, this book is about …

Day 13: I Am Intelligent: From Heartbreak to Healing

Posted on April 13, 2014 in Autism

I am Intelligent cover FI

This lovely book is Peyton Goddard’s journey from silence to communication, from segregation to inclusion, and from isolation to connection. After years of struggle, Peyton is finally is able to access her voice via computer keyboard; this book is the story of that experience told in her own words and in the words of her mother, Dianne.

I am Intelligent details the Goddard family’s experiences through joys and sorrows. One of those joys is seeing Peyton graduate from college as valedictorian after she has experienced years of being seen as incapable of learning.

I love so many different things about this book, but her focus on …

Day 12: A Real Person: Life on the Outside

Posted on April 12, 2014 in Autism

A Real Person cover FI

A Real Person by Gunilla Gerland was not published in the US, it is not well known by many readers of this genre. In my opinion, however, it should not be missed. Gerland has a real knack for storytelling and I have shared many of her anecdotes with teachers over the years. Readers of this book with learn a lot about teaching, learning, communication, and connection.

Here is a story I share often when teachers report that their students are …

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