Allow students with disabilities to take a wide range of classes at the high school level. Psychology? Modern Dance? German? The catalog of possible options should be open to all.

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 18: Lucy’s Story: Autism and Other Adventures

Posted on April 18, 2014 in Autism

Long before I knew about Carly’s Voice, I knew about Lucy’s Story. Lucy Blackman has a story very similar to Carly Fleishman’s in that she lived for years without the ability to communicate and enjoyed an awakening of sorts in her family life, schooling, and opportunities once those around her could finally see her abilities, needs, and challenges.

I really appreciate how Lucy details her reactions to different approaches and supports (e.g., auditory integration therapy). As a teacher, I have learned a lot about sensory issues and movement differences from this book and have really profited from being able to understand how …

Day 17: Carly’s Voice: Breaking through Autism

Posted on April 17, 2014 in Autism

Like There’s a Boy in Here, Carly’s Voice is written by both a parent and a child. Both sections are captivating, heartbreaking, and heartwarming. In many ways, this is a story of a search for support. We learn of a family’s struggle to find help for their young child and of the ups and downs of their quest. In the end, this is a happy story as we follow Carly from her days of silence to the moments of finding her voice to her life as an advocate and self-advocate.

Carly’s Voice is yet another exciting account of a child without reliable communication who gained access to augmentative communication and shocked everyone around her with her competence and complexity. This is the story of many of the books I am reviewing this month including How Can I Talk if My Lips Don’t Move? , I Am Intelligent, and tomorrow’s selection, Lucy’s Story. These books are such an important …

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

Posted on April 15, 2014 in Autism

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

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

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 …

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