Want to motivate learners and make lessons memorable? Incorporate the occasional costume to drive your message home. Teach as an atom, a pioneer or as Rosie the Riveter.

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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Flashback Friday: Individualize standards and objectives

Posted on November 21, 2014 in News

Paula Kluth's "You're Going to Love This Kid" DVD cover

One of the most common misunderstandings of inclusive education is that all learners need to have the same learning targets and outcomes. A teacher told me recently, “What will he do in earth science? He can’t even read!”

This statement suggests that we can’t address literacy goals in a science classroom and maybe even that we should not “bother” teaching a child with such significant learning differences about land forms and earth history. The teacher who shared this statement may not understand that we can not only teach skills this child has on his IEP during earth science (e.g., using his augmentative communication device, reading, following directions), but that we can do so in …

Flashback Friday: Bring a chapter to life

Posted on November 14, 2014 in Differentiating Instruction, News

In our book, From Tutor Scripts to Talking Sticks, we recommend that teachers create story kits to provide students with a concrete connection to a story or novel. We have used concrete objects to teach everything from To Kill a Mockingbird to Romeo & Juliet to Stellaluna. This strategy, however, is not only for teaching literature. Textbook boxes can also be created. That is, objects related to a given chapter can be collected and used to teach the objectives in any unit or lesson.

This 3-D chapter was assembled for a chapter on electricity. Objects were used to help students …

Flashback Friday: Text me!

Posted on November 07, 2014 in Autism, News

This idea is from the revised edition of You’re Going to Love This Kid!.

If you have a reluctant writer on your hands, try using daily text messaging as a tool for practicing spelling and composing sentences. Pick a motivating partner (grandma, older student, principal) and set up a system where the two text a note at roughly the same time each day. The “tutor” can ask the student to …

Flashback Friday: Take a breath

Posted on October 31, 2014 in News

Whether you support young children or adults, introducing deep breathing exercises to curb stress and deal with struggles like transitions and schedule changes can be a life saver. Begin by teaching the individual the exercises and then follow up by sharing videos or step-by-step checklists to reinforce the new skill.

You can find a social narrative on using …

More joy in the classroom: 3 ideas

Posted on October 27, 2014 in News

Lately, I have been working with many teams and teachers who are interested in cultivating classrooms that are more responsive, active, and joyful. I have had teachers write me looking for new strategies, contacting me to share their ideas, and seeking resources to further their study in this area. I have written an …

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