If you are concerned that a student does not understand your directions, ask him/her to repeat them back to you or to a peer.

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: Teach organization daily

Posted on April 04, 2014 in Autism

You might provide all students suggestions for keeping things orderly. For instance, instead of asking all students to clear their desks for a test, ask them to “put notebooks right under the desk”. You might give some ideas on how they might organize desk tops, lockers, cubby holes, or backpacks (e.g., “keep your protractor in your pencil bag”) or simply teach an organization system that everyone in the room follows.

In one classroom I visited, the teacher asked all students to stack their …

Day 3: Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism

Posted on April 03, 2014 in Autism

When I met Stephen Shore, I joked to him that I knew his book better than he did. After spending some time with me and doing a few presentations together, he had to agree! I don’t think I have an autobiography more dog-eared, highlighted, or worn than Beyond the Wall. I love so many things about this book but I think I am most drawn to it because in the pages of the book, Stephen starts as a student and becomes a teacher. I really like these two perspectives as it helps me related to learners I support and helps me to consider how a teacher on the spectrum might approach different situations.

What I love most about this book, however, is the …

Day 2: Painted Words: Aspects of Autism Translated

Posted on April 02, 2014 in Autism

Today’s selection is not only one of my teachers, but from one of my friends. However, I am not featuring this book because of that friendship. I am sharing this work because Painted Words is one of the most unique resources out there when it comes to understanding autism “from the inside out”. At first glance, this book does not seem to meet the criteria for this list as it is a poetry collection and an art collection, but Endow also fills this book with compelling prose. Her life stories and experiences are front and center in this text so the reader gets …

Day 1: Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence

Posted on April 01, 2014 in Autism

If you have read my work in the last decade or two, you know that it is peppered with quotes from one of my very favorite books, Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence by Luke Jackson. When I first got a copy of this book, I read it cover to cover and subsequently bought copies for several of my colleagues.

Freaks was one of the first full-length personal accounts written solely by a young person on the spectrum so that made it really unique. However, the reason I was so drawn to the book was the writing. It is so candid and direct, the reader cannot help but …

Speaker Spotlight: Jamie Burke

Posted on April 01, 2014 in Inclusion

I simply cannot express in words how excited we are to bring Jamie Burke back to Chicago. Jamie has presented in our area before but it has been quite a few years, so this is a great opportunity for those who have been wanting to see him but have not yet had the chance.

Jamie is a young man on the autism spectrum who spent the first year of his life without any reliable communication. Using his Lightwriter and typing with the support of his parents and facilitators, Jamie worked hard to learn to type independently and, more recently, to …

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