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.


Autism Awareness Month: 30 Autobiographies in 30 Days

Posted on March 31, 2014 in Autism

If you have been following me on my blog or on Facebook for a few years, you know that I typically use Autism Awareness Month to highlight 30 different supports, tips, or ideas for learners on the spectrum. Since I have done that for so long, I thought it might be fun to “mix it up” a bit and share wisdom from others instead. Therefore, starting tomorrow, I will be featuring books written by experts. Every day of April I will highlight an autobiography that has had a profound impact on my work.

Without a doubt, autobiographies are my favorite way to learn about autism. I have read well over one hundred of them in my career and have used them in my college courses, in my research, and to guide me in …

Flashback Friday: Bring a chapter to life

Posted on March 28, 2014 in Differentiating Instruction

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 and 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 …

Wordless Wednesday

Posted on March 26, 2014 in News


Speaker Spotlight: Katie McKnight

Posted on March 25, 2014 in News

Want to learn some improv skills for the inclusive classroom? Need ideas for cool new apps? Want your vocabulary lessons to have a bit more zip? If you answered “yes” to any of these, you need to come to Illinois Includes and stop into Katie McKnight’s sessions.

Dr. Katie McKnight is an author, educator and consultant. Her career in education began as a high school English teacher in the Chicago Public School system more than 20 years ago. Today, she serves as a professor of secondary education at National Louis University and an onsite professional development consultant for the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Katie is passionate about creating …

So a turtle walks into an inclusion conference…

Posted on March 21, 2014 in News

So last week, I spent two days working with CESA 1 in Wisconsin and the educators, advocates, and families they support. It was a unique experience in many ways. First of all, I got to present at a beautiful nature preserve and we were surrounded by many trees and gorgeous views. Midway through the morning presentation on Friday, we experienced another interesting aspect of presenting at a nature preserve. I was in the midst of sharing research on inclusive schools when there was a bit of murmur in the back of the room. Within minutes, a woman came running in the room calling out …

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