Create a classroom environment where students feel safe making mistakes, taking risks and trying new things.

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.


Idea #25: Take a breath

Posted on April 25, 2013 in Autism

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…

Idea #24: Wait a minute

Posted on April 24, 2013 in Autism

Many individuals with autism have delays in response time. Learn to wait for a response before giving another cue or asking another question.

If the person has problems with processing, it can be very challenging when directions are given several times in quick succession. For some individuals, these second and third directions can feel like interruptions as the person works to process the first direction and provide a response. In some cases, the individual may need to “reboot” and start processing anew with every new cue or reminder.

To be respectful and supportive, try to…

Idea #23: Whisper

Posted on April 23, 2013 in Autism

Use a calm, quiet voice as much as possible, especially if the individual is upset. Many on the spectrum report that whispers are calming and comforting as well as easier to…

Idea #22: Create an agenda

Posted on April 22, 2013 in Autism

This last set of ideas was inspired by the content in You’re Welcome, a book on inclusive practices that I wrote with Patrick Schwarz a few years back. This title is actually three mini-books sold as a packet that features content on differentiated instruction, collaboration, and positive behavior supports.

Tools like learning agendas provide great opportunities for differentiation and individual support. During any given unit, teachers can have all learners exploring the same content, but potentially with slightly different goals and targeted outcomes. On this agenda, the personalized instructions include assistive tech supports as well as personal supports to help this child complete assigned work.

Learning agendas like this one are great solutions to meet the individual needs of all students in a differentiated classroom, but they are especially helpful for…

Idea #21: Inclusive community-based instruction

Posted on April 21, 2013 in Autism

If your students really need community-based instruction, they need not miss out on their inclusive education in order to get it.

Look for regular opportunities for all students to…

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