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April 2011 Blog Posts (16)

CEC Teacher of the Year 2011

We are in National Harbor MD this week for the annual Council for Exceptional Children Conference. For the past 7 years School Specialty/Integrations Special Needs Division has been the proud sponsor of the CEC Clarissa Hug Award for National Teacher of the Year. This year's TOY is Dr. Donald DeVito. Dr. DeVito is the music…


Added by Cecilia Cruse on April 28, 2011 at 8:00am — 4 Comments

Paradise for Special Needs

I recently ran across a special needs facility in Israel, Aleh,  where children with special needs are not only cared for but where they can grow up and live as adults. This is really an amazing facility that is showing the world how to care for those less fortunate than ourselves. Watch and enjoy!




Added by Ilana, School Specialty PT on April 24, 2011 at 8:30am — 2 Comments

Deep Pressure. DEEP WHAT?!

So, I was flying back from the American Occupational Therapy Association national conference totally floating from being surrounded by occupational therapists that totally LOVE and “get” kids! The guy in the seat next to me, turns to his wife, points to a photo in SkyMall shopping magazine and says, “Look, a dog in a straight jacket. It says it keeps dogs calm.” Then, he TURNS THE PAGE. Not even a seat belt could restrain ME. “You’re right,” I say. “It does… Continue

Added by Sue Wilkinson on April 22, 2011 at 5:30pm — 11 Comments

Join Us at the CEC Convention Next Week!

Come join us at the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Conference National Harbor MD April 25th-28th. This is the largest professional development event geared towards special and gifted education teachers and professionals. We will be in booth 1015 at the Expo Hall and I will be giving a lecture entitled "Sensory Solutions in the… Continue

Added by Cecilia Cruse on April 21, 2011 at 9:00am — 4 Comments

Too Busy? Try "mini-vacations" to ease the stress. They happen in an Instant.

True vacations, while much-needed, are often left off of the busy person’s list of achievements.


We fast-paced, multi-tasking, busy professionals tend to have trouble relaxing.  When we are accustomed to squeezing what feels like 30 waking hours out of a 24-hour-day, it can be hard to slow…


Added by Elaine Taylor-Klaus on April 21, 2011 at 6:00am — 3 Comments

Giving Awareness to Disabilites Through Film!

Challenge the way anyone thinks with this short video...


No need to go any further if your in need of some inspiration. I have truly enjoyed watching some of these amazing videos from the Sprout Film Festival finding myself crying and smiling through them. I had to share this amazing…


Added by Tobi Isaacs on April 21, 2011 at 12:00am — No Comments

Off To Camp We Go!

Looking for a camp for a child with Aspergers or Autism?

Well, you probably don't have to look very far. Your first stop might be your very own local community center or county…


Added by Ilana, School Specialty PT on April 18, 2011 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

3 Quick Solutions for Inclusion with ASD

Have a student with Asperger's in your class?  Wondering what to do about that child with PDD-NOS? Need some help with another student on the Spectrum?  Here are 3 quick solutions that you may want to consider:…


Added by Cecilia Cruse on April 14, 2011 at 8:00am — 5 Comments

10 Year Old With No Lower Arms or Hands Wins Handwriting Contest!

We can all learn from Nicholas Maxim. Perserverence is the key. This 10 year old has no lower arms or hands, but still manages to open, cut, and write. He has written well enough to win a National Handwriting Contest. Nicholas's entry has changed the minds of the staff involved in the contest and they have created a new award called the Nicholas Maxim Special Award For Excellent Penmenship. This award encourages all students to participate. One person CAN…


Added by Tobi Isaacs on April 12, 2011 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

The Wheel of Life

The Wheel of Life is a fun activity that provides a real-time snapshot of how satisfied you are with your life – right now. “Satisfaction” ebbs and flows, so this exercise is like an in-the-moment-satisfaction-meter. To use the wheel:

1) Think about how you feel right now--not yesterday, or last week, or how you think you might feel tomorrow. 

2) Be honest with yourself. Try to avoid answering how satisfied you would like to feel.

3) This…


Added by Elaine Taylor-Klaus on April 11, 2011 at 1:00pm — 10 Comments

Marcus Autism Institute

Tucked away in a suburb of Atlanta is the Marcus Autism Institute started by none other than Bernie Marcus himself. This institute was created to provide information, services and programs to children with autism related disorders, their families and those who live and work with them.

  They offer integrated advanced clinical, behavioral, educational and family support services through one…


Added by Ilana, School Specialty PT on April 11, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments

Inclusion From A Student’s Perspective

Last week my colleague Ilana cited a great fiction book recommendation about a teenage boy with Asberger’s Syndrome. This week I've added another viewpoint from a nonfiction perspective. Check out the amazing book by Daniel Stefanski entitled… Continue

Added by Cecilia Cruse on April 7, 2011 at 8:00am — 9 Comments

Reaping the Full Benefits of Paired Reading

Every day all over the country in elementary classrooms, teachers engage their students in an activity called paired reading.  

Paired reading has so many fantastic benefits for your students.

1. Helps to improve fluency, vocabulary and comprehension

2. Peer support-partners will listen, follow along and provide          assistance

3. Gives teachers the…


Added by Steve Swain on April 7, 2011 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

American Occupational Therapy Association conference in Philadelphia

I am looking forward to two presentations I am part of at the AOTA national convention in Philly next week.

The first is an exciting preconference institute that is taking place right at the Franklin Institute! (an institute at the institute!)  At this session, there will be three occupational therapists and three museum exhibit designers, from Philly, Boston, and Chicago museums.  It should be really fun for participants to learn about adapting the environment and activities in this…


Added by Fern Silverman on April 6, 2011 at 9:30pm — 3 Comments

The iPad And How It's Working For Children With Autism

It's amazing how one piece of technology can do so much. The iPad®, designed to be an advanced mobile operating system, has become incredibly valuable to children and adults with special needs. It used to be difficult for children and adults with hearing loss to communicate, but with the iPad, it has opened up a whole new world using "face time." The…


Added by Tobi Isaacs on April 5, 2011 at 10:30pm — 20 Comments

Autistic Student: Defeating the Odds


It seems like every other child I meet these days is on the spectrum. But what I also am seeing more often these days are kids who are not just surviving but thriving. Here's a…


Added by Ilana, School Specialty PT on April 5, 2011 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

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