Monday, November 13, 2017

Regulation Rendezvous-- Heavy Work Jobs and Activities.

Many of our students with autism need proprioceptive input embedded throughout their school day to help them feel calm and regulated. One of our favorite ways to embed this input is through the use of proactively scheduled heavy work jobs and activities. Today's Regulation Rendezvous will focus on some of our favorites that we have seen.


Many of the heavy work jobs we see in schools are used during transitions. Students may deliver heavy materials to a designated location such as reams of paper or cartons of books. Other jobs include pushing or pulling a weighted cart from one location to another.

Example of weighted grocery cart
Emily Ottmar
Stevenson Elementary, Mad River

Example of Weighted Pusher
Robbie Whorton
Trotwood-Madison HS, Trotwood 
Tubs filled with recess equipment
Greenmont Elementary


Using a wheeled chair or scooterboard can also provide heavy work input as students propel themselves to their next location.
Scooterboard with back
Tabitha Eaton
Main Elementary, Beavercreek


Some heavy work activities can take place in a designated location. This is especially helpful in instances where students cannot transition independently and staff is not available for a transition job. 


We love this example from Colleen Williams at From the Inside Out and More. Detergent bottles are filled with rice and students can sequence them based on the numbers attached.  
https://fromtheinsideoutandmore.com/

In this example, students sort covered encyclopedias by color.
Emily Ottmar
Stevenson Elementary, Mad River


Some students enjoy completing functional tasks like crushing cans using this can-pactor.
Tracy Click
Dixie Elementary, New Lebanon


Students can also benefit from a heavy work warm up before completing an academic task. A weighted ball toss is a great way to warm up. Students can recite the alphabet or practice skip counting.
Taylor Ruef
Stevenson Elementary, Mad River

Friday, November 10, 2017

Upcoming PD Session: Peer-Mediated Programs to Support Social Competence for Students with Autism


Peer-Mediated Programs to Support Social Competence for Students with Autism


When is it?
  • December 8th from 9:00am-11:30am

Where is it?
  • Miami Valley Regional Center 4801 Springfield Street, Dayton, OH 45431 in Room 300

Who should attend?
  • Professionals working with students with autism including but not limited to intervention specialists, paraprofessionals, psychologists, counselors, general education teachers, and special education supervisors.

What should participants expect?
  • Students with ASD present with unique needs that often are not fully addressed through the provision of traditional classroom accommodations.  Without proper support, these students can find high school lonely and frustrating.  Non-academic difficulties can also cause college students to leave or be dismissed from college due to difficulties with social skills, navigating the academic environment, living independently, etc.  This session, presented by Jennifer Schmidt (BHS) and Heather Rando (WSU) will discuss the coaching models that Beavercreek High School and Wright State University use to support students with ASD, as well as steps you can take to support this population. Learning outcomes of this session include: 
    1. Identify and understand the unique needs students with ASD experience in high school and college.
    2. Identify strategies that can be used in working with students with ASD, and next steps toward implementing an autism support program in your setting. 
    3. Understand the coaching models developed at Beavercreek High School and at Wright State University, and how they are implemented.

How much does it cost to attend?
  • The cost is FREE to all districts who have already signed up for Miami Valley Autism Coaching Team services for the 2017-2018 school year. 

How do I sign up?
  • Contact our secretary Mary Fryman at mary.fryman@mcesc.org or (937) 236-9965 to register

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Upcoming PD Session: Strategies for Teaching Emotional and Behavioral Self-Management

Strategies for Teaching Emotional and Behavioral 
Self-Management


When is it?
  • December 8th from 12:30-3:00pm

Where is it?
  • Miami Valley Regional Center 4801 Springfield Street, Dayton, OH 45431 in Room 300

Who should attend?
  • Professionals working with students with social-emotional and behavioral needs including but not limited to intervention specialists, paraprofessionals, psychologists, counselors, general education teachers, and special education supervisors.

What should participants expect?
  • The MAAP (Making Actions and Attitudes Positive) Team from Vandalia-Butler School District will be presenting their inclusion program. They will be discussing strategies about emotional and behavioral self-management for an elementary and middle school inclusion setting.  They plan to address the following strategies from Zones of Regulation, SuperFlex: A Superhero Social Thinking, Socially Skilled Kids, and The Kid Whisperer.  They will also share Evidenced Based Practices that apply to the MAAP Program.  Participants will be able to discuss situational concerns within their own discipline. Finally, we will offer hands-on time to practice and apply the strategies that were taught. 

How much does it cost to attend?
  • The cost is FREE to all districts who have already signed up for Miami Valley Autism Coaching Team services for the 2017-2018 school year. 

How do I sign up?
  • Contact our secretary Mary Fryman at mary.fryman@mcesc.org or (937) 236-9965 to register

Friday, November 3, 2017

Organization Station-- Collecting Data

When we are out in our districts, many teams are curious about how to collect data. We have seen a variety of different systems and find that different approaches work for different teams. In today's Organization Station, we will be focusing on different methods for collecting data to hopefully give our readers some ideas!















To hold data, many teams have clipboards for each student. They may have multiple pages of data for different areas or all of the student's goals may be listed on one page. This is a great system especially if the data needs to travel with the student to be tracked in various locations.

Example of Multiple Goals on One Sheet
Laura Brown
Perrin Woods Elementary, Springfield

Example of One Goal Per Sheet
Laurie Maravetz
Schaefer Middle School, Springfield 

Example of Scatter Plot Behavior Data
Lisa Bauer
Northmont Middle School, Northmont



Other teams use binders to hold all of the student's important information and data.

Rachel Hatton
Normandy Elementary, Centerville


Many binder systems also incorporate color-coding to make the system easily accessible to grab what is needed at first glance.

Jennifer Jette
Vandalia-Butler High School, Vandalia-Butler

Carrie Prickett
Jane Chance Elementary, Miamisburg

The Intervention Specialist on our team, Allison Officer, also used binders for each student. A quick overview of her binder system is below:
Cover

Communication Log for staff members to share notes and request additional data sheets

The front of each binder included any important documents for staff to reference as needed. The IEP at a Glance was a great tool for reminding staff what the goals and objectives for each student were to keep in mind when working on skills and taking data.
IEP at a Glance

If the student had additional important documents such as a medical or behavior plan those were included next:


Medical Plan and Behavior Plan Flowchart


Then, there was a section for each academic area covered on the IEP. Each section had a binder tab pocket for work samples. These work samples were sent home at the end of each quarter with the student's progress report. Behind each tab, were the progress monitoring sheets specific to each skill being monitored. 
















On the back cover of each binder, Allison included a cheatsheet providing more information about the student in an informal way. This was a great resource for new staff members or substitutes. 

At the end of each quarter, work samples would be collected to go home and data sheets were collected for the data to be tallied. Allison stapled the completed data sheets to a cover page each quarter. These packets were saved as the students educational records. The cover sheet helped organize the progress report process and provided a place to record any information to share with classroom and related service staff members. 





Also keep in mind that data collection doesn't need to be complicated! Below we have featured some of our favorite simple sheets:

This teams data sheet is a copy of the student's sensory folder. Staff circles each icon if the student chooses that sensory support. The data is used to determine the student's sensory preferences.

Lisa Bauer
Northmont Middle School, Northmont

This team also collects data on how often a student attempts or refuses to engage in adult-directed tasks. This simple list system makes calculating percentages for each day easy!

Lisa Bauer
Northmont Middle School, Northmont


Here is another great example of an IEP at a Glance. We love this single page format and simple breakdown of objectives.
Brian Frimel

Monday, October 30, 2017

ALIST Spotlight--Gail Wright, Eastmont Elementary

Today we would like to shine our ALIST spotlight on the lovely Gail Wright at Eastmont Elementary in Dayton Public Schools!

We love Gail because she is kind and nurturing with her students, works well with her paraprofessionals, and excels with limited resources. She is an advocate for students and leader for colleagues and we are happy to have her as one of our Autism and Low Incidence Support Team (ALIST) members!

In her classroom, Gail has many evidence-based practices in place. She works on Self-Management Skills through incorporating Zones of Regulation and creating a calming environment using colored curtains.






She also uses the evidence-based practice of Visual Supports to communicate expectations to students including class-wide and individualized visual schedules,



classroom jobs,


desk reminders,


and hallway reminders.


We want to thank Gail for being such a great example for fellow DPS teachers and teachers around the Miami Valley! Also a big thank you for welcoming us into her classroom. It is a pleasure to work with you!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Around Town Round Up-- Home-School Communication

Communicating effectively with parents is a key component to developing relationships with student families. Many parents value and appreciate daily communication with their child's teacher especially when students have limited communication skills and are unable to communicate about their day independently. Today's Around Town Round Up is dedicated to Home-School Communication. 


For some students, communicating with parents is completely assisted because they are unable to verbally communicate or complete a written report about their day. 
Tabitha Eaton
Main Elementary, Beavercreek



Other students work together with teachers to complete a daily report. Classroom staff completes the fill in components while students can circle picture icons. 


Marissa Calhoun
Fairbrook Elementary, Beavercreek

In some classrooms students complete an entire daily report using cut and paste options, circling or BINGO dotters to mark their responses. 


Home Report from Unique Learning System
(available with subscription)

Daily Recall Sheet
(available for FREE on our BoardmakerShare site... just click link above)


For older students, school-wide agendas can be modified to meet student needs and communicate with parents. 




Parents can also communicate about events during the evening or about weekend activities so students can share in class. 
Weekend Report
(available for FREE on our BoardmakerShare site... just click link above)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Taskbox Time-- Incorporating Interests


Structured Work Systems are a great way to work on students completing tasks more independently. One way to make Structured Work Systems more motivating is through incorporating interests into the taskbox activities. This week's Taskbox Time is dedicated to taskboxes that incorporate student interests. 



Many students love animals. There are a variety of tasks that can be made incorporating animals.
Count out designated number of lion erasers

Package animal figurines in tupperware

Angry Birds Counting Cards
Carrie Prickett
Jane Chance Elementary, Miamisburg
Match animal erasers
Match Blues Clues Memory Cards
Match small and large teddy bear calendar pictures


Some students have an intense interest in coins.
Match coin to purchasing card and place in baggy

Coin sorting


These taskboxes were created for a female student who loved to play dress up.
Packaging necklaces in boxes

Sort hair accessories


Many students love to play with Legos.
Sort Legos by shape


Build Lego person given visual model.

Some students love celebrating holidays. We love these seasonal taskboxes.
candy cane beading
Robbie Whorton
Trotwood-Madison High School, Trotwood

package Easter fidgets in Easter eggs

Here are several additional special interests tasks:
package dinosaur figurines in Tupperware


Preferred environmental print matching

Match small and large weather pattern calendar pictures



We love some of these ideas from around the internet!
Matchbox car name sequencing
FrugalFun4Boys
McDonald's french fry counting out designated set
Breezy Special Ed




Interests can also be incorporated to the Structured Work System through labeling bins with preferred icons such as Disney Princesses, animals, or in the example below Bengals Football.
Carrie Prickett
Jane Chance Elementary, Miamisburg