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Monday, March 29, 2010

Hume Region Special Schools' Curriculum - Free Download

Hi Everyone,
The curriculum used in special education settings in the Hume Region, Victoria Australia, is now available to download free from this website. This curriculum is designed for students with an intellectual disability with or without co-morbid physical , communication or social disabilites.
My colleagues, Jill Poole and Jan Hutchings (I'm very proud of them) have been working on this project with other talented teachers, allied medical and regional staff from the Hume Region for 3 years. We have been trialing and modifying the curriculum in our schools for almost all of that time period.
The curriculum caters for the learning needs of our most profoundly challenged students through to those who are successfully included in mainstream settings but require accommodations and modifications in their individual learning plans.
The best thing about the curriculum is that it allows teachers to identify student strengths and plan learning experiences with those strengths in mind, rather than working from a deficit based medical model.
Take a look for yourself.
Click on the picture to start downloading :)

Mrs Pancake - Free Visual Downloads

Hi Everyone,
Have you discovered the Mrs Pancake website yet? I am always on the hunt for sites which provide me with free quality resources to download and use with my Early Years, visual learners and this site certainly fits the bill. Take look for yourself and sign up for the newsletter which lets you know when new materials have been uploaded.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

You Don't Suffer from Aspergers- You Suffer from Other People - Tony Attwood

Teacher Asistants Big Red Book of Ideas - Sue Larkey & Anna Tullemans

Hi everyone,
I am an Autism Spectrum Disorder teaching and learning coach in the Hume Region in Victoria, Australia. I spend part of my week working alongside teachers in mainstream and special education settings, helping staff to implement autism specific, inclusive strategies .
As well as assisting with issues that arise according to individual needs of students and teachers, the teaching and learning coaches in our region also work to a monthly theme.
March is 'Para-professional Month' ! You may call yours teacher assistants, ESS personnel. SSO's or teacher aides. What ever we call them anyone who has worked with one, knows that they are worth their weight in gold.!
This month we are going to look closely at the practices of support staff in classrooms and encourage and celebrate best practices in our region.
A terrific resource to assist in the professional development of support staff is the 'Teacher Assistants Big Red Book of Ideas' by Sue Larkey and Anna Tullemans. You can purchase the book for AUS $45 at Sue Larkey's website, where you will also find a huge range of other resources to support school staff and families living and working with students on the autism spectrum.
For a detailed product description and purchasing details, click on the cover of the book.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sensory Processing Disorder

Hi Everyone,

I have have just finished putting together some readings for a teacher working with a child with sensory issues. Sensory processing disorders are commonly found in students with autism spectrum disorders but can also be present in otherwise typically developing children. These short videos are a great visual introduction to the topic.

Occupational therapists are skilled in the design and implementation of sensory programs based on simple and effective strategies to help students with sensory difficulties become fully engaged in every day living and learning activities.

The best place to start, if you suspect a child has sensory issues, is with a sensory profile. An occupational therapist will be able to analyse the results of that profile and work out an individual action plan.

The best and most effective interventions take place when the activities honour the dignity of the child, the environment supports the needs of the student, activities are playful and child centred and the therapist, home and school work together toward shared goals.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Simple Yoga Poses for Kids - The Incredible 5 Point Scale & More!

Hi Everyone,
I have been in Traralgon for the past few days with the Positive Partnerships team. During one of the sharing sessions a participant offered the site 'The Incredible 5 Point Scale' as one which other participants might like to check out. I'm not sure who it was because I was in a concurrent session but if you let me know I will give you credit :)
The Incredible 5 Point Scale was developed by two American teachers, Kari Dunn Burun and Mitzi Curtios, to share information about cognitive behavioural approaches for stress reduction in students with an autism spectrum disorder.
I am not familiar with their online products for purchase however I was very impressed with some of the free materials on the web site including a simple, free Yoga PowerPoint download for kids.
You will find the download in area 1 ' Other projects and articles' as well as a terrific free, article on how to use a 5 point scale principle with students with an ASD.
Click on the picture to take a look yourself.

While we are on the topic of kids and yoga, I also downloaded these videos from Youtube for a group of very active students in a mainstream class I was working with. The kids loved them. The beauty of these sorts of activities is that they can so easliy scheduled into the school day as quick movement breaks providing opportunities for self regulation for kids with difficulties in that area as as well as emotional and physical health benefits for everyone in the class, including the teacher!

Universal Design for Learning

A is for Autism F is for Friend - Video