Autism Awareness Month - Tips for whole team collaboration to treating the whole child

The number of students with autism on our caseloads is rising. It can be difficult to manage all of the different students that present in many different ways with different needs. This is why a whole team approach is critical in treating children with autism. For anyone who regularly treats children with autism we have all had those cases where we feel stuck. We feel like we are not making adequate progress and feel frustrated. Being in regular communication with all members of the IEP team can help us from this feeling of getting stuck and can also help us to a faster solution and faster carryover to all settings.

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Ways to improve communication with co-teachers

When I first started the Teaching Fellows program five years ago, I was nervous about my first day in the classroom, as many educators are. I knew what kind of teacher I wanted to be, but I was not sure what to expect when school started. A asked a good friend of mine, who had been working as a teacher’s aid for several years, for advice. She told me, “It’s not the kids you have to worry about - it’s the adults.” At first, I didn’t believe her, but I and the 100+ other Fellows in the program soon found out she was correct.

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Making Guardians and Educators Feel Important, Included, and Heard

When I was a new SLP, I worked for an organization that emphasized a “Get In/Get Out” philosophy to therapy. Most of our effort was to go toward the treatment of the child, with little concern to guardian or teacher input. In this approach, once you had the standardized testing results, you had all the information you needed; outside input was relegated to other standardized measures, grades, and background medical information that might impact the possible outcome of therapy.

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Ways to Improve Communication with General Education Teachers

The Importance of Strong Communication and Relationships in a School Setting

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Staying in the Loop

As speech-language pathologists, we oftentimes find that we can be overlooked during the RTI process, IEPs, and as an overall resource for general and special education teachers. This can result in frustration and a lack of overall efficiency. It’s important that we remain known and included so that students can receive the best and most appropriate services possible and as efficiently as we can. Below are some tips for remaining in the loop:

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AAC: Infusing Core Vocabulary Across Settings

“Choose your words wisely” is an expression often said as a reminder of the great power, influence, and impact our words hold. The specific words we choose to express our thoughts, ideas, opinions, personalities and have the ability to shape and alter our surroundings. In the context of Alternative and Augmented Communication (AAC), “choose your words wisely” takes on a whole new level of importance as individuals who use AAC are often limited by a finite amount of words to express an infinite amount of thoughts, emotions, and opinions.

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Autism: Building Friendships

Most people find making new friends to be a bit challenging.  There’s feelings of anxiety about approaching others and trying to introduce yourself. There’s concern about how you will be accepted or perceived. Think back to the last time you made a new friend.  What was that like for you?

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