Must Schools Provide Meal Modifications for Students on Special Diets?

Federal laws and regulations require public schools to provide meal modifications through the cafeteria service, at no additional cost, to children whose disability restricts their diet. This includes children with autism who are on special diets due to food allergies, sensitivities, or sensory issues. In this article, we will discuss: How students with dietary restrictions […]

Behavior Issues at School: FBA, BIP, and Seclusion and Restraint

Students with autism may display challenging behaviors that interfere with their education or another student’s education. When this happens, schools should address behavior issues by conducting a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) to create a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). Doing so will help identify why the behavior is occurring and to address it appropriately. Furthermore, schools should make every effort to prevent the need for the use of seclusion and restraint.

Executive Functioning Skills

Executive function is an umbrella term used to describe a set of cognitive skills we use to successfully navigate everyday life. We rely on them to learn, achieve goals, manage emotions, pay attention, organize, plan, and adapt to our environment. While everyone must learn and develop executive functioning skills throughout their life, people with autism often struggle with executive function, requiring accommodations and explicit instruction in order to thrive.

Social Skills and Autism

Social skills are a person’s ability to effectively interact and communicate with others through our words, actions, and body language. Thus, how we adapt to social situations and interactions rely on social skills. Social skills are learned over time but are not always automatic. Consequently, people with autism often need explicit instruction to learn appropriate […]

IEP Transition Planning

One of the core objectives of IDEA is to prepare students for life after high school. Specifically, further education, employment, and independent living. IEP transition services fulfill this objective, and the law requires them to begin the year your child turns 16 years old. Transition is an exciting time when students become part of the […]

Independent Assessments

In order to develop effective goals with your child’s team, you need to know what their strengths and areas of need are. You can determine each by conducting assessments. Assessment is the formal process where professionals analyze data to measure knowledge and skills. While schools perform assessments on a regular basis, there may come a […]

Therapeutic and Communication Options for Speech Issues in Autism

Providing your child with an effective means to communicate their thoughts, opinions, experiences, feelings, and knowledge is essential to creating a meaningful life for them.  While it’s true that navigating speech issues in autism can be challenging, it is important to remember that challenging does NOT mean impossible.  Furthermore, you don’t have to navigate these […]

Homeschooling Your Child with Autism

More parents of children with autism are opting to homeschool for a variety of reasons. In this article, you will information about homeschooling your child with autism, including: pros and cons to homeschooling, curriculum options, how to ensure your child has access to social opportunities, and sample schedules. Requirements for Homeschooling State law regulates homeschooling, […]

Inclusion

Inclusion is a philosophy based on the belief that ALL students belong to their school community. Inclusion gives all students–regardless of label–access to equal opportunities for meaningful participation. To clarify, access to meaningful participation is not limited to social interactions; it includes various curriculum options too. Furthermore, inclusion encompasses all areas of the school. It isn’t something […]

The Fundamentals of Special Education: What Parents Need to Know

In this article, Timothy A. Adams, Esq. discusses what parents need to know about the fundamentals of special education so they can better advocate for their children throughout the IEP process. Federal law defines special education as specifically designed instruction, at no cost to the parent, designed to meet the unique needs of a child […]

Special Education: IEP Tips

An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is the foundation of your child’s education. Many parents feel overwhelmed and anxious about these meetings, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Below, you will find IEP tips to help you successfully navigate the Special Education process, including: Who is included on your child’s IEP Team Tips for […]

Managing Behavior at School: FBA and BIP

Imagine a child in math class, at a time when the students are expected to work independently. With a shout, the child sweeps papers, textbook, and pencils off the desk, drawing stares from peers and an immediate response from the teacher. A number of factors influence what happens after the child’s supplies end up on […]

Inclusion: A Journey So Far & Lessons Learned

By Lisa Ackerman Inclusion – the process of taking a special needs individual and including them in a typical education setting – is a tough, delicate, and extremely complex subject to address. Each situation is unique to the child as well as the desired setting – which can change year to year. This statement can […]