Monday, October 23, 2006

Mainstreaming Autism-Spectrum Disorders (ASD) - update 10/23/06 Rough Start to new School Year

Updated March 29, 2017

I was sent (Valerie) this link for a new web site. The magazine provides expert advice from respected professionals about autism and offers solutions for families.

Check it out it is really good!

qualityg for a while has been working with special education children in an educational school system environment. My primary focus is children with Autism-Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Both Newsweek and Time Magazines did articles this month (May 2006) on the subject. There is so much misconception about these disabilities it is frighten especially when it comes to mainstreaming these children into general education settings.

I’m not going to get into the debate of whether or not they should be in a general education class because it is the law, and being a law each child should have the right to learn in the best possible environment.

The biggest problem in the schools is the lack of education/understanding of these disabilities from the general education teachers, administrators, special education teachers and aides. There will be no shortage of children with this disability coming into your schools, just people who are trained. If you don't believe me check with your elementary special education teachers.

No two children are alike with Autism and Asperger’s and they cannot be labeled and categorized into one group when it comes to solutions for treatment and education.
Update 11/01/06Autistic Students Staying in the General Education Classroom

Currently there is an epidemic going on with this disability.
NOTE – Epidemic – I would like to clarify why I use the term epidemic when it comes to ASD. I don’t mean it in the long-established sense that an Epidemic is a “contagious/infectious disease that attacks people at a brisk pace and induces fear in the general public like the Plague, Swine Flu or the most recent AIDS.

ASD is a Disability and not a Disease and it is not contagious. So is it fair to say ASD is spreading like an Epidemic? In my posting I say yes for the simple fact that far too may cases have been reported and continue to be reported each day. If perception is reality (as I believe it is), then ASD is an Epidemic.

In addition my writings will not debate the causes, symptoms and *criterion* for Autism. All I know is that many school children are afflicted and my purpose is to learn and apply my knowledge to help others gain a Quality education.

CRITERION: I must mention this term because it produces many more falsehoods than truths when it comes to people or groups using statistics and numbers to make their point/case. Please be careful when Criteria often changes (i.e., ASD) when it comes to comparing sample groups. Believe me when numbers or criteria that do not have the same “STANDARD” data set chaos and falsehoods develop that create more problems than they do solutions. This is a common practice in business when people’s backs are against the wall and they need to prove their innocence or deceit at the expense of others. Some people are just ignorant to statistics and sample criteria and sizes and will believe any numbers that serve their purpose.

Rather than me try to explain I am adding some Web Sites and a Video I watched this morning that was shown last week on MSNBC
- two videos
Don Imus Introduction (1.29 minutes)
Autism Every Day (13.20 Minutes)

Informational Web Sites:

The following site called Cam's Voice is wriiten by the mother of a ASD boy. Follow their journey as Cameron goes through his treatments and the strides he makes to help find a cure.
If you know of someone who has an Autistic Child or a child with Asperger’s Syndrome please take the time to learn and educate yourself on the disabilities.

Please pass on this link to others who may need to more on this subject.

Updated 7/20/06 - I have received some Emails asking for more information about mainstreaming. Here is "one" method that has been proven effective.

The following is practical example of mainstreaming a child (2 -4 grade) with Autism-Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and ADHD.

The following social behavioral/academic report of observations of an autism-spectrum disorders (ASD) over a school year. The information and facts provided is of the common cause type (not one time incidents). Common cause behavioral type refers to those activities that are considered trend (consistent over time) type information and data that is part of the child’s normal behavioral system.

The intention of this report is to be educational in nature to help Special Education Aides, Special Education Teachers, General Education Teachers and any other person or group that has an association with Justin to better understand his disabilities (Autism-Spectrum Disorder (ASD) & Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder - ADHD) in order for him/her to learn in the general education classroom.

To educate a child with Autism-Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be a slow and laborious on-going task that requires many people (teachers, administrators, parents) over time to work together (Interdependence) to accomplish. To destroy this effort can be done by the ignorance of one person.

Failure to understand the reported actions will result in frustration and anger for both child and the particular teacher or caretaker at the given point in time.
The name (Justin) used in this report is Fictional. Many of the examples listed are from a number of different ASD students.

The Goal is simple, create a learning environment for Justin, his classmates and teachers, any less is failure in learning for all involved. There must be a balance between academic and social behavioral learning.
The Objectives are a few --> Inclusion, Socialization and Independence from "Me" by the end of 6th grade.
This report will be on going in nature so that improvement action plans can be developed and implemented on behalf of Justin, his classmates and his Teachers.

Please remember, complex disorders require a boatload of patience and complex resolutions and solutions.

Behavior – Learned or Disability?
A question that often arises is whether or not the behavior Justin is displaying is learned (can be changed) or part of his disability (that is just the way it is). The following is an actual scenario that plays out frequently (daily/weekly) that can be used for analysis:

“Being fair does not mean giving everyone the same thing. Being fair means giving everyone what they need” – Richard LaVoy

Case Study - 2005/2006 School Year

Many days Justin comes to school in a bad mood or is very tired (this is not unusual for an Asperger’s child). This requires a combination of bringing him around slowly while expressing delight to see him and convincing him I am there to help him through the day. If no prevention is taken at this point you will have a very difficult day.
Turning behavior cards or threatening him with quiet time or missing specials will not deter his behavior (it will make it worse) if an outburst occurs. He really does not care about joining in the current situation because at this time he has no desire to do anything except what he wants to do.

Dependency on me to prevent/correct the situation is a daily occurrence. Some say this is good, some say this is bad. I say my job is to change or improve Justin’s social behavior at the same time making sure he learns and does not stop the learning process for other students.

If I am working with other children in the Resource Room (or assisting teacher in general education room) I can see him watching me out of the corner of his eye to see if I am observing his actions. Ignoring him does not work because he will do one thing (noises, not listen, misbehave) after another, each occurrence growing in negative behavior than the one before it. Many times it will get so bad that class students begin complaining and class must be stopped. He knows at this time I will eventually be forced to stop what I am doing and provide him the attention he is seeking. I have tried different tactics to correct this behavior. The best (not always) is for me to leave the room and work with different children or do a task outside of the Resource Room. Sometimes this works and other times he will refuse to work with another aide or teacher. I have no better solution now other than to keep working with Justin one on one so that the whole (teachers/students) benefits and not just one piece (Justin).

Justin is a very determined young boy bound to put forth intense control over his life and his environment. Any interruption that clashes with his mission, results in extreme resistance in the form of verbal abuse, anger, shouting, throwing pushing objects, stomping away, falling to the ground and crawling under a chair or table, crying, screaming and total rejection to what is being asked. I often tell Justin the score is Mr. Lipton 110 (days in school), Justin 0. I suppose there were a few ties but I never let him leave school without knowing who is in charge and why he is in school (to learn).

How does one handle these types of situations? Prevention is the key. The only way you can prevent these outbursts is to communicate (both verbal & visual), listen, watch, understand (disability), not quickly to judge and have a passion for what you are doing. Anything less is just surviving day-to-day. Use of rewards and prizes often will result in a “short-term” change that can have “long-term” negative results. Knowing when and how is the key, this comes with experience and day-to-day practical application.

Caution – When too many people (teachers, aide, special ed, psychologist, social worker, speech) are trying to do what they think is best for Justin it often results in misguided behavior. For example, Justin has received up to three rewards/prizes from three different people in a single day. While this may work for short-term relief, I'm not sure of the benefit over the long-term. The Special Education Instructional Aide should be in control of this type of scenario.

So, is the above information and facts learned behavior or part of his disability (you can actually ask that question with everything mentioned in this report). I do not have enough knowledge at this time to form concrete conclusions, all I know is if the negative behavior is allowed to solidify and seem positive to Justin then yes indeed it is part of his disability. After all it is his disability that negates him to reason right or wrong in any strategic thought, it is just a neurological response to a fear, anxiety or dislike to himself or his environment.


Heights (stairs/recess equipment) – When there is more than one flight of stairs Justin will switch sides from right to left or left to right. Having Justin at the end of the line (five steps behind person in front of him) is best because he also has coordination problems (turns head while walking and does not stop when line does thus bumping into the person in front him.

Short Steps (both feet on same step) causes Justin to take short quick steps and to look down while walking.

I am working with Justin to walk up and down stairs one foot at a time. He will now walk one foot/step at a time when no one else is on the stairs.

Justin recently (April 2006) conquered his fear of jumping off outside recess equipment (5 feet). Last week (April 2006) I was able to jump with Justin and now he does it by himself daily.

Boy Clowns – Justin started the year with a general fear of clowns. He now (March) only fears boy clowns and we put our heads down when we see a clown in a book or in class, we are making this a type of game that I hope will also remove his fear of boy clowns. Unicorns were another fixation fear, but we seemed to have eliminated this as a fear by using them in stories and drawing pictures. Letting Justin know that girls love them too also helped with this fear.

Bugs – Most insects/bugs will cause distress. However, Justin has a fondness for “Rolly Pollys,” and we often look for them under rocks.

Thunder & Lightening – Translates into anxiety. Demonstrating strength and no fear helps Michael cope with this problem.

Cats – Allergies (loves his Dog “Frenchy”).

Nuts – Justin does a great job at questioning all types of baked goods and candy to make sure they do not include nuts.

Fire Alarms – An unplanned fire alarm caused Justin to become frightened and display actions of panic. I recommend taking Justin by the hand, reassuring him that nothing will happen as long as he stays with a teacher or aide. Having him hold hands with a classmate also helps in relieving the stress.

Classroom Avoidances/Prevention

Colors – Justin is fixated on the color blue (dark). When blue is not available green is the next logical choice, followed by red. Debating this issue with Justin can result in frustration and anger unless you do prevention communication with teachers (very important to let teachers know this fixation since Justin will generally start calling out for a color blue item (paper, objects, etc).

Example – Since the beginning of the school year during “Red Word” exercises in Phonics the choice is either a red screen or white screen. Justin will become angry and refuse to work if he has a white screen causing a major disturbance in class. Knowing that this is done on Tuesday and Thursday it is important to do prevention counseling (I carry a red one, we won’t use white) prior to entering classroom has helped with this problem. Watching me one day using white screen to draw silly pictures has reduced this problem. While still disliking white screens he actually used it once last week (April 2006) and continues to do so if he is prepared. It has to be done when he is ready; any effort to force this situation is a result of not understanding his disability.

Coordination – Prevention is the best policy. When classrooms are crowded with students and desks it is important to problem solve and discuss options for handing in papers and logistics when moving around the classroom. It is important to continue this practice since Justin is currently the biggest boy in his class and does not know his own strength.

Flapping – A common autistic physical characteristic. While walking in the hall or in the classroom Justin will flap both arms. Prevention and immediate correction helps with this problem. Having him carry a book or object also helps with this attribute.

Legs – While sitting in his desk Justin will also flap his legs in rapid motion. I often inform Justin that I cannot hear the teacher and he usually will stop action.

Spinning – this is another form of flapping, stop action immediately, counsel for future prevention (hurt someone), most times it will just happen (learn about the disability)

Change/Sudden Change (i.e., substitute teacher, schedule, classroom seat, going from printing to cursive, locker, place in line, etc.) without prevention or explanation = anger/frustration and negative behavior.

Example – When moving from learning to print letters to cursive was a major change that requires patience, understanding, praise and prevention techniques. When first learning to write a new letter Justin will become frustrated and have an outburst if he can not do it correctly the first time. Having Justin practice the letter in a separate folder helps sometimes. Other techniques are to write the letters with him until he feels comfortable. I also purposely write the letter worse than he does to show him I am not very good at times too.

Justin has excellent handwriting skills, his letters are a work of art and he is quite proud when he learns a new letter.

Expectations – A major igniter/red flag is when Justin has an internal expectation or one is set by an external person (aide, teacher, friend, schedule, Dr. appointment, speech, agenda, etc.) and it does not happen on time or in the proper sequence, this causes major problems and damage control must happen quickly. Trying to hide it, cover it, lie or distract him will not work and will only add fuel to the fire. Constant precise communication and any type of prevention communication is the key. Explaining sensible delays like assemblies, traffic, other students, sickness will tone down many outbursts. Do not assume he will not notice!

Multi-Function Commands – Evidence of multiple handouts, work and long drawn out instructions will result in frustration and shut down. Prevention by handling handouts, breaking down work into segments and letting him know that you are there to help him will lessen this stressor. Justin likes to know the order of work and what comes next when completed (i.e., snack or lunch or next class). Beware of sudden change or additional work, quick explanations or just letting him do the work later in the Resource Room works best rather than expecting him to finish in class.

Printing/Writing Sentences – Justin will begin to get frustrated/overwhelmed when writing five sentences or more and long sentences. He can only comprehend 3 –4 words to short-term memory when writing sentences after being stated by his teacher.

To help with this problem I will write the sentences on a different sheet a paper allowing Justin to copy the sentences. In addition, when he begins to shutdown after five sentences or more I will make a deal to write every other one to keep him focused.

Darkening Handouts/Dittos – Often times handouts/dittos are hard to read or lines or words are cut off, it will help keep Justin on track if you add the words and darken the appropriate letters or lines. While this may seem unreasonable to many it is critical to keep Justin interested and focused on his work so that he can keep up with his classmates. There is a thin line in doing too much, but you will realize after a period of time when he is manipulating or needs help. Please understand this problem is part of Justin’s fixation to have everything just right before starting his work.

Paper – Another item of anxiety and outburst for Justin if he receives a paper that is crumpled or bent, he will refuse to use it and will often throw, crumble, tear or push the paper to the floor with a verbal outburst. A wet paper (if he sneezes) will also cause a similar reaction. Try and prevent this situation by understanding Justin’s fine motor skills. Folding and cutting paper is not a strong point and it serves best to work with him on these tasks. I also carry extra paper, books, crayons and other supplies to reduce Justin’s frustration for not having everything perfect.

Spelling Tests – This was on-going problem for Justin since the beginning of the school year. Once Justin could not spell a word he would shut down and refuse to complete the test. One solution that has worked well is to allow Justin to “X” out words he does not know (beware that he does not try to X out words before he hears the word). I also give him extra examples and help with some words to keep him on track. For those words he does not know I write them down and cover him later in the Resource Room.

Math – Math is another subject that will cause Justin to shut down because of the many changes (add/subtract, measure, tests, etc.) that can take place in one lesson plan. When Justin begins shutting down it is best to work with him on problems to keep him focused. If he falls behind I tell him not to worry and we complete the assignment in the Resource Room.

Art/Music – Justin usually does well in these classes but he needs to keep on task and not mimic comic behavior by other students (Justin does not know when to stop).

Art can some times be a challenge so I assist him and others with difficult assignments. Be aware of wet, clammy (i.e., wet clay), and mushy art projects. It is best to talk to art teacher and have Justin help a fellow student or draw a picture during this project time.

Music – Justin will join in on most occasions, he will move away from others when he does not want to participate (i.e., sitting by music teacher singing). Loud music and jumping may cause him to get excited and overload. Communication with music teacher and preventing outbursts need constant attention.

Library – This can be a very overwhelming place for Justin – Be aware that Justin will look for books on trucks, elephants, trains and dinosaurs. He will be slow so it is important to stay with him to get a book quickly. If left alone he will circle the library many times before finding a book. He knows where evry one of these types of books are located; if moved or missing he will immediately go to the librarian.

Gym/Recess/Assemblies – Justin’s sensory perceptions are at a much greater rate than the general student. His filtering system often gets overloaded with loud noise, rapid movements or loud music. It is important to be aware of these sensory perceptions to allow him to leave an environment that will eventually result in an angry outburst. One of the signs to watch for is when Justin covers his ears. Prevention is key by explaining the situation to Justin prior to entering the environment.

One day a week Justin has lunch recess and then gym immediately afterwards. Depending on the gym activities Justin may need a cooling down time. I usually take him to the Resource Room and give him a 5-10 minute break (by himself) before starting afternoon studies.

Substitute Teacher = Frustration, if prevention (preparing Justin) is not done prior to entering the classroom (this also includes gym, art and music). It also helps to explain to sub prior to class that you are in the class to help with Justin and that you will offer suggestions if required.

Tests (general) – Taking tests that include long sentences or story problems will not be “attempted” without assistance. You have a 50/50 percent chance.

Major Outburst/Meltdown – Stay Calm, he will feed off your emotions and anxiety. Continue normal business if you can and let him blow off his steam and anger (hopefully in a contained room). Limited verbal communication should be used at this time. When outburst is over, counsel and explain actions and suggest a better way to handle situation (tell aide first what is troubling you so that he/she can help). Please see more on this subject at end of report.

Games – Do not assume Justin can be left alone during the playing of games. He can become very agitated and disruptive to the game if he is knocked out first. It is important to monitor (not hover) the game and do some prevention counseling prior to the start of the game.

Schedule – It is very important to show (point to board or your notebook) and write down the daily schedule for Justin first thing in the morning. Justin’s teachers are very good about putting the daily schedule up on the board. Providing Justin with this information gives him a sense of ownership.

Territorial – If Justin has an assigned seat (any room) and change occurs expect him to be confrontational. Example, In the Computer Lab the whole class (normally half) attended because of a scheduling change. The teacher asked the even number (student number) of students to take a computer. Justin being an odd number became upset that another student was in his normal computer seat and “demanded” that she move to another seat. I walked over to Justin and reminded him this student is always very nice to him and that he hurt her feelings. Justin gave up his seat and told the girl he was sorry. He is very sensitive to his peers feelings.

This was a learning experience because I should have anticipated this scenario. Once I knew the whole class would be attending preventive action could have been done by explaining the situation to Justin and telling him this would provide him the opportunity to sit with one of his other friends.


Justin will respond positively to the following items and objects in any form (i.e., books, toys, stickers, pictures):

Likes to help teachers and classmates (passing out papers, collecting items)
Likes to work and play with classmates but on his terms, which causes disruption. It is hard for Justin to transition from one play activity to another like his classmates.
Trucks (especially construction vehicles)
Jeff Gordon
Prizes from Resource Room
Positive Reinforcement
Humor and jokes (knock-knock)
Playing with friends and being chased
Learning how to conquer fears (i.e., heights, jumping,)

PLAY - I think this is an area that needs to be looked (Researched) at as a form of learning and understanding ASD. When I play with Justin and the other boys on the spectrum I have a much more successful rate in trying to get them to learn and change their behaviors. PLAY seems to let them be more free in their motions and reactions to the triggers (Good and Bad) in their environment. The problem is the schools see PLAY as a from on non-education unless it is structured within a formal class. Perhaps PLAY should be a formal class combined with learning for ASD - Thoughts??

Sensory/Motor/Physical/Behavioral/Social Observations
Remember the definition for ASD - The central features are severe and sustained impairment in social interaction and the development of restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interest and activity.

This is most prevalent during non-structured activities and activities of excitement (lunch, recess, gym, art, music). In addition, especially during lunch and recess when there is less adult supervision (aide goes to lunch and recess with Justin allowing him freedom to socialize and interact with peers). More of a monitoring role and not supervision. This is an excellent environment for learning and correcting social skills.

Please understand that many of the motor movements listed below is part of the disorder, think of it as a “necessary release” much like when we have a sneeze or an itch that must be addressed.

Quick to Anger, Quick to Forgive (Sorry & a Hug).
Verbally Abusive with outbursts (i.e., Stupid, Never, I’m not listening, Make me, Shut-Up, I don’t like you).
Challenges new directions from teachers until he is comfortable (i.e., learning to print/write new letters).
Shows Shyness when meeting new people. However, he loves to introduce himself.
Displays touch aversion. Justin will pull away from any show of affection unless initiated by him.
Becomes disruptive when not center of attention (especially if aide is working with other students).
Toe Walking (sporadic)
Heavy Foot Walking
Immature acting
Stomach (i.e., gas, diarrhea), gut permeability
Difficulty determining proper body space (i.e., turns head while walking and bumps into others)
Chews top of shirt
Mood swings from defiant to helpful
Will stay in back of line regardless of order (see # 12, keep him five steps behind person in front of him)
Will often switch from left to right when ascending and descending more than one flight of stairs.
Mimics other behavior, especially silly/negative and does not know when to stop.
Peeling/Picky – If he sees something peeling like paint or glue or skin or paper he will want to peel it off. Picky clothing is a major distraction, forcing him to wear something that does not feel/look right is an invitation for an outburst.
Reading Good, Comprehension Bad, Long-Term Comprehension Awful. Do not be fooled to think after he reads/hears a sentence he can immediately re-write or recite back.
Self-Stimulation – genitals – no, sometimes puts hand down back of pants, nose – congestion and runny nose common, very good at using Kleenex.
Echolalia – Very limited, must correct immediately or he will continue. Will quote lines from movies/TV.
Attention Deficit – somewhat, but not major in my opinion (compared to other so-called normal second grade boys), sense of awareness because of his disability, easy label.
Ritualism – Yes, many examples in this report.
Perimeter Walking – Yes! Many folks do not understand that he needs to be on the outside looking in, this includes lines, desk seating, assemblies, gym class, music class, etc… (know it, understand it, and allow it).
Medication – Started Medication on 5/18/06 – 10 days will be monitored for Medication Chart – Provide results to Mrs. Special Ed so she can report to parents.
Therapy – Presently underway at the Center.
Authority – Justin has difficulty following rules and policies from adult figures in school (especially women).
Long – Justin knows the meaning of this word. When he hears this word he immediately decides not to do the work (i.e., sentences). If he sees the word “long” one a math problem (i.e., Long Task) he will “X” it out and refuse to do the problem. The only solution I have at this time is to do the work with or without Justin hoping that he will listen to the problem and solution.
“Splinter Skills” – Justin’s gross and fine motor skills are excellent (i.e., writing/printing) in some areas but poor (i.e., tie shoes) in others.
Body Language – Until Justin gets to know you and understand your meanings he has limited ability to read your body language. He also has difficulty matching his own body language with his own words.

The following section is based on the teachings of Brenda Smith Myles

Rage/Meltdown Cycle – It is very important to understand this type of occurrence. There will be no teachable moments during this cycle. The following will help to better understand:

Stage 1: RumblingMost important stage, building up to rage, some thinking ability still intact.

Sample Rumbling BehaviorsFidgeting
Refusing to cooperate
Voice changes
Rapid movements
Verbal threats
Making noises
Tapping foot
Ripping papers
Tensing muscles
Clearing throat
Name calling
Tapping pencil

Rumbling InterventionsAntiseptic bouncing
Support routines
Proximity control
Providing praise/empathy
Defusing through humor
Signal control
Redirect to area of interest
Walk and don’t talk
Touch control
Home base (Resource Room)

Stage 2: The Rage Stage
This is the lightening stage when the neurotransmitters are not working correctly. The child or youth may shout, swear, kick, or hit. He or she is clearly out of control.
Rage Stage Behaviors
Internalizing behaviors
Acts impulsively
Destroying property

Rage Stage InterventionsProtect the student
Remove the audience
Follow a plan
Protect the environment
Be nonconfrontational
Obtain assistance, as needed
Protect others
Disengage emotionally
Prompt to home base
Discipline doesn’t work
Use few words
Plan a graceful exit

Stage 3: The Recovery StageThe child or youth may sleep. He/she may apologize or be contrite. Withdrawal may occur; a fantasy world may be the target. The student may deny meltdown. Some do not remember what happened during the Rage Stage.
Recovery Stage Interventions
Redirect to successful activity
Consider the child “fragile”
Provide space
Present interventions at child’s level
Support with structure
Check to see if child is ready to learn

Stage 4: After the Recovery
Teach new ways to handle problem situations

Source: Brenda Smith Myles – University of Kansas

I would like to share a Poem I wrote after observing two children (Justin & Jerry) at lunch recess (SHINE IN LINE):

At 11:45 we start to get antsy while he smiles like an old gray fox
At noon we go to our lockers and get our Sponge Bob lunch box
He then checks our shoelaces and pulls up our socks.

Then it’s back to class and get called in to line
We shuffle to the back because he said that’s where we shine
He walks with us quietly and whispers all will be fine.

As we walk quietly in line headed to the lunchroom we go
We then search for a place at a table where a friend might show
While the man who is with us sits across the room laying low.

Often times we don’t eat and we just play with our food
Then the lunch lady turns and signal to the man that we are being crude
He then stands where we can see; and gives us the “Look” we best eat before he gets in a mood.

After we eat we go to recess, sometimes it’s in, but we hope it’s out
It all depends if the flags are green hanging about
Yellow means stay inside then we groan and pout.
Today we go outside and play on the playground equipment
We hope a friend will stop and play even if for a minute
But most of the time we play alone and it seems to be infinite.

At 12:35 the whistle blows loud and sometimes we cover our ears
You see the decibel and noise level brings out some fears
But we know we are safe because our guardian is always near.

Another lunch has come and another has gone by
Sometimes we get into trouble and sometimes we cry
But mostly we wonder about friends and ask him WHY?

After we line up we will try not to talk and to stay in line
Then our teacher meets us and says you all look fine
And the man who walks behind smiles and says we shine!

To see a qualityg Post on NCLB and Children w/Disabilities go to

Update 3/26/17

The following resources are very informative: - "Keep It Simple"

2006/2007 School Year
For More on School Year 2006/2007 go to -

For information on my time spent at Dual Disabilities Summer Camp (2007) go to -
To read all my posts on ASD please CLICK the ASD LABEL below this post and they will all pop-up.


Anonymous said...

Great Information, thank you for posting those sites.


ebaathletics said...

I came to see if you had updated your basketball ramblings and was pleasantly surprised to read your autism article. I was very impressed with your understanding of the child in question. I am a special education teacher that works with mild to moderately disabled students. I am the 8th grade case manager and have several students i take out for two classes of inclusion. This is the first year I have done inclusion because prior administators have deemed it necessary to have our children in totally separate settings, even though they wouldn't admit to as much. I just wanted to say that I appreciate your view on the child that you were talking about. It is very easy to get frustrated with a child and not recognize that their disability may force them to make decisions that are not rational to the teaching population as a whole. Thanks and hope your year is off to a great start. Jeff

ebaathletics said...

I normally post under trackman06. i just realized i posted under my other persona. I keep my middle school athletics blog up as well. Cya soon. Jeff

Anonymous said...

As I read your comments regarding autism today, I am confused at your statement that a one-on-one special education aide is more important than one (more) Admin Assistant?

Are you directing your observations towards administration in general or your idea of a secretary just answering the phone?

As one of two Admin Assistants to 800 students, 45 teachers and a public liasion to 1,600 parents, I take offense to your statement.

It is fact that we only have a school nurse 20 hours a week for 8 schools. I am now responsible for maintaining health plans for students with serious illnesses such as diabetes, heart conditions and asthma. I maintain the immunization database, I administer first aid, and medicate students. I trouble shoot student problems for the counselors, file truancy paperwork and process paperwork so students can receive free and reduced lunch. I am also the person maintains all the financial aspects of the entire school, including payroll. This is just a small snapshot of what an Admininstrative Assistant is responsible for in a school setting.

Without the Adminstrative Assistant in many school buildings, students would not be enrolled, scheduled or have the supplies needed to start their school year.

It is my belief that most support positions are not recognized as one of the more important entities in the education organization.

An Admin Assistant may not seem to you as "front-line" as an Aide to a disabled child, but I can assure you that in my school district that there is no great stockpile of underutilized Admin Assistants who service our 4,500 students. We are all child advocates.

I would welcome your clarification and input regarding this very important subject matter.

qualityg says said...

Below is the paragraph in question,

"What about School Districts who don’t provide a Follow-Me-Aide for the autistic child. How can you expect a Teacher to do his/her job? One Follow-Me-Aide is worth more than one Admin Assistant to the final product (educated student) in a School District. Just like one hourly skilled worker who does the job day in and day out with the product is worth more than any District, Divisional or Vice President in a large/big organization."

My reference to Admin Assistants is in correlation to those who work at the School Board District Office as opposed to those that work on the front lines in the school, just as it relates to the hourly worker compared to the many many middle to upper level managers that support the hourly worker (i.e., factory, payroll unit, utility worker, etc..) but in times of trouble the hourly worker who helps produce the product is let go much more often.

Years ago my company downsized our Admins to us corporate workers (Staff). I did not like it because it caused me to do my own reports, presentation slides, supplies, etc... As much as I did not like the decision it was more important to keep a worker who sold or made our product.

I agree that the 1 or 2 Admins in the school are just as important (more so in many cases)as anyone icluding the Principal, Teachers, Aides, etc...

Eric said...

Hi, just wanted to post a quick message about a 'breakthrough' we've found with our son.
Organic acid test and urine analysis, pointed to an inability to metabolise essential fatty acids, so we have started using carnitine. Within a few days, dark circles under his eyes are virtually gone, and his attention has gone up considerably.
I can't remember which university it was, but they are carrying out field trials on a special efa preparation that combats this problem, and their research leans towards this being a very significant issue with child autism.

Anonymous said...

Your Poem is so nice. Thank You for Sharing and thank you for working with our special kids.


Anonymous said...

I shared this information with my son's one on one aide.

very helpful information.

Anonymous said...