Using Positive Supports to Manage Behavior in the Classroom

By Kelly Noda, MA, CAS   [email protected]

A few years ago, I encountered a set of notorious twins who challenged my classroom and behavior management skills honed carefully by years of teaching middle school students and parenting a “strong-willed” child. I had no formal ABA training; in fact, I was brand new to the school. I didn’t recall doing anything to merit these 15-year-old sophomores’ placement together in my class, especially in a period that ended up as the last class on Fridays. I’d been warned of their tendencies, their “attention-seeking” antics by my colleagues. Head-shaking, commiserating ninth-grade teachers wished me the perfunctory “good luck” after a disbelieving exclamation of “You have them BOTH in the same class!?”  I can still see the piteous looks on their faces.

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Building Bridges, Linking Lives, and Healing Hearts

By: Elayne Pearson, Special Needs Preparedness Specialist, Author/Life Coach/Motivational Speaker

February brings to my mind cold and prickly weather, but also warm and fuzzy thoughts of Valentine’s Day. It’s a favorite holiday of mine because I think we all need to express our love and appreciation more. Okay, at home, more love and at work, more appreciation.

“Ah love, it’s a grand thing,” Lady Cluck wistfully observes, while gazing at the dreamy Maid Marion in Disney’s Robin Hood, and I truly agree with her.

For years, our home rang with the delightful music and scenes from that show and many Disney classics, because Heidi, our beloved little girl with Down syndrome, adored all things Disney. A few years later her sweet personality shifted into anxious and baffling behaviors (before most had even heard the word autism) and our videos went from being a simple joy — to a deep need of Heidi’s to collect and constantly carry with her.

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Featured Autism Specialist: Walter S. Knauff

Walter S. Knauff, M.Ed, NBCT, CAS, LCSW-C
Clinical Social Worker, Special Educator

City/State:          Silver Spring, MD                             

School/ Organizations:  Private psychotherapy practice; Autism Resource Services, Silver Spring International Middle School (Montgomery County Public Schools)

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First Autism Specialist Certification Designated in Austria

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

December 9, 2015, VIENNA – Melanie Trojan is the first in Austria to complete a training and certification program resulting in the designation of having her Autism Certificate by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). With the rate of autism diagnosis rapidly increasing worldwide, the need for credentialed and licensed autism-related service providers continues to grow every year.  According to the World Health Organization there is an estimated global prevalence of autism at 2 to 6 in 1000.

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“Keep it UP!” Helpful Hints from Hawaii

By Elayne Pearson, Special Needs Preparedness Specialist – Author/Life Coach/Motivational Speaker

It’s dawn. The sun sprinkles glorious golden bronze glitter on the navy blue ocean out beyond our little time-share balcony, or lanai, as they call it here in Hawaii.  My husband, Rod, and I love the Islands, because they transport and replenish us. We love the cultures, foods, and people here.

I’m supposed to relax, but it’s kind of hard, because for over 25 years on any vacation with Heidi, our beautiful daughter with Down syndrome and late-onset autism, it honestly was not relaxing for our family.  We had to watch her constantly.  Thank goodness (out of real desperation) I searched and gradually found drug-free solutions to calm her accelerated central nervous system and level out her baffling emotions.

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Featured Certified Autism Specialist: Marybeth Blanchette

Marybeth Blanchette, MA, CAGS, BCBA, LBA, CAS

School Psychologist, In-Home Behavior Therapist

City/State: Providence, RI

School/Organizations:  Providence Public School Department District Autism Team (School Psychologist), Northeast Behavioral Associates, South Eastern MA Region (In-Home Behavior Therapist)

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“Hand in Hand” with Elayne

Elayne Pearson

From Planting Seeds to Harvesting Success

The other day a neighbor offered me some fresh garden produce and I happily accepted. My husband and I haven’t taken the effort to build up our rather alkali soil to produce a decent garden, so I truly appreciated the gift.

Later, after I saw the box of zucchini squash and some odd looking green bell pepper-looking things, I realized I would need to actually create meals with them. (Silly me, I had imagined my delivery box would contain picture perfect long carrots with the frilly green stems on top like Bugs Bunny eats, and shiny red tomatoes that make any salad or sandwich even better — both requiring little preparation.) Heck, I wasn’t even sure if some were cucumbers or zucchini and if those odd looking green items were mild green bell peppers or hot and spicy peppers. Yet, I felt compelled to use them. You see, I was raised with the old pioneer adage: “Eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

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“All Autism Wedding” to be Officiated by Dr. Stephen Shore

September 25, 2015, SAN DIEGO – International “Autism Expert” and IBCCES (International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards) board member Dr. Stephen Shore will be officiating an “all autism” wedding this Saturday in San Diego. The couple being married, Anita Lesko and Abraham Nieslon, are both on the autism spectrum, and will be joined by a wedding party (ring bearer, harpist, wedding cake baker, groomsman, usher, etc.) who also have ASD.

The two met in the spring of 2013 at an Asperger’s support group. The ceremony is scheduled to take place at San Diego’s Love & Autism: A Conference with a Heart, a conference organized by Dr. Jenny Palmiotto to bring awareness to the fact that every individual – including those on the spectrum – wants to be loved.

“Through the power of love, this conference demonstrates that individuals with autism can have fulfilling and meaningful relationships such as marriage – just like everyone else,” Shore said.

“For two individuals who have gone through their lives feeling alone, it is beautiful that they have finally found companionship and understanding,” Plank, told PEOPLE Magazine in an interview. “It gives hope to those of us on the spectrum who wonder if we will ever find our other half.”

Lesko, 54, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 50, which shed some light for her on why she may have been perceived as somewhat different throughout her life.

“We’re trying to show that autistic children can grow up and have a happy, fulfilled life, just like everybody else,” Lesko told PEOPLE. “It’s not uncommon for people on the spectrum get too comfortable – get in their comfort zone, and it becomes scary for them to step out of their shells. Abraham and I have stepped far beyond our comfort zones to get where we’re at – and in the process, we learned how to be spontaneous.”

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