If I had a student with autism in my classroom I would use several research-based practices to help build a strong school-family partnership.

My reaction to the Video Families of Kids with Autism Talk about Their Successes is that it is very useful to new parents of a child of autism.  I like that the video showcases a program called the Princeton Child Development Institute(PCDI) that helps not only children and adults with autism, it also helps families learn about the disorder, learn how to achieve positive achievement outcomes and address any concerns that parents or family members might have.  They use a science based intervention program that centers around the applied behavior analyze model.  Most families that receive the diagnosis of autism have a hard time figuring out what is the best way to teach their child or what services are available to them.  PCDI and other programs like it will have a staff of professionals and educators that partner with families to provide appropriate accommodations for learning and development.  The child or student will be provided with care and services that are catered to their needs and goals.  Parents or guardians are familiar with certain ticks or things that might affect their behavior or progress so it is very important that educators and families work together in order to get the best possible results and not have constant setbacks.  Some characteristics of autism are a preference of being alone, moving away from physical contact, unusual interest in objects, sensitivity to noises and sounds, being unresponsive to verbal commands or instructions, and developmental delays.

If I had a student with autism in my classroom I would use several research-based practices to help build a strong school-family partnership.  The Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation features the Virginia Skill Competencies which outlines six key areas of proficiency that educators should address for students with autism.  According to the journal the six areas are to address general autism characteristics, individualizations on assessments and program planning, communication skills, behavior, and sensory motor development (Hendricks, 2011).  As an educator I will address the general autism characteristics such as keeping a structured schedule, using visual aids and use frequent breaks.  Children with autism need schedules in order to be successful.   Most children with autism are visual thinkers.  I would incorporate visual aids into all lessons.  Allowing frequent breaks will help students with autism not get overwhelmed which often leads to negative behavior problems such as banging objects or repeating words.   I will also become familiar with programs and services in school and out that the family can utilize.  I believe that these practices are just a few that will benefit students with autism.


Hendricks, D. (2011). Special education teachers serving students with autism: A descriptive study of the characteristics and self-reported knowledge and practices employed. Journal Of Vocational Rehabilitation, 35(1), 37-50 14p.


Classmate 2 Alaina Irias


I enjoyed watching this video, it is good to know that ABA principles can be applied to the classroom to help students with autism be successful.  It was also interesting to watch this video as I apply ABA principles anywhere from 6-8 hours a day working as a RBT for families with autism.  There are many great ways that families can come together with educators to make sure their student is going to be successful the first of which is keeping an open line of communication, families should be part of the IEP process and setting goals for their students.  Parents also need to make sure that there is consistency between what is going on at home and at school, the things they are responsible for doing at school like cleaning up after themselves and making eye contact they also need to be responsible for at home and outside of school.

If I was a teacher there would be s number of strategies I would use because I have a background in ABA, things like giving options and choices of how the schedule is put together, also make sure there is a visual schedule so students know what is expected of them, and in what order we are doing things.  There is also “Keyword strategies teach students to link a keyword to a new word or

concept to help them remember the new material,  pegword strategy helps students remember numbered or ordered information by linking words and numbers that rhyme. The visual images help students remember a number or number sequence and finally letter strategies employ acronyms or a string of letters to help students remember a list of words or concepts. Recalling the acronym helps them recall the list or sequence. The fact that IDEA stands for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act helps you remember the law’s name.


Turnbull, Ann A; Turnbull, H. Rutherford; Wehmeyer, Michael L.; Shogren, Karrie A. (2015-04-27). Exceptional Lives: Special Education in Today’s Schools (8th Edition) (Page 220). Pearson. Kindle Edition.

Two for DQ 2


DQ 2 classmates respond to




Elizabeth Holguin




An IEP transition plan includes an outcome oriented process that promotes the movement of a student from school activities to post-school activities. A transition plan details the goals and services for the student and is based on the individual student’s strengths, interest, skills, and needs. An IEP transition plan consists of instruction and related services, experiences gained from the community, development of post-school adult living goals and employment and whenever appropriate, evaluation of functional vocation and acquisition of daily living skills.


Promoting self-determination in the transition plan and process is very important. Self-determination enhances skills such as problem solving, goal setting and decision making to students with disabilities. The students with disabilities also learn to assume greater control and responsibility. Self-determination increases self-esteem and self-worth of the students with disabilities. Furthermore, students with a disability who are self-determined become more engaged schoolwork and excel academically. Such students become active contributors in their transition and educational planning, become more involvement in post-secondary activities and experience a higher quality of life and positive occurrences in early adulthood.


Some of the practical strategies for teaching students with disabilities self-determination skills are as follows:


One can teach choice making skills through offering two or more learning activities and allowing the students to make a choice of their most preferred activity. Furthermore, one can teach choice-making skills by allowing students to choose the way they feel most effective in demonstrating mastery of a certain curriculum.


One can teach decision-making skills by including opportunities that allow decision making and providing lists of options, benefits and costs of each option and helping in analyzing any bias that is exposed to various options. For example, a teacher can be involved in talks with students as they decide what they would want to do after completion of high school. The teacher can provide options of volunteering, going to college and finding a job.


One can teach problem-solving skills by having the students reflect on the ways they used to solve a problem and the adjustments they would make in future situations to increase their problem-solving skills.


One of the challenges one would anticipate when teaching self-determination skills is many students with disabilities failing to acknowledge their disabilities. Failing to acknowledge their disability diminishes the resources the students could have had access to in postsecondary education and employment because one requires disclosing the disability to access the resource. The second challenge is an inaccurate assessment of the student’s own abilities due to learned helplessness. Lastly, many students with disabilities experience difficulties performing functioning skills such as mental flexibility, planning and organizing activities and task initiation.


To ensure the students are well prepared for life after high school, I would overcome the challenges by encouraging them to disclose their disabilities to get the most appropriate resources for life after school and helping them to find their strengths. I would also offer them many options for completing tasks and learning activities that accommodate their strengths to prevent them from acquiring learned helplessness.









Classmate #2


Anita Browner Ware


Identify and discuss the elements of an IEP transition plan, as well as the importance of promoting self-determination in the transition plan and process.


Project Stay gives the elements of an IEP transition plan


Present levels of Performance


·         General Intelligence: IQ Scores


·         Social/Emotional: Relationships with peers and adults interpersonal issues and behavior


·         Academic: Strengths and weaknesses in various academic subjects and learning styles


·         Health: Information from school vision and hearing screening as well as fine and gross motor


·         Communication: Strength and weakness in articulation


Goals and objectives/Benchmarks/Measurable and observable behavior: The goals are designed to meet the child’s needs that result from the disability to enable the child to be involved in and make progress.


The child with a disability should be included when the transition services plan is being discussed or earlier when appropriate. A representative of any agency that is likely to provide transition services should also be invited to any meeting where this may be discussed.




Self-determination allows students with a “combination of skills, knowledge, and beliefs to engage in goal-directed, self-regulated, autonomous behavior. And understanding of one’s strengths and limitations, together with a belief of oneself as capable and effective are essential to self-determination” (Wehmeyer, 2002).


Discuss your experiences and insights on effective strategies to teach self-determination skills to a student with a disability and what challenges you might anticipate when teaching these skills.


The experience I have had with students with disabilities is mainly frustration. The first strategy I think would teach self-determination would be to make the student feel a sense of belonging and worth. Once trust has been established, set goals to work towards for that student, make sure the student is provided with the appropriate materials, age appropriate materials. And build on the child’s interest and need.


How would you overcome these challenges to ensure students are well prepared for life beyond high school?


Having patience and teaching the students patience. Allow students to make their own decision and learn to problem solve or choices and there are limits to choices.






Wehmeyer, M.  (2002). Self-determination and the education of students with disabilitiesEric Digests. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED470036.pdf

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