Laura Vaughn

Template for transition

Successful transition to life after school can often hinge on solid partnerships with community organizations that can offer support, services, or employment. To help you reach out to agencies in your community and get them involved in transition planning for your students, this week’s FREE tool is a letter template you can use to invite community representatives to participate in ...

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The lowdown on wraparound

When you implement a system of support that engages the student, the family, and the teacher, we call that a “wraparound.” In the wraparound approach, supports, services, and interventions are blended and literally wrapped around the student in a process that engages everyone who interacts with the student. Your FREE tool this week will walk you through the phases of ...

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Mobility masters

The ability to move around your community without assistance is key to independent living. Catching a bus to work, walking to visit a friend, finding a public restroom, and even knowing how to use an escalator are all important skills that, when mastered, can free individuals to work, socialize, attend school, and run errands on their own. To help you ...

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Who’s responsible for that?

It’s transition time—when high school seniors have flown the coop for bigger things, and teachers begin to turn their sights to the next crop of students preparing for this major life change. To help special education teachers, school counselors, and transition specialists plan for this important journey, this week’s free tool is a chart that articulates the way students’ rights ...

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Summer Cool Down

This week marks the first day of summer! For many of us, temperatures outside are rising, but this time of year can also mean tensions inside are rising as final exams or state testing schedules progress. To help cool things off, this week’s FREE tool is a simple set of breathing exercises for you to do with your students before ...

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The IEP in parts

The IEP is the central document guiding students’ special education supports and services. But the document itself can feel overwhelming with all of its moving parts. To demystify the IEP and its purpose, this week’s FREE tool describes all of the essential parts of the IEP. Tack it to your conference room wall, pass it out to parents, and keep ...

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Conquering conflict

We all have conflict in our lives. It may be as minor as picking out a shirt to wear or as big as negotiating a divorce in the family. As part of an effective transition to life after high school, students need to know how to diffuse conflict by communicating their feelings in an assertive way that will ensure they ...

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Challenging Behaviors: What to Expect

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can exhibit a range of challenging behaviors in early childhood, with temper tantrums being one of the highest occurring problems and aggressive behaviors more common among those children with minimal language abilities. This week’s FREE tool is a figure illustrating the various challenging behaviors that young children with ASD might exhibit. Print it off ...

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Teens on the team

Learning self-advocacy is an integral part of a student’s progression towards a smooth transition to life after high school. One way to engage students in decision making about their future is to actively involve them in their own IEP meetings. To get you started on that path, this week’s FREE tool is a set of questions designed to help students ...

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Group think at its best

Special educators don’t work in a vacuum. To best serve students, they must collaborate with colleagues, administrators, and other service providers. So, how to avoid having too many cooks in the kitchen? To help teams of educators work well together, this week’s FREE tool is a worksheet for group reflection. It asks team members to answer a set of questions ...

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