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The Autism Helper Podcast
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The Autism Helper Podcast

Author: The Autism Helper

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Welcome to The Autism Helper Podcast, where we explore different strategies to improve the lives of individuals with autism.
33 Episodes
Now let's get to the meat and potatoes of your classroom. When setting up your class, what curriculum and activities do you need to ensure your students are learning? There's no quick and easy answer. The idea of developing a set of materials for your students is overwhelming. You may have students that have an extremely wide range of skills. You are working on potty training and pronouns and everything in between. The general education curriculum may not be appropriate for your class. You have two jobs: special education teacher and curriculum developer (but only one salary). In this episode, we break down this process. One of our team bloggers, Gina and I discuss how to utilize assessments, your IEP goals, and state standards to prioritize, organize, and develop curriculum for your classroom. So before you start laminating away, take a minute to pause and be thoughtful and purposeful about what you are creating for your students. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast.
Yes - data collection needs its own step in the classroom setup process because it is that important. Data should be the backbone of your classroom.  You should embed your data collection system into your classroom setup process. Make it something thoughtful and purposeful not an afterthought.In this episode, we review best practices and tips for setting up academic and behavior data. For academic data, decide if organization by student or by center is best for your (hint: there’s no wrong answer). Organization is key because you need the time between your student doing a behavior to your pen hitting the data sheet to be minimal. For behavior data, learn more about my top 3 tips: keep it easy, keep it central, and make a team endeavor. Whatever stage you are at in the data collection process, this episode will challenge you to make it more efficient and streamlined. Links: TAH Data Blog Posts: Data Collection Quick & Easy: Run IEP Center: Data on Extreme Behaviors: This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast.
In this episode, we review how to set up visuals in your classroom in a way that is purposeful and effective. You want only the visuals that are useful and not a whole huge set of ones you don’t need. Use visuals to label. This helps with organization and teaching students to independently find and put away materials. Use visuals to support directives. We give so many verbal command on a daily basis and our kids with receptive language processing challenges just can’t keep up. Use visuals to show order to events/routines by creating mini schedules. Last, use visuals for behaviors and academics. This is essential. Use visuals to show the many if/then relationships we set up and the rules of the classroom. These visuals are a tool and our student will need to be taught how to use these tools. Learn how to teach your staff and teach your students how to utilize these visuals on a regular basis. Behavior visuals: necklace: for routines: schedules: This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast.
Schedules are a must have for every classroom because they are functional. We all use schedules! In step 3 of the Seven Steps for Setting a Stellar Autism Classroom, we review the whole schedule process. First, learn how to create a detailed student and staff schedule (and some important reasons on why you need both). After you create student and staff schedules, it’s time to make schedules for your students. Schedules should be individualized! Not every student needs a visual and moveable-piece schedule. Think about schedules on continuum. You should always be working towards having each student use a schedule that is less restricted and more generalizable. Some formats schedules can be in are object schedules, picture schedules, or written schedules and there are a multitude of ways to customize those options! The last step is training you staff to teach your students how to use their schedule. Schedules need to be taught! Links: All schedule posts: Schedules: the Right Schedule Type for Each Student: a Master Classroom Schedule: a Classroom Excel Schedule: This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast.
Why is structure important? A structured environment decreases negative behaviors, lessens student anxiety, increases independence, and improves student independence. And guess what? It also helps you manage and lead your staff. Creating and maintaining a structured and routine oriented environment will help your team work more collaboratively.In this episode, Jen Koenig, one our of team bloggers, and I discuss best practices for creating a structured environment. Jen shares her two essential considerations for each area of her classroom: functional and accessible. We discuss the different areas of Jen’s classroom and her thought process behind setting it up in a specific way. Creating a classroom that is visually divided and visually defined will lead to overall student success. Your students will learn more and your team will be more effective. This episode is filled with action items and essential questions to be asking yourself either before you set up your class or in the middle of the school year. Links:Color Coding Tools: Organized with Schedules: Up Center Rotations: This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast.
Step 1 in the Seven Steps for Setting Up a Stellar Autism Classroom: Organization and Planning. Don’t be tempted to skip this step. The classroom process should be purposeful and thoughtful. Spend time actively brainstorming and evaluating the needs of your students. Remember, as Dr. Stephen Shore said, “If you’ve meet one individual with autism, you’ve meet one individual with autism.” Your classroom should be changing and evolving every year because the needs of your students will be changing every year. In this episode, we review important topics to begin the planning process. First we discuss how to create a “student need snapshot” by reviewing your students’ IEPs. Then we cover several important areas of the classroom to begin thinking about how the needs of your students will impact these areas. Finally, we start to make a list of centers for your classroom to address the IEP goals. Types of centers include group centers, direction instruction, paraprofessional led centers, independent center, and leisure centers. Many examples for each type are discussed! Our classrooms sometimes look different because the needs of our students are so different. Let some good brainstorming and reflection drive your setup process! Classroom Setup Checklist: Questions for Organizing and Planning you setup: This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast.
Dr. Mary Barbera is a best selling author, BCBA, and autism mom. In this episode, I chat with Mary about her journey into the autism world. She shares the story of her son’s diagnosis, how she learned about ABA, and what inspired her to become a BCBA. Mary’s bestselling book, The Verbal Behavior Approach, comes from Mary’s years of experience working with children with autism. Mary discusses how the verbal behavior approach is different than what many think of as ‘traditional’ autism and some important take home lessons from her book. Mary has developed several courses for parents, teachers, and BCBAs and provides insight as to which course would work best for each group. This episode is filled with helpful information from a true expert in the field! Links: https://www.marybarbera.com Around Autism Podcast: This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast.
Shannon Penrod is a parent of a child with autism and a true advocate. She is the host of Autism Live a YouTube channel where she shares her experiences on parenting and ABA as well as interviews many experts in the field. Shannon’s perspective is invaluable and her story will motivate and inspire you. Shannon and I discuss the process of her son’s diagnosis, his early years of ABA, and the successes he has had. She shares some of the struggles and how she was able to handle the difficult moments. Shannon gives her tips for finding a quality ABA program and the advice she gives parents of children with autism most frequently. There is so much to learn in this episode! Shannon’s website: http://www.autism-live.comYoutube channel: This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast.
BCBAs Shira Gaunt and Shayna Karpel discuss school readiness and all that it entails. Shira and Shayna are from How to ABA and the Bx Resource. Coming from both a clinical and school background, Shira and Shayna share practical tips and ABA strategies in an understandable way. In this episode, we talk about what behaviors kids need to be successful in school. Shira and Shayna share their tips on teaching students how to work collaboratively, ask for help, and more. This episode is filled with ready to implement action items and a must-listen for teachers and clinicians. Links: https://howtoaba.comFacebook: This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast.
Episode 24: April Q&A

Episode 24: April Q&A


In this Q and A episode, listener questions are answered in detail! I share my advice for those wanting to become BCBA and the process I took in that endeavor. Next, I discuss strategies for keeping the noise level of staff down and how to directly and respectfully address those concerns with your team. Then, I review the legal issues surrounding leaving students out of a field trip due to behavioral or physical needs as well as some best practices to utilize during a field trip. Last, I answer a questions regarding a major behavioral problem with a student and what are the first steps to take in that situation. Links about field trip discrimination: This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast.
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