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Jerry Webster

Guilty as Charged

By February 9, 2013

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I love it when I hear from real special educators, not just people who are slapping crap on my blogs so they can ride my numbers to better SEO (Search Engine Optimization.)  I got a long email from Chris M. this week that really got me to thinking.  Hmmmmmm . . . :

I hope this is received well, why isn't there more about special ed resources with high school students (not from you in particular; I think this is a plague in the field of special ed). I work as a special ed consultant. I had other positions in special ed before coming to the current high school I work in. In my past jobs, I thought I just didn't have enough education to know about the resources for high schoolers. Now I have a Master's in special ed, and still think we are at a loss for high schoolers. Everything is kiddie- activities, craft-like projects, etc.

Okay, guilty as charged. I have recently been posting a lot of crafty, cutsie stuff, but then I'm actually teaching primary autism, and my students need lots and lots of extra phonemic awareness and lots of extra fine motor activities.  Plus at 6 and 7 they are majorly geeked about seasonal activities, so I use that enthusiasm to scaffold hand writing, vocabulary building, etc.   Chris email did bring me back to considering the kinds of resources that are available.  You will find I recommend some webs sites I used with older kids with significant disabilities that I could use to create age appropriate functional math and reading activities.   But a majority of our kids who are getting special ed services in middle school and high school are learning disabled, and either struggle with processing aural information, dealing with print, and executive function challenges.   Those of you who work with these populations need stuff to help you support students in push in situations.

I would send you all to items written by my contributing writer, Eileen Bailey, who wrote a number of great articles to help students with dyslexia . No doubt, there are other specific lesson plans and strategies I can add to her work to support your high school students with disabilities.

So, I'm just about done with cutsie for Valentines day.  I may be working on some primary books and activities for presidents day (those will, however, be age appropriate for older students.  I mean, I will not do cutsie Abraham Lincoln.)  Otherwise, look for lots more graphic organizers, developmental reading activities ( I am a certified Reading Specialist, too) and strategies to help your high school students organize and succeed in general education settings.  I will also address grade level Common Core Standards (thanks to Ellen, another SPED who is struggling with using grade level  standards with special education students.)  Stay Tuned!

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