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checkerjane checkerjane is offline
 
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checkerjane
 
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Another question because I have no clue
Old 07-12-2019, 08:17 PM
 
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My severely non-verbal autistic student is stressing me out. He can't do anything independently, can't go from point A to point B, isn't potty trained, doesn't communicate his wants/needs, acts out (scratches/pinches), runs, you get the point. So, what do I work on?

Last year, we did a lot of ABA type stuff. Color matching, numbers, picture cards, some shoebox task stuff I found on TPT. Should I start working on life skills? He was doing most of these by rote, and I don't think he was "learning" the skill. I'm wondering about teeth brushing, combing his hair? I honestly don't know if he'd be able to comprehend those things, I know it won't be happening at the beginning of the year based on where he was last year.

The speech path is going to start working on PECS, as am I. Y'all this kid gets me down. I feel like there's a lot of pressure working with him, and I have no resources or direction, except for you guys. I follow some autism educator's FB pages and have been reading this summer, be he still overwhelms me.

Don't judge, please. I'll be the first to admit I'm not trained or knowledgeable enough to work with him.


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Purplecrayons Purplecrayons is offline
 
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Old 07-13-2019, 03:33 AM
 
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I teach a self - contained classroom. I have taught students with severe autism and am currently pursuing becoming a BCBA. Visuals help a lot . Does he have a visual schedule? Do you have an idea of reinforcers? I would start with a first then schedule.
As he learns pecs and begins to have a way to communicate , behaviors usually go down. My district provides Unique curriculum for my classroom. For my students needing a more structured ABA program , my students use the STAR curriculum. This curriculum gives assessment to your student and gives a scope and sequence of tasks both academic and functional. It gives you lesson plans to teach these skills. The con is that is designed for primary aged students. I would highly recommend it.

Last edited by Purplecrayons; 07-13-2019 at 01:41 PM.. Reason: Typo
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checkerjane checkerjane is offline
 
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:33 AM
 
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We used a visual schedule last year and a first then schedule. His main reinforcer is food, and mom and dad are 100% okay with that because that’s what they use at home.

My district won’t buy curriculum, especially for one student. They expect us to create our own. If I had the resources I need for this kid, it might not be quite so stressful. I don’t know what I should be working on with him.
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readandweep readandweep is offline
 
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Autism
Old 07-13-2019, 07:22 AM
 
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Purple Crayons gave some great advice. I second everything she said.

Have you looked into providing him more physical structure with his work space and work tasks? This will help him move about independently and safely.

If you only have one student that needs this, you could set up a structured work area in a corner of your classroom, provide him an individual break space nearby and have a small work table where you or his 1:1 can work with him.

The TEACCH method is a good place to start.

https://teacch.com/structured-teaching-teacch-staff/

Only you know your administration, but I bet giving you some curriculum and supplies for this student will be WAY cheaper than moving him to a classroom specifically for students with severe autism, especially if that classroom is out of district.

I use the Unique Learning Systems curriculum that PP mentioned and our severe and profound teachers also have access to the STAR, which they like.
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checkerjane checkerjane is offline
 
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Purple Crayons gave some great advice. I second everything she said.

Have you looked into providing him more physical structure with his work space and work tasks? This will help him move about independently and safely.

If you only have one student that needs this, you could set up a structured work area in a corner of your classroom, provide him an individual break space nearby and have a small work table where you or his 1:1 can work with him.

The TEACCH method is a good place to start.

https://teacch.com/structured-teaching-teacch-staff/

Only you know your administration, but I bet giving you some curriculum and supplies for this student will be WAY cheaper than moving him to a classroom specifically for students with severe autism, especially if that classroom is out of district.


I use the Unique Learning Systems curriculum that PP mentioned and our severe and profound teachers also have access to the STAR, which they like.
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I had a 1:1 space for him last year, but it didn’t have very good physical boundaries. I’ve rearranged my room to (hopefully) provide that this year.

A room/program for severe and profound kids would be out of the district. I’ve heard about that. Do the parents have to feel the kid’s needs aren’t being met at our school for that to happen?

I fail this kid every single day. I think it’s a combo of training/knowledge, resources, and flat out not having the environment and set up he needs. Even the sped teacher who I replaced, who had been teaching 20+ years, said he would benefit more from a different set up.


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readandweep readandweep is offline
 
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readandweep
 
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Different placement
Old 07-13-2019, 09:10 AM
 
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IME an alternative placement is a big leap for most parents to wrap their heads around.

Especially at a younger age when they are “included” with their “friends.” I find often parents are flat out lied to in order to smooth things over when it comes to how much a severely autistic student is included.

Even if the parents want that placement, it costs the district at least $60,000 a year to send one student to an out of district placement.

Often things come to a head as the student gets bigger and the physical risk to staff and students is greater. Then the district’s liability is greater than the cost of the alternative placement.

I think you need to give yourself a break. It sounds like you are doing the best you can.

It is also eye opening how poorly even good administrators handle these situations.
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checkerjane checkerjane is offline
 
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:48 PM
 
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Purplecrayon and readandweep, thank you both so much for the advice! I really appreciate it.

About PECS, I’ve been looking and most of them have generic images. Do those usually work for severe kids or should I take pics if everything (very time consuming).

Thanks!
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readandweep readandweep is offline
 
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readandweep
 
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Depends on the kid
Old 07-14-2019, 02:53 AM
 
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It really depends on the student if they respond better to pictures or drawn symbols.

The true PECS system has you start with actual objects.

I am taking an autism refresher course and it was stated that many people found students got distracted by photographs. Either the students focused on the backgrounds or they perseverated on a torn edge or frame of the photograph.

I had a student that generalized all iPads as having a blue frame and iPads at our school had red frames. YMMV.

In the past I was also told that PECS or PECS-like images were more common and would be better in transitions to new classrooms and schools. I don't necessarily believe that is true, but it is also something to think about.

Last edited by readandweep; 07-14-2019 at 03:58 AM..
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