Friday, July 18, 2014

Going To Work

 I can't believe I never posted this packet! I have been spending the morning adding labels to each of my posts and realized there are quite a few of my worksheets and activities I have never posted on here. I'm going to try going through my workbooks in the next few weeks, and match all my worksheets to my post on here to make sure i'm not missing any important ones. This is a packet I did a few months ago on going to work. I love this packet and it's probably one of my favorites so far. Since I teach work skills only once a week, this packet was perfect. 
I did at least one page per week (whatever filled our half hour time slot) and the whole packet took us about 2 months to finish. I highly recommend you let it last that long (I seriously have had subs that could do it in an hour). Each page has so many things that can be discussed and even acted out. Get those kids up in the front of the room! They need to see something, hear something, and DO something!! I try to make it a rule that each kid gets up at least once per lesson. Sometimes I do two or three per group. They LOVE to get up and be the center of attention even if it's just for a few seconds. It could be to just ask the others students if Johnny's clothing is appropriate for an interview, or I might ask them a basic interview question. I love asking multiple choice questions to my lower autistic boys who I know will answer whatever the last word is I said. Of course I always make that the correct answer and everyone whoops and hollers when they get it right! 

Awwwww, it's posts like these that make me miss them more. I hope everyone has a great weekend! Sleep in, relax, and enjoy the rest of your summer!! 25 more days left for me!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The "L" Word

In my 10 years of teaching I have had my fair share of students telling me they love me. Usually it's been a socially higher student who lets it slip out and I let it slide. I had a girl one time that started saying it quite often so we sat down together and talked about who it is appropriate and who it is not appropriate to say "I love you" to. I would say things like, if you worked at a job, would it be ok to tell your boss "I love you" at the end of the day. "Nooooo", she would say. Throughout the year we work on a variety of boundary lessons, so this is something that is mentioned numerous times during the year. 

Jump forward to this past year. I had a few socially and emotionally lower kids in my room, and the "L" word started flowing. One autistic boy in particular who I am going to say is at about a 3 year old level told me everyday when he was walking out the door "I love you miss Karen". Partway through the year I get a new girl about the same level and in a position in her life where the only caregivers she knows have known her less than 3 months. She was an emotional mess, and after a few months she would tell me every few days that she loved me when I would help her or do something nice for her. THEN I have another autistic young man who every time he gets in trouble (especially at home) feels the need to tell me he loves me because he thinks I am going to be mad at him. So, what do you do? I'm torn between knowing it's not appropriate socially and also since they are with me for 4 years, I am someone they WOULD love. Personally it doesn't bother me at all, but I am sure my school thinks differently. It was never a problem with my higher functioning kids and still isn't, but frankly I am torn as to how I should start the new year with these lower guys.

So, I am curious, how do you handle the "L" word in your classroom? Do you allow it? Am I alone? I could really use advice.

Friday, July 11, 2014


 All of my kids struggle with idioms. I like to use them in my classroom because in real life they are going to hear them and I would rather them know what they mean instead of them having that confused look on their face. I finally finished this idiom project I have been working on for MONTHS! 
 I consulted with my fellow teachers and we tried to come up with the most used idioms our kids might hear. If you think of one that really needs to be on here, shoot me an email and I can add it. When I started out I was thinking maybe doing 10, but it kept building!

 I think that 30 of them will be overwhelming all at once, so I will probably do 5 a week for 6 weeks (or more depending on how they do), reviewing the previous ones before introducing new ones. After each picture there is a page that (very basically) explains what the idiom means. 

"To be very sick", "You have my full attention", "When everyone is facing the same challenge". I hope you can use these in your classroom and that they make idioms a little easier for your kids to understand.

You can find this product HERE

Monday, July 7, 2014

Special Educator Blog Hop

Jamie over at Tales of a Carolina Girl is hosting a Blog hop for special education teachers!!! Click on the button below to head on over to her website, sign up and check it out!!

Here's my addition:

Name: Karen

Job Title: Special Education Teacher Moderate/Severe

Grade: High School Transition Program 18-22 

How Long I've Been Teaching: 10 years

Advice: I guess my best advice is to never let them know you're scared, lol. I am very firm with my kids, but also very loving. I think some of them are even a little afraid of me the first couple weeks, but it works (at least for me). I have had kids who needed restraining the previous years but when they get to my class and they find out that I won't put up with certain behaviors, after a short time the behaviors seems to just disappear. I had one boy last year that I really thought was going to hit me (a few times). I let him have his behavior and anytime he showed destruction I was very firm with him but then went back to what I was doing and ignored him. After the behavior was over and he was back at baseline, I would do something fun with him to build his trust. It took about 3 week to taper off his behaviors and then we never had a problem with him again the rest of the year even though they had experienced these behaviors for years prior. That's not to say I didn't have to give him "the look" every now and then. I guess since I raised 4 kids of my own I kind of treat my students like I did my kids (minus the occasional cussing, empty threats, and brief rages), firm but loving.  

Thanks for the Bloghop Jamie!!!

 HERE is the link again!


I am one week into my summer vacation and the creative juices have yet to flow. I had this same problem last summer too. I had all these plans and it just wasn't there. This summer I am determined to get some things done! I have a folder titled "need to work on" that includes about 15 projects that range from a page with a simple title, to books that have numerous pages completed. I practically forced myself to finish one today.  Of course I picked one that didn't require many brain cells since most of it was already complete. I got this idea from a speaker at an autism conference I attended last year (I love the ideas I get at conferences!). This book requires a bit of work putting together, and of course more Velcro, which I forgot to bring home this summer!!! So, 1 down 14 to go! Here's to wishing me luck!