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When considering interventions for students with ADHD, it’s helpful to fully understand the disorder. This course provides an excellent overview. You’ll begin by learning the history of ADHD and other fascinating facts. There’s also discussion about the controversy of whether ADHD is over-diagnosed. Next, the course lays out the many academic and social issues for learners with ADHD. Medical and behavioral aspects are also explored, along with discussion of how ADHD is diagnosed. Other key topics include executive function, working memory, emotional regulation, and medications. There’s also an intriguing review of the law as it relates to ADHD. The course concludes with Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and the Life Course Model.
A notable percentage of students have ADHD. Learn about evidence-based intervention strategies in this course that will help your elementary students. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder can be a great challenge for teachers, but students with ADHD often have the disorder throughout their adult lives. In school many students with ADHD struggle academically, behaviorally, and socially. In this course you’ll learn a number of Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions and supports for learners with ADHD. You’ll benefit from learning about PBIS and six strategies to improve behavior. There’s also strong coverage of the step-by-step use of Daily Report Card or DRC. This course will equip you to better support your elementary students with ADHD.
A notable percentage of students have ADHD. Learn about evidence-based intervention strategies in this course that will help your secondary students. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder can be a great challenge for teachers, but students with ADHD often have the disorder throughout their adult lives. In school many students with ADHD struggle academically, behaviorally, and socially. In this course you’ll learn a number of Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions and supports for learners with ADHD. There’s also strong coverage of self management as well as the Daily Report Card or DRC. You’ll even learn organization interventions for students and how to implement. This course will equip you to better support your secondary students with ADHD.
Applied Behavior Analysis is widely recognized as an effective intervention for autism. For decades therapists and educators have used ABA to help children with autism and other developmental disorders. B. F. Skinner’s research showed that behavior can be understood, predicted and changed, by analyzing the events that come before and after a behavior. This course equips you with an understanding of the relationship between antecedents, behavior and consequences, as well as stimuli and responses. You’ll also learn principles such as positive and negative reinforcement, punishment, and extinction. This visual journey will help you navigate the technical elements of ABA and appreciate how ABA can improve the lives of students with autism.
Autism spectrum disorder is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States. This course will teach you about the disorder. To understand the characteristics of ASD, you’ll begin with a study of three students with autism. This underscores that, while there are often areas where impairments are common, each child’s ability and skill levels are unique. The course continues with a discussion of diagnostic criteria, especially with recent changes to DSM-V, and how these changes impact the ever-increasing prevalence data. The definition of ASD is defined with clear examples of the symptoms common for students with autism. Lastly, you’ll look at other issues relating to ASD as well as the challenges faced by students.
Evidence-based interventions continue to show amazing promise in helping students with autism develop new skills. Even as the prevalence of autism grows, educators and parents alike have good cause for hope. This course begins by stressing the importance of early intervention. The sooner that educators and therapists can work with students with autism, the better their prognoses will be for increased skill development. This course also reminds that while there are some clusters of characteristics, each child with autism must be viewed uniquely. You’ll also hear about many approaches that are popular but still unproven. However, the heart of the course is a helpful primer on all of the interventions that are proven by science to be effective.
Many students with autism have verbal skills that make their disabilities less apparent. This course will help you to understand and support them. For students who have historically been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, school can still pose significant challenges. Starting with a helpful review of the history of the diagnosis, you’ll learn recent changes in terminology that require the term Asperger’s to be discontinued. But the challenges for students with these disabilities still persist, and there’s a new classification called Social Communication Disorder. This course also identifies the many factors that contribute to the delay or prevention of proper diagnoses. With this foundation, you’ll be well positioned for the interventions in Part 2.
Students with autism can have strong verbal skills. This course will help you become more aware of their learning styles so that you can better teach. You’ll explore topics like single-pointed attention style, theory of mind, and sensory processing. This course also lays out the challenges for learners with autism when it comes to central coherence, abstract concepts, and executive function. You’ll be introduced to numerous strategies and tools that you can implement, including organizers, checklists, mind mapping, list making, and flowcharting. Finally, the course culminates with a review of communication and social skills deficits. You’ll find this course to be fascinating and actionable with great ideas to support your students with autism.
PECS is an evidence-based intervention for autism that’s part of a larger framework known as the Pyramid Approach. Learn all about it in this course. The Pyramid is the basis for incorporating and supporting Picture Exchange Communication System or PECS, which focuses on functional communication as an expressive skill for students with autism. In this course, you’ll examine the “why’s” of behavior, functional activities, and reinforcement systems. In the section on communication and behavior strategies, you’ll study nine critical functional communication skills that all students should reliably use. There’s also guidance on collecting and analyzing data for students. The course wraps up with some actionable ideas on assessment and evaluation.
The inability to communicate is perhaps the most significant obstacle for many people with disabilities. The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) was designed to help individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other special needs develop a system for communicating with teachers, parents and peers. PECS is an approach that teaches early communication skills using pictures. During the course we will review the Pyramid Approach, explore PECS and Communication, The Six Phases of PECS, and lastly, debunk common myths and misconceptions of PECS.
This course will familiarize school staff with social communication development in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Unfortunately, the process of building vocabulary and learning the unspoken verbal cues necessary to communicate with others is often short-circuited in children with ASD. We'll explore early-learning differences between neuro-typical children and those with ASD as well as present evidence-based early-learning strategies that assist children with ASD and other communication disorders.
Few evidence-based interventions have proven as effective as Social Stories. This course gives you a great foundation for understanding this tool. With rates of autism increasing, learning more about the power of Social Stories will help you to better educate, communicate with, and care for a student with autism. However, social stories can easily be understood and misapplied, which can reduce the efficacy of the intervention. This course lays the foundation by explaining the philosophy of the Social Story and why it’s effective with students. You’ll also learn more about social context and how it relates to autism. Then you’ll be introduced at a conceptual level to the ten criteria that distinguish Social Stories from other kinds of stories.
For Social Stories to be valid as an evidence-based intervention, all ten criteria must be used. This course will introduce you to each criterion. Social Stories, as an evidence-based intervention, was identified by the National Autism Center as one of eleven established treatments for autism. It’s popular around the world. However, as course author and creator of the intervention, Carol Gray, notes, many well-intentioned educators misuse Social Stories because they fail to take into account all ten criteria. This highly visual course walks you through each step and helps you to understand the value of each criterion. You’ll enjoy a well-grounded appreciation of how Social Stories can successfully be used in the treatment of autism.
Challenging behaviors are often identified as one of the biggest difficulties for school staff. Disruptive student behavior is much more than just a frustration for teachers. It can greatly disrupt entire classes and even negatively impact school climate. However, functional behavior assessments are proven to work. They also help create the basis for a remediation tool called behavior intervention plans. BIPs recognize that disruptive behaviors have antecedents or triggers, and that they can be replaced with pro-social behaviors. Moreover, teaching pro-social behaviors and reinforcing it with positive behavior supports can dramatically improve school climate. This course gives you a thorough overview of the tools and processes involving BIPs.
Many educators learn that sometimes the most difficult behaviors are cries for help. This course gives you an understanding of emotional behavioral disabilities. A surprising percentage of students experience emotional or behavioral difficulties at some point in their adolescence. Statistics show that students with EBD’s are more vulnerable to lower grades, failing courses, higher dropout rates and higher unemployment. The good news is that are interventions that can help stem the tide. You’ll examine the definition of EBD, as well as how EBD’s are addressed in IDEA law. You’ll also hear ideas on how to identify students with EBDs. Mostly importantly, you’ll learn prevention and intervention strategies that you can apply in your classroom.
Screening is common in schools everywhere, but it’s rarely used for emotional behavior disorders. This course explains the basics of EBD screening. The prevalence of emotional behavior disorders (EBDs) appears to be on the rise. Managing challenging behaviors is often identified as one of the most difficult aspects of teaching. One way to help is by using universal screeners to help identify students that may have an emotional behavior disorder. EBDs are not difficult to implement and are cost effective. The data from EBD screening can be helpful to all students for data-based decision making for school-wide positive behavior supports. This course addresses all aspects of EBD screening, and even identifies several popular screening tools.
Managing challenging behavior is key to effective teaching and classroom management. This course will explain functional behavior assessments. FBA’s are useful for all students who exhibit challenging behavior, and not just a tool for students with disabilities. As an evidence-based process, the functional behavior assessment recognizes that challenging behaviors by students are used because they serve a function. Positive and negative reinforcement as well as sensory stimulation are functions that are discussed in detail. You’ll also learn about the relationships between antecedents, behaviors and consequences plus the use of ABC charts. The course is also chock-full of examples of ABC charts that will help you put these ideas into practice.
Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) are easily angered and/or irritated, frequently defy authority figures and disobey rules, and are purposely disruptive and annoying to others. Not only does their behavior pose a significant challenge for teachers and other school professionals, it’s also likely to negatively affect their own educational experience and that of the students around them. This course will assist school staff members in better understanding Oppositional Defiant Disorder, by investigating its symptoms and risk factors while also providing insight into effective approaches to working with children with ODD.
This course provides you with an overview of the use of restraint and seclusion to deal with emergency situations in school-related settings. While students are learning to control their behavior, they may need occasional help to prevent them from harming other people or themselves. You’ll also learn about de-escalation, which can help prevent a student from losing control. Sometimes, however, students have so little control that they may need to be restrained or secluded. Restraint and seclusion are emergency measures to restrict a student
The dangers of the improper use of restraint and seclusion are clear. Rising media attention and litigation have placed pressure on state agencies and local school districts to thoroughly train staff on alternative methods. More importantly, these alternative techniques can prevent injuries and even fatalities to staff and students. This course provides an overview of alternatives to restraint and seclusion, and strategies to address adverse behavior in the classroom. During the course, you’ll explore the definition of restraint and seclusion and its common myths. You’ll also learn intervention strategies, alternative options and proper training techniques to keep you and your students safe.
School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports – or PBIS – is a framework of research-validated strategies designed to create school environments that promote and support appropriate behavior of all students. People working in schools where PBIS thrives share common behavioral expectations that are valued by the entire school community and apply to all students. Students in PBIS schools are taught the required skills to behave appropriately and are consistently praised for behaving well. This course will help school staff members contribute to the creation of effective schools through PBIS by exploring changing school culture, the basics of PBIS and strategies for effectively implementing PBIS.
Self-management, self-control and self-direction are some of the terms used to describe aspects of self-regulation. This course offers the tools you need to help your elementary students with disabilities have more self direction in the classroom. Difficulties with self-regulation can happen with all kinds of students but are more prominent in students with mild to moderate disabilities. But you can still teach and support them in learning to exercise these skills in daily classroom life. In addition to self-regulation among students with disabilities, we will explore the classroom environment, rules and routines and instructional practices and assessment. If your students can direct themselves, they will spend more time learning and taking responsibility for managing their own classroom behaviors with less supervision from you.
Statistics show students with special needs are at greater risk for being targets of bullying. This course will help you keep your school bully-free. As you progress through this course, you’ll see learn that, while there’s a surprising lack of research, students with disabilities are almost certainly at a higher risk of being victims of bullying behaviors. However, the course also recognizes that perpetrators of bullying behaviors may also need special education services. You’ll learn specifically about the three criteria that define bullying behaviors, and why targets of bullying behaviors are at special risk. Lastly, you’ll learn about classroom and school-wide strategies that can greatly reduce the threat of bullying in your school.
With a large percentage of students with special needs spending at least some portion of their day in general education classrooms, it is critical that school staff members better understand the importance of inclusion for these students and the key inclusion services necessary for success. This course will explore the important legal foundations of inclusion, highlight the benefits of inclusion for students with special needs, discuss the critical roles of various school staff members in making inclusion successful and cover numerous best practices.
Since Sandy Hook, there’s been a greater focus on student emotional and mental health. Learn all about the value of the partnership between school psychologists and educators. You’ll enjoy a practitioner’s perspective from a school psychologist in one of America’s premier school systems. You’ll learn about the role of the school psychologist. There’s a great explanation of the history of school psychology and law. But the heart of this course is in its coverage of student mental health issues and school safety. Do we do enough to address our students’ non-academic needs? This course covers risk factors and evidence-based interventions, such as RTI and PBIS. It will help you contribute to a successful partnership in your school or district.
Special education requires coordination between administrators, educators, and parents. This course gives you a visual roadmap for elementary education. Beginning with an overview of IDEA, including the key elements of FAPE and LRE, you’ll be given a clear picture of the basics of legal compliance. Next you’ll learn about the various categories of student disabilities identified in IDEA. Eligibility and referral are outlined in 7 simple steps to illustrate the referral and placement process. IEP’s are addressed by looking at the key components and you’ll benefit from seeing sample IEP goals. The course concludes with a sweeping overview of the many ways that collaboration is embedded and essential throughout the special education process.
Special education requires coordination between administrators, educators, and parents. This course gives you a visual roadmap for secondary education. Beginning with IDEA, including the key elements of FAPE, LRE, and transition services, you’ll be given a clear picture of the basics of legal compliance. Categories of disabilities are also introduced. The Individual Transition Plan and Summary of Performance documents and processes are featured, along with an explanation of Age of Majority. IEP’s are addressed by looking at the key components, and you’ll benefit from seeing sample IEP goals. The course concludes with a sweeping overview of the many ways that collaboration is embedded and essential throughout the special education process.
Transition services help prepare students with disabilities for life beyond school. This course details all key aspects of effective transition planning. Statistics show that, compared with non-disabled peers, students with disabilities are more likely to have lower wages and higher rates of unemployment. However, schools that provide effective transition support can significantly improve a student’s chances to succeed in life. According to IDEA, transition services must be included in the IEP. For students 16 and older, an Individual Transition Plan and Summary of Functional Performance are also required. This course concludes with transition best practices that will equip you to give your students the best transition guidance possible.
IEP compliance is never a matter to be considered lightly. This course gives you a thorough grounding on how to create effective, compliant IEP’s. For example, the course details the importance of confidentiality under FERPA law and who should know about the contents of a particular IEP. The IEP process of information flow is described including explanations about the team involved and the document itself. You’ll also benefit from a better understanding on IEP content including present levels, goals, progress reporting, accommodations, participation with peers, transition planning (if applicable) and transfer of IDEA rights. The course concludes with a recap of key points for IEP development, odds and ends, and when an IEP must be in place.
Parents and school professionals who work together as part of an IEP team are required to safeguard a child’s legal entitlement. This entitlement includes a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment, and according to the child’s individual needs.
For children in schools who have special education needs, a successful partnership between parents and school professionals is critical. When dealing with an issue as significant as a child’s education, it’s easy to understand why the IEP process can at times be frustrating. Amid the potential conflicts, the goal shared by all of the participants – doing what’s best for the child – can be overshadowed. However, there is a growing alternative in a number of states: to involve a skilled facilitator in IEP meetings with the sole purpose of maintaining a collaborative environment. In this course, we’ll explore definitions and purpose, dispute resolution alternatives, how facilitation works, and when facilitation fails.
Although not without controversy, the Common Core is adopted in nearly every state. Learn its implications for students with IEP’s in this course. Creating individualized education plans for students with disabilities can be challenging. For educators in states bound by the Common Core, it’s imperative that you create IEP’s that will match the standards. Key principles are covered from the standards for literacy such as increasing complexity, gaining knowledge, and finding evidence. You’ll also learn about the math standards, including the greater emphasis on focus, coherence, and rigor. Additional components to consider for aligning IEP’s with the Common Core are also identified, and the course concludes with helpful tips and instruction.
This course will help school staff members better understand the effective use of accommodations and modifications and how these methods support the learning of students with special needs. We’ll identify the key differences between accommodations and modifications, discuss which children receive these services and when and where they must be provided, and cover numerous best practices. We’ll also highlight the importance of collaboration among general education teachers and special education staff.
Collaborative Teaching has many advantages, but it’s not without challenges. This course gives you a great introduction to the basics of co-teaching. You’ll hear firsthand from practitioners who discuss their experiences. There’s an excellent presentation of the advantages of co-teaching for students too. You’ll also learn about how schools have benefitted from collaborative teaching, including gains in academic achievement and decreased referrals for behavioral problems. There’s thorough coverage of the six approaches to co-teaching, such as station-teaching, and you’ll see clear examples of classroom diagrams. Finally, the course concludes with co-teaching essentials, such as support from administration, communication, and professional development.
A strong partnership is at the heart of effective collaborative teaching. This course will help strengthen your partnership by introducing you to some of the more practical matters involved in co-teaching. From co-teaching methods to managing accommodations to lesson planning, these classroom applications are all issues co-teachers deal with on a daily basis, and they will be thoroughly covered during this course. You'll also have the opportunity to explore key areas, including the administrator’s role, planning and discipline, sharing classroom responsibilities, and the six models of co-teaching.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects many children – and even some adults – in your school. Statistics vary, but most experts place the figure at 15-20% of the population. They will struggle with virtually every aspect of the typical school day. Therefore, every individual employed in the educational system needs to understand dyslexia. The goal of this course is to introduce school staff members to the condition of dyslexia and to methods of supporting students with dyslexia. We’ll do this by exploring the definitions of dyslexia, methods of supporting students with dyslexia, roles and responsibilities, dyslexia and learning styles, and dyslexia and the future.
Some learners know that they are gifted. But identifying a gifted student is not always easy. Not all gifted learners are alike, though many share some characteristics. Some say an IQ score determines whether a child is gifted. Others say all children are gifted. The list of possible qualities could go on endlessly. So, what are the characteristics of gifted students and how can we best help them reach their full potential? The goal of this course is to provide educators with an overview of differentiated instruction and strategies to meet the needs of gifted learners. We’ll accomplish this by exploring the identification of gifted learners, assessment and planning, and strategies for differentiated instruction.
Perhaps now more than ever paraeducators are playing critical roles in helping certified and licensed school staff serve an increasingly diverse student population. Under the supervision of teachers and other school staff members, paraeducators are asked to perform a wide variety of tasks, including preparing learning materials, assisting individuals or small groups of students and providing individual support to children with special needs. In this course we’ll define the important role of the paraeducator, discuss the need for teacher and paraeducator teamwork and highlight best practices related to commonly assigned paraeducator tasks.
Perhaps now more than ever paraeducators are playing critical roles in helping certified and licensed school staff serve an increasingly diverse student population. In order for paraeducators to be effective, teachers and principals need to have a clear understanding of the role and how to effectively direct and oversee these highly dedicated people. In this course we'll define the key roles and responsibilities of supervising teachers, discuss the need for teacher and paraeducator teamwork and highlight best practices related to the management and supervision of paraeducators performing commonly assigned tasks.
Child Find, a mandated component of IDEA law, has significant implications for all school staff. This course will ensure that you understand the law. Through the Child Find Mandate, federal and state funding are provided to school districts – and in some states, charter schools – to identify children that may need early intervention services. Child Find, however, is not limited to just preschoolers. Child Find requires that districts help identify all students through ages 21 (and older in some states) potentially needing special education services. You’ll learn about key requirements such as public awareness, referral, tracking, screening and evaluation. The course concludes with a summary of compliance and the costs of non-compliance.
While it’s safe to say that discipline is no educator's favorite part of what they do, it is an essential part of working with students. But when disciplining a student with a disability, there are special considerations that must be taken into account. This course will provide school staff members with information about the legal protections provided to students with disabilities by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and will explore the legal implications related to disciplining these students. We'll examine the impact of zero-tolerance policies, discipline procedures required under IDEA, the effectiveness of positive behavioral supports, and the disciplining of students with Section 504 plans.
Nationwide, approximately one in every eight students is eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). To be eligible for the benefits of IDEA, a student must be evaluated and found to have at least one of the disabilities recognized by IDEA, and a need for special education and related services because of that disability. This course will familiarize school staff with the process of evaluation and the pathways of eligibility for IDEA. We'll discuss evaluation responsibilities, the process of determining eligibility and eligibility decisions and categories.
A key provision of federal law is that all students with disabilities are entitled to a free appropriate public education. Learn about FAPE in this course. As you begin, it’s important to remember that prior to the inclusion of FAPE in IDEA and Section 504 law, millions of children with disabilities were excluded from school because of their disabilities. Still, while few would ever want to deny the rights of students with disabilities, there has been much debate as to the true meaning of the law. Much of the discussion has been around what is truly appropriate. You’ll learn about the landmark Rowley case, which went to the Supreme Court. The standards of “reasonably calculated” and “educational benefit” are also discussed in great detail.
Understanding federal laws for students with disabilities is essential for compliance. This course covers key provisions of IDEA, ADA and Section 504. Beginning with a brief history of special education law, you’ll benefit from an engaging presentation of what the laws require, including detailed discussions of FAPE, LRE, Individualized Education Programs or IEPs, and Discipline. The process of special education is also mapped out from the Child Find through Transition. The course concludes with procedural safeguards, which are the requirements that afford parents and children protections and the right to dispute. This soup-to-nuts course is great for any special or general educator as well as those wanting to better understand federal law.
Students with disabilities face a brighter future thanks to IDEA. This course will help you understand the implications of the law and how to comply. The history of IDEA law is remarkable and shows how, through a series of major reforms, the rights of students with disabilities were gradually won. This course lays a great foundation with the 4 purposes of IDEA. You’ll learn about FAPE, LRE, Child Find, evaluation, eligibility, and the various categories of disability as defined in the law. Any coverage of IDEA would be incomplete without a thorough explanation of the Individualized Education Program or IEP and its key components. Lastly, the course culminates with the importance of collaboration, between administration, staff and parents.
Seldom have three words caused more controversy and confusion in special education than the words “least restrictive environment.” Placement of children with disabilities is one of the most difficult questions in Special Education. While federal law is clear that each child should be educated in the least restrictive environment, it’s not always clear what that means for each child. Naturally, there is no one answer for all children. This course will help you to look at LRE and placement from a variety of aspects. While aspects of the law are covered in great detail, you’ll also learn about disputes and their implications. Educators completing this course will be more informed and sensitive to the issues regarding placement and inclusion.
The lndividuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that children eligible for special education services must have an lndividualized Education Program (lEP) which includes measurable annual goals. This course will explain what measurable goals are and how school staff can write them correctly. We'll explore characteristics of a measurable goal, how to avoid goal-writing mistakes, the process of evaluating goals and guidelines for projecting annual goals.
This course will familiarize school staff members with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 procedural safeguards provided to students with disabilities and their parents. We'll explore parents’ rights to be informed, provide or withhold consent and participate in meetings and the decision making process. We'll also cover specific student rights and Section 504 procedural protections.
Section 504 protects students with mental or physical impairments that substantially limit major-life activities. This course will explain the law. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 emerged from the civil rights movements a few decades ago. It’s a civil rights law that applies to all recipients of federal aid, including schools. Similar to IDEA, Section 504 law also provides for FAPE, although its definition differs from FAPE under IDEA law. This course will introduce you to the Section 504 Plan and a thorough discussion of major-life activities. You’ll learn about evaluation requirements, other eligibility considerations, and LRE. Most importantly, you’ll be immersed in the specifics of implementation so that you can comply.
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