Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Autistic Meltdown

Hi everyone! Today has been tough. In my class about half of my students are diagnosed with autism. One of my students screams and yells when she has a meltdown. I am usually able to help her stay on track but some days (like today) she is inconsolable. In the beginning of the year I had to keep explaining to security that this particular student was okay and was not hurting anyone. Thankfully she is not violent to herself or anyone else.

I don't know about other states but here in California there is a Autism Certificate we can obtain. (I've heard it will be required soon). I unfortunately have not had that training. My only experience with students with behavior issues who are diagnosed with autism is from my less than 2 years of teaching.

Today my student screamed and cried when I asked her to put her blue folder away during 5th period. She proceeded to call me a monster. During 6th period it escalated when she wanted one of my aides to give her all of the answers instead of reading her worksheet. (She is very smart and is able to do it on her own without any help on good days) I then asked her to clean up to go home. She refused to go to the bus to go home. She alternated from running away from me, hitting the lockers, screaming she did not want to go home, screaming for everyone to wait for her, and finally falling to the floor screaming.
Eventually I helped her on the bus and she went home.

I know I'm doing something or several things wrong. I don't know how to help her. She scares the other high school students, she disrupts my class, and most of all she will soon be out in the real world with no coping skills. She is currently a sophomore in high school.

If you have any advice I would love to hear some. I've tried researching some but I can not find anything that would help. So far I am going to use this chart I just found online and modify it.

My Point Sheet

Name: ___________________________                                             Date: ___________

I am working for: ____________________________   My Daily Point Goal: _________

I have what I need to work. (papers, pencil,
crayons…) 1 Point

Stay in your seat
1 Points
Follow directions
1 Point each time
Use polite language
1 Point
Quiet voice
1 point
1 Point every 10 minutes
Put everything away where it belongs
(finished work in purple bin, pencil in pencil box, dictionary/magazine put away…) Point 3
Period 2

Period 3

Period 4


Period 5

Period 6

Day’s Total >

Did I make my goal today?   Yes   No

What will I work on tomorrow? _______________________________

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Science and Work Task

So I've been trying for a couple of months how to teach science lessons to my sophomores and freshmen, while teaching the juniors and seniors other skills. 10th graders are the only high schoolers have a science unit during the CAPA(state test). During 1 of the periods, I split my class in half. My 9th and 10th graders worked with me and we work on science lessons. My 11th and 12th graders work with my aides on some work task skills. I found so many different work task from the autism helper. I decided to take some of her wonderful ideas and then created some of my own.
 Here are our science lessons. I can't remember where I got the project from. If you know who, please let me know so I could give the proper credit.
Here are some of my work task:

Sorting food into food groups.


Measure Liquids (I use food coloring so it is easier for my students to see the water.)
 Measuring playdo using rulers.

Writing Checks

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Classroom Tour

Here is a tour of my class. So far this seems to work. I started in the beginning of the year with a horse shoe shape for the desk. Then it morphed to 3 smaller horse shoes. That way I can still address the whole class, but my 3 aides are able to work with their assigned small groups easily.
All of my students have a job. They apply for a new job every quarter. I got this from Teacher on a Mission  from Teacher's Pay Teachers.
 My students must pay for items they need. I think next yea I am going to increase the fee every quarter.
 My calendar manager is responsible for getting the calendar ready each month. The words for the months I bought from Lovely Little Leaders. Each month I write the events on the smaller calendar, and my calendar manager must copy it onto the larger one.
 The calendar manager is also responsible for writing out what is happening each week. When there is no even happening that day, they just write "Happy Monday, Happy Tuesday, etc."

 My latest project is to turn these boxes into mail slots for my students.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Classroom Assistance Program

I have always loved the different buddy programs I've seen and read about. At my school I am working with Student Services in creating this program called CAP (Classroom Assistance Program). This program is really cool because  it seeks to pair at-risk students with students in her class as a means of providing an alternative behavior intervention for our at-risk students. Both the at-risk & the students in my class benefit from the pairings. My class is an special day class so they are with me the entire day except for their elective period. I am able to give my students the opportunity to socialize with students in the gen ed population. Usually when the at-rist student comes into my class, they do some academic work with one of my students. When they finish, I will have the students play a game to encourage socialization. I have only worked on this program for 3 weeks, so its very new. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

1st Blog...super excited!

Hi everyone!
I am so excited to start this blog. I have had a really difficult job trying to find blogs for my type of class. I am  the Moderately Developmentally Delayed (MDD) Special Ed teacher at a high school in California. This is my second year of teaching this type of class but my first year at this district. I have seen so many wonderful and creative blogs. I just wanted to join in and give my ideas and what I have found from other places.