Sharing my experience in the classroom as a life skills special ed transition teacher by providing resources and solutions for fellow educators

Intellectual Disability vs Autism: The Difference Between

As a former special education teacher, I've sat in many, many, many IEP meetings where eligibility testing scores and reports were shared with students and families.  To the untrained ear, it can feel like lots of numbers, confusing terms, and psychology jargon.    Hearing...

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Understanding the Different Types of Special Needs Trusts

Special needs trusts, ABLE Accounts, and finances, oh my!  While I typically cover topics geared toward high school and transition age students, getting finances in order is a topic that families with students and loved ones of all ages can learn from.

 

Estate planning (or financial...

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Disability Benefits: Options for Adults with Autism

There are a variety of disability benefits for adults with autism spectrum disorder.  From financial help to housing opportunities to health insurance, there are different ways for autistic people to get the funding and support they need.  

 

Whether you are an adult with...

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30 Best Light Up Sensory Toys for Teens & Adults with Autism

I was fortunate enough to teach in a newly renovated building with a Snozelon room. The room featured a light-up permanent peg board, a vibrating upholstered chair, fiber optic tentacles hanging from the ceiling, and a large bubble tube. Sensory rooms made specifically for students with special...

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25+ Chew Toys for Teens and Adults With Autism [Oral Sensory]

As a special education transition teacher for young adults with the highest support needs, it wasn't uncommon for me to find a few chewies around my classroom at the end of the school day. And it is common for students to go through periods of wanting to use a chewie more than others or for some...

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50 Best Calming Sensory Toys for Teens & Adults with Autism

When I was in the classroom, I would observe students becoming elevated due to worry, a new or unpreferred demand, a change in schedule, etc., and there were times when it was necessary to be uncomfortable for growth and learning and other times when the student needed strategies to calm back...

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25 Best End-of-the-Year Gift Ideas Teachers Will Love

As a 15 year veteran educator, I was blessed to receive gifts of thanks during the holidays (Christmas) and end of the school year.  I'm sharing the best gifts I have received and loved and would love to receive if I were still teaching in the classroom.  

 

While...

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50 Best Spinning Toys for Teens and Adults with Autism

Prism Cube  |  Helicone Lollipopter   |  Weighted Hula Hoop   |  Twisting Board

 

Spinning, whether handheld fidgets or their own body, is a visual and vestibular sensory input experience enjoyed by many teens and adults with autism spectrum disorder and...

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101 Best Fidget Toys for Teens and Adults with Autism & ADHD

Please do NOT buy that fidget box full of random rainbow-colored fidgets, and I hope it will meet the needs of teens and adults!  You are bound to find that they are small in size, simple, and limited in use.  

So, I made a list of the best fidget toys out there for older kids,...

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101 Sensory Toys for Adults with Disabilities, Autism, & ADHD

Calling all adult sensory seekers!  Autistic children become autistic teens who become autistic adults; the same goes for other disabilities and ADHD, and they most likely will not outgrow their sensory-seeking behavior.  Someone with an autism spectrum disorder or a disability...

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11 Best Methods for Teaching Nonverbal Students with Autism

I think every special education teacher has had the feeling of wanting to teach new skills or address IEP goals with a student and knowing all the ways that haven't worked.  Educators often turn to other coworkers looking for the right tools, including ideas, insight, and suggestions for...

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100 Fun & Engaging Activities for Adults with Special Needs  

This list goes beyond the cliche suggestions of playing board games, trying new card games, and making stress balls and sensory bottles (although those can be fun activities, too)!  Aiming to be age-appropriate for adults and skill—and ability-conscious, it includes ten ideas for ten...

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125 Pre Vocational IEP Goals for High School and Transition

Early in my time teaching transition my fellow special education teachers and I split up the responsibility of visiting job sites and teaching vocational skills classes.  Like any true novice teacher, I focused most of my vocational skills class time on writing text-based resumes and mock...

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IEP Transition Goals for High School and Transition Students

I had the pleasure of supporting a family friend as they prepared for an upcoming IEP meeting a few months back. After sharing some feedback about the IEP draft, I reviewed some lingo they may hear from school staff during the meeting, explained what it meant, and then walked them through the...

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Cooking Skills Worksheets for Students with Special Needs

Some of my favorite memories of teaching stem from my beloved cooking lessons.  It was always a mix of chaos, laughs, near misses, and young adults with special needs scarfing down their deliciously messy plates.  I was actually observed by my assistant department chair, department...

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What’s Available to Help Disabled Young Adults in Illinois: Funding, Services, and Supports

Whether the young adult needs funding (i.e. money), services (like therapy), or support (such as help with daily tasks like showering and cooking meals), there are programs available to help pay for these needs.  

While I dream about the day that young adults and their families in...

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3 Valentine’s Day (ish) Activities for Special Ed High School and Transition

It’s early February and everything is red and pink, Reese cups are now in the shape of hearts, and you basically trip over love-themed stuffed animals whenever you walk into a store.  Valentine’s day is coming!  

If you are looking for some Valentine’s Day-themed...

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What You Need to Know When Applying for SSI

What is SSI?  Supplemental Security Income, or SSI for short, is a monthly payment issued to an individual with a disability to help cover the cost of living expenses.   SSI funds can be used to cover the costs of respite, transportation, care providers, rent, food, and...

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Renting Lesson: Understanding a Lease, Manage Paying Bills, and More!
I’m sharing an in-depth resource review of my most recent Renting lesson unitWhile my original Rent lesson unit covers the necessary basics, this new resource includes all your favorite things but dives a bit deeper into renting.  So, if you are looking for materials to teach...
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4 Small Business Ideas for Students in Special Education

The mindset that students with higher support needs (aka severe to profound, multi-needs, low functioning) don’t have the ability or interest to engage in vocational training is outdated.   

 

Working 9-5 is not everyone’s dream and meaningfully contributing to...

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