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

How To Teach: Safety Skills
Importance of Being Safe
The goal is to always be safe and protected from all of life’s disasters. Sadly, that isn’t reality and our students need assistance in knowing how to move forward in different situations.
 
Helping them to look at a situation and decide what...
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Priority #2: Connect Students and Families with Government and Community Benefits
As a high school life skills special education teacher for juniors and seniors or a transition teacher (or transition coordinator), we all have specific time in our school day for teaching class. Unfortunately, there is never time designated for helping students create opportunities to continue...
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How to Teach: Caring For Your Body During a Period (Menstruation)
Importance of Period and Menstrual Care
Some bodies experience menstruation. Since they do, it’s important to address. While menstruation typically occurs once a month, some students may experience their cycle more or less frequently. Either way, students should know how to care for...
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What I Do as a Transition Facilitator: Roles and Responsibilities
I used to say that as a transition teacher I worked at Disney World because it is notorious for being the happiest place on Earth. While I still work at Disney World, per say, I am now splitting my time between the classroom and serving as a Transition Facilitator for my school district.
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Teaching Life Skills: Nail Care Lesson Plan [Special Education]

Importance of Nail Care

Nail care can easily be seen as a skill that can be pushed off for another day (or another school year). However, having long, jagged, dirty nails can hinder progress in other personal hygiene goals.

While taking care of your fingernails and toenails isn’t a...

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Government and Community Benefits to Consider for Students Graduating or Exiting from Special Ed
If you teach special education life skills to high school juniors or seniors or transition, then you have probably heard of and/or know the value in connecting your students and families with government and community benefits. However, it can often seem like a foreign language that changes...
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How To Teach: Washing Hair and Shaving
Importance of Washing Hair and Shaving
Squeaky clean is a good thing! Hands are clean, teeth are clean, body is clean, and hair is also clean! Dirty hair can attract lice and absorb the smells around it, so washing your hair on a regular basis will help to keep those locks smelling fresh and...
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5 Professional Developments for Special Education Transition Teachers
There are roughly 34,891 different conferences, professional developments, and training opportunities for special education teachers, but most don’t cover the best niche in special education- transition!
 
Our young adult students aren’t ‘kiddos,’ we don’t...
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How To Teach: Brushing Your Teeth
Importance of Brushing Teeth
Clean the body, clean the hands, and clean the teeth! There is both a social value in being clean AND a health value in being clean. Therefore, it's important to explicitly teach students how to be clean. Regardless of age, some students will need step-by-step...
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Building the Vision: 5 Steps to Prepare for Your Child’s Life After Special Education Services
Let’s pretend you are a parent of a child with an intellectual or developmental disability, or the like, and are lying in bed worrying about what their life will be like as an adult. It’s likely you are sweating from worry, probably tossing and turning because you don’t know...
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How To Teach: Picking and Putting on Clothes
Importance of Getting Dressed
It is a social norm for humans to put clothes on to keep their body private, to protect it from the weather, to allow it the ability to move as needed, and to serve as a non-verbal cue to others how they can serve you (work uniform). Therefore, knowing WHAT to...
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How I Told My School I Sell Resources On TeachersPayTeachers
You know that feeling, where you are trying to keep a big secret from everyone and you prepare for the day when someone is going to point blank ask you about your secret? Yeah, that was me with my TeachersPayTeachers store for many years.
 
I was hiding my beloved asset, the one that...
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How To Teach: Taking a Shower and Applying Deodorant
Importance of Showering and Applying Deodorant 
I’ve heard that smell is more closely linked to memory than any other sense. Most likely, a good smell is going to trigger happy thoughts and a bad smell will trigger unhappy thoughts. So, let’s help our young adult students be...
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5 Things I Don’t Do as a Transition Teacher
I’ve been teaching transition for the majority of my teaching career and having taught in high school settings prior, there are so many notable differences (all of which are for the best, in my humble opinion).
 
I’ve listed 5 things I don’t do as a transition...
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How to Teach: Using the Bathroom (Toileting) and Handwashing
Importance of Teaching- Bathroom/Toileting Skills and Washing Hands
The human body needs to relieve itself multiple times throughout the day, thus toileting skills are a necessary part of anyone’s day. Since handwashing occurs most frequently after using the bathroom (as well as before...
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Transition Student and Family Journey To Securing Benefits, Supports, and Services

Out of respect for individual young adult students and their families that I work with, this story is a fictional story based on common experiences.

 
 
Jakeel’s IEP annual review was about 6 weeks away and I reached out to the parent to set-up an informal transition meeting...
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How to Explain SSI to Parents of Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
‘We can support them financially, we don’t need the money.’
 
‘Wow, that care and programming is really expensive. I’m so used to the school providing those services.’
 
‘I think we will worry about that later. Let’s focus on...
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Government Benefits and Your Transition Student: SSI, SSDI, Medicaid, and Medicaid Waiver
Connecting young adults with disabilities with the right supports, services, and benefits is KEY to success after they accept their diploma and leave transition services. If you are newer to teaching life skills or transition, then you may need an overview of what ‘supports, services, and...
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I Wish I Would Have Known This as a New Transition Teacher
I would say it was my first or second year teaching transition when I heard one of my fellow teachers mention 'SSI.' They were curious what the difference was between SSI and SSDI. As you might assume, I was unaware and thought it didn’t apply to me.
 
What I didn’t know...
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Is this Functional Life Skills Curriculum right for you and your students?
After having taught functional life skills to transition age students with intellectual disabilities, autism, down syndrome, and a range of other disabilities for 6+ years, I felt confident creating structured and consistent lesson units (from scratch) that would meet the needs of all students....
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