We thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Temple Grandin’s presentation yesterday – the first of three in the Changing Minds webinar series from PresenceLearning during which she talked in depth about advocating and the strategies for helping kids on the spectrum reach their greatest potential. Her insight and personal experience is invaluable to stake holders looking to innovate the special education practices in schools today. Dr. Grandin had so much great advice to share, but these 10 facts really helped us understand how there can definitely not be a “one size fits all” answer when it comes to helping these students succeed in school settings and beyond.

  1. Diagnosis is not precise, only partly based on science. It’s not black and white. There’s a wide spectrum- “Let’s not talk about the Autism, let’s talk about the problem.”

  2. It can be hard for teachers to switch from students who are not on the spectrum to ones on the spectrum.

  3. Autistic children need a very wide variety of services.

  4. Young language deficient students need to have as much 1 to 1 face time with a trusted adult to successfully learn verbal skills.

  5. Different kids respond to different sensory stimulations based on where they are on the spectrum.

  6. Many give up on occupational therapy, but you have to give it time and keep doing it routinely for it to work.

  7. Tablets and laptop screens don’t flicker and are best for autistic kids.

  8. By having kids find their passion and join groups that highlight those passions, like scouts, band, etc. they are less likely to be bullied or isolated.

  9. Kids can and need to start learning work skills as early as Middle school.

  10. It’s best to have the same rules/ routine at home and at school. “Need to get away from more of the top-down thinking and start from the bottom up.”

If you missed the webinar yesterday, find the archived recording here.  You can also register for the rest of the series, to hear both Dr. Barry Prizant and Dr. Jordan Wright share more expertise and thoughts on what is most needed in special education services today.

In today’s world, technology is making it possible to leverage resources, widen the reach and personalize services to all students- not just the ones considered mainstream. PresenceLearning provides live online speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, counseling and other related services to thousands of students nationwide. Since more than forty percent of their students are on the spectrum, the therapists have extensive expertise in providing individualized instruction for the wide array of speech, language, pragmatic and social skills that children with autism require and deserve.

PresenceLearning is Getting Smart Advocacy Partner.

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