Engaging in successful conversations can be very challenging for our kiddos with special needs.
Probably the biggest reason that conversations are challenging for our students, is because, like so many things, there are actually many skills involved. Conversation may be one word, but the skills involved in executing it, are numerous and complex.
Conversations involve complex social skills such as, Perspective Taking and Self-Regulation, which are often difficult for students with special needs.
Here are my Top 10 picks for the most important skills needed to be taught to special education students, to help them engage in better conversations with their peers:
1. Physical Proximity
How many times have you seen your students talking to someone as they are walking away or as the other person is walking away, talking to someone who is too far away from them to gain their attention or be heard, talking to someone from...
We all know how important it is to teach and support social skills. Year after year I see more and more children struggling to engage in even very basic social skills.
It’s important to teach social skills, explicitly in many cases, to our students. From kindergarten, all the way through elementary school…and in some cases, beyond.
Here are the 5 basic social skills that I like to teach in the kindergarten classrooms that I service:
Below are some creative ideas for how to teach these important social skills in your day-to-day teaching. I hope you find some helpful ideas that you can quickly and easily add to your routine.
Sharing Ideas: Create many opportunities for your students to share by making materials limited. For example, during a cut and paste activity, put out one less glue stick than number of children at the table. Support...
Do you have students who get really upset when they make even the smallest mistake?
Do you have students who try so hard to avoid making mistakes that they get incredibly anxious and preoccupied with doing something “right?”
Do you have students who struggle to understand (or admit) when they have made a mistake that requires an apology?
I have students who will rip their papers if they don’t like the way something looks. They will work really hard on something and then, out of (what seems like) nowhere, rip it up and throw it across the room.
I also have students who are so afraid to make a mistake that they sit quietly all day and will not start anything until the teacher gives them explicit instructions. They ask the same questions over and over, checking, to make sure they are doing it “right.”
And yes, I also have students who refuse to admit when they make a...
As a mother and a special educator, I generally feel pretty good about my ability to teach children the necessary life skills for a successful future. But recently I was thinking about several life skills that I didn’t teach, at least not as early on as I probably should have!
1. Putting on/fastening a belt
My son recently got a job as a golf caddy. He has to wear a belt. Watching him try to put one on for the first time was truly painful! Did I ever teach him how to put on and fasten a belt?
All the kids these days wear jogging pants to school, at home, everywhere. When he was little, I dressed him. We don’t have “dressy” occasions to go to very often so he never even owned a belt until he started caddying.
But there comes a time in everyone’s life when they need to wear a belt. Teach kids how to do this before, they are expected to know how to do it… and become...