Sunday, March 10, 2013

Temple Grandin & No More Meltdowns!

As an intervention specialist one of the coolest things is to see a person with disabilities become a successful member of society.  My mother teaches the multiple handicapped at a high school level and has always been one of my personal heroes.  I have a hard enough time juggling students with learning disabilities or students that have ADHD that interferes with their academics.  Teaching students with severe disabilities takes a special gift that I don't have but I truly admire those who do!  Therefore, when my mom wanted me to attend a Temple Grandin conference I jumped at the chance.

 Talk about an inspiration!  I have always wanted to hear her speak especially after seeing the HBO movie where Claire Danes plays Temple Grandin.  I was not disappointed!  We heard Temple speak Friday and she was fantastic!  It was so interesting to hear about autism from a person who was actually afflicted with the condition.  She showed pictures of her brain and the brain of an average person which visually showed differences and similarities.  It really hit home that we need to focus on the students area of strength and really encourage that area because it could become their profession one day which is what happened for her and the cattle industry.   We need to encourage students to become active members of society although it may be more comfortable to stay at home and play video games. 
 Pictured above Temple Grandin with the DVD of the HBO movie Temple Grandin.

Temple Grandin actually only spoke for an hour and half of the conference day and for the rest of the portion the presenter was Dr. Jed Baker who is a behavioral consultant in New Jersey.  He was fantastic.  It seems like behavioral concerns within the constraints of the general education classroom are only increasing instead of decreasing.  Since I am an intervention specialist, I am supposed to have ideas but behavior is not an area which I am extremely knowledgeable.

 Dr. Baker had great ideas and was able to present it with real life situations so that it hit home and made sense.  There is so much I am going to utilize from his presentation that I would be writing forever if I shared it all so I am going share the overall theme today.  The overall theme for his presentation was HOPE!  which really hit me because it is so easy to get bogged down with all the negativity that surrounds that student and the behavior.  But he emphasized the need to remain calm during a meltdown and make sure you hold onto the hope that the behavior will and can get better.  He emphasized that the students need to know that there is HOPE and OPTIMISM for a bright future.  One of the first things I plan on working on is Don't be a BULLY be a HERO.  I have already bought Melonheadz clip art to accompany my creations:)  So stay tuned!

Pictured above is Dr. Jed Baker with his book No More Meltdowns.  
I got a copy of the book and I am excited to check it out!

I would love to hear your thoughts, experiences, & insights about students with disabilities or behavioral issues in your classroom. 

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