Special Education Department

Proud to Teach Amazing Kids

April 29, 2016 Volume 3 Issue 30

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Mark your Calendar


Better Speech and Hearing Month

Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week- May 2-May 6

Special Education Week- May 8-May 14

5/3 National Teacher Appreciation Day

5/4 Special Education Parent Advisory Group Meeting

5/9 Hess Special Education Meeting

5/10 Shaner Special Education Meeting

5/18 Davies Special Education Meeting

Teacher/Staff Appreciation

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Mental Health First Aid Tip of the Week

How to Communicate Effectively with Young People (cont.)

3. Allow for silence.

Young people may struggle at times to express what they want to say. Interrupting a silent moment may prevent the young person from having adequate time to form their words.

4. Try different settings for communication to see what works best.

There is no right setting for tricky conversations, but where you have the conversation might make you or the young person more comfortable...Activities that do not require much eye contact can make it easier for the young person to talk, and time-limited activities that have a definite endpoint can be less overwhelming for young people as well. Talk to the young person you are helping to find out what would make them most comfortable.

-Youth Mental Health First Aid

To be continued...


Check out PBIS World for information on many types of behaviors and strategies to address them.

Straight from the Code

In an effort to provide both general and special education teachers with more knowledge of special education, there will be an excerpt from the code each week to help clarify our processes.

14 Disabilities defined in the code:

1. Auditorily Impaired

6A:14-3.5(c)1 "Auditorily Impaired" corresponds to "auditorily handicapped" and further corresponds to the Federal eligibility categories of deafness or hearing impairment. "Auditorily Impaired" means an inability to hear within normal limits due to physical impairment or dysfunction of auditory mechanisms characterized by (c)1i or ii below. An audiological evaluation by a specialist qualified in the field of audiology and a speech and language evaluation by a certified speech-language specialist are required.

i. "Deafness"- The auditory impairment is so severe that the student is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification and the student's educational performance is adversely affected.

ii. "Hearing impairment"- An impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating which adversely affects the student's educational performance.

2. Autistic

3. Intellectually Disabled

4. Communication Impaired

5. Emotionally Disturbed

6. Multiply Disabled

7. Deaf/blindness

8. Orthopedically Disabled

9. Other Health Impaired

10. Preschool Child with a Disability

11. Social Maladjustment

12. Specific Learning Disability

13. Traumatic Brain Injury

14. Visually Impaired

Over the next few weeks, each of these terms will be described.

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs visited our preschool classes at Hess and Shaner and some of our special education classes at Shaner this week. Thank you to Laurie Derringer for arranging this visit and to Michele Nilan and Jen Quartararo for suggesting the idea. The students really enjoyed the dogs!

Autism Awareness Month

We are wrapping up Autism Awareness Month and here is a really great video to explain autism to your students- Just Like You- Autism. Thanks for sharing Jen Padula!

Pictured below are some of our William Davies Middle School students presenting a check in the amount of $1,383 to Mrs. Isabelle Mosca, founder of Faces 4 Autism. Thank you to all three schools for participating in the Autism Awareness shirt sale which generated this generous donation. Special thanks to our special education staff members who organized so many autism awareness activities this month!

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Bulletin Boards and Displays

There are many awesome autism awareness displays in the schools! This beautiful display is at the Hess School.

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Winners of the Davies Autism Puzzle Piece Decorating Contest:

Paraprofessionals of the Year!

Congratulations again to our Paraprofessionals of the Year who received commendations from Mayor Amy Gatto at the Paraprofessional of the Year dinner last Friday evening. Pictured below are Bonnie Repko, Maureen Minton, Faye Fuller and Mayor Amy Gatto. Thank you also to Eileen O'Sullivan for organizing this wonderful event!

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Trip to Historic Philadelphia

Many thanks to Laura Veisz for writing the grant and the PTA for funding the grant that sent many of our middle school special education students to historic Philadelphia for a day! Everyone had a fun, educational experience!

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Grants and Contests

From the Department of Education

Student Services Snippets

Critical Information for ALL staff is contained in these short screencasts. They run from 4.5 to 8 minutes. Please refer to them as needed. Two new screencasts have been added.

Accessing IEPs and 504 Plans


Learning Ally

Working with Paraprofessionals NEW!

Critical Information for Paraprofessionals NEW!

If there is other information you feel it would be helpful for us to share via screencast, please let us know.

Learning Ally

Learning Ally provides audiobooks for students with a print disability, visual impairment or medical issue. All three of our schools have received a FREE subscription to Learning Ally this year. If you have a student who might benefit from access to audiobooks and textbooks, click on the link for a brief screencast (7 minutes) about Learning Ally. https://youtu.be/6nyj0ZL_xRs