Special Education Scoop

May 2022

In this Issue

Early Childhood Corner

Speech Spot

Texas Parent to Parent

The Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University - Training Opportunity

Texas Virtual Autism Conference

Pflugerville Autism Buddies

Summer is Here!

Summer Opportunities


Important Dates

Early Childhood Corner

Five Ideas to Encourage Learning This Summer




School may be out for the summer, but there are still lots of opportunities for young children to play and learn! Here are five ideas:

  1. Take your child to a live performance - Family friendly events are a great way to teach your child about the performing arts. Try these tips to help young children prepare for the experience.
  2. Read books about warm weather fun -These stories focus on playing outdoors, visiting relatives, and cooling off in the water. Read a story then try one of the suggested activities with your child! (And before heading to the parks and playgrounds for outdoor play, be sure to review these sun safety tips to keep young children protected!)
  3. Turn any walk into a nature walk - Use time outdoors with young children to help them learn about the natural world. Explore your neighborhood, observe the weather, examine plants, flowers, and more!
  4. Visit museums and libraries in your town - Find low-cost or no-cost local attractions to visit with young children (zoos, botanical gardens, libraries, and aquariums - to name a few) to assist in their summer learning adventures.
  5. Create mini-learning centers at home - Use these ideas to fill boxes with materials and props related to a topic to give children a hands-on way to learn!

Speech Spot

Anyone can learn a new language. Some people find it easier than others, but all can do it. Speaking two languages is like any other skill. You need a lot of practice to do it well. Without practice, your child will have a harder time using both languages.

There are a number of ways to teach your child to speak more than one language. You can:

  • Use two languages from the start. Many children grow up learning two languages at the same time.
  • Use only one language at home. Your child can learn the second language when he starts school.
  • Give your child many chances to hear and practice both languages during the day.

Every bilingual child is unique. Learning two languages depends on the amount and type of practice your child gets. The following are some basic guidelines:

  • Most bilingual children speak their first words by the time they are 1 year old. By age 2, most children can use two-word phrases. Phrases like "my ball" or "more juice" can be in one or both languages.
  • From time to time, children may mix grammar rules. They might use words from both languages in the same sentence. This is a normal part of becoming bilingual.
  • Some children may not talk much when they start using a second language. This “silent period” can last for several months. Again, this is normal and will go away.

Ways to help your child become bilingual are the following:

  • Books. You can read to your child in both languages. You can find the books you need at bookstores, at libraries, and on the Internet.
  • Music. Singing is a great way to introduce a second language to your child. And, it can be a lot of fun!
  • TV and videos. Children’s programs are available in many languages. These programs teach children about numbers, letters, colors, and simple words.
  • Language programs. Children can learn other languages at camps or in bilingual school programs. These give children the chance to use two languages with other children.

Your child might have trouble using both languages. In this case, talk to your child in the language you know best. You should do this even if your child uses a different language at school. A good language model gives your child the skills he needs to learn other languages. But try not to make a sudden change in your child’s routine. This can be stressful.

Remember, children all over the world learn more than one language all the time. Learning another language will not cause or worsen speech or language problems. Bilingual children develop language skills just as other children do.

Texas Parent to Parent

Texas Parent to Parent provides support, information, and education for families of children and adults with disabilities, chronic and mental health conditions and other health care needs.

See below for information on their State Wide Conference. Registration opens soon. Child care, registration scholarships, and financial aid will also be available.


Big picture

The Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University - Training Opportunity

The Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University would like to offer training at no cost to Texas parents and caregivers of children up to age 22 with core features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Parents and caregivers will learn how to improve their child's communication skills. This service is provided by a grant project entitled Coach to Communicate (C2C), sponsored by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The training includes a 1-hour self-paced webinar that teaches behavioral strategies to increase communication use in children with ASD. Once complete, parents can choose to be paired with a coach for a more intensive 12-week training specific to their child’s communication needs (again, at no cost to parents). Coaching is offered in English and Spanish.

To see training modules available, enroll at https://prep.catalog.instructure.com

Flyers are available below in English and Spanish.

For assistance, reach out to at TAMUAuParent@tamu.edu.

Texas Virtual Autism Conference

The 30th annual Texas Virtual Autism Conference will provide parents, educators, campus leadership, and individuals with autism with strategies, resources, tools, and evidence-based practices in the education and service of persons with autism. This year we are raising the bar!

We invite parents, guardians, and caretakers to join our June 25, 2022 sessions free of charge. These sessions are geared towards parenting and caretaker topics that improve the lives of our students and children with autism. There are over 15 breakout sessions and our closing keynote on this day. Our conference will be presented via our Attendify app.

FAMILY DAY | JUNE 25, 2022


All sessions will be recorded and available for viewing on demand through 5 pm on 8/28/2022. Some sessions will be available in Spanish.

For More Information

For more information, please visit our conference website at www.txautism.net/conference.

Pflugerville Autism Buddies

The Pflugerville Autism Buddies program promotes positive interaction between the officers of the Pflugerville Police Department and individuals with Autism (or related conditions).

Family members or guardians can apply for an ID card below that will help officers communicate depending on the individual’s needs and provide an emergency contact if they need help.

Questions about this program? Contact Community Services at communityservices@pflugervilletx.gov.


Summer Opportunities

Summer is a great time for our students to practice their self determination skills. Summer typically offers unstructured time which means many of our students may get out of the routine and struggle with motivation to be productive, connect with others, and keep engaging their environment. Students are usually more willing to participate in something that they have had a part in planning. Here are a few things that students can do this summer to increase their independence.

  1. Create a weekly visual or written schedule of things they will do daily and special events that might be coming up this summer.

  2. If there are doctors appointments, summer camps, trips, fun things - have your student practice telling you how many days or weeks it is until that event.

  3. If your student has difficulty coming up with choices, offer a choice list of activities and chores the student can do during the day.

  4. Pay attention to what tasks, chores, and activities your student is good at and likes doing without much prompting. Having him/her explore occupations that use those skills and interests are a great way for your student to develop self-efficacy about the future.

  5. Finally, if it has been a stressful year. Allow yourself and your student time to reflect, relax, and recuperate for a great 2022-23 year. Practicing self care is important and learning ways to take care of our stress is important.

Important Dates

May 26, 2022 - Early Release/Last Day of School

June 25, 2022 - Texas Autism Virtual Conference for Families

July 22-23, 2022 - Texas Parent to Parent Conference

August 16, 2022 - First Day of 22/23 School Year

September 5, 2022 - Staff and Student Holiday

August 16, 2022 - October 13, 2022 - First Nine Weeks

October 14, 2022 - Student Holiday