Pick of the Week: ABA Curriculum for the Common Core Books for Kindergarten & 1st Grade

Use the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in this groundbreaking curriculum to teach the Common Core state standards in special education classrooms. Available in Kindergarten and First Grade, the ABA Curriculum for the Common Core drills down into each standard and breaks it into teachable steps. This week, SAVE 15% on the ABA Curriculum for the Common Core books for Kindergarten and First Grade. Use promo code KINDERFIRST when you check-out online or over the phone: (800) 853-1057.

Programs are presented in a format that supports data collection and ease of use. Clear teaching instructions detail the Teaching ProcedureDiscriminative Stimulus, and the Materials needed for each lesson or activity. Each standard also list several targets that demonstrate the steps and goalposts needed for mastery.

What professionals have said…

“This highly organized and comprehensive curriculum is a must for all special education teachers working to implement the Common Core standards in the classroom. Every teacher and student need is anticipated and planned for. With this curriculum as a resource, the Common Core standards are no longer an obstacle, but instead an accessible program of study for all students.” — Linda McSorley, Special Education Teacher

ABA Curriculum for the Common Core is bound to be the type of reference book every special educator will be reaching for. With its comprehensive, accessible, and task-analyzed programs, ABA strategies, and data collection sheets, Sam Blanco has created a compilation dream for all educators working with children who have special needs.” — Val Demiri, PhD, BCBA-D, Adjunct Professor, Endicott College

“Different Roads to Learning and Sam Blanco have developed the first of its kind: a user-friendly manual and kit of appropriate curriculum with materials for special needs students that aligns with the Common Core. The manual includes prepared data sheets and easy-to-read curriculum sheets. …  In addition, the focus of the skills targeted are prerequisites for lifelong skills the student will need throughout their education and beyond. Utilizing the principles of applied behavior analysis, teachers will be able to use motivation and reinforcement techniques to enhance student learning.” — Cheryl Davis, Educational and Behavioral Consultant, MSEd, BCBA

Don’t forget to use our promo code KINDERFIRST to redeem your savings this week only on the ABA Curriculum for the Common Core books!

*Offer expires at 11:59pm EST on February 23, 2016. Promotion does not apply to past purchases. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code KINDERFIRST at checkout! Call our friendly customer service team at (800) 853-1057 with any inquiries.

Simplifying the Science: Choiceworks App – Increase Self-Monitoring and Autonomy in Students with ASD

Finding the appropriate educational setting for individuals with autism can be quite challenging. And in working to provide the least restrictive environment, sometimes students are placed in classrooms where they can do the work but requires additional supports. This makes teaching self-monitoring all the more important as we strive to help our students attain independence in all areas.

A recent study by Miller, Doughty, & Krockover (2015) used an iPad app as part of an intervention to increase self-monitoring for three students with moderate intellectual disabilities in their science class. The goal was to increase autonomy in problem-solving activities linked the science lesson for that day. The app they used was called Choiceworks, which the authors described as: “a daily routine board maker [that] contains prompting tools to assist users through daily tasks. Checklists, schedule boards, activity timers, and a communication board can be developed using this system” (p. 358).

Over the course of a two-week period, each student was provided with three training sessions for how to use the iPad based on a task analysis the authors had devised. Skills taught included swiping, changing the volume, and operating the Choiceworks app. Next, the authors introduced five steps of problem-solving and provided mini-lessons on each of the steps. The authors used stories that required problem-solving, then taught the students how to use the app to navigate through the five steps of problem solving. Finally, the intervention was introduced in the science classroom.

All three students in this study significantly increased their independence in problem-solving. Furthermore, the results were generalized to solving problems related to daily living and were maintained over time.

The results of this study are important for several reasons. First, it demonstrates one method for increasing independence in individuals with developmental disabilities. Second, this increase in independence provides opportunities for more natural peer interaction since the individual with the disability will not have an adult always standing next to them. Finally, using a tool such as an iPad mini (as these researchers did) or iPhone is beneficial because many people are walking around with such devices, allowing individuals with disabilities to use a device to promote independence without increasing the threat of social stigma. The authors clearly show that, when provided with proper instruction, students with developmental disabilities can use the iPad mini to become more independent with both academic and daily living skills.

REFERENCES

Miller, B., Doughty, T., & Krockover, G. (2015). Using science inquiry methods to promote self-determination and problem-solving skills for students with moderate intellectual disability. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 50(3), 356-368.

WRITTEN BY SAM BLANCO, MSED, BCBA

Sam is an ABA provider for students ages 3-12 in NYC. Working in education for ten years with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays, Sam has developed strategies for achieving a multitude of academic, behavior, and social goals. Sam is currently pursuing her PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis at Endicott College.

Pick of the Week: Coin-U-Lator + Worksheets!

Learn about money with this fun and interactive coin-counting calculator. With reinforcing voice acknowledgements such as “Good Job!” or “Way to Go!” kids will enjoy learning how to count money and how to determine how much is needed to make a purchase with the Coin-U-Lator.

The Coin-U-Lator also comes with accompanying worksheets that offer lessons and further practice for learning how to count money. The workbook comes with 100 reproducible worksheets that are arranged in progressive levels of difficulty.

This week, save 15%* on your order of both the Coin-U-Lator and Coin-U-Lator Worksheets and get a head-start on teaching your young learner how to count money in a fun and engaging way! Use promo code COIN15 when you check out online.

*Offer expires on December 29, 2015 at 11:59pm EST. Offer is not valid on past purchases. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code COIN15 at check-out! Call our friendly customer service team at (800) 853-1057 with any inquiries.

“Increasing Articulation in Children with Autism” by Tracie Lindblad

Following our last feature on guided playdates, we’ve partnered with the Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT) again this week to bring you an article by Tracie Lindblad, Reg. CASLPO (SLP), MS, MEd, BCBA, on increasing speech intelligibility in children with autism. To learn more about ASAT, please visit their website at www.asatonline.org. You can also sign up for ASAT’s free newsletter, Science in Autism Treatment, and like them on Facebook!

How do you increase speech intelligibility (articulation skills) or the variability in the sounds produced by children with autism spectrum disorders?
Answered by Tracie L. Lindblad, Reg. CASLPO (SLP), MS, MEd, BCBA

Approximately 30–50% of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remain minimally verbal throughout their lives, with little or no functional speech (National Institutes of Health & National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 2010; Johnson, 2004; Mirenda, 2003). These individuals may rely on more effortful modes of communication such as reaching for desired items, taking another’s hand to gain access, or obtaining the item independent of communication. Attempts to communicate may also take the form of challenging behaviours such as aggression, self-injury, and tantrums.

Parents face a difficult task in choosing a treatment for minimally verbal children with ASD because a wide range of techniques are routinely used by speech-language pathologists and behaviour analysts with varying degrees of success and evidence.

The following table highlights some of the most-commonly implemented interventions to target speech skills and the current evidence base for each.

Increasing Articulation Table 1Increasing Articulation Table 2

Within the fields of behaviour analysis and speech pathology, evidence-based practice (EBP) should shape and guide our treatment decisions. EBP is the integration of:

  • external scientific evidence,
  • clinical expertise/expert opinion, and
  • client/patient/caregiver perspectives.

Principles of EBP can help any professional to provide high-quality services which reflect the interests, values, needs, and choices of the individuals, and promote the best outcomes possible with the current evidence to date. Continue reading

Tip of the Week: The Importance of Replacement Behaviors

Recently I’ve written several posts about the importance of reinforcement, but now I want to turn my attention to another important concept: replacement behaviors. It can be very easy to slip into the habit of telling kids what NOT to do. “Don’t touch that! Don’t pick your nose! Don’t run!” However, if we can turn it around and tell kids what to do instead we often see higher rates of compliance.

Cute little girl isolated, holding a stop sign

Here are a few examples of replacement behaviors you can teach:

  • A student refuses to speak when he/she does not understand a question. You can teach the student what to say, such as “I don’t understand” or “Can I get help?” Teach through modeling and role playing in one-to-one settings, then generalize it to the classroom or other environments in which the skill is necessary.
  • When you begin a math lesson, one student frequently attempts to run out of the room. Introduce a signal or symbol (such as a holding up a stop sign) to request a break. Initially, you might give the break each time the student uses the sign correctly, then begin to require more and more math work before a break is received. This allows for appropriate and safe breaks without disrupting the rest of the class.
  • When your learner is done with dinner, he pushes his plate into the middle of the table. Teach your learner to instead put items in the sink. You might start with just placing the fork in the sink, then add more and more items until he/she is clearing the table independently. Another replacement behavior may be to use a symbol or signal as in the previous example to request to leave the table, or to teach the learner to say “May I go?”

Replacement behaviors should be simple to implement, should be taught one-on-one with multiple opportunities to practice and be reinforced, and should, if possible, be functionally equivalent to the undesirable behavior. (For example, if a child is engaging in one behavior to escape, the replacement behavior should teach a more appropriate way to escape.)

Sometimes, simply instructing the learner on a replacement behavior makes a huge change, but often you need to combine teaching a replacement behavior with other strategies (such as differential reinforcement). What I do know is that identifying and teaching a replacement behavior is a necessary part of almost any intervention and should not be overlooked.

WRITTEN BY SAM BLANCO, MSED, BCBA

Sam is an ABA provider for students ages 3-12 in NYC. Working in education for ten years with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays, Sam has developed strategies for achieving a multitude of academic, behavior, and social goals. Sam is currently pursuing her PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis at Endicott College.

Pick of the Week: SAVE 30% on Robot Turtles – the Game for Little Programmers!

Robot Turtles Promotion

Robot Turtles: The Game for Little Programmers is an innovative board game that teaches the fundamentals of computer programming to kids as young as four without a screen. That’s right – no screen, no keyboard, no special effects; just great design and an innovative concept! And this week only, we’re letting you save 30% on your order of Robot Turtles! Just use promo code TURTLES30 when you check-out.

With its origin as the most backed board game in Kickstarter history, Robot Turtles sneakily teaches the fundamentals of programming, from coding to functions, while making silly turtle noises! Takes seconds to learn, minutes to play and provides endless learning opportunities.

Watch the video below to learn how to play the game!

Robot Turtles Video

*Offer is valid until 11:59pm EST on November 3rd, 2015. Not compatible with any other offers. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code at checkout!

Pick of the Week: Special Savings on Hooray for Play! Activity Cards

Pretend play offers children an opportunity for perspective taking, problem solving, cooperation, social emotional skill acquisition and language development. Children learn through their experiences and what better way to engage in the largest possible array of activities than through pretend play? For a special price of $12.95 only $4.95, you can get your set of Hooray for Play! and start off the school year with endless learning opportunities through play.

Hooray for Play! is a multi-use deck of 31 beautifully hand-drawn cards that can be implemented initially by parents and educators as an instructional tool and later used by learners independently. This week, we’re offering Hooray for Play! at a special price of only $4.95. No promo code necessary. Get your set of Hooray for Play! at a discounted price while stock lasts!

Hooray for Play! breaks down the components of the 31 individual play schema cards into the three organized sections that provide a memorable framework for sociodramatic play. The Do! Section explains the various roles, Say!! outlines possible scripted statements by the involved actors and Play!!! offers suggestions for props and set-up. An additional card in the set offers suggestions for use that guides users through creative steps in reinforcing learning and play skills.

Get your deck of Hooray for Play! at only $4.95 this week and start making playtime a rewarding and educational experience for your students! Have fun!

Pick of the Week: Occupational Octaves Piano Curriculum for Students with Special Needs

Occupational Octaves Piano is the first of its kind curriculum written in the special-needs-user-friendly language of music. Named Lee Stockner’s Music Box Method, this unique piano program has been enriching the lives of students with Autism through music since 2009. This week only, we’re offering 15%* off any or all 3 of the Occupational Octaves Piano Books within the curriculum. Just use our promo code OCTAVES at check-out!

The original language of music can be a confusing symbolic language that should perfectly instruct a student as to which notes, fingers and beats to play. Occupational Octaves Piano students read the same instructions, not through the traditional presentation of confusing musical symbols, but through colored letters in rhythmically designed boxes. This means that students on the autism spectrum, including those with severe disabilities, can play the same songs as a traditional player with the same notes, fingers and beats as a mainstream student would. Each curriculum music book comes with a set of rings that are placed on the player’s fingers to help them match their hands to the notes they’re seeing.

Hundreds of students with autism have successfully learned to play the piano using this method. Give your students the gift of music with the Occupational Octaves Piano curriculum series. This program is a revolutionary approach that develops cognitive, physical and emotional gains to a wide variety of soon-to-be musicians!

Don’t forget to take 15% off* your order of any or all 3 of the Occupational Octaves Piano Books this week only by using promo code OCTAVES at check-out!

*Offer is valid until 11:59pm EST on August 18th, 2015. Not compatible with any other offers. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code at checkout!

“Touch Red” – A Poem by Georgie Herz, ABA Teacher

Here’s a touching – pun intended! – poem given to us by Georgie Herz, an ABA teacher from Special School District in St. Louis, MO, that we thought we’d share with all of you so you can start off your weekend with a smile.

Touch Red
Georgie Herz

Touch red
One card, one choice
Touch red

This is touching red
A prize, cheerios, candy, a car
This is touching red
I’ll guide your hand it’s not far
Touch red

Three times, I’m keeping score
Now with two
Touch red, I pray not blue
This is touching red

Add yellow, three cards, three times
Touch red you score
Pick a prize
Yes there’s more
Touch red

A week or two or three or four
We check again, yea you score
Touch red, there’s more

Cards are gone
See the bears
We start with one
Then it’s two
A prize for each one
You do

Touch red.

 

Pick of the Week: Visual Task Completion Schedules

Keep students on track with these handy visual task completion schedules! This week, you can save 15%* on the Task Completion Schedule and the Flip When Finished Schedule. Just enter promo code SCHED15 at check-out to redeem your savings!

The Task Completion Schedule features clear “X” symbols to show a task has been completed. Simply take one of the Velcro “X” symbols and place it over the image of a task to show that it is completed. This black loop schedule also comes with a removable pocket to hold the 6 finished symbols, which have hook fasteners on their ends to attach to the schedule over the pictures. The Task Completion Schedule measures 28″ x 4″.

The Flip When Finished Schedule contains detachable clear pockets to keep students on track with their tasks. Simply flip the picture over when a task is complete or to reveal a new task. This schedule can be hung horizontally or vertically against a wall or board. Includes eight 3.5″ x 3.5″ pockets with one clear side with its reverse colored vinyl. A hook strip on top of both sides keeps it stuck to the loop schedule. The Flip When Finished Schedule measures 34″ x 4″.

Don’t forget to save 15%* this week on the Task Completion Schedule and the Flip When Finished Schedule when you enter in promo code SCHED15 at check-out!

*Offer is valid until 11:59pm EST on July 14th, 2015. Not compatible with any other offers. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code at checkout!