5 Reasons Why Presuming Competence is ALWAYS a Good Idea

This is an article that Kim, PRN Training & Evaluations Specialist, gives to everyone who works with her son, Hayden.


I think all teachers have had students who led them to that “ah-ha” experience that helped them realize why they got into teaching in the first place. The students were eager, curious, funny, stubborn, persistent, or just plain nice kids. It happened for me back in 1992. I was doing some school reform and inclusive education work with a newly built high school in southern New Hampshire. On my first day at the school, I met two incoming 9th graders, both of whom had pretty significant disabilities. Let’s call them John and Rob.

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Extended School Year (ESY) for Kids with Autism

If your child with autism is like mine, he thrives on routine. Set up a program that works for him, and he’s up with the sun, ready to jump on the school bus, and eager to do what he’s done yesterday and the day before.

Then the school year ends. And for many families, the problems begin.

Children with autism have a tough time adjusting to transitions and change.  But summer is all about vacations to new places, interactions with extended family, different routines, and unexpected events.

What’s even tougher is the reality that children with autism, unlike typical children, have a very hard time just playing with the neighbors, sharing with cousins, or collaborating on the choice of a video game or TV show.  In some cases, asking a child with autism to just relax and take things as they come is asking for major tantrums and negative responses from friends and family.

Fortunately for most families of children with autism, Extended School Year (ESY) offers at least a partial low-cost, at least moderately appropriate answer to the summer dilemma.

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How do you grade for a student with severe cognitive disabilities who is receiving services in the general education setting?

Considerations for grading students with severe cognitive disabilities are the same as for all students with disabilities.  The focus of IDEA 2004 is to provide all students access to general curriculum. Students should earn grades based on activities for which they are accessing the standards, not based on progress toward goals and objectives. The expectations for what these students should achieve in the grade-level content may be different from what is required in grade-level achievement standards due to needed modifications; however, the essence of the content at grade level should not change.

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¿Cómo se califica a un estudiante con discapacidades cognitivas severas que recibe servicios en el entorno de educación general?

Las consideraciones para calificar (asignar notas) a los estudiantes con discapacidades cognitivas severas son las mismas que para todos los estudiantes con discapacidades. El enfoque de IDEA 2004 es el de proporcionar a todos los estudiantes acceso al currículo general. Los estudiantes deben obtener calificaciones basadas en las actividades para las que están accediendo a los estándares, no en base al progreso hacia las metas y los objetivos. Las expectativas de lo que estos estudiantes deben lograr con respecto al contenido del grado pueden ser diferentes de las que se requiere en los estándares de logro del grado escolar debido a las modificaciones necesarias; sin embargo, la esencia del contenido a nivel de grado no debe cambiar.

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