Teaching Independence for Children with Special Needs

“Look Again” Positive Ways to Provide Corrections to School Work
Situation: 

Several students in my Learning Support class become very upset when I make corrections on their papers.  I’ve tried calling them up to my desk for a private review of their errors, and they still cry, protest, or shut down.  How can I get them to fix their mistakes without the negative reactions?

School Store Social Skills
Situation: 

The students in my Life Skills class need more practice with social skills, but they always seem to clam up in those unstructured times like lunch and in between classes.  Is there something I can do to help them have more opportunities to interact?

In-School Community-Based Instruction
Situation: 

My older middle school Life Skills students need some community-based work experiences, but our school is located in a rural area without many opportunities nearby.  What can I do to help them learn some beneficial work skills?

Visual Cues Labeling: Laundry
Situation: 

Whenever I bring a basket full of clean clothes into my son’s room and ask him to put his clothes away, he begins to yell “I can’t do this.” How can I help my son to better understand the chore and do it independently?

Mini-Schedule: Toothbrushing
Situation: 

How can I get my son to brush his teeth when he is getting ready for bed? I have to tell him what to do for every step even though he knows how to do this.

Visual Cues Labeling: Dishwasher
Situation: 

I’ve tried teaching my son how to empty dishwasher. He does a good job when I talk him through it, but if I’m not standing right there, he just piles everything on the counter or puts stuff in the wrong place. I’m not sure if he is just being lazy or if he really doesn’t understand the task. How can I help him be more independent and accurate?

Toilet Training: Habit Training
Situation: 

I don’t think my students are ready to be toilet trained but I’d like to begin the process. Which students might be appropriate and when do you begin to try?

Center Engagement for Students with Challenges
Situation: 

I have some students in my classroom who have autism and other diagnosed disabilities. Two of my students are non-verbal and have difficulty staying with the centers I have for other students. In addition they are non-readers. What kind of centers can I have? They can match and we do many relevant life skill activities but I don’t know what to have for centers.

Task Object Mini-Schedule: Art Class
Situation: 

I have a student who is integrated into my art class. He is nonverbal and has autism. When he arrives he drops to the floor and cries. The paraprofessional does hand-over hand the whole time then takes him to the back of the room and they play with geometric blocks which he likes. How can I make this time more enjoyable and productive for him?

Toilet Training: How to Start
Situation: 

I teach students with a variety of disabilities including autism from ages 7 through 10. Some of my students are toilet trained and some are not, but I think a couple of the kids are ready to start training. How do I know if they are ready for a toilet training program?