Instruction for Children with Special Needs

Classroom Quick & Easy Social Skills Instruction
Situation: 

I have a student with Asperger Syndrome in my regular education classroom. So many workshops indicate we should be teaching social skills in the environment. There is so little time during the day. What is a quick and doable way to provide social skills instruction in the crunched time we have?

Group Steps & Options
Situation: 

I have a student who has difficulty working in groups. He either moves away, tries to work alone or he is giving “orders” to everyone. Inevitably the group falls apart with arguments or work uncompleted. How can I help this student work positively in groups?

Keep it Relevant
Situation: 

I lose many of my students during instructional time that is teacher directed and includes longer time spans of discussion and lecture. How can I hold the attention of my students who may have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or students with a Learning Disability?

Modifying Open-Ended Questions: Concrete Models
Situation: 

I teach a gifted class and have a student on the Autism Spectrum. We work on many creative and imaginative projects that have Open Ended Questions or Abstract Prompts. My student has great difficulty getting started on these projects and doesn’t seem to understand how to begin. What can I do to help her?

Motivation Spice: Vocabulary
Situation: 

In my Language Arts classes students must look up 15 vocabulary words and write the meanings. I have such a variety of learners that I don’t think this is the best method to teach the words anymore. I have students who are bored, students who have difficulty locating the words, or difficulty summarizing the definition. When it is homework it is rarely completed well by many students if completed at all. The entire task is laborious, what else can I do to teach these words and ensure the students are learning and not groaning?

Physical Prompting “Think Abouts”
Situation: 

I am using a prompt hierarchy from most to least with a student to teach eating with a spoon. But whenever I do hand-over-hand he jerks his hand away – how can I teach him?

Graphic Organizer to Build Vocabulary-Frayer Model
Situation: 

I am a middle school Learning Support teacher and have 2 very bright students (above average IQ) with Asperger’s Syndrome that surprisingly have a tough time understanding some of the words or concepts in our reading selections, even though their expressive vocabulary seems pretty “profession-like” at times.  Any ideas of how I can build their receptive vocabulary?

Intervention for Masturbation in School
Situation: 

I am a Learning Support teacher and have a 5th grade student with High Functioning Autism. He has been putting his hands down his pants while in the classroom. It appears that he is masturbating and I am not quite sure how to handle this…any ideas?

Proximity and Questions
Situation: 

What do I do when my student keeps her head in her desk playing when I’m teaching and the class is doing a worksheet? She won’t answer me when I correct her.

Test-Taking Toolkit
Situation: 

I have a student in my class whom I know is very bright, but his test scores sure don’t show it!  He’s attentive during class and participates on occasion, so it seems like he’s following along but then freezes on the exam.  What can I do to help him prepare more effectively?