June 25th, 2019
An Indiana school recently made headlines after one of its special education teachers presented an autistic fifth grader with an award for “Most Annoying Male” at a school ceremony. While the incident was unfortunate in many ways, perhaps most disturbing was how it revealed that even people who work closely with such children can utterly […]
June 11th, 2018
Rodney came from a family of athletes, so it wasn’t surprising that he was physically active from the time he was a toddler. Tall and strong, he crawled for just a couple of days before he learned to walk, and, soon after, run. Rodney thrived at his preschool, where children could freely move between the […]
May 9th, 2017
Nearly thirty years ago, as a newly minted clinical psychologist, I was fortunate to learn about social-emotional development from the writings of such pioneers as John Bowlby, who launched the field of study known as attachment theory. Bowlby was among the first to recognize the importance of early emotional attachments and their positive impact on […]
April 3rd, 2017
It seemed like simple gesture. A college football player who was visiting a middle school spotted a red-haired sixth grader eating lunch alone, so he joined him. Then the boy’s mother posted a photo on Facebook capturing the moment: her autistic son sitting across a cafeteria table from Travis Rudolph, the Florida State University wide […]
March 22nd, 2017
Thomas was proud of his young son “Roger’s” remarkable knowledge of birds. Roger’s grandmother, an avid bird watcher, had shared birding books and toy bird replicas with the boy when he was young, and he had shown such great enthusiasm for the topic that at age 3, Roger could identify more than 50 types of birds. […]
January 18th, 2017
Every IEP team should assure that a child has the chance to develop emotional regulation through trusting relationships. Without that opportunity, meaningful learning is impossible.
December 3rd, 2016
Are we doing children a disservice by insisting on mind over matter? Some food for thought on how to tailor encouragement to suit each child's unique needs.
August 13th, 2016
We want to shift away from viewing developmental differences as something that needs to be quickly “fixed”. Rather, we need to soften the stance to view differences with patience and compassion; with reflection regarding what behaviors or capacities should be targeted for change, and why
June 16th, 2016
Far too often, children with special educational needs experience disruptions in relationships, including frequent changes in aides, teachers and school placements, causing stress.