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Is Labeling Children Good or Bad? The View of a School Psychologist

In ADHD, Autism, Counselors, Educational Strategies & Tips, Educators, Intellectual Disability, Learning Disabilities, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Parents, Special Education by Rachel Wise

I am a school psychologist. My main job is to evaluate students to see if they are eligible for special education. In order for a child to be eligible they have to meet criteria for one of 14 disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA). If they do not meet criteria for at least one of these …

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Does Asperger's Syndrome Still Exist? A Definition of Autism and Related Diagnoses

In Autism, Autism Spectrum, Counselors, Parents, Screening Tools by Rachel Wise

As a school psychologist, I often hear parents asking what happened to the Asperger’s diagnosis? Asperger’s still exists, it just falls under a different name. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-4), there were four separate diagnoses all related to autism, which fell under a broader category called Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). These four separate …

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Find Out Why I Tried These Visual/Hands-On Activities with My Students on the Autism Spectrum

In Autism, Autism Spectrum, Educators, Parents, Reading Strategies by Rachel Wise

Working with children and adults on the autism spectrum for over 19 years, I have noticed a trend in the learning style of many of my students. They often do best with academic tasks that incorporate visual structure, have a clear beginning and ending, and have a reduced amount of visual clutter. Research supports the theory that building visual structure into tasks is an effective approach to …

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What Can You Do if Your Child is Having Persistent Problems in School? (Tips for Parents)

In ADHD, Autism, Behavior Strategies, Educational Strategies & Tips, Intellectual Disability, Learning Disabilities, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Special Education by Rachel Wise

The contents in this article refer to public schools in the United States. If your child attends private school or school outside of the United States, speak to your child’s school to find out if their policies for addressing the matters discussed in this article are the same or different. When Would You Request an Evaluation by a School Psychologist? …

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15 Behavior Strategies for Children on the Autism Spectrum

In Autism, Autism Spectrum, Behavior Strategies, Counselors, Educators, Parents by Rachel Wise

In this article you will find 15 supportive behavior strategies for children on the autism spectrum (some strategies can be used with adults as well). Many of the strategies can also be used to help children without autism who have challenging behaviors. When caring for or working with a child with autism, a parent, teacher, or other adult may become frustrated with the …

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3 Ways to Use Timers to Encourage Homework and Chore Completion

In ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism, Behavior Strategies, Educational Strategies & Tips, Parents, Study Skills by Rachel Wise

Sometimes getting children to do chores or complete homework can be a challenging task for the adults in their lives. Timers are an excellent way to motivate your child or student(s) to complete tasks and follow directions. Research and reputable resources consistently indicate the benefits of using timers with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). …

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A Story to Teach Kids to Calmly Respond to the Word No

In ADHD, Autism, Behavior Strategies, Behavior Support, Counselors, Fun Ideas, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Parents, Social Stories, Social-Emotional by Rachel Wise

If you have read my articles on positive behavior support, you know that I am not a big fan of simply using the word “no” when it comes to telling kids what they can’t have. Research and my own experiences show that telling kids what they can have instead, empathizing with their feelings, offering choices, and explaining the reason for …

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Find Out How to Protect Children with Autism Who May Wander Away

In Autism, Autism Spectrum, Behavior Strategies, Counselors, Parents by Rachel Wise parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) report that their children often place themselves in danger by wandering off, or “eloping.” Adults with autism are also at risk; as well as individuals with intellectual disabilities or Alzheimers. Individuals who have not wandered off before may still be at risk. According to a study “Occurrence and Family Impact of Elopement in …

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5 Things That Are Awesome About Autism

In Autism, Inspirational Stories/Videos by Rachel Wise

Before I start, I want to preface this article by stating that all people, including those with autism, have their own personalities, characteristics, and strengths. This article is merely a reflection of my own experiences and I am in no way suggesting that the statements in this article match every single person with autism in the world. This article encompasses …

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Top 10 Tips to Get the Most from Your Child’s IEP

In ADHD, Autism, Intellectual Disability, Learning Disabilities, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Special Education by Rachel Wise

Published in Autism File Magazine Aug-Sept 2014 Issue 57-Republished with Permission When I first thought about the content of this article, I thought, well, this will be easy, I will just tell parents what I have found to be the key steps to take at Individual Education Program (IEP) meetings. After all, I just wrote a book that shows the reader, …