Region 13’s Communication / AAC Pathways!

ESC Region 13’s Communication/AAC Pathways:
Take your skills to the next level!

ESC Region 13 is thrilled to present two, tailored pathways to your Communication and AAC learning – PPCD Pathway and Life Skills Pathway! All of the workshops below are open to everyone, but be sure to look closely at the pathway and target audience to make sure you find just what you need.

Region 13 has options that are *just* right for you and your team!


Partner-Augmented Input:

Modeling AAC in the Classroom

Dr. Jill Senner, CCC/SLP & Matthew Baud, CCC/SLP

LEVEL: Intermediate

PATHWAY: PPCD and Life Skills

AUDIENCE: SLPs, Teachers, and any/all other team members who serve students with complex communication needs

DATE: November 30, 2018 (offered one time only)

DESCRIPTION: We’ve been told that we need to model AAC – come to learn how to model AAC! This program will take staff through portions of steps one through five of an evidence-­‐based, 8-­‐step instructional model for teaching partner-­‐augmented input. Staff will complete commitment to the instructional program, strategy description, videotaped strategy demonstration, verbal practice of the strategy steps, and controlled practice. Staff should have a communication board, app, device, or emulation software available for participation in the interactive portions of the program.

REGISTER TODAY! Course #FA1840279


Teaching Students Who Can’t Talk:

Supporting Significant Communication

Impairments in the Classroom

Katie Adams, CCC/SLP

LEVEL: Beginner

PATHWAY: PPCD and Life Skills

AUDIENCE: Teachers and ParaEducators

DATE: January 31, 2019 (offered multiple times per year)

DESCRIPTION: As educators, we strive to connect with our students. But, what do we do if our students are not able to speak? How do we connect with them and provide instruction that can help them understand and express themselves? This beginner level course for educators will cover the foundational elements needed to guide you in assessing the communication skills of your students and implementing class wide strategies to help complex communication needs.

REGISTRATION COMING SOON!


AAC Foundations Team Training

Nichole Kertis, OT & Lisa Rukovena, CCC/SLP

LEVEL: Intermediate

PATHWAY: PPCD and Life Skills

AUDIENCE: SLPs, Teachers, and any/all other team members who serve students with complex communication needs

DATE: Feb 20 & 21, 2019 (offered multiple times per year)

DESCRIPTION: This workshop series is designed for professionals (especially TEAMS!) working with students with complex communication needs (CCN) who need Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems.  We will demystify AAC and empower communication partners with a foundation so that no matter which specific app, device, training or technique presents itself, teams feel prepared. Teams will receive poster- and student-sized core communication boards for the classroom!

REGISTRATION COMING SOON!


TELL ME: AAC in the PreSchool Classroom

Dr. Carole Zangari, CCC/SLP & Lori Wise

LEVEL: Intermediate

PATHWAY: PPCD 

AUDIENCE: SLPs and Teachers

DATE: March 7 & 8, 2019 (offered one time only)

DESCRIPTION: This workshop provides an overview of an early childhood classroom designed to empower teachers, paraprofessionals, therapists, and families to support the use core vocabulary in AAC systems. Participants will learn about the key elements of the TELL ME program (Zangari & Wise, 2017) and see how core language is addressed in shared reading and writing lessons, classroom routines, and typical play/learning activities.

REGISTRATION COMING SOON!


Literacy for Students with

Significant Cognitive Disabilities

Jennifer Russel & Nichole Kertis, OT

LEVEL: Intermediate

PATHWAY: Life Skills 

AUDIENCE: SLPs and Teachers

DATE: TBD 2019 (offered multiple times per year)

DESCRIPTION: Learn how to support interaction and teach communication as students engage in academic instruction across the school day. Teams will receive materials and poster-sized core communication boards.

REGISTRATION COMING SOON!


Bonus!

Participants who have attended “AAC Foundations Team Training” in the past are eligible to attend AAC Pathway workshops at a reduced rate! Reach out to each workshop’s contact listed in E-Campus for more information!

 

 

LSLS – Wear Orange TOMORROW, Oct 24th, to Support Bullying Prevention!

 

Together Against Bullying. UNITED for Kindness, Acceptance, and Inclusion.

Make it ORANGE and make it end! What are your true colors when it comes to showing that you believe that all youth should be safe from bullying? Come together in one giant ORANGE message of hope and support, WEAR AND SHARE ORANGE on Wednesday, October 24th, to color our nation, and even the world, visibly showing that our society believes that no child should ever experience bullying.

ORANGE provides a powerful, visually compelling expression of solidarity,” said Paula Goldberg, Executive Director of PACER Center. “Whether it’s hundreds of individuals at a school wearing ORANGE, store owners offering ORANGE products, or a community changing a landmark to ORANGE, the vibrant statement becomes a conversation starter, sending the supportive, universal message that bullying is never acceptable behavior.”

Read the history on Wikipedia, Unity Day sponsored by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center since 2011

Visit the Facebook album for highlights from Unity Day 2017

From PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center

Life Skills Educator? Join our Region 13 Google Community to connect with other Life Skills Educators across our Region and receive tips and resources from your Region 13 Autism and Low Incidence Disabilities Specialists!

Contact:  Darcy Schiller at Darcy.Schiller@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5224.

 

LSLS – Bullying Prevention Part 3: Tips for Victims of Bullying

Excerpted and adapted from Dr. Lori Ernsperger’s book Recognize, Respond, Report: Preventing and Addressing Bullying of Students with Special Needs, the suggestions shared here will help teachers provide effective support for all kids, no matter which side of the bullying equation they’re on. This is a three-part blog. Part 1 included tips for students who are bystanders. Part 2 included tips for students exhibiting bullying behavior. Part 3 includes tips for students who are victims of bullying.

Part 3 is particularly useful for supporting students with disabilities, who are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their peers.)

Implement modifications and accommodations. These might include preferential seating on the bus, counseling services, increased supervision, speech and language therapy, and regular meetings with team members to ensure that protections from harassment and bullying are being used consistently and effectively.

Amend the IEP or 504 plan. Since so many students with disabilities are bullied, education teams should add the following to a student’s IEP or 504 plan: “If a student is vulnerable to bullying, the team will determine accommodations, services, and interventions that are needed to prevent bullying and obtain a FAPE.” Then, as a team, write measurable goals for teaching the student verbal and nonverbal social skills, self-management, emotion regulation, and self-advocacy skills.

Teach identifying/reporting skills. Ensure that students understand and master the skills for reporting bullying to an adult. Supervise and give feedback when you first teach new skills, and then fade your support over time. Try these structured, multimedia teaching methods:

  • Video modeling. Show students videos of appropriate verbal and nonverbal interactions and imitate the social-communication behavior of the model.
  • Role playing. Have students practice and dramatize social-communication skills in a controlled small group. (Videotape sessions to give students a chance to analyze the interactions and identify key skills.)
  • Scripting. Provide students with short, one- or two-sentence scripts that teach them what to say and do in social situations.
  • Social narratives. Give students clear descriptions of social situations, highlighted with visual icons and symbols to help guide appropriate behavior.
  • Self-monitoringTeach students to record their own behaviors and use a self-assessment to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors during a conflict

Build self-confidence. To empower students and reduce the long-term effects of bullying and harassment, focus on self-advocacy and self-determination. Help students recognize and build on their strengths, and work with them to set goals and pursue interests, hobbies, and activities. You might encourage students to participate in community-based activities (volunteering at a charity, tutoring younger children) to build their self-esteem while giving back to the community.

Check out this Stop Cyber Bullying Guide for tips on how to spot, report, and prevent cyberbullying.

From http://blog.brookespublishing.com/14-things-to-do-now-to-stop-bullying-in-its-tracks/

Life Skills Educator? Join our Region 13 Google Community to connect with other Life Skills Educators across our Region and receive tips and resources from your Region 13 Autism and Low Incidence Disabilities Specialists!

Contact:  Darcy Schiller at Darcy.Schiller@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5224.

LSLS – Bullying Prevention Part 2: Tips for Students Exhibiting Bullying Behavior

Excerpted and adapted from Dr. Lori Ernsperger’s book Recognize, Respond, Report: Preventing and Addressing Bullying of Students with Special Needs, the suggestions shared here will help teachers provide effective support for all kids, no matter which side of the bullying equation they’re on. This is a three-part blog. Part 1 included tips for students who are bystanders. Part 2 includes tips for students exhibiting bullying behavior. Part 3 will include tips for students who are victims of bullying.

Model caring and respectful language. Don’t label students as “bullies.” When you model respect for all students, you discourage rejection of students who may exhibit aggressive behaviors.

Investigate the causes. There are many factors that can contribute to students exhibiting bullying behaviors. They may lack understanding of acceptable, age-appropriate social behaviors because of an intellectual disability or impairment of social-communication skills. They may have learned negative attention-seeking behaviors from their peers, or violent and aggressive behaviors from poor role models in their home life. A negative and unsupportive school climate may also be a contributing factor to bullying behaviors. Investigating and understanding the root causes of the bullying will help you choose appropriate solutions, from adjustments to the student’s IEP to a concerted effort to improve the school climate.

Use graduated consequences. In this model, students who exhibit bullying and harassment behaviors are held accountable for their actions, but harsh, zero-tolerance punishments aren’t doled out at the first offense (research shows they increase dropout rates and negatively impact the overall school climate). Rather, the consequences grow increasingly serious with repeated and egregious offenses. Dr. Ernsperger provides this example of what graduated consequences might look like:

  • Verbal reprimand or warning
  • Contract with the student to “cease and desist” and have no contact with the victim
  • Parent phone call to alert them of the incident
  • Conference with parent and teacher
  • Additional counseling or meetings with the administrator or school counselor
  • Alternative lunch detention or in-school lunch suspension
  • Student restitution/compensation for damaged items
  • Community service
  • Loss of extracurricular privileges
  • Before-or after-school detention
  • Referral to the school resource officer

Consider a referral for specialized services. Students who persist with bullying behaviors and don’t respond to traditional measures may have more severe psychological problems that require the expertise of a mental health professional. Cognitive behavior therapy, stress management interventions, and counseling to manage anger and aggression and can increase students’ coping skills and help them amend their thoughts and behavior.

From http://blog.brookespublishing.com/14-things-to-do-now-to-stop-bullying-in-its-tracks/

Life Skills Educator? Join our Region 13 Google Community to connect with other Life Skills Educators across our Region and receive tips and resources from your Region 13 Autism and Low Incidence Disabilities Specialists!

Contact:  Darcy Schiller at Darcy.Schiller@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5224.

STAAR Alternate 2 Updates for 2018-2019!

TEA has shared their Fall Updates for the 2018-2019 STAAR Alternate 2! 

New Information

  • There is no longer a verification window.
  • Students who transfer/move to a new district ON OR AFTER the first day of the STAAR Alternate 2 testing window do not have to be tested.
  • For the 2019 administration, student booklet images will be in full color except for historical photos and images where color is found to be distracting (e.g. multiple sets of geometric shapes).
  • Initial orders of student booklets will be shipped based on students registered during Student Data Submission window, not enrollment estimates as in previous years.
  • Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, the general oath will no longer be found in the back of STAAR Alternate 2 Test Administrator Manual. The new online District and Campus Coordinator Resources (DCCR) includes the new interactive oath.
  • TEA will be requesting a waiver for the 2018-2019 school year in order to assess more than 1.0 percent of students, based on assessment data from 2017-18. This will be similar to the request made for the 2017-2018 school year.

Clarifications

  • STAAR Alternate 2 must be administered with the student booklet.
  • Use of the image cards is optional.
  • A test administrator may use image cards for multiple students if there is no evidence of reuse or that accommodations were applied (e.g. highlighting, coloring, cropping, etc.).
  • Examples of ways that “clean” image cards may be used for multiple students include pairing the cards with text and presenting answer choices one at a time.
  • New resources include the Science Vertical Alignment document and Science Curriculum Frameworks.
  • STAAR Alternate 2 is an untimed assessment, and the test does not have to be given in one session. See the full TETN presentation for timing options.
  • TEA has outlined best practices for utilizing the Preview Window. Any presentation of materials or introduction of concepts or topics prior to test administration is considered a serious irregularity.  See the full TETN presentation for more information.

Coming in October

  • Updated STAAR Alternate 2 Educator Guide
  • NEW revised Medical Exception Eligibility and No Authentic Academic Response requirements in both English and Spanish
  • Updated Instructional Terms Lists and Essence Statements
  • Revised STAAR Alternate 2 Test Administrator Manual (non-secure portion) (posted 10/01/2018)

Key Dates

  • Enrollment Window: October 22-November 9, 2018
  • Enrollment counts for large print should be submitted during the “district submits participation counts” window of October 22-November 9, 2018.
  • Preview Window: March 18-29, 2019
  • Assessment Window: April 1-23, 2019
  • Region 13 will be presenting two free workshops focusing on STAAR Alternate 2 administration

Click here to access TEA’s full TETN presentation on STAAR Alternate 2 Updates for 2018-19.

Questions? Contact Jennifer Russell at Jennifer.Russell@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5206 or Darcy Schiller at Darcy.Schiller@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5224.

LSLS – October is National Bullying Prevention Month: Part 1 – Tips for Students Who are Bystanders

Excerpted and adapted from Dr. Lori Ernsperger’s book Recognize, Respond, Report: Preventing and Addressing Bullying of Students with Special Needs, the suggestions shared here will help teachers provide effective support for all kids, no matter which side of the bullying equation they’re on. This will be a three-part blog. Part 1 will include tips for students who are bystanders. Part 2 will include tips for students exhibiting bullying behavior. Part 3 will include tips for students who are victims of bullying.

For Bystanders:
Invest in or develop a bystander education program. Formal training will teach students how to intervene safely and appropriately when a peer is being bullied. Whether you buy a prepackaged program or develop a unique bystander education program, your most important goal is to ensure student safety and deter students from aggressive confrontation. A bystander protocol with simple, concrete steps (similar to the “stop, drop, and roll” fire safety) will help encourage safe student interventions on behalf of peers who are bullied.

Raise awareness of bullying. How does bullying start? How can you tell when a bullying incident is beginning? What are the verbal and nonverbal signs of aggression, power, and domination? Teach students to look out for and recognize words and actions that indicate a peer is being bullied. Identify helpful actions bystanders can take. Your bystander education program should teach students to recognize whether they can safely intervene or should immediately contact an adult or the authorities. If a student determines it’s safe to intervene, then identify age-appropriate skills through guided group discussion. Some helpful peer actions—suggested in a survey of students who were bullying victims—include spending time with students experiencing bullying, encouraging them at school, helping them get away from the bullying situation, and helping them tell an adult.

Foster empathy for bullying victims. Some students may find it difficult to empathize with victims of bullying who exhibit challenging behaviors or diverse characteristics that are outside the other students’ realm of experience. Teaching your students about diversity and acceptance can help dismantle this mindset. For example, you might discuss the general characteristics of various disabilities and try simulation activities that foster a better understanding of differences.

Teach the difference between “tattling” and “upstanding.” Many bystanders are reluctant to intervene in a bullying situation because they fear they’ll be labeled a “tattletale.” That’s why it’s important to explicitly teach them the difference:

Tattletale—Someone who wants to get someone else in trouble. (Example: “Kayla cut in line in the cafeteria!”)

Upstander—Someone who wants to get a peer out of trouble or be a friend. (Example: “Someone threw Jason’s backpack in the toilet.”)

It’s tough to erase the stigma associated with tattling, but it’s important work. Start by teaching and reinforcing the language regarding tattletales vs. upstanders, provide plenty of examples your students can relate to, and hang visual reminders in the classroom (a poster, maybe) to keep the message fresh in your students’ minds.

Create a peer mentoring program. Studies have shown that peer mentoring can significantly reduce bullying victimization and students’ feelings of anxiety, depression, and social isolation. You can implement a more structured program like the We Will Generation of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, which provides activities, resources, and videos that educate and inspire peer mentors. Or try organizing informal peer social groups around the central goal of be a buddy, not a bully. Designate cafeteria tables, courtyard benches, or “friendship zones” on the playground where students who may struggle with social and communication skills can have a safe place to eat and play with others. Whether your efforts are structured or unstructured, the goal of peer mentoring can be a great way to foster friendships, support differences, and advance opportunities for inclusion.

I’d like to highlight Hutto ISD’s middle school peer buddy program where they model be a buddy, not a bully. The teachers who developed and implement that program presented at Region 13’s Beat the Heat conference in 2017.

From http://blog.brookespublishing.com/14-things-to-do-now-to-stop-bullying-in-its-tracks/

Life Skills Educator? Join our Region 13 Google Community to connect with other Life Skills Educators across our Region and receive tips and resources from your Region 13 Autism and Low Incidence Disabilities Specialists!

Contact:  Darcy Schiller at Darcy.Schiller@esc13.txed.net or 512-919-5224.

Attention Teachers of Students with Significant Disabilities! Register Today for These Great Workshops in October!

Are you a teacher of students with significant disabilities? Then you’ll want to check out these October workshops at Region 13!

October 10th

Teaching Students Who Can’t Talk: Supporting Significant Communication Impairments in the Classroom (FA1839892)

This workshop is designed to help teachers support the communication and instructional needs of students with severe communication impairments. Participants will learn about communication development and best practices for teaching students with complex communication needs.

October 16th and 17th

 Life Skills Fundamentals (FA1839396)

In this 2 day training, participants will learn the fundamental skills and strategies necessary to successfully instruct and engage students with significant cognitive disabilities. The training will cover classroom organization, routines, evidence-based practices, challenging behavior, data collection and planning, and much more.  Teachers will create materials that will be ready to use in their classrooms immediately!

October 23rd

Creating Successful Teams for Teachers and Paraeducators (FA1839992Participants will examine strategies and skills for promoting effective communication, collaboration, and team building. Workshop topics will include ways to improve teamwork, working relationships, communication, leadership, and role clarification. Participants will also learn strategies to support effective problem solving and decision making. Teachers and paraeducators are encouraged, but not required, to attend as a team.

Register today in ecampus! For questions, please contact:

jennifer.russell@esc13.txed.net

 

Mark your calendars! Watch the September 19 TETN to receive the latest updates and training on STAAR accessibility.

Gather your team and watch together! Testing coordinators, special education teachers, assistive technology specialists, instructional technology specialists, ELL representatives, 504 coordinators, and others will learn about the latest updates and training on STAAR accessibility.

This TETN is open to districts as well as Education Service Centers. It may be viewed at Region 13 or from districts that are members of the Distance Learning Network by contacting Distance Learning at distancelearning@esc13.txed.net or 512.919.5444.

For more information, contact Robert Garcia, District Assessment, robert.garcia@esc13.txed.net

 

Date: September 19, 2018

Title: 2018-2019 Accessibility Updates
Time: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Audience: ESC and district personnel
Event#: 597
Summary: This presentation will provide updates to districts and Education Service Centers about the 2018-2019 Accessibility Policies.

Title: 2018 TELPAS/Alternate Assessments Fall Update
Time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Audience: ESC and district personnel
Event#: 598
Summary: This presentation includes the 2018 TELPAS/Alternate Assessments Fall Update and the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) Decision-Making Policies from the TEA Student Assessment Division for districts and ESCs.

 

In addition to the TETN, extended learning can be found on the Region 13 Accommodation Central website. Please join us for live, online discussions about both TETN events. To be notified of the date and time for these discussions, join the Accommodation Central Community.

 

For additional information, contact:

Student Assessment Division

1701 North Congress Avenue

Room 3-122A

Austin, Texas 78701

(512) 463-9536

student.assessment@tea.texas.gov 

Are you a special education instructional leader?

Join us for the Special Education Instructional Network – SPIN – to connect and learn with other special educators in Region 13.

SPIN meets four times during each school year. Our first 2018-2019 meeting is on Wednesday, September 12, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM.

SPIN meetings are designed for special education instructional leaders to receive updates and resources and to share ideas, district news, and questions with each other.  This year, our meetings will include a book study, UDL Now! A Teacher’s Guide to Applying Universal Design for Learning in Today’s Classrooms, by Dr. Katie Novak.  In addition, Region 13 Specialists will join us to provide behavior guidance and assistive technology information.

You can register for SPIN meetings for FREE in Ecampus by using course number FA1839043.

For more information, contact Kim West, kim.west@esc13.txed.net

Maker Faire @ Beat the Heat 2018

beat the heat, every child matters logo

When we say “maker,” you say “faire!” Why do our teachers and paraeducators love the maker faire at Beat the Heat? So many reasons; here’s a few:

  • Items are tied to content from sessions participants have just attended
  • Activities address functional and academic areas/skills
  • Items are designed to be engaging and span grade bands
  • Instruction templates include why the activity is beneficial to students, how to make it, instructions for use, application to adulthood, making it meaningful extensions, and additional resources
  • Serves as a networking, problem solving, and interactive brain break station

Here are ideas of what’s to come…

  • make a repetitive line nursery rhyme book with an unexpected twist adding environmental print
  • self-determination folder “games”
  • ten frame math puzzle activity
  • “active learning” interactive wrist bands
  • portable behavioral supports as pictured below
  • and MORE

We hope to see you there! For details and registration information please visit the BTH 2018 WEBSITE http://bit.ly/BTH18.