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DAY 11: The One World Schoolhouse

If you are interested in personalized learning or are just have a love for technology, you have to pick up The One World Schoolhouse. This is written by Salman Khan (you know, the guy from Khan Academy) and it is as fascinating as it is fun. You will learn about...

The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined

A free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere: this is the goal of the Khan Academy, a passion project that grew from an ex-engineer and hedge funder's online tutoring sessions with his niece, who was struggling with algebra, into a worldwide phenomenon. Today millions of students, parents, and teachers use...

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DAY 6: Carly’s Voice

If you have followed Carley’s story at all (on Ellen, Larry King Live and The Doctors), you were probably as excited as I was to finally get her book. I am somewhat obsessed with autobiographies and when it is an autobiography that sheds so much light on...

Book cover for Carly's Voice
Carly's Voice

At the age of two, Carly Fleischmann was diagnosed with severe autism and an oral motor condition that prevented her from speaking. Doctors predicted that she would never intellectually develop beyond the abilities of a small child. Although she made some progress after years of intensive behavioral and communication therapy, Carly remained largely unreachable. Then, at the age of ten, she had a breakthrough...

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Tip 20: Phone Home

Need adaptations ideas? Want to brainstorm positive behavior supports? Looking for peer-support strategies? Contact the families of your learners with autism and tap into one of the richest resources around. I know so many knowledgeable parents who are never asked for input, advice, or tips.

I also know quite a few teachers who are unsure of how and when to approach parents for help. As a new teacher, I was often nervous that my inexperience would show and that parents would find me clueless on important issues.

Keeping in mind that both parties in a family-school partnership can feel vulnerable at times, teachers and parents should take steps to honor input from one another and to creatively collaborate. Collaboration may mean attending conferences together, trading favorite books and websites, discussing problems, and sharing and celebrating successes.

Want more ideas? Keep in mind that you can get parent input by exploring parent blogs. I visit a LOT of family blogs so I can’t list them all, but here are a few to get you started:

Just a reminder that our giveaway this week is The Autism Checklist. My co-author on this book is John Shouse, a tireless advocate and father of a young man on the spectrum. One of John’s contributions to the book was to remind readers to keep the lines of collaboration open between the classroom and the home. Today’s tip, therefore, is a nod of thanks to John.

Do you have family communication strategies of your own that have helped? Please comment on this post and share with others!