Specialized ABA Support for Successful Classroom Experiences

By Jess Miller, BCBA and Regional Instructional Specialist at SESI Think back to your classroom experiences as a child. Most of us would probably say that they were pretty manageable, with a few difficulties here and there as exceptions. We had our classroom schedules memorized, we were able to ask for alternative workspaces if the classroom was too loud, and we could grab a snack out of our backpack if we were hungry.  Now, consider the students that SESI serves often don't have the necessary skills to accomplish these day-to-day tasks on their [...]

Specialized ABA Support for Successful Classroom Experiences2022-04-13T11:01:57-04:00

Creating a Positive Learning Environment for Students with Autism

By Amy Farmer, Regional Instructional Specialist at SESI Creating classrooms and schools that foster curiosity, growth, and a sense of security is vital to a student’s ability to access their academics, generalize skills, and become as independent as possible.  Cultivating these environments for students on the autism spectrum can take some special thought and care. Whether students on the spectrum need minimal support or a great deal of individualized attention, there are specific needs to take into consideration. Research is constantly expanding our knowledge on effective methods to teach our students with ASD [...]

Creating a Positive Learning Environment for Students with Autism2022-04-05T09:42:37-04:00

Embedding Social-Emotional Learning into Behavioral Support Systems

 By Dr. Diane Myers, SVP, Special Education—Behavior at SESI While the Covid-19 pandemic is not known for producing many silver linings (if any), it has highlighted the need for increased attention to the social, emotional, and behavioral well-being of our students. The pandemic has caused significant educational disruption, limited social contacts, and increased fear and anxiety around everyday activities. For those students who needed additional social, emotional, and behavioral supports prior to the pandemic, the impact has been felt even more acutely. With collective concern building around the state of our students’ mental health, [...]

Embedding Social-Emotional Learning into Behavioral Support Systems2022-01-27T13:32:16-05:00

Five Strategies for Establishing Behavioral Expectations

This post by Diane Myers, Ph.D. was originally published in District Administration in October 2021. When circumstances change rapidly, people often find solace in what’s familiar. Like adults, students are more productive and comfortable in predictable environments. All educators can help create a more predictable environment by establishing specific, positively stated behavioral expectations that communicate how to be successful across all routines students encounter during the school day. Let’s look at five key strategies for establishing behavioral expectations: Select Behavioral Expectations. Begin by choosing three to five broad expectations (e.g., “Be Safe,” “Be Responsible,” “Be Respectful,” or “Careful,” “Accountable,” “Kind,” “Engaged”). [...]

Five Strategies for Establishing Behavioral Expectations2022-01-26T09:20:38-05:00

Gratitude and Behavior

As we get to the last few pages of the calendar and holiday ads fill our inboxes, we are reminded to give thanks for what we have. While the word “thanksgiving” conjures thoughts of a shortened school week, turkey, and family gatherings, the actual behaviors associated with “giving thanks” get less attention.  Many learners will develop the ability to demonstrate gratitude through imitation or informal instruction, but some learners (including those who have disabilities that impact social behavior) may need additional help to develop these skills.  As educators, we can use intentional and specific instruction to help our learners [...]

Gratitude and Behavior2022-01-27T13:11:34-05:00

Supporting Classroom Behavior Webinar Series

Social behaviors, like academics, require intentional teaching and feedback for students to build fluency and achieve mastery. It is important to have a comprehensive, proactive system to support students’ behavior in the classroom. Without clear expectations, people feel confused, anxious, or unsure how to proceed, all of which can lead to challenging behaviors. When educators – whether in special education, alternative education, or general education – are clear and consistent with behavioral expectations, it increases the chances that students will meet them. SESI hosted a webinar series on Supporting Classroom Behavior. In this three-part webinar series, Dr. Diane Myers, [...]

Supporting Classroom Behavior Webinar Series2022-02-01T11:33:04-05:00