On March 16, 2013, from 5:00-6:30 CST,  I’ll be in Chicago doing a presentation at the 2013 ASCD Annual Conference,  entitled:  “First, Discover Their Strengths: Success Strategies for Students with Special Needs.”   Some of the topics I’ll cover in this 90 minute session include:

  • Strengths Awareness:tools that will enable you as an educator to identify the strengths of students with special needs, including
    • a 156-item strengths checklist that will give you a comprehensive overview of a students’ special abilities, talents, interests, and capacities;
    • the use of appreciative inquiry as an important way to begin IEP meetings;
    • professional development that includes a solid foundation in emerging research in cognitive psychology and neuroscience revealing the hidden strengths of students with dyslexia, ADHD, autism, intellectual disabilities, and emotional and behavioral disorders.
  • Strength-based Learning Strategies: For example, using the 3-D strengths of dyslexics to form letters, words, and concepts in clay or other plastic materials.
  • Assistive Technologies/Universal Design for Learning: For example, using the Stories2Learn app as a way to teach basic social skills to students with autism who have strengths in working with computers.
  • Enriched Support Networks: For example, implementing a Best Buddies program for students with intellectual disabilities who have strengths in the personal intelligences.
  • Positive Role Models: For example, inspiring students with ADHD by using stories of ADHD personalities who achieved success like Stephen Spielberg, Thomas Edison, and Michael Phelps.
  • Affirmative Career Trajectories: For example, envisioning career possibilities for students with ADHD that involve novelty-seeking, high stimulation, and frequent movement, such as firefighter or emergency room physician.
  • Positive Environmental Modifications: For example, establishing a positive time-out space in school for students with emotional and behavioral disorders when they are feeling out of control in the classroom.

The session will be held at McCormick Place West, Level 1, Room W175C.   The material I plan to cover in the presentation will be based on my new book Neurodiversity in the Classroom:  Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in School and Life (ASCD).

For more information about the session, click here.

About the author

I am the author of 16 books including my latest: The Myth of the ADHD Child: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion (Tarcher-Perigee). http://amzn.to/2ewwfbp.

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