My students need a variety of books about social skills and understanding emotions, games about social interactions and communicating about feelings, and CDs and software about social skills and feelings.
Our classroom hosts up to 12 students from many cities and towns and two different states. These students often ride a bus over an hour a day to be educated in a public school setting that has a classroom and highly qualified professionals which can meet their special educational needs.
While our host school has moderate poverty, our students receive about 50% free lunch. These bright and energetic students have multiple special needs, including cerebral palsy, autism, Down Syndrome, mitochondrial disease and rare genetic disorders. These conditions manifest themselves in visual and/or hearing impairment, physical challenges, developmental delay, medical fragility, communication impairment and sometimes behavioral concerns.
We have found with our students, and likely every student with behavioral issues, that ALL behavior is communication. Often our students have not been taught what behavior is expected in certain situations or they do not have the language skills to share their feelings or problem solve how to meet their emotional needs. Over time we have developed tools to use direct instruction and communication intervention to teach our students new ways to communicate and therefore leave their older, maladaptive behaviors behind. We have had much success with our methods.
Like any other kind of education we would be better able to deliver high quality direct instruction and to intervene communicatively if we had stellar materials that allowed us to reach students through the manner of learning that is best for them. If we had books to share with our visual learners, audio CDs to share with our auditory learners, and games and software to share with our social and kinesthetic learners, we could better teach all our students.
This is where you come in! Your donation can help provide us with those materials. These materials will help us decrease negative, maladaptive behaviors; increase positive, communicative behaviors and overall increase our students chance at a productive life where they give back to the community (therefore saving tax dollars and improving their quality of life). You can make a difference!
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