published in Educational Leadership Magazine, ASCD, September 2017
~Winner of the Association of Media and Publishing (AM&P) 2018 Silver Award for Best Feature Article in a magazine~
Given the many, many challenges students on the autism spectrum bring into the general ed or inclusive classroom, it’s no surprise that teachers are struggling. But what do teachers struggle with most? It’s not behavior. It’s not socialization or engagement or communication. It’s me. It’s parents. It’s this: What do we do when parents just won’t hear what we tell them?
published in Educational Leadership Magazine, ASCD, April 2017
How has education evolved from exclusion to inclusion, from judgment to acceptance, and from disability to difference? Today, diverse learners breathe energy, openness, and vitality into our classrooms and curriculum. Today, every kid is an inclusion kid.
published in Language and Literacy Spectrum, NYSRA, summer 2016
We hold this truth to be self-evident: Students on the autism spectrum need support with life literacy before they can reach for content literacy. This article provides educators with an understanding of the interplay between life and content literacy in the classroom, as well as strategies to maximize success for these diverse learners….
Who’s That Knocking On My Door? How to Facilitate an Inclusive Environment for Students on the Autism Spectrum
published at Scholastic’s EduPulse Administrator Blog, summer 2016
Even as classrooms become more diverse, teachers are expected to bring all students to a common destination. Differentiating for students on the autism spectrum in this seemingly paradoxical context sets a high bar for general educators. Here are a few key strategies to help you support your faculty and your students on the spectrum, their classmates, and their families….
published at edu@Scholastic Blog, summer 2016
Every student on the autism spectrum will enter your classroom bearing a backpack full of worries. If they can’t put those worries down when the new school year begins, then toting that heavy load will become a way of life at school, a learned behavior. Each day they will return to school burdened and compromised by the worries on their backs. Seize this time during the summer to prepare a classroom that exudes comfort, clarity, and consistency, so that students can offload their worries and be ready to learn, even on day one. Here is a basic list of what you can do before day one to ease the transition for students on the spectrum….
published in Principal Magazine, NAESP, fall 2015
In 2010, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) blew in like a tornado to slam shut achievement gaps and whip every student into readiness for college and careers by the end of high school. Now educators are expected to bring all students to a common destination. But at the very same time, unprecedented numbers of students on the autism spectrum are being placed in inclusive classrooms, requiring teachers to differentiate more than ever. So educators are in a bind: Just as standards become increasingly uniform, classrooms become increasingly diverse. It’s a twister….
—The Jewish Standard, About Our Children, April 2015
—Westchester Family Magazine, July 2011
—Western New York Family Magazine, April 2010
—Autism News of Orange County and the Rest of the World, Fall 2008
Children with special needs have played a powerful role in Barbara’s life not only professionally, but very personally as well. Her personal essay, Impact, describes her own pregnancy as it coincided with her work in the field of special education, and her desperate—and ultimately futile—efforts to avoid a collision between the two worlds….
published in The Autism Notebook, spring 2014