December 2010
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Missing your holiday card from ABCs for Life Success?

We've decided to send our holiday greetings electronically this year, in alignment with our efforts to "go green" and so that we can directly contribute towards those in need.  The money we would have spent printing and mailing cards will go towards DC's Advocates for Justice and Education and SOME (So Others Might Eat).   Happy Holidays!

See below for information about our upcoming Special Needs Advocacy one day workshop and Advocacy Training Course, some thoughts on the use of visual schedules for students with autism from Paul Livelli, gift ideas and more!

Special Needs Advocacy One Day Workshop January 22 and Advocacy Training Course

Make plans now to attend "Understanding Special Education Law and Policy," a one day workshop designed for parents, teachers, special educators, related service specialists and mental health providers., taught by Michelle Davis and Rich Weinfeld.  Participants will obtain an understanding of current laws and policies that specifically relate to IEP's and 504 plans, and increase their knowledge base in order to work effectively for children with special needs.  Only $75 - register today! 

This workshop is also a preview of our graduate-level  four-session course, "Special Needs Advocacy Institute," next offered beginning on February 26 at the Silver Spring campus of Montgomery College. In this course you will gain an in-depth understanding of all facets of advocacy through supervised practice and application of skills, both during and between sessions taught by practicing advocates, attorneys, psychologists and other related service providers. You will receive individualized feedback from practicing professionals. Learn what advocates know so that you, too, can get results that make a difference for each child's future!

The Consultant's Corner
Use of Visual Schedules for Students with Autism by Paul Livelli, Ph.D.

Typically children with autism respond extremely well to visual schedules, which help make an often complex world more understandable. We all use planner/calendars, recipes, shopping lists, and other visual supports on a daily basis. For children with autism who have difficulty with communication, visual supports are even more vital to their success.

Consistent daily use of an individualized visual schedule will increase a child's organization skills and independent functioning throughout all aspects of his life and will ease transition through adulthood. A visual schedule will give the child information about what is currently happening; what is coming up next (the sequence of events); when they are "all done" with something; and/or any changes that might occur. The information given to the child through a visual mode is extremely critical in helping him to understand the day's events and their sequence - which can certainly help to reduce stress and unwanted behaviors. 

Visual schedules are as important for the child to use at school as they are at home.  Each child's individual needs and abilities should be considered in designing his or her own personal visual schedule, which can be presented in any one of numerous ways, such as object schedule, 3-ring binder schedule, clipboard schedule, manila file folder schedule, dry erase board schedule or other.  Various social interactions can be included in the child's daily schedule as well as building in a balance of high stress (non-preferred) and low stress (preferred) activities. 

Schedules are often extremely useful in helping a student with autism navigate his or her world.  Consider using them in your homes and please check and see that their school programs are incorporating them as an intervention strategy as well.
Books make great gifts!

 Energize and empower the parent or educator in your life for 2011 with one of oSpecial Needs Advocacy Resource Book coverur books!  The Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book:  What You Can Do Now to Advocate for Your Exceptional Child's Education is an excellent and practical resource for families and educators interested in developing advocacy skills. 
School Success for Kids with EBD cover
School Success for Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders includes strategies for working and living with kids with oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, mood disorders, and more.   

Order from Amazon!
All of us at ABCs for Life Success wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season and healthy and happy New Year.  May 2011 be filled with progress and many successes!


ABCs for Life Success, LLC

In This Issue
Special Needs Advocacy Workshop and Training Course
The Consultant Corner: Practical Advice and Reflections
Perfect last-minute gifts!
We want to hear from you!

What information and resources would you find useful in this newsletter and on our website? 
We'd love to hear your input!  Send us an email or call 301-593-5166 today.

Follow-up Links

The ABC for Life Success Team

Michelle Davis, M. Ed
Eric Levine, Ed. D.
Amy Mounce, MA, M. Ed.
Revanette Gilmore, M. Ed.
Paul Livelli, Ph. D.
Gretchen Holtzinger Levine
Nina Hagan, MAT
Kelly Diamond

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