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Stairsteps to Progress – In All Areas

By Giny Mackey, M.A., CCC-SLP You’ve heard the phrase “one step at a time”?  Skill development in all areas follows this mantra.  Think about the earliest development of your child—motor skills.  He/she had to learn to sit up alone before crawling before standing and before walking.  She/he had to learn to drink before eating pureed food (baby food) before chewing and swallowing whole foods.  You get the idea. Learning independence or the ability to be in control of oneself and our actions also follows a continuum.  Here are some examples: You had to teach your child a routine for...

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Sequencing Activities

By Giny Mackey, M.A., CCC-SLP Understanding a sequence of activities, as well as organizing our thoughts and statements into a sequence, is a skill we need to develop so that we can be good story tellers. Without it our stories meander and jump around so that the listener has difficulty following and understanding them. If instructions or directions are organized sequentially, they are much easier to follow. Practice this skill when making something, such as cooking or building or repairing something, or doing household activities by talking about the steps used in the process. When finished, help your child...

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Transition Portfolio: Preparing Your Student for a Successful Transition to College

By Ginger Goudie Much of what we have shared in these articles in about preparing the student to be independent in a post-secondary setting: managing time, making day to day choices, advocating for himself to receive accommodations, following through on the use of supports, etc. One final way of preparing the student to function effectively and independently is to assist him in preparing a “manual” for transition issues. This manual can be a “go-to” for study strategies, a reference for how to carry out certain tasks, a collection of work that can serve as a model to follow, and...

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Making the Right College Choice: Preparing Your Student for a Successful Transition to College

By Ginger Goudie A quick search on the College Navigator website yielded a list of 412 colleges in Pennsylvania. Where to begin?? This government sponsored website provides information about almost every college in the United States, regardless of affiliation, cost, degrees offered, etc. It provides several questions about school characteristics that guide you to filter your search. The information provided includes courses of study, breakdown of students by gender, race, course of study, time it takes to complete degrees, cost, location, sports, staff/student ratio….. all information that can help a student and family decide if it is a school worth...

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College Accommodations: Preparing Your Student for a Successful Transition to College

By Ginger Goudie One of the large projects of our Senior Transition class is to develop disclosure scripts for seeking accommodations in a variety of settings, including college and work. Each student in the class begins by developing a list of strengths, as well as a graphic organizer that includes areas of difficulty and specific strategies that they use in an academic setting to support themselves in difficult academic tasks. Then, research for reasonable accommodations is completed using the Job Accommodation Network. Finally, this information is used to develop a script for a discussion with Disability Services to request...

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Survival Skills: Preparing Your Student for a Successful Transition to College

By Ginger Goudie The college learning environment is vastly different from what most students experience in a high school setting. College texts are written at a higher level, requiring that the student use strategies to identify main idea and key information, think critically about the content, and then apply the information in class discussion or to support a written thesis. College classes meet less frequently, and require more preparation and study outside of class. (A common expectation for typical students is 2 hours of independent work for each hour of class. Many students with learning differences find that more...

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