Author: Danette

I am a licensed speech pathologist with over 25 years of experience working with a wide variety of disorders and abilities. I graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in speech pathology and audiology with a specialized teaching credential for severely speech and language impaired children. I have spent the majority of my career working with the pediatric population. Volunteering at the age of 15 in a Special Education Center, sparked my passion for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Seeing the need for social skills training, I developed a social skills program that has served many children and adolescent students. I was fortunate to collaborate with exceptional professional to develop a workbook and DVD resource for parents and professionals called Every Child Wants to Play. In addition, I have had the opportunity to work as a special day class teacher for preschool and kindergarten-aged children. I enjoy training and educating students, parents and professionals. Currently, I provide social skills training and speech therapy for elementary and junior high school students. I have a private practice serving the needs of children and families in the Orange County area. I enjoy being a life-long learner and am working towards completing my Doctorate of Education. I believe play is a child’s work and is the foundation for communication and building social relationships.

Our Unique Learners and Multiple Intelligences

While reading the book, Educational Leadership and Planning Technology (Picciano, 2011), I find I am drawn to the Multiple Intelligences Theory. Dr. Howard Gardner, a noted professor of neuroscience from Harvard University, suggested that every human being interacts with their environment differently. He suggests there are actually nine intelligences:

multiple_intelligences 2

As educators and parents, we do our best to assist our students in reaching their highest potential. We want them to succeed and agree that technology is an enormous component of their future, even if we don’t fully understand it. I see many of the multiple intelligences feeding into our 21st century learners.

I will be writing a series of posts based on Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences.  I will be providing suggestions on how to access our special 21st century learners, based on their most apparent and strongest intelligence. I will include some suggestions that I discovered in a great article by Christopher Pappas, who outlines how we can use these multiple intelligences in eLearning situations.

Video Modeling for College Students with ASD

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There has been an increase in young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) participating in college with accommodations and modifications for academic support. However, one of the most identifying characteristics of ASD is deficits in the areas of behavior and social skills. Without support in these areas, students may not reach their highest potential (Mason, Rispoli, Ganz, Boles, & Orr, 2012).

This study investigated the effects of effects of video modeling without additional treatment components to improve social-communicative skills, specifically, eye contact, facial expression, and conversational turn-taking in two college students with ASD. The results suggest that both students improved with the opportunity of watching socially appropriate modeling.

Based on this study, I would anticipate that providing video modeling along with social skills training for college student with ASD, could significantly improve their interactions and overall success at the university level.

Please view this site for related articles-Center on Disability and Development

Mason, R. A., Rispoli, M., Ganz, J. B., Boles, M. B., & Orr, K. (2012). Effects of video modeling on communicative social skills of college students with asperger syndrome.Developmental Neurorehabilitation,15(6), 425–434.

Our Special 21st Century Thinkers

The use of the iPad for children with special needs is being experienced around the world. The apps are endless and new apps are being developed at 20,000 per month. The student’s access for developing communication, social and academic skills are available in a new way with the use of the iPad. When we think of 21st century learners, it includes more than our general education students. It’s about all of our students learning with technology and contributing to society to the best of their ability. Our children with special needs are part of that dynamic contribution.

Who Needs Pictures In Kids’ Books Anyway?

Fantastic and fun….animated expressions and inflection are keys to keeping children engaged during story-telling!

101 Books

My 4 year old is going to love this book. In fact, I’m placing my order today.

What a great way to encourage kids to read. It’s goofy and immature, but these are kids! And they’re learning to read!

So what exactly is this book with no pictures? It’s a new kids’ book from BJ Novak, our favorite intern from The Office. 

It’s just freakin’ brilliant. But I’ve got to work on my voice inflection before I read it to my son.

Here’s a promotional video of Novak reading the kids book. Be warned: It’s pretty awesome!

You can order it on Amazon. 

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