Joel Shaul’s Autism Spectrum Resources

autism_awareness_ribbon_20051114

Recently, I ran across a treasure trove of resources from  http://autismteachingstrategies.com/. It was designed and published by Joel Shaul.  In this blog post I will provide links to his content.

Joel Shaul specializes in mental health services for children and teens at the autism spectrum.

In his work with children on the autism spectrum in various settings, Joel has noticed a need for more engaging social skills curricula, stronger visual components and more compelling social skills learning activities.  He first created the World of Ryuu with Rebecca Klaw, another Pittsburgh-based professional working with children with Asperger’s or other autism spectrum disorders.  His  two illustrated children’s books, The Conversation Train and The Green Zone Conversation Book, are published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.  Joel provides dozens of free social skills downloads on this website.

Through Autism Teaching Strategies, Joel provides trainings nationwide on the topics of social skills teaching and effective counseling for children with high functioning autism.

Joel provides individual and group services, in schools and clinical settings, at The Watson Institute in Sewickley, Pa.

He received a master’s degree in social work from the University of Louisville in 1986 and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan in 1979.  Joel was a community organizer with the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone where he helped to build a midwife clinic and develop a health education curriculum for primary schools.

Source

Videos

Upset Feelings Video for Kids: CBT Video One

Upset Feelings Video for Kids: CBT Video Two

Upset Feelings Video for Kids: CBT Video Three

Upset Feelings Video for Kids: CBT Video Four

Upset Feelings Video for Kids: CBT Video Five

Upset Feelings Video for Kids:  CBT Video Six

Upset Feeling Video for Kids: CBT Video Seven

Upset Feelings Video for Kids: CBT Video Eight

Materials and Strategies

CBT Thought Bubbles: How to Download and Use Them

Simple CBT Worksheets: How to Download and Use Them

Brief descriptions of the free download resources on social communication

Brief descriptions of the free download resources on emotional regulation

Brief descriptions of the free download resources combining relationships/emotions/communication

Using visual word prompts and a song to teach showing interest to kids with ASD

Using picture prompts for non-verbal communication for children with ASD

Using chain and girder pictures to teach conversation skills to kids with ASD

Using a balance to teach relationship reciprocity to children with ASD

Using a balance to teach conversation reciprocity to children with ASD

Using a flip camera for social skills training for kids with ASD

How to make social-skills training game-like and fun for children with ASD

Social-skills training technique for ASD, using tokens

Hello songs to reinforce greetings for kids with ASD

Goodbye song for teaching goodbye to kids with ASD

Social-skills song to promote eye contact for kids with ASD

Social Skills

FREE SOCIAL SKILLS DOWNLOADS

Card Game

The World of Ryuu*

3-ryuu-cards

Using a fantasy world of dragons to build social skills in humans.
Ryuu products are a collection of teaching and therapy aids based on a fantasy world of dragons. Ryuu  activities teach social and emotional skills to children and teens with autism, Asperger Syndrome, and other autism spectrum disorders. These products are designed to teach social, emotional and communication skills by combining fantasy worlds, card collecting, and role play.

*Sold at www.ryuuworld.com.

NASP Position Statement on the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”

Image

16143639_859398437496079_2963832611971480462_o-640x213

Here is NASP Position Statement on the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”. I think that it is important to be careful with the information and discussions we have around suicide. This position statement is worth reading.

13 reasons NASP

Guidance for Educators

  1. While we do not recommend that all students view this series, it can be appreciated as an opportunity to better understand young people’s experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Children and youth who view this series will need supportive adults to process it. Take this opportunity to both prevent the risk of harm and identify ongoing social and behavior problems in the school community that may need to be addressed.
  2. Help students articulate their perceptions when viewing controversial content, such as 13 Reasons Why. The difficult issues portrayed do occur in schools and communities, and it is important for adults to listen, take adolescents’ concerns seriously, and be willing to offer to help.
  3. Reinforce that school-employed mental health professionals are available to help. Emphasize that the behavior of the second counselor in the series is understood by virtually all school-employed mental health professionals as inappropriate. It is important that all school-employed mental health professionals receive training in suicide risk assessment.
  4. Make sure parents, teachers, and students are aware of suicide risk warning signs. Always take warning signs seriously, and never promise to keep them secret. Establish a confidential reporting mechanism for students.Common signs include:
    • Suicide threats, both direct (“I am going to kill myself.” “I need life to stop.”) and indirect (“I need it to stop.” “I wish I could fall asleep and never wake up.”). Threats can be verbal or written, and they are often found in online postings.
    • Giving away prized possessions.
    • Preoccupation with death in conversation, writing, drawing, and social media.
    • Changes in behavior, appearance/hygiene, thoughts, and/or feelings. This can include someone who is typically sad who suddenly becomes extremely happy.
    • Emotional distress.
  5. Students who feel suicidal are not likely to seek help directly; however, parents, school personnel, and peers can recognize the warning signs and take immediate action to keep the youth safe. When a student gives signs that they may be considering suicide, take the following actions.
    • Remain calm, be nonjudgmental, and listen. Strive to understand the intolerable emotional pain that has resulted in suicidal thoughts.
    • Avoid statements that might be perceived as minimizing the student’s emotional pain (e.g., “You need to move on.” or “You should get over it.”).
    • Ask the student directly if they are thinking about suicide (i.e., “Are you thinking of suicide?”).
    • Focus on your concern for their well-being and avoid being accusatory.
    • Reassure the student that there is help and they will not feel like this forever.
    • Provide constant supervision. Do not leave the student alone.
    • Without putting yourself in danger, remove means for self-harm, including any weapons the person might find.
    • Get help. Never agree to keep a student’s suicidal thoughts a secret. Instead, school staff should take the student to a school-employed mental health professional. Parents should seek help from school or community mental health resources. Students should tell an appropriate caregiving adult, such as a school psychologist, administrator, parent, or teacher.
  6. School or district officials should determine how to handle memorials after a student has died. Promote memorials that benefit others (e.g., donations for a suicide prevention program) and activities that foster a sense of hope and encourage positive action. The memorial should not glorify, highlight, or accentuate the individual’s death. It may lead to imitative behaviors or a suicide contagion (Brock et al., 2016).
  7. Reinforcing resiliency factors can lessen the potential of risk factors that lead to suicidal ideation and behaviors. Once a child or adolescent is considered at risk, schools, families, and friends should work to build these factors in and around the youth.
    • Family support and cohesion, including good communication.
    • Peer support and close social networks.
    • School and community connectedness.
    • Cultural or religious beliefs that discourage suicide and promote healthy living.
    • Adaptive coping and problem-solving skills, including conflict resolution.
    • General life satisfaction, good self-esteem, and a sense of purpose.
    • Easy access to effective medical and mental health resources.
  8. Strive to ensure that all student spaces on campus are monitored and that the school environment is truly safe, supportive, and free of bullying.
  9. If additional guidance is needed, ask for support from your building- or district-level crisis team. The team may be able to assist with addressing unique situations affecting your building.

See Preventing Suicide: Guidelines for Administrators and Crisis Teams for additional guidance.

Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) and the JED Foundation have created talking points for conversations with youth specific to the 13 Reasons Why series, available online.

Guidance for Families

  1. Ask your child if they have heard or seen the series 13 Reasons Why. While we don’t recommend that they be encouraged to view the series, do tell them you want to watch it, with them or to catch up, and discuss their thoughts.
  2. If they exhibit any of the warning signs above, don’t be afraid to ask if they have thought about suicide or if someone is hurting them. Raising the issue of suicide does not increase the risk or plant the idea. On the contrary, it creates the opportunity to offer help.
  3. Ask your child if they think any of their friends or classmates exhibit warning signs. Talk with them about how to seek help for their friend or classmate. Guide them on how to respond when they see or hear any of the warning signs.
  4. Listen to your children’s comments without judgment. Doing so requires that you fully concentrate, understand, respond, and then remember what is being said. Put your own agenda aside.
  5. Get help from a school-employed or community-based mental health professional if you are concerned for your child’s safety or the safety of one of their peers.

See Preventing Youth Suicide Brief Facts (also available in Spanish) and Preventing Youth Suicide: Tips or Parents and Educators for additional information.

Safe Messaging for Students

  1. Suicide is never a solution. It is an irreversible choice regarding a temporary problem. There is help. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or know someone who is, talk to a trusted adult, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text “START” to 741741.
  2. Don’t be afraid to talk to your friends about how they feel and let them know you care about them.
  3. Be an “upstander” and take actions to reduce bullying and increase positive connections among others. Report concerns.
  4. Never promise to keep secret behaviors that represent a danger toward another person.
  5. Suicide is preventable. People considering suicide typically say something or do something that is a warning sign. Always take warning signs seriously and know the warning signs.
    • Suicide threats, both direct (“I am going to kill myself.”) and indirect (“I wish I could fall asleep and never wake up.”). Can be verbal, written, or posted online.
    • Suicide notes and planning, including online postings.
    • Preoccupation with death in conversation, writing, drawing, and social media.
    • Changes in behavior, appearance/hygiene, thoughts, and/or feelings.
    • Emotional distress.
  6. Separate myths and facts.
    • MYTH: Talking about suicide will make someone want to commit suicide who has never thought about it before. FACT: There is no evidence to suggest that talking about suicide plants the idea. Talking with your friend about how they feel and letting them know that you care about them is important. This is the first step in getting your friend help.
    • MYTH: People who struggle with depression or other mental illness are just weak. FACT: Depression and other mental illnesses are serious health conditions and are treatable.
    • MYTH: People who talk about suicide won’t really do it. FACT: People, particularly young people who are thinking about suicide, typically demonstrate warning signs. Always take these warning signs seriously.
  7. Never leave the person alone; seek out a trusted adult immediately. School-employed mental health professionals like your school psychologist are trusted sources of help.
  8. Work with other students and the adults in the school if you want to develop a memorial for someone who has committed suicide. Although decorating a student’s locker, creating a memorial social media page, or other similar activities are quick ways to remember the student who has died, they may influence others to imitate or have thoughts of wanting to die as well. It is recommended that schools develop memorial activities that encourage hope and promote positive outcomes for others (e.g., suicide prevention programs).

Read these helpful points from SAVE.org and the JED Foundation to further understand how 13 Reasons Why dramatizes situations and the realities of suicide. See Save a Friend: Tips for Teens to Prevent Suicide for additional information.

Additional Resources

Websites

References

Brock, S. E., Nickerson, A. B., Louvar Reeves, M. A., Conolly, S., Jimerson, S., Pesce, R, & Lazarro, B. (2016). School crisis prevention and intervention: The PREPaRE model (2nd ed.). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.

Contributors: Christina Conolly, Kathy Cowan, Peter Faustino, Ben Fernandez, Stephen Brock, Melissa Reeves, Rich Lieberman


© 2017, National Association of School Psychologists, 4340 East West Highway, Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814, 301-657-0270, http://www.nasponline.org

Document may be adapted or excerpted with proper acknowledgement. Please cite as:

National Association of School Psychologists. (2017). 13 Reasons Why Netflix series: Considerations for educators [handout]. Bethesda, MD: Author.

Printable Version

Helping Children - Floods

Related Resources

Save a Friend: Tips for Teens to Prevent Youth Suicide
Share this handout with teens on how to prevent suicide among their peers.

Preventing Youth Suicide: Brief Facts and Tips
Share this handout with basic information on warning signs and prevention measures for youth suicide.

Preventing Youth Suicide: Tips for Parents and Educators
Parents and teachers are in a key position to identify warning signs and get youth the help they need.

Parenting Balanced Kids

hippie-quotes-hd-wallpaper-9-2z4lsdt8ym7t9ic2pfcpog

Last night I attended the talk by Dr. Denise Pope at Cabrillo College. She recently wrote a book called – Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools, and Healthy Successful Kids. For the past thirteen years, she has specialized in student engagement, curriculum studies, qualitative research methods, and service learning. She lectures nationally on parenting techniques and pedagogical strategies to increase student health, engagement with learning, and integrity. Her book Doing School: How We are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students was awarded Notable Book in Education by the American School Board Journal.

 

Denise is a three-time recipient of the Stanford University Graduate School of Education Outstanding Teacher and Mentor Award. She has been featured on CNN, World News Tonight, the Today Show, NPR, among other television and radio programs. Source

She had a great message and I could not stop thinking about how applicable it was to our kids. She of course has written books (which I plan to read) and is published professionally, but what I found remarkable was the amount of resources on her website.

Here are a few:

Videos
Research based fact sheets
Publications
Websites
Crisis Information

 

wendy-mogel-1

Dr. Wendy Mogel is another champion of today’s children.

Tip Sheet

ANONYMOUS A 26 step program for good parents gone bad

Really fun video!

 

 

Movie on the topic

How to Raise an Adult- Julie Lythcott-Haims

 

51vffithefl-_sx327_bo1204203200_

Link-BOOK

Last night I went to see Julie Lythcott-Haims (website) speak about her book How to Raise an Adult- Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success at Aptos High School. It was a mind stretching experience!  She was funny, experienced, dynamic, humble, courageous, and  practical! The experience I was left with was enlightening, therapeutic, and hopeful. Leaving the talk my mind hasn’t stopped thinking about my own children and the kids I work with everyday.

Main themes included:

Parenting Style

parenting-styles

Fostering Independence in four steps

  1. Do for the child.
  2. Do with the child.
  3. Guide and step aside.
  4. Child is independent  with the task.

Reflection

My questions to myself as a parent:

  1. When I parent am I fostering independence?
  2. Am I responsive to my kids interest or am I leading with what I would like for them to do?
  3. As a parent am I modeling good practices to demonstrate independence for my kids?

As a educator I ask myself:

  1. When I consult with a parent who needs to engage in activities to better develop a child’s resiliency and independence, am I scaffolding that in an attainable way?
  2. Given that hovering parents are becoming a more typical reality in our community what am I doing to hone my skills to support their needs?

Reviews

NY Times

Washington Post

independence-in-children-quote

 

Anne Fernald suggests talking to your infants increases intelligence

I know that this seems like a no brainer, but I cannot stress that if you have access to a parent of a young child it is important to convey that talking and interacting with their child as much as possible is crucial for their development. Despite all the pressures and stresses that we endure to make ends meet financially. We should be reminded that cultivating shared time and activity with our children can help fuel our energies and be renewed to take on the difficult tasks that face us daily.

Anne Fernald is an American psychologist, the Josephine Knotts Knowles Professor in Human Biology at Stanford University,[1] and has been described as “the leading researcher in infant-directed speech”.[2]

Fernald specializes in children’s language development, investigating the development of speed and efficiency in children’s early comprehension in relation to their emerging lexical and grammatical competence. Recently, she has also begun to study language development in bilingual Spanish-English speaking children and children who are learning Spanish in addition to English. Her research has shown that infants prefer baby talk to adult speech and that it plays an important role in their language development,[3]and that baby talk has universal features that span multiple cultures and languages.[4][5] She has also studied the effects of television on infants, showing that young TV viewers echo the emotional responses of the actors they see.[6][7]

Fernald received a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Oregon in 1982,[8] where she studied under the mentorship of Patricia K. Kuhl. As well as her position as a psychology professor, Fernald has taken an administrative role at Stanford as Vice Provost for Faculty Development.[9] Her husband, Russell Fernald, is the Benjamin Scott Crocker Professor in Human Biology at Stanford. Source

Stanford psychologist shows why talking to kids really matters

SES differences in language processing skill and vocabulary are evident at 18 months

Speech and Language Developmental Milestones

How to work towards change according to Tandem™ who promotes early literacy and family engagement programming in the Bay Area.

Margaret Wheatley and the “The Six Circle Model”

A few years back I learned about Margaret Wheatley and her work around, “The Six Circle Model”. In a nut shell it is the structures of work and its interplay with the culture, communication, and relationships within that structure.

Tehama Schools Concise Synopsis

Margaret J. Wheatley (commonly Meg Wheatley) (born 1941) is an American writer and management consultant who studies organizational behavior. Her approach includes systems thinking, theories of change, chaos theory, leadership and the learning organization: particularly its capacity to self-organize. Her work is often compared to that of Donella Meadows and Dee Hock. She describes her work as opposing “highly controlled mechanistic systems” that only create robotic behaviors.

In any organization you must find a blend of melding above and below the green line. I think that in my work when we have been faced with a problem, considering what might be missing on the “The Six Circle Model” has really helped our teams better reset on a path to better practices.

At this time in our history, we are in great need of processes that can help us weave ourselves back together. We’ve lost confidence in our great human capabilities, partly because mechanistic organizational processes have separated and divided us, and made us fearful and distrusting of one another. We need processes to help us reweave connections, to discover shared interests, to listen to one another’s stories and dreams. We need processes that take advantage of our natural ability to network, to communicate when something is meaningful to us. We need processes that invite us to participate, that honor our creativity and commitment to the organization. – Margaret Wheatley

Creativity and the brain

I have to share that when I walk my kids in the stroller on the weekend, I habitually listen to Krista Tippet interviewer extraordinaire. She picks topics that keep my head swimming in possibilities. This week she interviewed Rex Jung on Creativity. I think that this is really relevant for educators and especially School Psychologist who are constantly having to measure children’s potential in a variety of areas.

*One thing I did not like during the interview was the use of the word “Retarded”. I think that they should have been savvy enough to use the more modern, respectful, accurate descriptor of “Intellectual Disability”. UPDATE: I emailed Rex Jung about this terminology and he promptly responded, saying he wishes that we could do away with all labels. I agree with him and think he has his heart in the right place when it comes to people in general.

Click here: Rex Jung — Creativity and the Everyday Brain | On Being onbeing.org Few features of humanity are more fascinating than creativity; and few fields are more dynamic now than neuroscience. Rex Jung is working on a cutting edge of science, exploring the differences and interplay between intelligence and creativity

is an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He’s a Distinguished Senior Advisor to the Positive Neuroscience Project, based at the University of Pennsylvania.