Information provided on this page for classroom use only; not for publication.  2001

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Welcome to Special Education!

Every year is different, every day is different,
every child is different. ~ Chris


This page will mostly contain links to other resources, primarily because of the vastness itself of the world of Special Education.  Special Education covers so many disabilities and categories that no page, or even site, could manage to begin to cover more than just the very tip of the iceberg.  In my 24 years as a Special Education teacher, I've taught students with learning disabilities, language and speech impairments, attention deficit disorders, emotional disorders, Asperger Syndrome, mental retardation, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, physical disabilities, and developmental delays.  I'd say that's quite an array of disabilities.  So those are some of the areas I'll begin adding links and information for, and I'll work to other areas as needed.  If you have information or links that you feel would benefit others in the Special Education arena, please feel free to e-mail them to me and I'll add them to the page.

If they don't learn the way you teach,
teach the way they learn.


People First Language

People First Language



I serve students in 3 or 4 grade levels in both inclusive and resource settings.  Their IEPs mandate that I meet with the general education teacher to "collaborate" on a weekly basis.  Every year I struggle with how to do this and document it in a time efficient manner.  I talk with these teachers on an almost daily basis, so covering all my bases and documentation was my biggest problem.  Since I don't have the same planning period as they do, the general education teachers were asked to choose a time and day they'd like to meet to collaborate.  I created this checklist to use throughout the week so that I can document when we collaborate on students outside the specified meeting times.  If I see that we've collaborated on all the students by the specified meeting time, then we may not need to meet further.

I'm going to manage this checklist by using a thin binder that will be divided into sections.  The binder will go with me as I travel around the building.  Each section will contain the checklist for one student with their name and teachers' names preprinted on the page.  On Friday afternoons the "notes" will be typed up and all documentation will be filed in each student's documentation file.  New checklists will be added to the binder ready for Monday morning.

Collaboration Documentation


Intervention Central


Learning Disabilities (SLD)
LD Online:  Learning Disabilities Information and Resources

The ABCs of LD and ADD

Learning Disabilities Association of America

National Center for Learning Disabilities  A Parents Guide to Learning Differences

The Council for Learning Disabilites

The Divison for Learning Disabilites

Learning Disabilities and Special Education


The International Dyslexia Association

Dyslexia the Gift, Information and Resources for Dyslexia

Dyslexia or Developmental Reading Disorders

Attention Deficit Disorders (ADHD)
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Alphabet Soup:  ADD, ADHD and us!

Autism/Asperger Syndrome/P.D.D.

Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals by Tony Atwood

(Tony Atwood is a renowned expert in the field of Asperger's Syndrome)


Other books recommended by Tony Atwood:

Children With Autism, Second Edition by Trevarthen, Aitken, Papoudi & Robarts

Autism: An Inside-Out Approach by Donna Williams

Autism and Sensing by Donna Williams

Children With Special Needs, Fourth Edition by John Friel


Social Skills Training by Jed Baker


Learning Lesson Picture Cards:  I developed these to try with a student who has Asperger Syndrome who has a lot of difficulty with the act of completing his assignments.  I wish the pictures matched better, but hopefully they're temporary.

Learning Lesson Picture Cards


Asperger Syndrome: What Is It?

Asperger Syndrome?

Welcome to!

Asperger Syndrome


Special Child: Disorder Zone Archives - Asperger Syndrome


ASPEN Asperger Syndrome Education Network


Asperger's Syndrome


FAAAS, Inc - Families of Adults Afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome - Fact Sheet


Characteristics Checklist for Asperger's Syndrome: Social Interaction


Thomas the Tank Engine and Autism Spectrum Disorders


NINDS Asperger Syndrome Information Page


Asperger Syndrome and Your Child,email-h


Characteristics Checklist for Asperger's Syndrome,1120,1-33638,00.html


Asperger's Disorder and Nonverbal Learning Disabilities


Asperger's Syndrome/Family Village


Asperger's Syndrome


Sensory Integration Checklist


Sensory Integration


Autism Spectrum Disorders Fact Sheet

Southwest Autism Research Center

Room5's Autism Page

Center for the Study of Autism

Chris's Story


Teaching Tips


Special Child: Disorder Zone Archives - Autism


Tinsnips - Special education resource for autism



Mental Retardation

Functional Academic Curriculum for Exceptional Students



Down Syndrome

Special Child: Disorder Zone Archive - Down Syndrome




Behavior Management

You Can Handle Them All Website

Dr. Mac's Amazing Behavior Management Site

Pediatric Pschyiatry Pamphlets

Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Ashley's Story (CP)


Special Child: Disorder Zone Archive - Cerebral Palsy


Visual Impairment

Resource Sites on Blindness


Low Vision Resources


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Special Child: Disorder Zone Archive - Fetal Alcohol Syndrome


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects


National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome


FAS Fact Sheet


Hearing Impairment

GG Wiz's FingerSpeller

Animated ASL Dictionary



Spina Bifida

Special Child: Disorder Zone Archive - Spina Bifida



General Information

SEN Resource Center - Teacher's Copyable Resources

Yahoo! Groups : IEP_guide Links

SERI - Special Education Resources on the Internet

Special Education

The Council for Exceptional Children

Band-Aides and Blackboards

Tips for Teachers

A Letter to My Teacher

Special Education Resources

Closing the Gap - Computer Technology in Special Education and Rehabilitation

Products for Special Needs and Education


IntelliTools:  Learning Technology for the Diverse Classroom

ZYGO Industries (augmentative communications devices)

80 functional ways to use technology


Special Child: Disorder Zone Archives


Preschool Zone


  All students can learn and succeed,

but not on the same day, in the same way.
~ William G. Spady ~


Shay's Story

At a fund-raising dinner for a school that serves learning-disabled children, the father of one of the school's students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question. "Everything God does is done with perfection. Yet, my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is God's plan reflected in my son?" The audience was stilled by the query. 

The father continued. "I believe," the father answered, "that when God brings a child like Shay into the world, an opportunity to realize the Divine Plan presents itself. And it comes in the way people treat that child."  Then, he told the following story:

Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked," Do you think they will let me play?"  Shay's father knew that most boys would not want him on their team. But the father understood that if his son were allowed to play it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging. 

Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field and asked if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said, "We are losing by six runs, and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and I'll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning." 

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. At the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the outfield. Although no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base. Shay was scheduled to be the next at-bat. Would the team actually let Shay bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. 

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have ended the game. 

Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman. Everyone started yelling, "Shay, run to first. Run to first." Never in his life had Shay ever made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!"  By the time Shay was rounding first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman for a tag.  But the right fielder understood what the pitcher's intentions had been, so he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman's head. 

Shay ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As Shay reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third!" 

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams were screaming, "Shay! Run home."  Shay ran home, stepped on home plate and was cheered as the hero, for hitting a "grand slam" and winning the game for his team. "That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face," the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of the Divine Plan into this world."




Footnote: The person who wrote this story believes that you can make a difference as well.  

I thank God that he guided me into a profession that I love, and that gives me the opportunity to feel like I make a difference in the lives of children.  The rewards that I get from my students and their parents makes up for the low pay.  I'd rather go to a low paying job that I love, than to a high paying job that I hated.



last updated 2.1.09


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