I saw Hannah doing a great job of being assertive with her peer just this morning. It won't always work, but it will help in the long run. Your peers know that you are still their friend, despite using a firmer voice with them. It doesn't make you a mean person, it makes you a person that should be listened to.
This is also a great life-lesson for you. Assertiveness (both vocally and in actions) helps others to see you as a more confident person, and who doesn't want to be seen as confident? To be the best LINK that you can be means that you should be trying to stretch yourself to be more confident (assertive) with your peer.
Look around you next time that you are in your LINKS course. You, aside from Ms. B., Mrs. Hogan or myself, are the person that knows your peer the best. No one else in that class knows your peer as well as you do (well, most of the time. Haley, aren't you in your peer's math class? You are an exception to this rule at the moment!). You have gotten to know their personality, their quirks (Leah, you have special experience with quirks!), how to handle their difficult days, and what you can expect from them academically. The teachers in that hour are looking to you for your help and knowledge on your peer. I think that's awesome. I think you all deserve to be confident in your LINKS class.
Continuing with our "assertive" lesson, I am going to give you a homework assignment that hopefully will show you how far you have come and how much you have learned about your peer. In a Google Doc you will be giving me a list of 6 items (bullet points) again. The first 3 items will be what you have become good at since working with your peer. Are you good at seeing when they are going to get upset about something? Are you good at getting your peer to laugh and be happy? Are you good at getting your peer to be involved in class? Are you good at modifying assignments so that your peer can do them along with the rest of class?
The last 3 items are what you think you need to be more confident (assertive) about. What do you have a hard time with doing with your peer. Face it, we aren't perfect and there are always things that we can improve on. Me? I need to do a better job of keeping data on my students. I also need to do a better job of getting my lesson plans done ahead of time. What about you? Do you struggle to know how to talk to your peer? Do you lose your patience with your peer? Do you get discouraged when they don't listen to you? Be honest and detailed. We will be looking back at these by the end of the semester and hopefully we will see some growth.
Whew! Long blog post already! A few more things: We talked a little bit about therapies that are used with children with autism during our class time yesterday. We talked about how Speech and Language therapies are used as well as Occupational and Physical therapies. I also mentioned yesterday that a lot of our peers have had ABA therapy. (Click to find out more about ABA for your homework assignment!) ABA therapy was implemented down at Bursley in a lot of their autism classes. Did anyone go to Bursley that might have seen that? Bauerwood kids, did you see anything like ABA occurring in your school?
I have a few short videos for you to watch that will hopefully give you a better understanding of what ABA looks like. It's super-fast paced to keep the kids attention and is based on positive reinforcement, or a reward system. It has a large focus on behavior along with language and listening skills.
Finally... I would like to say congratulations to Hannah for being our Star LINK of the Month! Next week Hannah will be featured on our blog :) Be ready, Hannah!
Have a great week everyone!