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Disney Shorts Offer Lesson in Nonverbal Communication

A person’s body language or tone of voice offers clues about how he or she is feeling: excited, angry, distracted, upset, etc. Being able to read nonverbal communication is important for effective interactions with others at work, at home, and in the community and can increase a person’s self-confidence in regard to social skills.

To help LGS students increase their ability to read nonverbal communication, Miss Carpinelli recently led classroom activities utilizing three Disney shorts: Geri’s Game, For the Birds, and Luxo Jr

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Inside Your Outside

Mrs. Wink’s 2-4 students are learning about systems of the body with help from the Cat in the Hat.

The Cat in the Hat takes Dick and Sally for a trip through the Inside-Your-Outside Machine. They learn about their insides including the workings of the brain, the different bones in a skeleton, sense organs, muscles, blood cells, and more. When their ride is done, the most important thing Dick and Sally learn is that something is going on inside them all the time.

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Wonder–A Story about Kindness

Wonder—the book and related movie—is a story about kindness and a story of hope.

Mrs. Bachman’s 4-6 grade reading students have just started reading the book about Auggie Pullman, a 10-year-old boy with a severe facial deformity. Due to the large number of surgeries he had to undergo, Auggie was homeschooled through 4th grade. But as the book begins, it has been 8 months since his last surgery and, since he is not as medically fragile as he once was, Auggie is eager to attend school and be a “normal” kid.

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Virtual Sampler Offers Insights into Programs, Supports

Linden Grove School’s annual Program Sampler enables parents to experience some of the specialized teaching methods, resources and therapies used at LGS.

This year, amid COVID-19, LGS will offer parents participation in virtual sessions available on two different evenings. Options include Functions of Behavior, Using Visuals and Schedules in Your Home, Anxiety & Your Child, Interoception 101 and Choosing a High School.

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One Thousand Cranes

Ms. Moore’s students recently read a book about Sadako Sasaki, a lively, athletic, middle school student in 1950s Japan. Sadako was the star of her school’s running team; then the dizzy spells started. The young girl was diagnosed with leukemia, an aftereffect of the atom bomb that fell on her hometown of Hiroshima when she was only two years of age.

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Preparing Students to Live and Work in an Increasingly Diverse Community

In 1997, more than 63% of the students enrolled in public schools were white. By the fall of 2017, the percentage of white students in public schools dropped to 48%, and is expected to decrease to 44% by the fall of 2029.*

Further, these changes in the racial demographics of U.S. students foreshadows the expected shifts in the racial demographics of our nation as whole. The United States Census Bureau projects the white population in our country to decline from 63% in 2012 to an estimated 43% by 2060.

Given the increasingly diverse community in which we live, it’s more important than ever for teachers and administrators to ensure a multicultural approach to classroom and school activities. And when we speak of “culture” we are not limiting ourselves to race, but religion, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and more.

Benefits of a Multi-Cultural Approach to Education

  • Student Engagement—When students see themselves and their culture reflected in classroom lessons and school activities, they are more engaged and inspired.
  • Student Confidence—By highlighting their culture and encouraging open-mindedness towards others, students feel more confident in themselves and their interactions with diverse people.
  • Increased Empathy—Encouraging students to explore history and current events from different perspectives encourages understanding and empathy.
  • Creativity and Critical Thinking—Classroom activities among students of diverse backgrounds can inspire creativity and critical thinking, as well as an appreciation for diverse perspectives.

While a multi-cultural approach to education improves student success, of greater importance is helping students develop the skills and attitudes to understand and appreciate diverse cultures so they may flourish in school, at work, and in community settings.

For the 2020-2021 school year, Greater Cincinnati Foundation awarded Linden Grove School two grants to support classroom activities related to diversity and inclusion. Further, as part of its 2020-2023 Strategic Plan, the school will increase efforts to encourage in students and staff the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and attitudes to understand and appreciate our differences and our common humanity.

 

*National Center for Education Statistics, Racial/Ethnic Enrollment in Public Schools, May 2020. https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cge.asp

Positive Relationships between Schools and Families Increase Student Success

Nothing positively impacts student achievement more than family engagement in their child’s school and educational process. Moreover, because educational planning for a student with autism addresses a wide range of skill development, family involvement in that process is particularly important in helping students develop the skills and abilities for success in school, and beyond.

Here are just a few of the benefits of encouraging positive relationships between a student’s family members and school staff members:

  1. Teachers can connect classroom activities to a student’s interests, experiences, and culture. When presented with information and activities that interest them or that they can relate to, a student’s attention, participation, and motivation increase. Additionally, incorporating students’ cultural traditions into classroom activities can create a multicultural education experience for the benefit of all students and staff.
  1. Family members and staff identify accommodations and supports to increase student success. Families can offer insight about supports that have worked well in prior years, and those that have not. Sharing of ideas and experiences also encourages a consistent use of effective supports (organizational systems, use of fidgets, frequent breaks, reward systems, alternative seating, etc.) between home and school.
  1. Family members and staff encourage in each other high expectations for students. For students to achieve their potential, teachers and parents/caregivers need to have high expectations. Having high expectations means believing every student can learn. When a student is struggling, you try new ways of engaging them or new ways to help them. You demonstrate with words and behavior, encouragement, support, and enthusiasm.

As Linden Grove School explores options for growth, also included in its 2020-2023 Strategic Plan are strategies for ensuring the continuation of quality instruction and supports for students, including maintaining strong relationships with parents and retaining dedicated, compassionate staff.

 

Autism in the Workplace

Fewer than 1 in 6 of all adults on the Autism spectrum—about 15%—have full time work. Further, among young adults with autism, only 58% held employment at some point following high school, compared to 74% of those with an intellectual disability and 91% of those with an emotional disturbance.*

Fortunately, an increasing amount of research shows the business benefits of hiring people with autism. For example, through its Autism at Work initiative JPMorgan Chase found that their 300+ neurodiverse employees are, as a whole, 48% faster and 92% more productive than their neurotypical employees.

Hiring individuals with autism is not without challenges. Individuals on the spectrum often have trouble with social interactions and communications; co-workers may not understand how to interact with a person with autism without some sort of employee training, Individuals on the spectrum may also have sensory sensitivities or difficulties adapting to change, and could benefit from accommodations such as noise-reducing headphones and advance notice of changes in the workplace or work activities.

To support employers, workplace managers, vocational specialists and others, additional information and resources are available from a range of organizations including OCALI (Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence), the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Linden Grove School is grateful to the increasing number of businesses—large and small—who have initiated efforts to attract and support employees with autism. Applied Behavior Analysis Programs Guide recently compiled a list of the 30 best employers for people with autism.

 

*National Autism Indicators Report, Drexel University, https://drexel.edu/autisminstitute/research-projects/research/ResearchPrograminLifeCourseOutcomes/IndicatorsReport/)

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