Name for Middle School Autism Classroom

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by teachersk, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    It's me again. Trying to come up with a name for my middle school autism classroom.

    Do any of you have cool acronyms for your Life Skills or Autism classes?

    I am really liking the idea of "STRIVE" - Structured Teaching Reinforced in a Visual Environment.

    Thought that sounded both professional and cool. And it reflects what we do.

    I am trying to get people to stop saying "The Autistic Kids" or "The Autistic Class" - and give it a name that they can start saying "the LEAP class" or "The STRIVE kids" you know?

    I know we'll always have a stigma attached to us... well, just because we're the autism class, and I accept that! But our DOOR says Autism Spectrum Disorders Classroom, and that is not very exciting to me. People constantly say the ASD class, ASD kids, etc.

    I really feel if I could come up with a name for the program (which is brand new this year, and I started it!) we would be making our way AWAY from the ASD brand name...

    Any ideas? ? ?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Love your strive idea...what acronym did you have for leap?
    Learners Excelling And Progressing

    Step: Students & Teacher's Environment of Progress

    Star: ?

    Reach: Respecting each awesome child here
     
  4. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Learning Experiences in an Alternative Program
    or Learning and Experiential Academic Program

    Those are good ones too! I just think it is totally not a 2010 thing to do to have the class named the ASD Class.
     
  5. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    STARS - Successful Transition Achieved with Responsive Support? I found that online but it doesn't really make sense.

    LEAP - Learning and Experiential Academic Program (Learning Edge Academic Program) or

    RISE - Reaching Independence through Structured Environments (or education?)

    REACH -

    LIFE - Learning in a Functional Environment

    PREP - Progress and Results Enhance Potential
    Progress and Results Educational Program

    STEP - Special Transition Educational Program

    STRIDE - Students Taking Responsibility in Developing Excellence
     
  6. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    I'd love something that has communication and behavior in it... because that would really narrow it down to what we do.... but I guess I'm getting picky if I do that....
     
  7. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    PLACE - Program of Language, Academics, and Community Experiences

    or Program of Language Acquisition and Community Experiences
     
  8. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    ABLE - Academic and Behavioral Learning Environment
    Academics, Behavior, and Language Experiences
     
  9. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    PACE -Program of Academic and Community (or Communication) Experiences
     
  10. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    CLASS - Communication, Language, Academics, Social Skills
    Community, Language, Academics, Social Skills
     
  11. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    haha man I'm full of ideas tonight!
     
  12. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    the class at our school is called TLC but I can't remember what it stands for.
     
  13. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Interesting idea. I never thought of calling my class anything other than "Life Skills." We're always going to have that stigma, especially since we're the only life skills classroom of 5 in a sea of 500 gen ed kids.

    I share a room with the band teacher and the choir girls were coming over to my side, looking around, and asked me if I taught home ec. LOL I told them yeah, pretty much.

    I think that's a neat idea though, sk. I don't have any ideas for you, but I just wanted to let you know I thought it was cool!
     
  14. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Even Life Skills would be better than Autism Spectrum Disorder class! I mean come on! The case manager to my program asked me why it makes a difference because my kids have no clue... and I guess there's just something about it - in TX we would have never had "Autism Classroom" on the door to the classroom (confidentiality, anyone??) let alone the teacher listed on the website as the "Autistic Teacher."

    I just feel like we could look and sound so much cooler with a new name. The case manager isn't convinced. We'll see what happens! I might be "ASD Class" forever.

    If you remember, someone on this forum suggested we call it "Achieving Success Daily" (I can't remember who suggested that) but I have that in my signature line on my e-mail right now... it says

    First Name Last Name
    Teacher, ASD Program
    Name of Middle School
    "Achieving Success Daily"

    So at least I have THAT going for us, but it still is called the Autism Spectrum Disorders Program and I HATE HATE HATE it!!!
     
  15. Chokita

    Chokita Comrade

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    Feb 27, 2010

    I personally like this one:
    CLASS - Communication, Language, Academics, Social Skills

    What about ACT?
    Academics, Communication, Transition.

    Or BEST - Building Essential Skills Together.
     
  16. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Okay then sk, I think my favorite so far was "RISE - Reaching Independence through Structured Environments (or education?)" and I'd probably go with "education." You could call them the Early RISErs! :D
     
  17. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    We ended up going with LEAP :


    Lifelong Experiences and Academics Program

    .... It goes so well with our community based instruction component, but still sounds smart!
     
  18. beatlebug731

    beatlebug731 Comrade

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    SMILE- students making independent life expectations
     
  19. atkhorses

    atkhorses Rookie

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    I LOVE the STRIDE. I keep wanting to replace the excellence with experience or experiences.
     
  20. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    I Like LEAP. It is amazing to me that someone in his or her right mind would call it the autism class or refer to the teacher as the autistic teacher!!!! When I was going for my SPED certification, we had an entire lesson on "people first" language.
     
  21. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    It was very surprising to me to see that this school was "light years behind" in their acceptance and acknowledgement of students with special needs.

    In an IEP meeting a few weeks ago, a member of the child study team continued to beat it into one of my parents' heads that her child was, "retarded," even as she tried to explain to the team that she didn't want that word to be used to describe her son.

    I understand that it's a clinical term, but even in NJ we say "cognitive impairment." The mother was just balling as they kept telling her how her son needed to be in my classroom because he was "so retarded" that he could not progress in other classrooms.

    It just amazes me, in a bad way.
     
  22. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    The parents at my school would be livid. I would be embarrassed that a colleague would talk like that.
     
  23. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Believe me, I was. All I wanted to do was curl up into the corner and hide my face.

    I had to work hard to "gain back her confidence" once it was my turn to talk. You can't convince a parent that my classroom is the best placement for a child, when the other CST members make it out to be "for the really retarded kids."

    It really is sad how incredibly ignorant the people are at my school. I get it that they've never had an autism class before, but that doesn't change the fact that it is 2010.

    When I was trying to find elective classes for my kids this semester, it was a nightmare. I finally got them into a computer class. The way they do it is, they make the teacher "ask permission" from the electives teachers - and if the electives teachers "say no" then you have to move to another class. It's crazy because all of the teachers say no to having my kids in their class, and then we don't have a class! But, I finally found a computer class for them to be in.

    At a faculty meeting, I turned around and told the computer teacher how excited my kids were for computer class as their elective. She responded with, "I still don't understand why I got stuck with the retarded kids."

    I started crying. Ha. I was embarrassed that I cried so hard in the middle of a meeting, but I have never been so sad in my life. It was that moment that I realized what I was up against. NOBODY wants my kids there - and they're letting me know that.

    I keep fighting hard for them. You can't really change peoples' attitudes when that is how they think. :(
     
  24. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    :dizzy:
    I guess that old saying is right..."you can't fix stupid".
     
  25. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    I am doing a ton of "awareness" activities to get people to realize they really are the most fun group of kids to work with, ever.... but it seems to be getting me nowhere.

    We do take the products of our cooking activities and deliver them to various teachers in the hopes of "winning them over" and getting them to see the "joy" that I get to work with every day, but I haven't had much luck.

    It's definitely a challenge.
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    About the only thing that fixes that kind of stupid is suddenly having it become very, very personal. I'm guessing none of your faculty members is a parent of a special-needs kid, or even closely enough related to one to have had to pay any attention.
     
  27. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    There is no way. The funny thing is, I am not a parent nor do I have any sort of personal connection with a child or adult with a disability. This is just something that I am passionate about.

    Even if I hadn't devoted my life and career to this, I would NEVER, EVER think of saying some of the things that these people have said.

    If anyone has any suggestions for ignorant faculty members and how to improve their attitudes, I am wide open...
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Hm. If you were in my area, I'd suggest that you contact the special ed office in your district or at the county or state department of education to ask for suggestions as to how your faculty's attitudes can be turned around. There's doubtless something analogous in your area. Alternatively, you might see if the special ed department in your local school of education might have ideas for you.
     
  29. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Unfortunately, they are all the ones who think that this is how it should be done. The CST member who was so inappropriate in that meeting, did so, I believe, without even knowing she was inappropriate. She is the head of the special education department.

    I need to seek assistance from outside of the district, because they don't think anything is wrong...

    Do other special ed teachers have to ask their colleagues for "permission" to put their students in their classes? Or do they just sign them up for the class that makes the most sense and will best meet the needs of the student, and the teacher has to receive their roster and teach the kids that are on it???
     
  30. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    My mom works in a self contained class at the high school level and I know she has talked about them taking a home ec class and whatnot. I will ask her how they go about that sort of thing.
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    That CST person is someone on the district level?? Oh, no! Definitely go outside the district, then.

    You may need to be prepared to bring the school some pain, and to catch some grief because of it - but the behavior you're seeing toward these kids has to stop.
     
  32. bros

    bros Phenom

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    A Teacher in HS tried to refer to me as retarded once.

    What a fun time that was.

    Then in HS again, my case manager decided to hold a meeting with herself, the digital photography teacher, the guidance counselor, my parents, and I. Because according to the digital photography teacher, I was misbehaving during class.

    That could either be construed as an illegal IEP meeting or a failure to perform a FBA.
     
  33. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    bros, were they actually changing your IEP? If not, then it isn't an IEP meeting. We hold meetings with parents all the time that aren't neccessarily IEP meetings... just a check-in, touching-base, how-are-things-going meeting. We also hold school team meetings without the parents, just to make sure everyone's on the same page regarding a specific child. In no way is that illegal.
     
  34. bros

    bros Phenom

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    They had my IEP there and were discussing changing it while having the digital photography teacher yell at me for 20 minutes.

    Then the guidance counselor started yelling at the digital photography teacher, eventually it regressed into the guidance counselor getting yelled at by the digi photo teacher, after the GC said that digital photography wasn't an essential course. What a fun meeting that was, especially right before a midterm :p
     
  35. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I taught a mild autism class at the elementary school level and I had to find a teacher in each of the grade levels that I taught that I could attach my students to. All of my students went to Specials with the regular ed. class I attached them to and when ready joined this class for academics (usually math). They went to Specials with my parapro and when they joined a class for academics, they usually went alone or I checked up on them during their class. I just made sure to make friends with teachers in the same grade level that my students were in and never had a problem finding a regular ed. teacher to accept my students;). I also ran a tight ship, so the teachers knew that I will always follow up on any issues that occured when my students were not with me.

    I remember being totally pissed at another teacher when she told me that one of my student's were doing so well at wiping the table after lunch (each class had to clean their table and sweep under their table after lunch) and it was so good since that was probably what he was going to do when he was an adult. I couldn't understand how she could determine what someone would do when they were only 6 -- this was a child who couldn't label numbers but could do gr. 3 math...
     
  36. AspieTeacher

    AspieTeacher Comrade

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    My Parents Were Told That I'd Probably Be A Custodian.

    I remember being totally pissed at another teacher when she told me that one of my student's were doing so well at wiping the table after lunch (each class had to clean their table and sweep under their table after lunch) and it was so good since that was probably what he was going to do when he was an adult. I couldn't understand how she could determine what someone would do when they were only 6 -- this was a child who couldn't label numbers but could do gr. 3 math...

    When I was in elementary school in the late 70's, I was placed into a special classroom to help me catch up with my peers. The class was called "LLD" which meant Learners with Language Delays. They didn't have the proper diagnosis for Asperger's Syndrome (mild autism) back then. I recall my mother telling me that she was informed by a teacher that I would probably be most likely able to do simple life skills and live in a group home. My parents refused to listen to that teacher and pushed me in school. I graduated from high school, graduated from college with honors 3.75 GPA and I have a teaching credential now. I taught middle school students with autism for 7 1/2 years and loved it. I got burned out and moved to working with students with severe limitations (multiple profound disabilities). I have to give God all the credit for allowing me to be placed with a loving family who cared about me and never allowed me to use my disability as an excuse for anything. This is my 10th year of full-time teaching special education. Thank you God for blessing me with a wonderful talent.

    Troy S.
    Downey, Ca
     

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