August Newsletter | Supporting Specials

←Read past newsletters

Supporting Specials

Lea este artículo en español aquí.

Specials including library, music, and P.E. offer students unique learning experiences that complement other curricular areas. Students who may struggle in an area such as math or reading often find extraordinary connections in music-making, for example, that increase their enjoyment and engagement, making their school experience even more positive and meaningful.

Inclusion for All

With the right supports, students with autism and other developmental disabilities can fully participate with their neurotypical peers, which fosters a culture of belonging and inclusion. Research has shown, though, that while educators without a special education background are willing to learn, they are often unprepared to meet the needs of neurodiverse students through evidence-based practices. Simply sharing information about common language used in your curriculum can be a huge help—our common language posters (English | Español) are great starting points.

Supporting Specials Teachers

We have several options for making sure that teachers of special subjects are included in conversations and training in the evidence-based practices of the STAR, SOLER, and Links curricula:

Teacher trainings

Consider inviting specials teachers to your teacher trainings with STAR training specialists! These valuable sessions can help colleagues from a variety of backgrounds come together through common knowledge and teaching strategies.

After-school mini-trainings

We offer bite-sized trainings that work with your school's schedules. Utilize these STAR training videos to conduct your own after-school mini-sessions. Or, reach out to schedule an after-school training with one of our trainers. These sessions can be customized to the needs of specials teachers to equip them with the essentials. Contact us for more information.

Easy-to-implement supports

Our materials can easily integrate with specials teachers’ existing curricula and lesson plans—here are some to share! For many students, visual supports can make all the difference. Routine Essentials behavior supports are instantly usable in any classroom. Peer buddies can also help build inclusion and friendship for everyone—the Peer Buddy Guide (English | Español) can help specials teachers start or support a buddy program in their classroom.

Explore Our Specials Content

We’ve developed specials content and supports specifically to meet neurodiverse students’ needs at a variety of levels! Check out these examples of content for music, art, and exercise. Subscribers can access more resources included in the Media Center. Links users can now also access our new Fitness for Life exercise videos tailored to secondary students—find this fun series in the Fitness section of our monthly Academic Teaching Units!