Gil Velazquez, Author at The Gateway School

All Posts by Gil Velazquez

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. While people diagnosed “on the spectrum” may look like their neurotypical peers, and their intelligence can range from gifted to severely challenged, they communicate, behave, and learn in […]

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ASAH 2021 Conference–Incorporating STEM into the Special Needs Classroom

On November 19th, 2021, Diane Gray, Supervisor of Instruction at Alpha School, and Amy Brandon, Supervisor of Instruction at Harbor School, presented at this year’s 43rd annual ASAH Conference. Ms. Gray and Ms. Brandon presented a workshop on incorporating STEM into the special needs classroom. What is STEM? (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) – How RKS Schools […]

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When the School Bus or Van Stops Coming! — Transition Planning for Special Education Students

Transition planning can seem overwhelming and the support at The Gateway School in Carteret, New Jersey helps to guide parents through this process.On Thursday, November 18, 2021 the Gateway School provided an online seminar helping the Gateway family understand the crucial parts of planning once their child transitions away from the school bus. Our presenters […]

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Why Teach Functional Skills?

Functional skills instruction can help special needs children successfully navigate their personal and educational environments. These are the skills that if not done by an individual independently, others will have to do for him or her. Giving the child lots of opportunities to practice and increase their mastery of functional skills can increase a child’s […]

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Atypical –a Netflix show that brings awareness of the real -life challenges growing up on the spectrum

Representation of neurodiverse characters on screen matters because it shows all kids that they are an integral part of our culture and not separate from it. Everyone deserves to see affirming visions of themselves in the culture around them. Atypical (2017-2021) is one example of a show streaming on Netflix right now that attempts to […]

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Books about Characters with Learning Differences

So many children with learning differences are incredibly intelligent. Yet because they learn differently, they may feel misunderstood, or even inferior. Showing a broad range of learning differences, the books on this list depict characters who share the struggles of special needs kids. Hopefully, reading these books will help all students know that they are […]

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Special Needs Characters in Movies, TV, and Books

In 1990, Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop coined the metaphor “windows, mirrors, and sliding doors” to describe the power of representation in children’s books. She wrote: “Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk […]

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The Benefits of a Specialized School to Deal with Behavioral Challenges

Children diagnosed on the autistic spectrum and with other special needs may present and engage in challenging behaviors, such as aggression, self-injurious behavior (SIB), and/or property destruction. These behaviors can range from skin-picking and slapping to head-banging, self-biting, punching, and kicking. According to the Autism New Jersey website, New Jersey currently has the highest rate […]

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Daily Living Skills at Home One Step at a Time

Learning fundamental daily living skills such as self-care, personal hygiene, laundry, cooking, and cleaning can help prepare special needs children for future adult situations in the home, community, and workplace. According to the Organization for Autism Research, daily living skills are particularly important for those diagnosed on the autism spectrum, as they include “tasks that […]

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