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Gateway Articles

How STEM Education Helps Build Confidence

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education involves active problem solving, collaboration, and communication in a fun way, often with hands-on materials. According to Nancy Tsupros, Director of STEM Services at CMU, “STEM is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and […]

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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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How STEM Helps Support Life Skills

STEM-based (science, technology, engineering, and math) lessons prepare students for careers of the future, but they can also help special needs students with functional life skills today. STEM skills, such as problem solving, collaboration, communication, adaptability, and critical thinking are the soft skills that allow students to apply knowledge they acquire in school to real […]

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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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Speech Therapy in a Special Education Environment

According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) a speech disorder is defined as an impairment in the ability to send, receive, process, and comprehend verbal, non-verbal and graphic symbol systems. Everyone has the right to communicate their wants, thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Speech therapy in a special education environment can help students with […]

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Psychiatric Disorders and Special Needs Students: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common and treatable brain disorder whereby unwanted thoughts can cause significant anxiety or distress in our students, and interfere with the child’s normal routine, academic functioning, social activities, or relationships. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when a child is diagnosed with OCD, a difference in the […]

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