Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Conscious Discipline Resources for Children with Special Needs

Today I'm sharing one of my very favorite online resources for using Conscious Discipline with children who have special needs. This brilliant website is created by the amazingly talented staff in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools of Miami, Florida.  


You can go ahead and click the image above and go check out the website for yourself, but make sure you come back here to learn more about this amazing resource!

If you have worked with children who have special needs very long you've probably heard of the Mayer Johnson software called Boardmaker.  If not,  click the image to learn more!


On the Miami-Dade County website click on the "Resources" tab on the left hand side of the page then click on the Boardmaker label.   As you will see, Boardmaker is a software program that helps you support learning with images.  The Miami-Dade website provides many different Boardmaker files for you to download free of charge!  You do have to own the Boardmaker software in order to print many of these images, but it gives you a great place to start!  If you are a special needs teacher or therapist this could save you HOURS!  We want to use images to help young children govern their behavior...why reinvent the wheel!?!  :)

The board above is used during a Greeting Circle to focus on Phonological Awareness.  It includes elements of the Brain Smart Start from Conscious Discipline.  Help children connect and build relationships while they build reading skills!  :)
One of the Brain Smart Principles of Conscious Discipline is that the brain is pattern seeking.  Look how this board helps children use body movement to create a pattern.  What a great way to add some Brain Smart moves into your day!
If you have been to one of my trainings you know how successful Boo Boo Lotion has been in my work with children who have special needs.  This visual helps the child with minimal verbal ability to show you where their "boo boo" is so you can comfort them and show them  you care. 
There is a whole section of boards under the Behavioral and Social downloads.  The one above is a feelings board that gives children some a way to name their feeling and how they choose to handle their feelings.

Using a "First/Then" board really helps children stay focused on the task at hand until they reach their goal.  This comes in really handy with the Skill of Assertiveness!  It focuses everyone on what they want.

I love how this board gives you lots of ideas for commitments that your School Family can make throughout the year.  Adding a visual to the commitment really helps everyone better focus their intentions and brings us back to our focus when we get off track. 
Take some time to explore the website on your own.  There are many great resources available.  One of my other favorites is the page that has TONS of fun nursery rhyme ideas!  Take a look around and share what you find most helpful with others via Pinterest or Facebook!  They add new resources all the time!  Which board inspired you the most?