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Sometimes, it’s good to be a little different.

Sometimes, it’s good to be a little different. We know that you, as a parent of an exceptional child, have your hands full.  We know how special your child is and also how special you are as a parent. You have been given a unique gift, one that causes a lot of work, a lot of focus, but mostly a lot of love.

We wanted to share this free poster with you so you can remind yourselves how fortunate you are to be living the life you have been given.  No-one can do what you do for your child.  No-one knows the real effort it takes for you to mentally, physically, and emotionally support your child, the rest of your family, and yourself.   Take a break for just a few minutes to download this free poster, print it out (or send it out to be printed) and put it where you can see it everyday.   Or… use it as a screen saver on your computer or smart phone.

Enjoy the free poster with much love from

*Click on the photo below to download the full size poster!*

Be Different


Center for Autism and Related Disabilities | UM-NSU CARD

center for autism resized 600

Article by Laura Ketcham

UM-NSU CARD is an organization to help children and adults with autism.  This specific organization is based out of two South Florida universities including the University of Miami and Nova Southeastern at three different locations.  There are also other regional centers around Florida, based at the various Universities, and also other organizations around the United States that have the similar goals.  UM-NSU CARD provides family support services, consultations, training programs, and community outreach to individuals with autism, their families, and individuals who work with them.

Individuals who ask for assistance with a child or adult with autism from UM-NSU CARD are served at their home or schools.  The staff members travel there and may help them with various concerns including behavioral, communication, or learning difficulties.  They will make suggestions for therapies or programs that may help the individual with autism.  They cannot help with providing a diagnosis for the individual, but can help families to obtain information to contact physicians or organizations that can help with those needs.

Their website also has many online resources for educators and parents to learn more about various services, facts, therapy options, behavior and social modifications and strategies to support individuals with autism.  These resources can help teachers and parents to learn more about autism, therapies and programs that can help the child build socially appropriate behaviors, and teaching strategies for learning new skills.

Being part of this organization allows the parents and teachers to join this “community” in South Florida. It can open doors to meet other families or teachers working with children who have autism.  Building this network can lead to finding therapy options, programs, strategies, or other connections for assisting children with autism.  UM-NSU CARD holds various fundraising events and support group sessions throughout the year in both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

There are many other support groups throughout the nation that provide similar services.  Many of these are federally funded and run through local universities.  These can be helpful organizations to provide the needed assistance and education for both parents and teachers to help autistic children to lead independent and successful lives.

Free Teacher Resources | Special Education by MangoMon by MangoMon


Free iPhone/ iPod / iPad Special Education Apps

Because April is Autism Awareness Month, has released a set of 24 apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad for free for the Month of April!  Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Flashcards are available to download for free from the iTunes store!  These apps are great for students with special needs because they include audio reinforcement, musical rewards, and will shuffle the decks for you. The apps also include games with themes like which object does not belong, which words rhyme, as well as traditional flashcards.

An example of one of the apps is the “Which Go Together” app. This app focuses on problem solving, which is an important skill to learn early in a child’s life. Here, students can be introduced to associations that will help them develop visual discrimination skills and understanding of various objects.

There are 120 colorful images that are of high interest for visual and auditory learners. The student will be asked which one of the four objects shown does not belong in a specific combination. With clear audio and verbal praise to reinforce correct answers, students will have fun and learn at the same time. There is even pleasant classical music that plays throughout the app to keep children focused on the task at hand. The sounds can even be turned on or off to cater to a specific child’s needs.

To download all these wonderful free apps, open iTunes, click on the iTunes store, search for and you will be able to see all the available apps!

Free Teacher Resources | Special Education by MangoMon


Fun and Educational Games for Students with Autism

The video clip illustrates the Spongebob Squarepants Imitation Game from Autism Games, which could easily be modified for whatever television show or topic your students are interested in. Students say and imitate words and phrases using different emotions to practice and learn distinctions between emotions.

Autism Games is a large collection of fun and educational games and activities for parents and teachers of kids with Autism created by a Speech Language Pathologist. The website includes a large database of games you can play in school or at home, detailed instructions, a video index of real students participating in the activities, tips and strategies for making the games more educational, and much more.

The game collection is organized by theme, language learning objectives, and difficulty (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced). The activities are arranged so that you can easily scaffold the material for your student or child. Beginner games are for children not skilled in learning words. Intermediate games are for students putting words together. Advanced games are better for children who are able to put sentences together.

The video clips section provides a great tool for teaching parents, teachers, and even students how to play the games. You can easily find a video model of each activity to review the game demonstrated before you start to play and determine if it will work for your students.

Article By Amanda Kenuam

Free Reading and Math Games by Mangomon


Free Online Resources for Special Education

Over the past few years, decreased funding has  forced teachers to become even more creative with the supplies and resources that they currently have in the classroom.  Luckily there is a wealth of high-quality, FREE online resources that can be implemented in your classroom to spice up your daily lesson plans.  The sources listed below should encourage students to communicate, participate, interact, learn life skills and build intrinsic motivation.

Teachers Helping Teachers

Teachers Helping Teachers is a website developed for teachers, by teachers.  On this site you will find lesson plans (including a special education section), educational links, a forum, topics and poems of the week, and stress reducers.  Under the special education lesson plans section, there is a large variety of easily adaptable plans.  Lesson plans range from reading, spelling, and notetaking to classroom management, activity modifications, and behavioral systems.  Many of these lesson plans provide learning strategies to build skills based on Individual Educational Plans (IEPs).  These lesson plans can easily be used in conjunction with other lesson plans and links provided throughout the site.

Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators

Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators is a wealth of online resources.  The special education page for this site includes approximately 20 links for educators.  Some of the sites are research-based sites that provide standards-based approaches for teachers to reach their special education students.  Other links are for teachers to use as teaching aids or activities for their students in their classroom.

SEN Teacher

SEN Teacher is a regularly updated and current website that provides free online teaching and learning resources for special education teachers.  This site was created by a former teacher with experience working with students and young adults with intellectual disabilities.  The three sections of this website I found most useful were printables, web links, and downloads.  The printables page has a wide variety of worksheets, games, and tools for learning concepts such as time, money, handwriting, vocabulary, and communication skills.  I especially like the printables that involve game pieces like spinning wheels and fact fans.  The downloads page is one of the most interesting pages with categorized downloadable programs and games for a variety of subject areas.  They are all FREE full versions of programs (not demos) that can be integrated into your core curriculum.

Do 2 Learn

Do 2 Learn is a website that was created by a group of advisors and staff that has extensive experience working with and researching a wide variety of disabilities and how to best educate special education students.  The Do 2 Learn site offers a variety of free activities, lessons, games, and organization tools on their website.  The best thing about this site is that they provide teachers with creative ideas to teach special education students real-world skills such as social skills, fine motor skills, organizational skills, and communication skills.  The interactivity and interest level of the activities will make learning meaningful and fun for special education students.

Article by Laura Ketcham

Free Teacher Resources | Special Education by Learning Today


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