Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Jan./Feb. Newsletter Topic: Teaching With Special Interests

Children and adults with autism may have strong interests in a certain area, such as computers, weather, trains, etc. These interests can often be used as powerful teaching tools to increase academic skills, improve behaviors, and facilitate social skills.

In this month's newsletter, we will provide information and resources about how to use special interests to make learning more fun, motivating, and effective.

This month's issue is dedicated to Dylan Hockley, a six-year-old boy with autism who was one of the children lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Here is a quote from an article about Dylan:

"In front of the packed church here, Ian and Nicole Hockley, the parents of Dylan and Jake, offered a message of hope.

Like other children on the autism spectrum, Dylan, whom they called, “D,” liked to flap his arms. When his mother asked him one day why he flapped his arms, she said, she was amazed when, despite his language struggles, he responded: 'Because I am a beautiful butterfly.'

Ms. Hockley noted the oft-repeated saying that the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings could create a hurricane half a world away. 'Imagine,' she said, 'what 26 can do.'"

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