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Half-Day Workshop

Seminar: “Just Give Him the Whale”: Using Passions, Areas of Expertise, and Strengths to Support Students with Autism

Do you know someone who loves whales? Or ceiling fans? Or elevators? Most of us do know learners with specific interests. Often, however, these favorites of students with autism are not celebrated but seen as annoying, problematic or in need of “extinction”. In this presentation, Dr. Kluth will explore alternative perspectives and will focus specifically on how they can serve as supports, teaching tools, inspirations, and hobbies. Participants will learn how honoring fascinations and using them as tools can help teachers calm, comfort, teach, inspire, and connect with their students with autism labels. Some of the topics to be covered in this session include using interests to teach standards-based academic content, nurture social connections, minimize anxiety, and expand communication opportunities and skills.

Dates:10 Sep 2021 (Fri)
Time:8.00am – 11.00am (Singapore Standard Time GMT+0800)
Venue:Live Online Training
Speaker: Dr. Paula Kluth

Dr. Paula Kluth is a consultant, author, advocate, and independent scholar who works with teachers and families to provide inclusive opportunities for students with disabilities and to create more responsive and engaging schooling experiences for all learners. She is a former K-12 special educator who has served as a classroom teacher, co-teacher, and inclusion facilitator. Paula has also been a university professor and has taught courses on both inclusion and disability studies. Most recently, Paula’s work has centered on helping teachers and administrators educate all students in their schools and classrooms. She also frequently works with families and advocacy groups to support goals related to inclusion. In addition to inclusive education, her professional interests include Universal Design for Learning, co-teaching, and educating students with complex support needs.

Universal Design Daily is Paula’s newest book. She is also the author or co-author of 14 other titles including 30 Days to the Co-Taught Classroom, Don’t We Already Do Inclusion?, and “You’re Going to Love This Kid!”: Teaching Students with Autism in Inclusive Classrooms. She is also the author of a few books for children including Coaster, a story of puppy with wonderful wheels.

Paula has won several awards in her field. She is the recipient of the PEAK Parent Center’s Ally for Inclusion Award; The PEAL [Parent Education & Advocacy Leadership] Center’s Inclusive Education Champion Award; The National Down Syndrome Congress’s Educator of the Year; The Belle Center of Chicago’s Inclusion Advocate of the Year; and the University of Wisconsin’s “Forward Under 40” Award.

Course Outline
  • understanding special interests 45 min
  • research & person-first accounts 45 min
  • break (15 min)
  • examples (e.g., curriculum & instruction, social needs) 60 min
  • conclusions/questions (15 min)
Course Objectives

On completion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. learn information about the types of fascinations commonly seen in learners with autism
  2. explore how to use fascinations as a tool in planning curriculum and instruction
  3. explore how to use fascinations to calm & comfort students
  4. explore how to use fascinations to inspire & motivate students
  5. examine a planning tool that can be used to catalog strengths, abilities, and fascinations
Who Can Benefit?

Administrators, special and general educators, family members, family educators, paraprofessionals, therapists, psychologist, speech language pathologist (SLP), social worker

Course Fees & Closing Dates
Registration Type Closing Date Fees (S$) /pax
15 Jun 2021 200
Normal Till Full 230