What Stanfield is Reading and Watching: Special Education News April 2016

Motivational Monday

We like this inspirational quote because it’s so visual—you can imagine the feeling of bouncing up in the air, and how good it feels. We hope you have a great week!


Earth Day: Just for Laughs!

Happy Earth Day! We always share something silly on Fridays as part of our Just for Laughs series… This cartoon from the New Yorker gave this a good laugh today. Have a wonderful weekend!


The Cost of Autism Doubles as People on the Spectrum Age

As Autism Awareness/Acceptance month continues, we’ll be sharing more stories about autism and ASD, as well as touching on the resources—or lack thereof—for adults on the spectrum. What happens when teens on the autism spectrum age out of their support programs? What happens when these kids graduate high school without learning the transition skills and life skills necessary for fulfilling employment & a healthy life?

Michelle Diament from Disability Scoop reports that a new study looking at per-person spending on autism services in California suggests that autism costs more than double as people age. The costs include spending on more than 42,000 California residents on the spectrum, and the services are comprised of employment support, transportation and residential services, community care, etc., but “they do not include medical expenses or costs incurred by schools.”

Paul Leigh is a professor of public health sciences at University of California, Davis, who led the study: “As children with autism grow up and become adults and no longer receive public school-based assistance, their services transition to expensive independent living support and more of the cost burden shifts to the state,” Leigh said. “We hope our data can help justify earlier, expanded and equitable spending on younger children with autism. There is a great return on investment in high-quality early intervention services, which consistently have been found to reduce the disability associated with autism and to support the greater independence and integration in society as a whole of adults with autism.”

Read the rest on Disability Scoop.


What’s Missing in Autism Research?

At the beginning of the month, we posted a blog about the myths and stereotypes of individuals on the autism spectrum with research from Steve Silberman. Author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurdiversity, Silberman is an advocate for autism research, but not in the way you might think.

Silberman points to the current research gap—he worries that the US is using too much scientific funding and research to try and figure out the cause of autism, instead of researching ways to improve the lives of autistic individuals. This research gap, he says, is the biggest problem facing autism research today, and it hinders adults on the autism spectrum from getting the proper resources they need: housing, employment, and transition programs that ease the transition from high school to workplace. With this, he mentions that a lot of the current support programs for autistic individuals and their families are limited to the experiences of children on the spectrum—after high school, kids “age out” of most programs, and families are unable to get the support they need.

The obsessive drive to research the cause of autism and not much else is not only counterproductive, it’s also harmful. The way Silberman puts it: “Imagine if society had put off the issue of civil rights until the genetics of race were sorted out, or denied wheelchair users access to schools and public buildings while insisting, ‘Someday, with the help of science, everyone will walk.'”

Silberman continues:

“One of the most neglected areas of research today is what factors help autistic adults lead successful lives. A government report a couple of years ago found that in America, this research accounts for only 2 percent of the total funding outlay, and that number is falling. This is absolutely unacceptable.”

“What autism really is is an enormous population of men and women with tremendous potential who are being denied what everyone deserves: the chance to live a happy, healthy, safe, secure and productive life.”

Read the rest on Ideas.Ted.Com: Autistic People are Not Failed Versions of “Normal.” They’re Different, Not Less.

Photo via Ideas.Ted.Com.


Motivational Monday

This Monday, Chester shares these words from John Wooden, one of the most famous coaches of all time. The way he talks about success and inspiration can serve as a fantastic motivator for your week. Focus on the positives, focus on what you can change, and work to achieve your goals. Have a great week!


LA Mayor Proposes Free College for 1 Year for LAUSD Graduates

In his annual State of the City address, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced exciting plans to commit to a goal of giving every “hardworking graduate” of the Los Angeles Unified School District one free year of community college.

“Tonight Los Angeles will become the largest city in the nation to commit ourselves to a new goal: every hardworking student who graduates from LAUSD will receive one free year of community college,” Garcetti said.

The deal is not yet complete, but when finalized, the plan would be in effect in 2017. The announcement of this plan comes at a pivotal time for the county considering the social costs of high college tuition and the idea of free college have been widely discussed among presidential candidates for this year’s election. Currently, LAUSD is the second largest school district in the nation, so a decision like this could have a huge positive impact for other school districts in the country.

The plan was among many projects Garcetti announced including expanding the city’s job skills programs for young people, plans to step up and fight homelessness, and the continual focus on job creation.

To read more about Mayor Garcetti’s speech, read on ABC7.


The Circles App is FINALLY HERE!

We’re so thrilled to introduce our newest creation: Circles App, our social boundaries app that teaches students social skills & appropriate touch for each relationship.

The Circles App is an innovative way to teach children that the degree of closeness they have with other people and how they touch them, depends on the kind of relationship they have with them. Simply stated, “It’s OK to hug your Mother; it’s not OK to hug the mail carrier”. The Circles App is designed to make such distinctions crystal clear while allowing you to customize them to your unique situation.

To learn more and download the app, visit!

Circles App is based on our best-selling, proven effective Circles Curriculum. The curriculum teaches appropriate Touch, Talk, and Trust for each relationship, and includes hours of DVD instruction, teacher guides, activity worksheets, personal graphs, wall graphs, and more! Check out our Circles Curriculum here.


Just For Laughs!

Anybody else avoiding spring cleaning? There’s always next weekend, right?!


Tech and Autism: How Have iPads Helped Your Kids/Students?

As part of Autism Acceptance Month, Apple released a new video that showcases how their products have facilitated communication for a nonverbal teen on the autism spectrum.

The video follows Dillan, a teen who refers to himself as autistic while he introduces himself with the help of his iPad. The iPad’s voice keyboard allows Dillan to describe the life he sees and experiences daily, as well as the challenges he faces.

In Dillan’s words, “All my life, I wanted so badly to connect with people but they couldn’t understand because I had no way to communicate.”

What experiences do you have with iPads and kids/students on the autism spectrum? View the film below and check out more information and “apps, podcasts, and books created with the autistic community in mind,” on Apple’s website.


Motivational Monday

Time to switch it up for today’s ‪#‎MondayMotivation‬: Today’s reminder is all about perspective—cherishing the delight of the little things every day. Sometimes it’s comforting to remind yourself “it could be worse.” All the little struggles of the week seem to be much more manageable.

Keep that in mind as you make your way through the week, and of course, while you’re eating breakfast.


Just for Laughs!

Haha! I bet we know some kids (and adults) who wouldn’t be too happy about this prank!

Pull any pranks this year?

Check out “37 Next-Level April Fools’ Day Pranks Your Kids Will Never Forget” from Buzzfeed:

April Fool's Pranks for your kids

The Stanfield Way

The child who is ‘left behind’ most is the one who leaves school without transition readiness.

Dr. James Stanfield, Ed.D.

Stanfield Special Education Curriculum

VideoModeling® Programs

VideoModeling® is a ground-breaking teaching concept originated by the James Stanfield Company that’s used in thousands of public and private schools across America and Canada for special education needs.

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Journaling, mediation, and intentional talk aren’t just for adults. 5 ways we can facilitate healthy management of mental health in our children.

James Stanfield Co.

My students were glued to the screen. Love Stanfield’s humor. This is the way to teach social skills.

Susan Simon, Principal

Using Humor to Teach Social Skills

Humor = Retention

We believe you learn best when you laugh. By making the classroom experience more comfortable and enjoyable, humor can make teaching and learning more effective, especially for the K12 segment. At Stanfield, we use humor as an integral part of our curricula.

If you as a speaker don’t help your audience to remember your lessons, then you’re wasting everyone’s time. Humor… can help accomplish that needed retention…

Gean Perret, Screenwriter
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