Seattle Course #6 -Life Skills: Practical Strategies that Work for Students with Severe Cognitive/ Developmental Disorders, Autism, CP, & Syndromes


Wednesday – March 7, 2018    8:00am-4:00pm

Course #6 -Life Skills: Practical Strategies that Work for Students with Severe Cognitive/ Developmental Disorders, Autism, CP, & Syndromes

by Kathy Morris, MEd, CAS- Houston, Texas

About the Speaker

Kathy Morris, MEd, has been a speech therapist, teacher for self-contained programs (including students with autism, severe behavioral difficulties, and cerebral palsy), resource teacher and first grade teacher. She was also a diagnostician/supervisor for all grade levels. She was a LIFE Skills/autism/ behavior/assistive technology consultant at a Texas education service center before leaving to start her own business in 1999. Her business, igivuWings, has reached families and educators throughout the world, including Canada, Mexico and Singapore. Kathy has had over 42 years of experience working with children and adolescents with severe behavioral difficulties including those with autism, ADHD and executive dysfunction. Kathy was honored as Outstanding Educator for Children with Disabilities (1997) and a delegate for the President’s Commission on Special Education (2002). Kathy is certified as an Autism Specialist Level 2 by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuation Standards (IBCCS). Recently she and her husband were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for supporting persons with disabilities by the Arc of Texas. She and her husband, Guy, “walk the walk and talk the talk” since the birth of their twin sons with ASD and other developmental disabilities. Disclosures: Financial- Kathy is the Director and President of igivuWings, a consulting company, and she provides consulting services to Stetson and Associates. Kathy receives fees for her presentations and workshops and royalties from the Bureau of Education and Research for online courses and DVD sales. There are no nonfinancial relationships to disclose.

Target Audience: (who should attend):  Special Education Teachers, Resource Room Teachers, Speech-Language Pathologists, Behavior Specialists, Autism Specialists, Instructional Assistants and Paraprofessionals

Target Age Range: 4th Grade through 21 years

Course Description: Students labeled as having moderate to significant cognitive/developmental disabilities may appear to have such challenging deficits that their educational needs are perceived as far exceeding their abilities. Their needs may appear so basic (e.g., simple communication skills, appropriate manipulation of objects, delayed cognitive abilities) that teaching these students in typical classrooms that are highly academic seems improbable or, at the least, impractical. Yet these are the very students who can benefit considerably from the learning opportunities that typically occur in general education classrooms (Downing and Eichinger, 2006). Special educators, no matter how highly motivated or skilled, cannot provide the ongoing stimulation in self-contained classrooms. This interactive, informative course targets those students who may have been “relegated” to a LIFE Skills program for the rest of their school career. Instead, a system is presented so that the critical components necessary for success for learning are created in a general education setting. The participants will leave with many “keys” for reaching their students‘ potential.

What You Will Learn

Course Objectives – participants will be able to:

•  Identify individual educational objectives that could be successfully met in the general education classroom

•  Describe how to determine individual abilities and how to support students

•  Adequately describe how to align IEPs with state standards

•  Demonstrate the ability to implement instructional supports starting with the most challenging inclusive strategies for middle school and high school students

•  Identify critical program components at the middle school and high school levels

•  Describe how to analyze a learning environment to accommodate students with severe and multiple impairments

•  Describe how to implement strategies in an elementary school setting