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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Special Education - April 18, 2012

ESU 4 Special EducationVision: Courageously leading a dynamic revolution in Education!

The mission of ESU 4 is to improve student learning through a commitment to communication, accountability and leadership.
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What's Happening at ESU 4?
We just returned from this year's State ASD Conference. Each year, the conference planners seem to out do themselves... it was a terrific conference once again! ESU 4 had teachers, paras and administrators attend from the following districts... Auburn, ESU 4, Falls City, HTRS,  Johnson County Central, Lewiston, NCECBVI, Nebraska City, and Syracuse. The ESU 4 Special Education Continuous Improvement grant (SE-CIP) supported the attendance of parents from HTRS, JCC, Pawnee City and Syracuse.

Among the highlights was an afternoon that many of us spent with Dr. John Maag, of the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. His session titled, "I Can't Make You: Attitude Shifts and Derailments for Resistance" was a reminder of how simple dealing with resistant behave really can be. While dealing with behavior is NOT rocket science, it may be more important that rocket science. Much of what Dr. Maag talked about were things we already knew but had somehow forgotten in the day to day business of working with kids and adults. Here are some of the highlights from my (very messy!) notes...

  • When we experience change or a paradigm shifts, we automatically go "Back to Zero"... we are resistant to the change and our attitudes general get reset. We begin to experience "Paradigm Paralysis," which means we can't get past the change. 
  • Fair is not equal and equal is not fair. It is physically and emotionally impossible to treat everyone the exact same way. And treating everyone the same is really not desirable. According to Dr. Maag, 'fair' is the place where you take your pig to show. It's not a consideration when dealing with important and frustrating behavior. 
  • "Discipline" and "Punishment" are not synonyms, however, they are terms which are often used interchangeably. 
  • When is comes to discipline or punishment, more of the same rarely works. The question is this... if a teacher asks a student to do something 100 times, and each time the student refuses and does not comply, then who is really the slow learner? (Hint: It's the teacher.)
  • Resistance on the part of the student generally originates from the behavior of the adult. In many cases, resistance is actually 'adult driven behavior.'
  • NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER get into a power struggle with a student. The moment you begin that power struggle, you (the adult) have lost. You are trying to maintain control, when in actuality, the minute the power struggle begins, you've lost control and really have no way to gain it back.  This is one of the hardest rules to remember in dealing with behaviors... power struggles happen to the best of us, generally at our worst times!
  • Anger is a secondary emotion. Generally, anger is exhibited when the emotion is really inadequacy, hurt, depression, sadness, etc. 
  • If you give up a little control, you gain a whole lot of credibility. That's more important than power any day!
  • Dealing with resistant behavior is all about creating rapport rather than maintaining power. 
  • As the adult, we must be able to adopt new patterns of behavior. We have more knowledge about behavior than we let ourselves know. Dr. Maag recommends that we allow ourselves to be creative in dealing with behavior. His exact words were "be comprehensive and unrestricting with your behavior."
  • Dealing with behavior can often be like riding a dead horse. We've all seen the staff development associated with trying to make the dead horse work... the best advice is just to STOP RIDING THE DEAD HORSE!

2011-2012 Webinars:
The links to the webinar recordings are below as are the links for the handouts for each of the webinars. The handouts are hosted by DropBox. If you have any questions about accessing either the webinar recordings or the handouts, please let me know. The SAT webinar was not recorded, however, there may be an opportunity to participate in a 2nd SAT webinar, which will (hopefully!) be recorded!

Special Education File Review Webinar: 
Getting our Files in Shape!   (12/8/2011)

Handouts available at...


Top 5 Strategies for Supporting Behavior 
November 1, 2011 - Matt McNiff
Handouts available at...

Early Childhood Cadre Webinar – (2/10/2012)
Topic: The Transition Relay Model: Preparing Preschoolers for Kindergarten Transitions.
      Early Childhood Cadre Webinar Recording

      Handouts:  Kindergarten SurveyParent SurveyPreschool SurveyProfile spreadsheetTransition Relay Model Webinar PowerpointTransition Relay Model Rationale

Legal Webinar Series
Webinar #1 - The Year in Review (1/25/2012)
Year In Review Webinar Link  
Handout available at... Year In Review Powerpoint

Webinar #2 - Procedural Safeguards (2/8/2012)
webinar link:
Procedural Safeguards Webinar Recording (2/8/12)
Handout available at...  ProceduralSafeguards-Webinar2.pptx

Webinar #3 - Predetermination (2/29/2012)
Handout available at... Predetermination Webinar

Webinar #4 - Documentation, Documentation, Documentation (3/28/2012)
Webinar Recording: Documentation X 3! Webinar Recording
Handouts available at... Documentation Webinar Powerpoint

Webinar #5 - Extra-Curricular Activities and The IEP (4/4/2012)
Webinar Recording: Extra-Curricular Activities and the IEP
Handouts available at... #5 Extra-Curricular Activities and the IEP

Webinar #6 - Discipline, including Restraint/Seclusion (5/9/2012)

Winter/Spring Special Education Training Opportunities:

Ø  Special Education Law Webinar Series – Co-hosted by ESU 4 and ESU 6. All webinars will begin at 3:30 and conclude by 4:45 p.m. Register via the ESU 4 Registration website. Dates and Topics:
§  May 9 – Discipline/Restraint and Seclusion (Ellen)

Ø  ESU 4-5-6 Behavior Institute, featuring Karen Haase, Matt McNiff, and Jolene Palmer; July 30-31, 2012 @ Sheridan Lutheran Church, Lincoln.    


When is it a great day to be a Husker fan????
The correct answer is... ALWAYS!!!

Never stop playing the game!
Educational Service Unit #4, Auburn, Nebraska

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