A History of Universal Design for Learning
This is a two part series on universal design for learning. In this article, I will cover the history of universal design for learning. In the next article, I will be covering easy ways to make your lessons, courses, and curriculums universally designed—both those you are about to create and those you have created.
As teachers, many of us have thought it. “I already have so much work to do, I can’t start doing universal design for learning as well.” The jobs of teachers and professors is already overwhelming. As a former special education teacher and university composition professor, I can relate to this sentiment.
However, is it too difficult? Well, we need to know what exactly universal design for learning is before we can begin to answer that question in an informed manner.
Throughout this article, I’m going to use the phrase “divergent learners.” I...
Some children with the unique ability of autism spectrum disorder, from mild to severe, may also have other overlapping diagnoses. One of these is known as obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD. This anxiety condition is characterized by overwhelmingly consistent and persistent thoughts of things the individual feels must be accomplished, or something unfortunate will occur. These behaviors depend completely on the person, and can be those such as spinning, handwashing, cleaning, having everything perfectly in the same exact place and arrangement, or doing a task over and over again until it is perfect. Performing the same ritualistic behavior at great lengths, such as praying and counting, is also a characteristic. People who are obsessive-compulsive may also constantly worry about ethics and morals, apologize a lot, worry about germs, and more.
If you notice any repetitive, obsessive behaviors from your child, you may wish to take him to his physician. Often, your child’s...
What do you think? Do animals help children with autism? Why do animals tend to be a fascinating topic for me when it comes to the subject of autism? To me, it's because there are times where I can relate to them.
Some examples of a cat, and I do tend to like cats. Dogs too, but cats can be a bit more quieter at times. Many of these animals can relate in some way, even if it's a bear. I don't encourage others to have bears for pets, but thinking out loud, if I were to be sitting by a river stream and a bear comes up close to me, I would remain calm, look at the bear for a moment, and keep watching the stream. Not causing any harm, no cubs in the area, not catching any fish, just sitting there. Not a bear expert by any means, but that's what I think I would do. The way I kind of see animals is that it is neat to talk like them too. Talking to them without making a single sound; So relaxed body movements, eye contacts,...
In the most recent keynote event I have attended to, I have been contact by teachers in Pullman, Washington. It's way out in the East close to the state of Idaho.
I got so excited to go! Sometimes it's nice to take a break from the trees in the West of Washington and enjoy some of the desert areas. The trip was nice, and I took a lot of pictures. The ones up above are a few of my favorites. Dad took that one of me when I was speaking.
This was a high school that I went. Teachers wanted me to speak about autism and I delivered. Main theme of the three separate talks was about "what I wished my teachers knew then about me" when I was going through school. Sort of reversed that topic question with a little something of my own. "What I wished I would have said if I had the ability to communicate properly during the beginning years of school." It was a great time talking in front of teachers, and I think some students even came into the room too. Crazy part about it was that in...
I love to perform in front of people. Ever since I was very little. I was never the: "Look at me! Look at me!" kind of kid, and I'm not like that today, I just like to share and to challenge myself when it comes to entertainment and education.
Public speaking in the topic of autism. Honestly, I was very surprised when people want me to go up there and talk about the subject. Autism doesn't really come to mind when it comes to my work and the way I think; But then I learned that not all people who have autism would have the guts to go up and give out keynote speaking engagements. I understand though too; Lots of people looking at you, have to be social and engaging, and in a way expect what they came to see oftentimes.
I would do these little segments that involve questions and answers, and I really enjoy those parts! It feels like an interview when people ask questions and I get to answer; Challenging too, and I love a good challenge! Do my very best to answer whatever question is...
The cover person
Who is The Figure?
The Figure is a humanoid being that can form into any shape resembling the human body. The Figure can transform from fat to thin, from clean shaven to scruffy, from young to old, from tall to small. The Figure represents you. It represents whoever that they want to be and who they want to accept. The Figure has no gender because of its transformation to male and female and cannot talk. It is the only one of his kind.
Think of The Figure as a reflection, and I have spent a long time figuring out The Figure and how it can be seen to others other than myself.
It all started off with the same concept idea of space being a metaphor to life like I have mentioned in the first book. Planets are people, being a part of someone’s world, resulting in a population depending on a person’s own viewpoint. The Figure is seen on rare occasions when someone is in their own world by themselves. I can imagine it being someone to talk to without ever...
The pinball machines! For those not so familiar with what a pinball machine is, I’ll do my best to explain. A pinball machine is a table that involves a little metal ball and a pair (or how many there are in the table) of flippers in the table. The object of the game for the pinball machine is to keep the little metal ball from going all the way down on the tilted table. Use the flippers to keep the ball from going all the way down. Pinball machines are all different, all containing different themes and they can be either slow paced or fast paced depending on how the table is tilted. The other object of the game for those who want to become really competitive for glory, the object is to get the high score! Rank up the points and have that metal ball bump into all sorts of cool things!
I used to hate pinball back then. Wasn’t because I wasn’t good at it, but the main reason why was because those tables are so loud and noisy! Think the first arcade experiences...
The television. Next to books, toys, and games, the TV is a neat source of entertainment. The screen can be a gateway to wondrous adventures of any kind. Whether it involves comedy, drama, action, or whatever genre there is, the TV can contain all sorts of really cool stuff!
I have mentioned this before when it comes to video games, and that is that it affects the mind; Same goes for television shows. I was introduced to age appropriate shows that had color and charm. Most of the cartoons I would watch were very old cartoons from the 1920's to the 1960's. Didn't really matter what year the cartoons were, I just enjoyed watching them.
Think television shows that involve color, to me that was very appealing and very helpful. Oftentimes I wouldn't know what's going on just by the characters speaking, I would know what's going on by action. I know that there are shows that have some forms of dialogue, but the action that takes place sort of takes the spotlight, and to me, that's how...
I was the absolute worst in social media, so bad it hurts to think about it. Everything I am offline, I am online, I do not enjoy hiding and pretending I'm something I'm not, but I still had work to do in being social.
Now, I'm enjoying social media all for much different reasons.
Social media to me, is a lot like real life in terms of being social. For me, I have the tendency of speaking from the mind; hard to keep my thoughts to myself, and that ended up hurting me and getting me in trouble. It was bad; the first parts of using social media, way before I started writing a book that is. So I just gave up on it and played video games.
Social media now, I am able to speak from the mind and heart but taken to a much different approach as to finding and discovering things that spark interest and saying something about that in the lines of compliments. In Twitter, I use it for the news. Dairy Queen announcing the return of S'mores Blizzard is news to me! Or when there are new music...
If 'entertainment' is an object that can be held, I imagine it as a balloon.
The idea for entertainment is for it all to bring a person joy; I ponder over the word 'entertainment' because there are many different kinds of entertainment that people find... entertaining. Going to have to slow myself down from saying that word too much in one sentence.
What does it all mean to me? It all fascinates me when I see the many things that relates to the category.
It all turns out that everyone is completely different in entertainment, just like everyone is different when it comes to autism; I'll share my vision in entertainment.
Entertainment to me is welcoming. The best kind of entertainment welcomes the person being exposed to it and want to be a part of whatever goes on.
Example, the circus; the show goes on and you're seeing it all right before your eyes!
A hockey match where players get rough and would do almost whatever it takes to score points.
A carnival that's designed for gay (happy)...