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Neurodiversity in the Classroom 
Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with 
Learning Disabilities Succeed in School ...
Outline of Workshop 
1. Timeline of Neurodiversity 
2. Five Principles of Neurodiversity 
3. Understanding the Strengths o...
Outline of Workshop 
7. Enhancing the Student’s Social Networks 
8. Nurturing Affirmative Career Aspirations 
9. Implement...
Outline of Workshop 
11. Writing Positive IEP Objectives 
12. Using Appreciative Inquiry in IEP 
Meetings 
13. Putting It ...
5 Types of Diversities 
• Autism Spectrum Disorder 
• Dyslexia 
• ADD/ADHD 
• Intellectual Disabilities 
• Emotional and B...
Neurodiversity 
An idea which asserts that atypical 
(neurodivergent) neurological 
development is a normal human 
differe...
Neurodiversity Timeline 
• 1993 – Jim Sinclair–‘’Don’t Mourn for Us’’ 
• 1998 – Judy Singer – First to Use Word 
• 1998 - ...
Principles of Neurodiversity 
• The Brain is a Rain Forest 
• Cultural Values Dictate Disorders 
• Success = Adapting to t...
Positive Niche Construction 
• Helping to ensure the thriving of a 
child by directly modifying the 
environment in such a...
Strengths - ASD 
• Autism Spectrum Disorder 
• Gift for detail 
• Enhanced perceptual functioning 
• Scores higher on Rave...
“…we can see in the autistic person, far more clearly than with 
any normal child, a predestination for a particular profe...
Special Interests 
• WWII propeller planes 
• Toilet brushes 
• Waist measurements 
• Rommel’s desert wars 
• Paper bags 
...
Strengths - LD 
• Learning Disabilities (Dyslexia) 
• Often strong in spatial intelligence 
• Many are 3-D thinkers 
• Ent...
Strengths - ADHD 
• Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder 
• Hunters in a farmer’s world 
• Learn by moving around 
• W...
Evolutionary Advantages of ADHD 
• Hunter 
• Constantly on the 
move 
• Attention is on 
many things 
• Responds quickly 
...
ADHD or Creative? 
• ADHD (deficit) 
• Hyperactivity 
• Distractibility 
• Impulsivity 
• Hyper-Focus 
• Poor Executive 
F...
17 
Neoteny: retention of juvenile 
characteristics in the adults of a 
species 
“a major evolutionary trend in human 
bei...
Strengths - ID 
• Intellectual Disabilities 
• Capacity for dramatic expression (Down) 
• Emotional warmth (Down, Williams...
“[Children with Down syndrome] have considerable power of 
imitation, even bordering on being mimics. They are humorous, 
...
20 
Special Ed Kids . . .
21 . . . Have Changed the World
Assistive 
Technologies 
Universal 
Design for 
Learning
23 
As sistive 
Technologies / 
UDL 
Learning 
Disabilities 
ADHD 
Autism 
Spectrum 
Disorder 
Intellectual 
Disabilties 
...
Strengths - EBD 
• Emotional and Behavioral Disorders 
• Emotional expressiveness 
• Scores higher on creative thinking te...
Neurodiversity Strengths Checklist 
Personal Strengths 
___ Enjoys working independently 
___ Has a good sense of his/her ...
Neurodiversity Strengths Checklist 
Social Strengths 
___ Has leadership ability 
___ Has a good sense of empathy for othe...
Neurodiversity Strengths Checklist 
Literacy Strengths 
___ Enjoys reading books 
___ Has good reading comprehension 
___ ...
Neurodiversity Strengths Checklist 
Dexterity Strengths 
___ Has a hobby building model cars, planes, ships or other 
simi...
Neurodiversity Strengths Checklist 
Creative Strengths 
___ Expresses him/herself dramatically 
___ Has a good imagination...
Name of Student: 
Age: 
Diagnosis: 
Elements to Be Used in Positive Niche Construction 
Strength Awareness 
Positive Role ...
Name of Student: Jake 
Age: 14 
Diagnosis: dyslexia 
Suggested Interventions to Construct a Positive Niche for 
Jake 
Stre...
Identifying Strengths in Students 
• Observation 
• Documentation 
• Cumulative Files 
• Colleagues 
• Parents 
• Students...
Positive Niche Construction 
• Strength Awareness 
• Positive Role Models 
• Assistive Technologies/UDL 
• Strength-Based ...
Sociogram 
34
Difficult 
Relationship 
Positive 
Relationship 
One-Way 
Relationship 
Strong Two-Way 
Relationship 
Weak 
Relationship 
...
Enhancing Social Networks 
• Repair Difficult Relationships 
• Strengthen Weak Relationships 
• Foster New Positive Relati...
Strength-Based IEPs 
• Be comprehensive when initially stating 
child’s strengths 
• Build the language of strengths into ...
Example 1 
Deficit-Based Objective: 
By March. 20xx, when discussing a story, 
Jason will answer 4 out of 10 "why" and 
"h...
Example 2 
Deficit-Based Objective: 
In 12 months, Timmy will follow 2-step 
directions, 1 time per observation period, 
a...
Example 3 
Deficit-Based Objective: 
By November 1, 20XX, when given a verbal 
direction by an adult, Robin will begin to ...
Example 4 
Deficit-Based Objective: 
In 12 months, while at school, Bobbie will use the 
toilet independently when necessa...
Appreciative Inquiry
AI-IEP Protocol: Questions for 
Discussion at IEP meetings p. 1 
First, Success 
1) To the student: Tell us about some of ...
AI-IEP Protocol: Questions for 
Discussion at IEP meetings p. 2 
Second, Goals 
5) To the student: 
* What do you think yo...
References p. 1 
• Armstrong, Thomas. “Describing Strengths in Children Identified as ‘Learning Disabled’ Using 
Howard Ga...
References p. 2 
• Crammond, Bonnie. ‘’Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Creativity: What is the 
Connection?’’...
References p. 3 
• Hartmann, Thom. ADD: A Different Perception. Nevada City, CA: Underwood Books, 1997. 
• Jamison, K.R. T...
References, p. 4 
• Odling-Smee, F. John et al. Niche Construction: The Neglected Process in Evolution. Princeton, N.J.: 
...
Contact Information 
• Email: thomas@institute4learning.com 
• Website: www.institute4learning.com 
• Blog: http://institu...
MI Inventory for Students 
Check those statements that apply: 
Word Smart 
__ I believe I am a good writer. 
__ I like to ...
MI Inventory (cont’d) 
Picture Smart 
__ I can see visual images in my mind pretty clearly. 
__ I tend to daydream a lot. ...
MI Inventory (cont’d) 
Music Smart 
__ I believe I have a pleasant singing voice. 
__ I can usually tell when a musical no...
MI Inventory (cont’d) 
Self Smart 
__ I feel like I’m pretty independent and/or am strong-willed. 
__ I have a pretty real...
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October 29, 2014, Revised Handouts for Neurodiversity in the Classroom Workshop

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This is an expanded and revised set of handouts that I used October 29, 2014 in Winnipeg, Manitoba in a full-day workshop sponsored by Jack Hirose & Associates entitled: Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Learning Disabilities Succeed in School and Life

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October 29, 2014, Revised Handouts for Neurodiversity in the Classroom Workshop

  1. 1. Neurodiversity in the Classroom Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Learning Disabilities Succeed in School and Life Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. www.institute4learning.com Jack Hirose & Associates Inc. Winnipeg, Manitoba October 29, 2014
  2. 2. Outline of Workshop 1. Timeline of Neurodiversity 2. Five Principles of Neurodiversity 3. Understanding the Strengths of Students with Special Needs 4. Importance of Positive Role Models 5. Using Assistive Technologies/UDL 6. Developing Strength-Based Learning Strategies
  3. 3. Outline of Workshop 7. Enhancing the Student’s Social Networks 8. Nurturing Affirmative Career Aspirations 9. Implementing Positive Environmental Modifications 10. Creating Positive Niche Construction Charts
  4. 4. Outline of Workshop 11. Writing Positive IEP Objectives 12. Using Appreciative Inquiry in IEP Meetings 13. Putting It All Together 14. Resources and Closing: Leonardo da Vinci’s IEP Meeting
  5. 5. 5 Types of Diversities • Autism Spectrum Disorder • Dyslexia • ADD/ADHD • Intellectual Disabilities • Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
  6. 6. Neurodiversity An idea which asserts that atypical (neurodivergent) neurological development is a normal human difference that is to be recognized and respected as any other human variation. 6
  7. 7. Neurodiversity Timeline • 1993 – Jim Sinclair–‘’Don’t Mourn for Us’’ • 1998 – Judy Singer – First to Use Word • 1998 - Harvey Blume – First Use in Print • 2004 – Amy Harmon – New York Times • 2005 – Autistic Pride (Neurodiversity) Day • 2005 – Neurodiversity.Com • 2006 – Present Media, Schools, Business, Scholars, etc. 7
  8. 8. Principles of Neurodiversity • The Brain is a Rain Forest • Cultural Values Dictate Disorders • Success = Adapting to the Environment • Success = Changing the Environment • Niche Construction Modifies the Brain 8
  9. 9. Positive Niche Construction • Helping to ensure the thriving of a child by directly modifying the environment in such a way that it enhances that child’s chances for success.
  10. 10. Strengths - ASD • Autism Spectrum Disorder • Gift for detail • Enhanced perceptual functioning • Scores higher on Raven’s Progressive Matrices • Systemizers rather than empathizers • Savant abilities (10% of all with ASD) • Special Interests 10
  11. 11. “…we can see in the autistic person, far more clearly than with any normal child, a predestination for a particular profession from earliest youth. A particular line of work often grows naturally out of his or her special abilities.’’ - Hans Asperger (1944)
  12. 12. Special Interests • WWII propeller planes • Toilet brushes • Waist measurements • Rommel’s desert wars • Paper bags • Globes and maps • Oil paintings of trains • Light and darkness • Industrial fans • Photocopiers • Yellow pencils • Deep fat fryers • Tarantulas • Robots • Bus timetables • Garage doors
  13. 13. Strengths - LD • Learning Disabilities (Dyslexia) • Often strong in spatial intelligence • Many are 3-D thinkers • Entreprenurial proclivities • Holistic thinkers • Mechanical Aptitude 13
  14. 14. Strengths - ADHD • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder • Hunters in a farmer’s world • Learn by moving around • Warning signs are actually creative traits • Excel at novelty-seeking • Have neotenous characteristics important for evolution (such as playfulness) 14
  15. 15. Evolutionary Advantages of ADHD • Hunter • Constantly on the move • Attention is on many things • Responds quickly to input from environment • Child with ADHD • Hyperactivity • Distractibility • Impulsivity 15
  16. 16. ADHD or Creative? • ADHD (deficit) • Hyperactivity • Distractibility • Impulsivity • Hyper-Focus • Poor Executive Function • Creative (asset) • Vitality • Divergency • Spontaneity • Passion • Creative Imagination 16
  17. 17. 17 Neoteny: retention of juvenile characteristics in the adults of a species “a major evolutionary trend in human beings" is ‘greater prolongation of childhood and retardation of maturity.’“ J.B.S. Haldane
  18. 18. Strengths - ID • Intellectual Disabilities • Capacity for dramatic expression (Down) • Emotional warmth (Down, Williams, Fragile X, Willi-Prader) • Specific capacities such as: • Musical intelligence (Williams) • Verbal capacity (Williams) • Caring for others (Willi-Prader) • Hands-on abilities (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome etc.) 18
  19. 19. “[Children with Down syndrome] have considerable power of imitation, even bordering on being mimics. They are humorous, and a lively sense of the ridiculous often colours their mimicry. This faculty of imitation may be cultivated to a very great extent, and a practical direction given to the results obtained.’’ - John Langdon Down (1866)
  20. 20. 20 Special Ed Kids . . .
  21. 21. 21 . . . Have Changed the World
  22. 22. Assistive Technologies Universal Design for Learning
  23. 23. 23 As sistive Technologies / UDL Learning Disabilities ADHD Autism Spectrum Disorder Intellectual Disabilties Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Read and Write GOLD - text to speech; speech to text - runs in back of other applications Franklin - speaking/ talking dictionary (gives definitions, spellings etc.) Electronic readers - tracking, change color of background) Microsoft Word Open Dyslexic.org Dyslexie Mac computer - press function key twice and it types speech Choice Works - organize the day, activites - import pictures from iPad; als o social stories Pictello - social stories - Mental Health and Happiness - survey happines s scale (each day it will send activity to do in relation to happines s etc. - at end there's a post-evaluation) - William Glasser Smart Board - can see book projected on the board - see the finger moving Clas sroom Dojo - avatar for each student - tracks progres s, attention to les son etc. Assistive Technologies Brainstorming Session
  24. 24. Strengths - EBD • Emotional and Behavioral Disorders • Emotional expressiveness • Scores higher on creative thinking test (bipolar) • Creative capabilities (art, drama, music, creative writing) • Strengths in humanistic disciplines (e.g. philosophy, poetry, the arts etc.) 24
  25. 25. Neurodiversity Strengths Checklist Personal Strengths ___ Enjoys working independently ___ Has a good sense of his/her personal strengths and weaknesses ___ Learns from past mistakes ___ Has persistence in carrying out assignments or activities ___ Is courageous in dealing with adversity and/or the unknown ___ Keeps a personal diary or journal ___ Has a good sense of humor ___ Possesses a sense of responsibility ___ Has strong opinions about controversial topics ___ Marches to the beat of a different drummer ___ Handles stressful events well (e.g. is resilient) ___ Has good character (e.g. honesty, integrity, fairness) ___ Has the ability to set realistic goals for him/herself ___ Has a sense of confidence or high self-esteem ___ Has good self-discipline ___ Has personal ambitions in life ___ Displays good common sense ___ Possesses personal vitality, vigor, or energy Communication Strengths ___ Explains ideas or concepts well to others ___ Asks good questions ___ Is a good storyteller ___ Is a good joke teller ___ Has good listening skills ___ Handles verbal feedback (especially negative feedback) well ___ Has good articulation ability ___ Is able to effectively use non-verbal cues to communicate with others ___ Is persuasive in getting someone to do something ___ Has good assertive skills without being pushy Emotional Strengths ____ Is emotionally sensitive to perceiving the world around him/her ____ Has an optimistic attitude toward life ____ Can tell how he/she is feeling at any given moment ____ Can easily pick up on the emotional state of another person ____ Is able to handle strong internal feelings in a constructive manner ____ Receives gut feelings about things From: Thomas Armstrong, Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in School and Life. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2012. 25 "Reproduced with permission. Learn more about ASCD at www.ascd.org."
  26. 26. Neurodiversity Strengths Checklist Social Strengths ___ Has leadership ability ___ Has a good sense of empathy for others ___ Enjoys socializing with others ___ Is good at helping others ___ Is kind or affectionate towards others ___ Has at least one good friend ___ Prefers working with others ___ Likes to play board games and/or card games with others ___ Has skill in refereeing disputes conflicts between classmates ___ Is polite and has good manners ___ Is able to work out his/her own conflicts with others ___ Works well in groups ___ Volunteers his/her time in some worthy cause ___ Belongs to at least one club or social group (e.g. Scouts.) ___ Has a good relationship with at least one family member ___ Is friendly to others ___ Is good at sharing with others ___ Follows class rules ___ Has a good relationship with at least one teacher in the school ___ Has good personal hygiene ___ Trusts others without being taken in ___ Is liked by his peers Cognitive Strengths ___ Has good organizational skills ___ Has good study skills ___ Is able to use cognitive strategies (e.g. self-talk) in solving problems ___ Is able to pay close attention to details ___ Has a good short-term and/or long-term memory ___ Is able to think ahead ___ Is able to become totally absorbed in an activity ___ Can easily divide his attention between two or more activities Cultural Strengths ___ Has traveled to other countries ___ Speaks more than one language ___ Is tolerant of others who have cultural, ethnic, or racial differences ___ Has pride in his/her own cultural, ethnic, or racial background ___ Likes to find out about historical events around the world ___ Enjoys learning about different cultural traditions From: Thomas Armstrong, Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in School and Life. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2012. "Reproduced with permission. Learn more about ASCD at www.ascd.org." 26
  27. 27. Neurodiversity Strengths Checklist Literacy Strengths ___ Enjoys reading books ___ Has good reading comprehension ___ Enjoys doing word puzzles or playing word games ___ Is a good writer in one or more genres (e.g. poetry, stories, reports, letters) ___ Is a good speller ___ Has a large vocabulary ___ Enjoys listening to audio books or to someone telling a story or reading out loud Logical Strengths ___ Does well in science class ___ Can estimate things easily ___ Enjoys working with numbers and/or statistics ___ Is good at solving math problems ___ Has a chemistry set or other science kit that he/she works with at home ___ Has an interest in astronomy, chemistry, physics, or biology ___ Enjoys logical or number games or puzzles like Rubik’s cube or Sudoku ___ Can easily calculate numbers in his/her head Visual-Spatial Strengths ___ Has an aptitude for fixing machines ___ Likes to create three-dimensional structures with building materials ___ Is good at doing jigsaw puzzles or other visual puzzles ___ Is able to read maps well ___ Reports being able to visualize images clearly ___ Gets information more easily through pictures than words ___ Is sensitive to the visual world around him/her Physical Strengths ___ Has a good sense of balance ___ Learns material best when moving around ___ Likes to ride his/her bike, skateboard, and/or other self-powered personal vehicle ___ Is good at playing team sports like baseball, soccer, basketball, or football ___ Is good at playing individual sports like tennis, swimming, gymnastics, or golf ___ Is in good physical health ___ Likes to dance ___ Is physically strong ___ Is a fast runner or has other athletic abilities ___ Likes to exercise (e.g. weights, aerobics, jogging, treadmill) ___ Has good physical endurance ___ Has good physical flexibility From: Thomas Armstrong, Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in School and Life. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2012. "Reproduced with permission. Learn more about ASCD at www.ascd.org." 27
  28. 28. Neurodiversity Strengths Checklist Dexterity Strengths ___ Has a hobby building model cars, planes, ships or other similar projects ___ Displays good handwriting ___ Likes to juggle or do magic tricks ___ Enjoys hand crafts like knitting, crocheting, embroidery, or needlepoint ___ Likes to make things with his/her hands ___ Has good tactile ability ___ Enjoys arts and crafts like origami, collage, and/or paper maché ___ Enjoys woodworking, carpentry, carving, and/or metal work ____Has good eye-hand coordination Nature Strengths ___ Has good rapport with animals ___ Is good at taking care of plants in the classroom or at home ___ Is sensitive to weather patterns ___ Takes care of a pet at home or at school ___ Is concerned about the welfare of the planet (e.g. is ecologically-minded) ___ Likes to go hiking and/or camping in nature ___ Enjoys studying nature (e.g. insects, plants, birds, rocks, and/or animals) ___ Likes to hunt or fish ___ Has a good sense of direction Musical Strengths ___ Is sensitive to the rhythms of music ___ Enjoys playing a musical instrument ___ Knows the music and lyrics of many songs ___ Has a particular interest in one or more musical genres (e.g. rock, classical, jazz) ___ Enjoys listening to music ___ Has a good sense of hearing auditory acuity ___ Has a good sense of pitch ___ Has a good singing voice ___ Makes up his/her own tunes or melodies with or without/lyrics High Tech Strengths ___ Likes to spend time using a computer, tablet, or smart phone ___ Has a facility for playing video games ___ Likes to surf the Internet ___ Knows how to set up audio-visual or computer equipment ___ Likes to text on the phone ___ Enjoys social networking (e.g. blog, website, Facebook) ___ Enjoys using a still camera or video camera to record events or express him/herself ___ Has several his/her own favorite movies or TV shows that he/she likes to talk about ____Understands at least one computer language From: Thomas Armstrong, Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in School and Life. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2012. "Reproduced with permission. Learn more about ASCD at www.ascd.org." 28
  29. 29. Neurodiversity Strengths Checklist Creative Strengths ___ Expresses him/herself dramatically ___ Has a good imagination ___ Enjoys doodling, drawing, and/or painting ___ Likes to act in plays and skits ___ Works well with clay or other forms of sculpture ___ Demonstrates creativity in one or more school assignments ___ Possesses a love of beautiful things ___ Has ideas for futuristic or fantastic projects ___ Comes up with ideas that nobody else has thought of Spiritual Strengths ___ Enjoys meditation, yoga, or some other form of contemplation ___ Asks big life questions (e.g. what is the purpose of life?) ___ Has a deep sense of wisdom ___ Participates in religious or other spiritual events ___ Has a philosophical attitude toward life ___ Has a strong faith in something higher than him/herself Miscellaneous Strengths ___ Likes collecting things (e.g. stamps, coins, buttons) ___ Loves to cook ___ Has a love of learning new things ___ Is a good test taker ___ Possesses a good memory for nighttime dreams ___ Is curious about the world around him/her ___ Has a good sense of time ___ Manages money well ___ Has good fashion sense in the clothes he/she wears ___ Has good entrepreneurial skills (e.g. has started own business) started his/her own business Other Strengths (write in other strengths not mentioned elsewhere in checklist): From: Thomas Armstrong, Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in School and Life. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2012. "Reproduced with permission. Learn more about ASCD at www.ascd.org." 29
  30. 30. Name of Student: Age: Diagnosis: Elements to Be Used in Positive Niche Construction Strength Awareness Positive Role Models Assistive Technologies/UDL Strength-Based Learning Strategies Enhanced Human Resource Network Career Aspirations Positive Environmental Modifications 30
  31. 31. Name of Student: Jake Age: 14 Diagnosis: dyslexia Suggested Interventions to Construct a Positive Niche for Jake Strength Awareness good sense of own strengths; humor, verbal skills, assertiveness, good with Legos, loves comics, computers, has empathy with younger kids and adults Positive Role Models find a comic or graphic book writer with dyslexia (e.g. Dav Pilkey who writes Captain Underpants, or Scott Adams who does Dilbert) that he can admire and learn about Assistive Technologies/UDL give computer time, Echo Pen (LiveScribe), Dragon Naturally Speaking (speech-to-text software), interactive books, Kurzweil 2000 text-to-speech software; animation software Strength-Based Learning Strategies give him reading materials in areas of interest (e.g. comics , computers), have him learn coding, have him draw cartoon or comic strips in lieu of more traditional writing assignments Enhanced Human Resource Network Find a cartoon drawing class in the community he can take, form a comic lovers club after school, have him teach comics or coding to a younger student Career Aspirations computer programmer, animator. He could create user friendly software using pictures to teach computer programming skills
  32. 32. Identifying Strengths in Students • Observation • Documentation • Cumulative Files • Colleagues • Parents • Students 32
  33. 33. Positive Niche Construction • Strength Awareness • Positive Role Models • Assistive Technologies/UDL • Strength-Based Learning Strategies • Enhanced Human Resource Network • Affirmative Career Aspirations • Positive Environmental Modifications 33
  34. 34. Sociogram 34
  35. 35. Difficult Relationship Positive Relationship One-Way Relationship Strong Two-Way Relationship Weak Relationship Suggested Key
  36. 36. Enhancing Social Networks • Repair Difficult Relationships • Strengthen Weak Relationships • Foster New Positive Relationships • Engage Existing Positive Relationships
  37. 37. Strength-Based IEPs • Be comprehensive when initially stating child’s strengths • Build the language of strengths into the instructional objectives themselves • Strength-Based Strategies • Assistive Technologies/UDL • Enhanced Human Resources • Positive Environmental Modifications
  38. 38. Example 1 Deficit-Based Objective: By March. 20xx, when discussing a story, Jason will answer 4 out of 10 "why" and "how" questions in a mixed question probe Strength-Based Objective: By March. 20xx, when discussing a story, Jason will answer 4 out of 10 ‘’why’’ and ‘’how’’ questions in reference to a preferred activity such as a three-dimensional structure he has just built.
  39. 39. Example 2 Deficit-Based Objective: In 12 months, Timmy will follow 2-step directions, 1 time per observation period, across 5 consecutive group times. Strength-Based Objective: In 12 months, Timmy will follow 2-step directions that are necessary for engaging in a favorite activity such as playing an interactive video game, 1 time per observation period, across 5 consecutive group times.
  40. 40. Example 3 Deficit-Based Objective: By November 1, 20XX, when given a verbal direction by an adult, Robin will begin to comply with the direction within 10 seconds. Strength-Based Objective: By November 1, 20XX, when given a verbal direction (by an adult with whom he has a positive relationship) which concerns a self-chosen activity such as a favorite board game he is playing, Robin will begin to comply with the direction within 10 seconds.
  41. 41. Example 4 Deficit-Based Objective: In 12 months, while at school, Bobbie will use the toilet independently when necessary for a period of at least 3 weeks without an accident. Strength-Based Objective: In 12 months, while at school, Bobbie will use the toilet independently when necessary for a period of at least 3 weeks without an accident. He is allowed to take along a favorite stuffed animal if he wants and use a modified ‘’rocket ship’’ toilet seat with hand grips if he wishes.
  42. 42. Appreciative Inquiry
  43. 43. AI-IEP Protocol: Questions for Discussion at IEP meetings p. 1 First, Success 1) To the student: Tell us about some of your successes this year. (If appropriate, add: What have you done well and what has worked well for you? What's been happening to make you successful?) 2) To the parent: What successes have you seen your child enjoy this year? (If appropriate add: tell us about what's been happening to help make your child successful?) 3) To the teachers and specialists: What successes have you seen for [the student]? (If appropriate, add: Tell us about what's been happening to help make him/her successful?) 4) To the group: What suggestions or changes can you think of to make [the student]'s program work even better? 43
  44. 44. AI-IEP Protocol: Questions for Discussion at IEP meetings p. 2 Second, Goals 5) To the student: * What do you think you’d most love to do when you grow up? (Or: What is your goal in life [or after school]?) And * What do you think you’ll need to do to get to do what you love most [or to get to your goal]? And * What have you done so far to get to do what you love most [or to move toward your goal]? 6) To the group: What kinds of support and help can you provide to make [the student]'s program work toward the goals he/she's set for him/herself? Source: Peter Kozik, doctoral dissertation, Syracuse University, June 2008. Used with permission of author. 44
  45. 45. References p. 1 • Armstrong, Thomas. “Describing Strengths in Children Identified as ‘Learning Disabled’ Using Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences as an Organizing Framework,” Ph.D. Dissertation, (San Francisco, CA, California Institute of Integral Studies), Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International, 1987, 48(08A). • Armstrong, Thomas. Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, 3rd ed. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2009. • Armstrong, Thomas. The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain. Cambridge, MA: DaCapo Lifelong, 2010. • Armstrong, Thomas. Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in School and Life. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2012. • Armstrong, Thomas. ‘’Leonardo da Vinci’s IEP Meeting,’’ http://institute4learning.com/blog/2013/02/19/leonardo-da-vincis-iep-meeting/ • Baron-Cohen, Simon. The Essential Difference: The Truth About the Male and Female Brain. New York: Basic, 2003. • Beane, Allan L. The New Bully Free Classroom.: Proven Prevention and Intervention Strategies for Teachers K-8 . Minneapolis, MN, Free Spirit Publishing, 2011. • Blume, Harvey. “Neurodiversity,” The Atlantic, September 30, 1998. Website citation: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1998/09/neurodiversity/305909/ • Cooperrider, David, and Diane Whitney. Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Revolution in Change. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2005. 45
  46. 46. References p. 2 • Crammond, Bonnie. ‘’Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Creativity: What is the Connection?’’ Journal of Creative Behavior, 1994, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 193-210. • Doidge, Norman. The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. New York: Penguin, 2007. • Dykens, Elizabeth. “Toward a Positive Psychology of Mental Retardation,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 76, No. 2, pp. 185-193 • Edelman, Gerald. Neural Darwinism: The Theory of Neuronal Group Selection. New York: Basic, 1987. • Eisenberg, Dan, and Benjamin Campbell, The Evolution of ADHD: Social Context Matters, San Francisco Medicine, October 2011, pp. 21-22. • Grandin, Temple .Thinking in Pictures :And Other Reports from My Life with Autism. .New York: Vintage, 1996. • Grandin, Temple. Developing Talents: Careers For Individuals With Asperger Syndrome And High-functioning Autism- Updated, Expanded Edition. Autism Asperger Publishing Company, 2008. • Greenspan, Stanley, & Wieder, Serena . Engaging autism: Using the Floortime approach to help children relate, communicate, and think. Cambridge, MA:DaCapo/Perseus, 2009. • Happé, F. ‘’Understanding assets and deficits in autism: Why success in more interesting than failure,’’ Spearman Medal Lecture, The Psychologist, vol. 12, no. 11, November, 1999. • Hartmann, Thom. ADD Success Stories: A Guide to Fulfillment for Families with Attention Deficit Disorder. Nevada City, CA: Underwood Books, 1995. 46
  47. 47. References p. 3 • Hartmann, Thom. ADD: A Different Perception. Nevada City, CA: Underwood Books, 1997. • Jamison, K.R. Touched with fire: Manic-depressive illness and the artistic temperament. New York: Free Press, 1996. • Kabot, Susan, and Kristine Reeve. Setting up Classroom Spaces That Support Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders . Lenexa, Kansas: AAPC Publishing, 2010. • Karolyi, C.V., et al. ‘’Dyslexia Linked to Talent: Global Visual-Spatial Ability,’’ Brain and Language. June, 2003, vol. 85, no. 3, pp. 427-431. • Kent, Deborah, and Kathryn A. Quinlin. Extraordinary People with Disabilities. Children’s Press, 1997. • Kingsley, Jason, and Mitchell Levitz. Count Us In: Growing up with Down Syndrome, New York: Harcourt, 1994. • Kolb, Bryan, etc. ‘’Age, Experience and the Changing Brain.’’ Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Review, March 1998. • Kozik, Peter L. "Examining the Effects of Appreciative Inquiry on IEP Meetings and Transition Planning," doctoral dissertation, Syracuse University, June 2008. • Montagu, Ashley. Growing Young. New York: Praeger, 1988. • Mottron, L. ‘’The Power of Autism,’’ Nature, November 2, 2011. Vol. 479, pp. 33-35. • National Center on Universal Design for Learning - http://www.udlcenter.org/ •Nelson, Jane. Positive Time-Out. Random House 1999. 47
  48. 48. References, p. 4 • Odling-Smee, F. John et al. Niche Construction: The Neglected Process in Evolution. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2003. • Pineda, Pablo. Interview: "Down Syndrome is not a Disease, but Another Personal Characteristic”’ http://www.disabilityworld.org/06-08_03/il/down.shtml • Rosenzweig, M. R., Bennett, E. L., & Diamond, M. C. (1972). Brain changes in response to experience. Scientific American, Vol. 226, pp. 22-29. • Sforza, T., Lenhoff, H., & Lenhoff, S. The (Strangest) Song: One Father’s Quest to Help His Daughter Find Her Voice. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2006. • Shaw, P., et al. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is characterized by a delay in cortical maturation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, December 4, 2007, Vol. 104 No. 49, pp.19649–19654 • Simeonova, D. I. et al. ‘’Creativity in familial bipolar disorder.,’’ Journal of Psychiatric Research, November, 2005, Vol. 39, no. 6, pp. 623–631. • Singer, Judy. “Why Can’t You Be Normal for Once in Your Life,” in Mairian Corker and Sally French (eds), Disability Discourse, Buckingham, England: Open University Press, 1999, p. 64. • Taylor, Andrea Faber & Frances E. Ming Kuo. Could Exposure to Everyday Green Spaces Help Treat ADHD? Evidence from Children's Play Settings. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 2011, Vol 3, no. 3, pp. 281 – 303. • Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, http://www.dyslexia.yale.edu/ . 48
  49. 49. Contact Information • Email: thomas@institute4learning.com • Website: www.institute4learning.com • Blog: http://institute4learning.com/blog/ • Twitter: @Dr_Armstrong 49
  50. 50. MI Inventory for Students Check those statements that apply: Word Smart __ I believe I am a good writer. __ I like to tell jokes and stories. __ I have a good memory for names, places, dates, or trivia. __ I enjoy word games. __ I enjoy reading books. __ I’m a pretty accurate speller. __ I like playing around with the sounds of words in puns, tongue twisters, and that kind of thing. __ I like listening to audio books. __ I enjoy finding out the definitions of words that I don’t know. __ I see myself as a verbal learner (learning best through words) Logic Smart __ I can get really interested in figuring out how things work. __ I enjoy working with numbers (math, statistics etc.) __ I like my math class. __ I like playing video games or using apps that involve logical thinking. __ I enjoy playing chess, checkers, or other logical strategy games. __ I’m pretty good with logic puzzles or brainteasers. __ I like to put things in categories, charts, or other logical patterns.. __ I enjoy science class. __ I’m interested in science-related topics. __ I see myself as a pretty logical thinker. Adapted from Thomas Armstrong, Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, 3rd ed. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2009.
  51. 51. MI Inventory (cont’d) Picture Smart __ I can see visual images in my mind pretty clearly. __ I tend to daydream a lot. __ I enjoy doing art. __ I am a good drawer. __ I like to watch movies, videos, TV other visual programs. __ I like doodling and believe it helps me to think better. __ I enjoy building three-dimensional structures (e.g. carpentry, Legos, sculpture). __ I see visual images when I read. __I enjoy doing puzzles, mazes, or other visual activities. __ I see myself primarily as visual thinker or visual learner. Body Smart __ I am good in at least one sport. __ I tend to twitch, tap, or fidget when I have been sitting for a long time in one spot. __ I am a good at imitating or mimicking the gestures and mannerisms of my firiends or relatives.. __ I love to take things apart and put them back together. __ I generally like to touch or hold things to learn more about them. __ I have demonstrated skill in a craft (e.g. woodworking, sewing, mechanics) __ I can use my body effectively in a dramatic way to express feelings and ideas. __ I love dare devil amusement rides. __ I enjoy working with clay or other tactile experiences (e.g. finger painting). __ I see myself primarily as a physical learner. Adapted from Thomas Armstrong, Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, 3rd ed. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2009.
  52. 52. MI Inventory (cont’d) Music Smart __ I believe I have a pleasant singing voice. __ I can usually tell when a musical note is off-key. __ I frequently listen to music on radio, boom box, smart phone, tablet, or other source. __ I enjoy playing at least one musical instrument. __ I can remembers the melodies of songs pretty easily. __ I hav a rhythmic way of speaking and/or moving. __ I sometimes find myself unconsciously humming to myself. __ I sometimes find myself tapping rhythmically on a table or desk when I am studying.. __ I’m sensitive to environmental sounds around me (e.g. rain on the roof) __ I see myself primarily as a musical learner. People Smart __ I enjoy socializing with my friends. __ I like being a leader in a group. __ People come to me to ask for help in solving a social conflict or situation. __ I prefer working or studying with other people rather than by myself. __ I belong to at least one club, group, organization or informal peer group. __ I like teaching things to other people. __ I prefer playing sports and games with others rather than by myself. __ I have at least one or more close friends. __ I believe I have a good sense of empathy or caring for others. __ I see myself primarily as a social learner. Adapted from Thomas Armstrong, Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, 3rd ed. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2009.
  53. 53. MI Inventory (cont’d) Self Smart __ I feel like I’m pretty independent and/or am strong-willed. __ I have a pretty realistic sense of my personal strengths and weaknesses. __ I do well when I’m left to study on my own at home and school.. __ I have a hobby or special interest that I don’t really talk much to people about. __ I think I know where I’m going in life as far as goals for the future. __ I prefer working or studying alone rather than with other people. __ I’m pretty in touch with my feelings and can express them appropriately. __ I believe that I’m able to learn from my mistakes. __ I feel really good about myself and what I am able to achieve in life. __ I see myself primarily as an individualist. Nature Smart __ I like to spend time with animals. __ I like taking trips to natural settings. __ I’m able to notice details in natural formations (e.g. clouds, mountains, geology) that others might miss. __ I prefers to spend my free time in a natural setting. __ I have spoken out for the rights of animals, or the preservation of the environment. __ I have a good ability to identify different kinds of birds, plants, or other living things. __ I enjoy doing nature projects, such as bird watching or raising animals. __ I enjoy gardening or growing plants.. __ I do well in subjects at school related to living things and systems (e.g. biology, ecology). __ I see myself primarily as a naturalist. Adapted from Thomas Armstrong, Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, 3rd ed. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2009.

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