The program has been a godsend for our families, having them being connected and participate in their child’s life and education on a whole other level.
Reno, NV (PRWEB) July 09, 2013
A new model of using blog strategies is being used to connect families of students with autism, teachers and the staff of public schools in a Reno, NV early childhood special education program. The blog program has shown positive results in the number of views of the blog, along with the number of parent entries and comments on the blog. These findings will be presented by Wayne Maloney, M.A.T., M.Ed., Director of a pre-K Strategies Program in Washoe County School District, at the 2013 International Conference for the Division of Early Childhood (DEC) held in San Francisco in October.
The program was launched in a class that is made up of varied socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds and consists of 8 students with autism and 4 peers who are typically developing. The project consists of a general classroom blog and student specific blogs. The classroom blog is open to all families in the program, whereas each student specific blog is only available to that student’s family. Initial indicators are all positive in the number of views of the blog along with the number of parent entries and comments on the blog. To date, the classroom blog has over 1500 viewings and several hundred comments by parents.
The use of a classroom and student specific blog was designed to address two strands of the DEC recommended practices; family-based practices and technology applications. Wayne Maloney, M.A.T., M.Ed.. director of the program states, “The classroom blog allows the professional team to communicate the daily activities of the class with the families. Many of the children in the program are nonverbal so they do not have the opportunity to share 'what they did at school today.' In addition to the text of the blog post, we have pictures and videos, which encourage interaction between the parents and their child when they view the blog together. The program has been a godsend for our families, having them being connected and participate in their child’s life and education on a whole other level.”
Another benefit of the program is that the blog has links to websites to resources for families on a variety of topics and links to student specific blogs. The student specific blogs allow the parents to receive current assessments and observations of their child from the classroom teacher, therapists, and specialists; it also allows for a safe environment for the parents to ask questions of the school team. An additional benefit is that the chronological preservation of each student’s progress, as documented in the blogs, allows for easier assessment review when writing reports and planning students’ curriculum or intervention strategies.
About Wayne Maloney, M.A.T., M.Ed.
Wayne Maloney, M.A.T., M.Ed. is a special needs educator and program director based in Reno, NV and is the founder of the organization Thrive With Autism. He is an expert in the area of Autistic Spectrum Disorders and works with parents and children with autism to support them in having a thriving family life.
For more information contact Thriving with Autism at info(at)ThrivingWithAutism(dot)org.