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I Got My Summer Refund Check!

  It’s my favorite time of the semester you know the one where free money is involved?! My semester started a week ago and my refund posted shortly after. If you’ve been reading my blog or watching my YouTube channel, then you know I am a champion for scholarships and free money. This past year my employer decided to pay for doctoral degrees in full which greatly assisted in my debt free journey. Figure 1: This is a thumbnail of my latest YouTube video “I Got My Summer Refund Check” where I am sitting in my office with my hand under my chin with a smile while looking at the camera. Although my schooling is paid for, I still have several scholarships that provide some overage. My goal is to not only obtain my doctorate degree for free but to make money while doing it! This summer I received two scholarships for $500 each for a total of $1000! One scholarship was given to me by the university without me having to apply while the other is for my work with a local community college.  With

April is Autism Awareness Month!

 


(This a photo of me smiling at my desk in a blue top used as a thumbnail for my YouTube video on April is Autism Awareness Month.)

April is Autism Awareness Month and one of my favorite months to celebrate as someone who works with the disability community. I remember as a teacher one year I planned a school wide Autism Awareness dance with a DJ and food! My students had such a great time. Another student who was in general education came up to me and asked if I planned the party. I told him yes and his response was “Wow! You did a GREAT job!” and he gave me a hug! I felt so good! That’s what inclusion is all about including students with and without disabilities in common activities.

By now, you probably know that Autism is a group of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by things like repetitive and restrictive behaviors or fixated interests. The spectrum is wide so each behavior may look different and no one person is the same. As someone who has worked with this population for a while here are a few tips that I recommend to better your students, coworkers, or friend experiences overall who may be on the spectrum.  

1.      Be clear. No need for beating around the bush. Sometimes individuals on the spectrum have a hard time reading in between the lines or understanding jokes so leave these things out.

2.      Be aware of sensory overload. Things like harsh lighting, loud noise, or overpowering smells can affect students on the spectrum tremendously. Utilize quiet and calm spaces with dimmed lighting and comfy seating when working with this population.

3.      Each person is unique. Don’t get sidetracked by things that you may have seen on television or read in the media. No one person has the exact same experience. Everyone is different so don’t utilize a one size fits all approach. Be flexible.

You can be an ally to this population by not tolerating inappropriate talk or encouraging social behaviors like striking up a conversation focused on their interests. Watch the video below for more information on Autism Awareness! Don’t forget to hit the subscribe button!

 

SUBSCRIBE: April is Autism Awareness Month

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