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“Just Give Him the Whale!” Using Passions, Areas of Expertise, and Strengths to Support Students with Autism

January 25, 2021 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Do you know someone who loves whales? Or ceiling fans? Or elevators? Most of us do know learners with specific interests. Often, however, these favorites of students with autism are not celebrated but seen as annoying, problematic or in need of “extinction.” In this presentation, Dr. Kluth will explore alternative perspectives and will focus specifically on how they can serve as supports, teaching tools, inspirations, and hobbies. Participants will learn how honoring fascinations and using them as tools can help teachers (and parents) calm, comfort, teach, inspire, and connect with their students with autism labels.

Some of the topics to be covered in this session include:

  • using interests to teach standards-based academic content,
  • nurture social connections,
  • minimize anxiety, and
  • expand communication opportunities and skills.

Dr. Kluth has adapted this presentation to respond to our current reality of distance learning.

Register today!

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Speaker: Dr. Paula Kluth is a consultant, author, advocate, and independent scholar who works with teachers and families to provide inclusive opportunities for students with disabilities and to create more responsive and engaging schooling experiences for all learners. She is a former K-12 special educator who has served as a classroom teacher, co-teacher, and inclusion facilitator. Paul has also been a university professor and has taught courses on both inclusion and disability studies. Most recently, Paula’s work has centered on helping teachers and administrators educate all students in their schools and classrooms. She also frequently works with families and advocacy groups to support goals related to inclusion. In addition to inclusive education, her professional interests include Universal Design for Learning, co-teaching, and educating students with complex support needs.

This workshop is made possible through a Disabilities Innovation grant through the MN Department of Human Services


January 25, 2021
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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MN United States


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