Entries by Stephen Szak

Dear Abby

  A while back we saw a Dear Abby column in the Erie Daily Times (Erie, Pennsylvania).  Several campers and device users from Camp Courage had written to Abby to let her know that they had some ideas to share with people who might feel uncomfortable talking to people using a speech generating device.  Check […]


Providing access to books (Part 1)

  Did you know that typically developing children from literate homes have heard their favorite stories 200 to 400 times (Adams, 1990)?  For some students with significant disabilities, access to books can be challenging.  Many students have difficulty manipulating books due to physical disabilities (ex., cerebral palsy) while others have difficulty accessing books due to […]

Great Expectations

  I recently read an article written by C. Jorgensen (2005) where she proposes a new paradigm in the area of disability and competence.  She found that often times if service providers weren’t sure what a student was capable of, it was presumed that the student could not (and never would be able to) learn […]

Using AAC to talk about Special Interests

We all know an individual with autism who has a special interest, fascination, or “enthusiasm.”  I know a 6-year-old who loves all things dinosaur, a 5-year-old who likes strings, and an 8-year-old who is into lights.  Speaking youngsters with Autism often talk about their special interest topic, and savvy communication partners can use this interest […]

Round One: Challenges vs. Strengths

When I ask people to describe a particular student with autism that may be on their caseload or in their classroom, I often hear about the student’s challenges. I might hear about the fact that the student isn’t motivated to learn or that they have significant behavior challenges.  While I recognize (and respect) that these […]

A moment of reflection

  We are in a constant state of reflection, whether it was in grade school getting a report card, or as an adult having an annual performance review, we take the time to evaluate our areas of strength and areas that could use improvement.  We are constantly looking back, making adjustments, and moving forward as […]

Pet peeves…

  These are the things that really drive us crazy.  We know that some of them are ridiculous but we just can’t help ourselves.  www.getannoyed.com claims to have the “World’s Largest List of Pet Peeves” including the following: Drivers who don’t use a turn signal People who drink directly out of the milk/orange juice container […]