Photograph via snooOG

This is a professional subreddit for people interested in special education, particularly: special education teachers, general education teachers, therapists, advocates, parents, and students.

We are here to share professional advice, bounce ideas off each other, share concerns, and advocate for our students.

Our goal is to create a subreddit that supports special education and those who give/receive it: professionals (and those studying the profession), parents/caregivers, and students. We encourage discussion, questions, support, and advice from everyone.

We want to limit faulty and poor advice, clogging the page with articles that don't invite discussion, and promotional posts. In order to do so please be mindful of the following rules:


  • Your words will mean more if you can support your statements with research. Unfounded claims will be removed. Anecdotal claims are appropriate as long as they are stated as such. (e.g. "I have found that X works well with my kids," versus, "All students need X.")

  • Know your federal, state, and local laws. They will vary greatly and your laws may not apply to another poster.

  • Links to peer-reviewed research articles from published journals are welcomed. Articles claiming to be research that have questionable authors, limited research, and poor sources will be removed.

  • Requests for research are to be posted in the stickied "Research Participant Requests" thread. Standalone posts will be removed and redirected to post there.

The Reddit Education Network:

  • /r/Education: A place to discuss the news and politics of education.

  • /r/AdultEducation: A place for adult educators to discuss tips and tricks to engaging an adult audience.

  • /r/ArtEd: A place for art educators to discuss the importance of art education and to share and collaborate on resources.

  • /r/CSEducation: A place for computer science educators and education researchers.

  • /r/ECEProfessionals: A place for early childhood educators to learn, grow, and contribute as professionals.

  • /r/HigherEducation: A place to discuss and share articles related to higher education.

  • /r/ScienceTeachers: A place for science educators to collaborate on and contribute tips, ideas, labs, and curricula.

  • /r/SpecialEd: to help special education teachers and related staff collaborate

  • /r/Teachers: A place to discuss the practice of teaching, receive support from fellow teachers, and gain insight into the teaching profession.

Recommended subreddits and websites:

Welcome to /r/SpecialEd!


28,515 Subscribers


Summer School Homework?

For teachers in 12 month special ed programs, do you assign homework during the summer session? I teach first grade and am debating whether to assign homework for the summer or not (it takes a while to make their homework too since I have to modify it dramatically). Feedback and suggestions are welcome!

18:15 UTC


Summer School Autism Program

Hi all! I've just been placed in a high school Autism program for a 4 week summer school program starting tomorrow 🙃

During the school year I am an elementary Special ed clerical. Any tips or suggestions?

The only info I have is that I will be "assisting the classroom teacher." I have no idea what I will be doing! TIA

15:38 UTC


BCBA career change to SPED teacher?

Hello! I’ve been a BCBA since 2016 (previously worked as a BT since 2013). I’m burning out as a BCBA and now having three young kids, am considering applying to online sped teaching credential programs to work in the school setting. Has anyone transitioned from being a BCBA in private ABA companies to SPED teacher? Any pros/cons you can share? (If it helps.. I’m in CA)

06:38 UTC


Relevant part time job recommendations?

Hello, everyone. I have one years experience as a para/job coach but this upcoming school year I'm going back to school taking 5 classes to finish out my degree. What jobs did you all do while you were in school and are there any part time jobs that you think may be relevant/contribute to a resume for jobs in Special Ed? Thanks for your help.

04:55 UTC


Specialist vs doctorate advanced degree programs?

Has anyone received their specialist/doctorate degree online? If so, why did you pick that degree versus the other one? Also, which programs can you recommend for online doctorate degrees? Last question, how did you finance the cost?

For context I have my master's in SPED adapted curriculum. 💙

22:53 UTC


first year teacher question

Hi all!

I’m a first year teacher in Boston and am going to be a special education push-in teacher starting in September. My experience with co-teaching is pretty minimal though, so could anyone provide insight on how they approach co-teaching? especially in a push-in position when you don’t really have a home base and co-teach with several teachers?

Moreover, is there anything specific I should do when I first meet the individuals I’m teaching with? I’d imagine it’d be good to discuss a delegation of responsibilities, but not sure if anything else is worth discussing.

18:34 UTC


New teacher. No information feeling unprepared

I was just hired as an elementary MS teacher in a SDC.

I am stressing because they gave me no information on my caseload or classroom. Supposedly I’ll have 3 days planning time before students arrive. How do I plan for individualized curriculum and set up a classroom as well as collaborate with service providers etc in 3 days?! I don’t even have a clue of what level of curriculum the district provides.

Just looking for tips, the anticipation is already stressing me out.

Is it typical for schools not to provide teachers with any information ahead of time? Is it typical not to start working on IEP goals for the first few weeks while you get your bearings?

As a new teacher I’m not sure how much is expected of me right off the jump.

I feel like there is significant planning required to tailor curriculum to meet students individual goals, and I literally don’t even know how many students I have yet.

16:54 UTC


In Florida can you go to school in a neighboring district if you have an IEP?

1 Comment
16:11 UTC


Drafts for updates on state standards?

I'm sure this is a long shot, but on the last day of school, my district gave new pacing guides for self-contained instruction for the next school year. They did not include them all stating that one would be updated by the state "at some point". So far I haven't been able to find any drafts, mentions of the proposal, etc. And our school year starts in a couple weeks. I'm trying to find some of ideas of what they're going to want us to cover in the coming weeks so I can get ahead of the curve.

I've checked the state website, googled the drafts, proposals, all that but I'm not finding anything.

Any ideas on how to better search for this or for what to do?

I'm trying to get ahead for my mental health!

01:53 UTC


Do you prefer teaching, or case management?

Context: I recently accepted my first real teaching job, teaching high school co-taught English and SEB support labs. I did my student teaching in a very similar role at another high school, except with a period of resource English, and I also did long-term subbing in the same role where I was interim case manager for my mentor teacher's caseload kids under an emergency sped license. I have found that I like being a case manager far more than I like active teaching and instruction. Is this normal? What are everyone's opinions on this?

ETA: To clarify where I live we do both in the same role as sped teacher! I was just wondering which aspect of the role people preferred. :)

View Poll

18:44 UTC


Online Community Name

Online Community

Hi, all,

I am looking to build an online community within alternative and special education. In a previous role, I worked within ABA (see username). My goal is to create an online hub for BCBAs, SLP, Sped Teachers, and OTs. Think resources, job aides, etc.

With that said, I’m working on a community name. I was leaning towards TheraSomething (not actual something-this is a place holder).

Does Thera short for Therapy resonate with you? If not, what would resonate with this community?

18:21 UTC


Cost-effective program ideas for adults with developmental disabilities ?

Cost-effective program ideas for adults with developmental disabilities ?

Hi everyone, I’m starting a new student summer position as a program coordinator for a non-profit that hosts fun activities for adults with developmental disabilities from 9am-5pm. I’m not much of a driver, so I was looking for lists of ideas on engaging, cost-effective ideas catered to adults with developmental activities. I would need to host multiple activities a day, Monday-Friday for the rest of the summer so as many Ideas as possible are very much appreciated. I can’t wait to hear from others!

16:33 UTC


Free, open-source software for special education

Aside from being a SPED teacher, I also dabble in code. I was very intrigued by this YouTube video, highlighting a free, open-source program that helps Motor Neuron Disease patients interact with a computer using their eyes.

It got me thinking - what other tools/software like this could benefit our student population or are so prohibitively expensive that they're not feasible for many districts?

14:58 UTC


Life Skills Classroom- Summer School Ideas

Hi! I’m working with 4th-6th grade students in a life skills classroom this summer. During the school year, I am a consultant teacher/resource room teacher. These settings are very different since with consultant teacher services my students are much more integrated with students who do not have IEPs. What types of activities should I plan for my students at this age-range?

00:24 UTC


Capstone Project: Occupational Impact of Urinary Incontinence

Hi! My name is Hannah Case; I am a Doctor of Occupational Therapy student at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. I am researching the impact of urinary incontinence in children ages 7-13.

 I am looking for caregivers who would like to participate in a survey (about 20 minutes) and/or a virtual interview (about an hour) and children to participate in a virtual interview (about 30 minutes). All responses will be anonymous. Please see the flyer for more information. 

If you know anyone who meets the criteria, please feel free to share the flyer with them!  

Here is the link to sign up also at the bottom of the flyer: https://forms.office.com/r/F0LMnPgSbb




1 Comment
22:20 UTC


What parent communication do you use?

By this I mean, do you write notes back and forth in a notebook, do you do take home notes, do you only use remind, etc

For what it's worth, I work with littles

19:26 UTC


What data sheets do you use?

Mainly for those of you that still use paper data sheets, do you use pre-made ones, did you make your own, or I suppose if you use an app that doesn't require a company that would work too lol For skill acquisition, maintenance, and behavior

19:25 UTC


What is your favorite program for making visuals?

Visuals or materials like morning meeting binders, etc I guess is more accurate. Lol I'm an EA and don't want to spend a bunch of money on several programs so I want to know what people use most or what's the most diverse or versatile.

19:22 UTC


Washing hands task analysis

Has anyone seen a task analysis that includes washing your fingers and under nails?

18:41 UTC


Help: Teachers for the Visually Impaired

Good Morning Everyone,

I have recently been accepted into the Salus at Drexel University TVI program and am applying for financial assistance. One of the conditions is that I interview Teachers of the visually impaired on their day to day experiences and other topics related to their career.

I would greatly appreciate your help in learning more about the field and reaching my academic/career goals through the completion of this interview.

If you are interested please DM me and we can set it up.

Thank you for your consideration.

Anabel 💜

18:02 UTC


Sending students home over diarrhea

Good day, all! I ran into this problem over a year ago but it never really felt right to me? No one ever felt satisfied.

I had a second/third grade student (never could figure out, I think they had him "repeat" second grade for some reason.) Who was not toilet trained in the beginning at all. We were pushing for it starting mid year and he was wearing underwear but at some point he started having bouts of diarrhea so mom insisted he go back into diapers.

In our school, two diarrhea bouts and you go home. Or one time vomiting (as long as not crying/food related).

So this student would have multiple days where he would have frequent diarrhea, so loose it would leak right out of the pull-ups as soon as he would move. He would be clean, sit down for an activity at the table, get up to switch and it would be leaking down his leg.

Mom would get frustrated he would get sent home because it's a "stomach issue related to having down syndrome." And it is my understanding that having stomach issues with downs is common. But we got into such a hygiene issue that we did not feel capable of handling.

I mostly have students with OTHER needs now LOL but I'm just wondering how other places would handle this. It was my first year in self contained classroom setting and I was so overwhelmed with little guidance from admin. If something ever happens like this again I want to be more prepared.

16:09 UTC


Playground ideas

Hey y'all. My ISD is looking to upgrade their playground and I'm on the comittee. Would appreciate insights.

Swings seem to be the best. We will probably want to add more standard swings and full support style.

We have this big boat that seats 4-6 where kids like to sit while staff rock it back and forth.

There's also a playstructure that gets some use with the highlight being a roller slide.

Anyone have an adapted merry go round? I love the idea of having 2 person equipment like a seesaw to facilitate play between kids but a see saw seems kinda dangerous and I cant think of any similar options.


12:33 UTC


Teaching ESY Grades 5-6

I will be teaching ESY for students in Grades 5-6 and I'm looking for some engaging math (e.g., addition, subtraction, multiplication, time, money), writing, and reading (accuracy and fluency) activities. I will have the students for four hours per day, three days per week. I would like to incorporate activities that are hands-on and will prevent regression of skills. If you have any advice on activities, games, and/or resources, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you!

08:04 UTC


Interview Help

Hi! I have a second round interview for an Autistic Support position. I am asked to read and prepare for questions for the following scenario:

Please take a few minutes to read the below information. You will be asked questions in your interview regarding the student below.  You are able to take notes on this page and have any notes and the scenario with you during the interview. There is no need to memorize the below.



Cailyn is an 11-year-old girl with autism. She has difficulty communicating with her peers and frequently does not respond when people speak to her. Cailyn rarely initiates conversation with people, but will talk to animals.  Her eye contact is fleeting. Cailyn may lose her temper and cry throughout the school day.  Cailyn’s younger brother has not been diagnosed with autism, but does have difficulty using appropriate social skills and can be aggressive at school. Cailyn spends the majority of her school day in the autistic support classroom, in contrast to her younger brother, who is included in the general education classroom with paraprofessional support throughout his day.  

Cailyn transitioned to 6^(th) grade in September. Her family recently moved from a neighboring school district where she had been receiving services through autistic support since kindergarten.  Mr. Steve, Cailyn’s autistic support teacher, has been struggling to support Cailyn as she rarely listens to him and has difficulty interacting with the five other students in her class. At home, Cailyn’s parents have noticed that she loses her temper more frequently since their move to (current school district) this year.  The IEP team has called a meeting to discuss these concerns.

At the IEP team meeting, Cailyn’s parents asked about the use of social stories, which seem to be effective with their younger son. Mr. Steve indicated that social stories would not be the appropriate approach, since Cailyn has not yet developed the appropriate language skills for social stories to be effective. She can repeat words from the story, but doesn’t seem to understand them.  Mr. Steve shared that he believed that Cailyn required strict ABA methodology to progress. Her parents shared concerns that this approach may negatively impact her social skills and were very focused on Cailyn relating to her peers.

The IEP team then decided that the primary goal was to help Cailyn learn to communicate more effectively. A SETT process was initiated and the team elected to start by adding a picture exchange system to Cailyn’s programming in order to increase initiation of communication with peers, family, and adults.

Is there anything that really jumps out at you? What kinds of questions do you think they will ask with this scenario?

I think the following and please correct if you disagree:

1.) The teacher may need to do some more pairing with the student if he is struggling to get her to listen.

2.) An FBA should be conducted.

3.) I think a social story may be appropriate here even though it is perceived she cannot comprehend.

4.) PECs is okay for requesting, but is that a good start?

5.) I was taught that ABA is really helpful for students on the spectrum. Is there another approach that could work instead?

Thank you so much in advance! I am really hoping to get this job and jump start a new career path.


20:33 UTC


New job as a related service provider

Hi! I just got a new job from a classroom teacher to a related service provider traveling to various districts. This is a brand new role for me, and while excited, very nervous.

Any tips regarding traveling across various buildings? I don't have specific questions, buy would like to know what was helpful for you, or what you should have known.

17:43 UTC


Secondary co-taught math jobs: are they impossible to find?

I just finished my master's in special education two months ago. I student-taught and long-term subbed in the same high school classroom where I did co-taught ELA, resource ELA, and SEB support lab. One of my majors for my bachelor's was history, so I've done a lot of writing, and I'm not sure if that or my past experience is influencing this situation or if it's staffing needs like I suspect. I don't mind doing ELA resource or co-taught, but I'd prefer math, since I am pretty good at math and explaining it, and I am more passionate about it - but that doesn't translate in my experience on paper.

I recently had my first two job interviews (just had my second one today).

  1. Interview one: I thought it would be for just a middle school position, but it was a group interview for middle school behavior and high school special education (the high school said they weren't sure exactly what their needs were at that time). I thought I had a better shot with the middle school job based on the interview, but I guess they didn't want me, but the high school did and called me less than 48 hours later to offer me a job. During the interview they weren't sure what their needs would be, but when they offered me the job it was for co-taught ELA with a period of SEB support lab. I verbally accepted this job this week and I am awaiting filling out paperwork.

  2. Interview two: This was for a middle school position with periods of co-taught and resource ELA, co-taught and resource math, and SEB support lab. I like that it had math periods, but doing both resource and co-taught math AND both for ELA as well, AND a lab sounded like a lot, so I'm not super into this one - and I am already moving forward with the offer from interview one.

There is a big push for co-taught ELA classes in my area, which is very apparent, but I'm not seeing a big push for co-taught math classes. I worked in a fairly large high school, and there was only one resource teacher doing math co-taught, and it was only two periods. I am assuming there is a higher demand for co-taught ELA in my area, but why is this? Is it just because reading and writing disabilities are more prevalent than math disabilities? Am I just being offered ELA jobs and not math jobs because of my work history? I have made it clear in my (very limited) interviews that I enjoy math, and would be very willing to teach it. But I'm not sure if my work experience and my lack of concrete proof of math competence prevents that, or if it's just hard to find those jobs in general, or what the deal is...

17:36 UTC


Strategies for a kid with autism who will read individual words, but not full sentences?

I have a student who is going into second grade and has been in my self-contained intensive supports classroom since mid-kindergarten. He is mostly non-verbal, but he will read words out loud. I’m actually pretty proud of him, because as of his last IEP in October 2023, he wasn’t even able to consistently identify letters. Now he is reading pretty impressive words, like the hyperlexia zapped him into lightning speed learning. He also reads the word more accurately than he speaks them without looking at the word. For example, he loves sea animals. He says “dolphin” like “doll-face” when he sees a picture, but if he sees the word he says “dolphin.”

We are working on typing words into proloquo, and doing task cards with words, along with language arts work on ULS, ABC mouse, Boom Learning and several other apps, plus lots of cut and paste worksheets.

The problem is that I can’t get him to read a sentence in a book. He also has very poor hand control and has OT services but he can only trace some straight lines and circles, far off the line. So he can’t write words.

I noticed he also is very demand avoidant and prefers to do tasks when it is own idea. He often gently pushes staff away during academic tasks. There are times I’ll catch him mumbling when looking at a book and I wonder if he is actually reading the sentences, he just won’t do it performatively.

Any ideas of where to go from here?

03:55 UTC


Programming to build logic?

So I'm a Comp Sci grad and currently volunteering as a teacher in the SpEd Dept. as part of a course that requires volunteer work.

I teach 2 autistic kids, 1 kid with ID and low IQ, 1 kid with ADHD and mild ID and 1 kid with ADHD and memory loss recently.

I teach them the same old 4 letter English words and sentences and get them to do some reading/typing etc. but idk I feel like I could put my comp sci background to use here.

So I thought about starting off with something like Python for example and maybe slowly show them the concepts of Boolean algebra (true or false stuff) or basic print statements

But idk I feel like even that's gonna be too much at their level (academically they're all equivalent to 2nd graders and 3rd graders at best)

Just feeling a bit lost here, I feel like I bring nothing to the table

02:59 UTC


First year teacher - high school Affective Needs

Hi fellow speducators- hope you’re all enjoying the summer! I have been working for a high school in the autism program as registered behavior technician however, I recently finished my bachelors and will be starting an alternate license teacher training program. While I’m doing that the highschool I’ve been working at hired me as an Affective Needs teacher which I am stoked for. Any other affective needs/behavior/social emotional teachers out there that have tips on how they run their programs, what they think could be done better in their programs, things that work well and most importantly, point me in the direction of cirriculum and how you map out your year? I really have no flipping idea how to run a classroom and anything you’ve got is so greatly appreciated.

00:09 UTC

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