ASD Summer Institute Day 2: Leah Kuypers


Yes, the institute was 9 days ago and I am sorry I am taking so long to finish posting on it but I am finally getting around to it now. So, Leah Kuypers was the last speaker at the Institute. She is responsible for the Zones of Regulation. She was a great speaker and had many resources to offer. Her talk was called, “No Hard Feelings? Helping Students Make Sense of Their Emotions” and she went through ten strategies to help students make sense of their emotions:

  1. Build your own toolbox: Know your tools as a provider and model them.
  2. It takes a village
  3. Relationships are at the foundation
  4. Awareness proceeds self-regulation
  5. Factor in sensory needs and preferences
  6. Tools need to be proactive, not just reactive
  7. Start simple, tools will become more adaptive with time
  8. Empower students
  9. Make learning fun and engaging
  10. This takes time and practice!

In the “Build your own toolbox” portion of the talk Kuypers shared a couple of resources: 

  • Ross Greene and his website which has many resources on changing the conversation about and with children with challenging behaviors. Resources are for educators and families and I am really looking forward to doing the “Walking Tour for Educators”.
  • The book- The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Dr Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. This book appeared to be mostly aimed at parents but Kuypers recommends it for educators too.

In the “Tools need to be proactive, not just reactive” portion of the talk one thing Kuypers focused on was making sure basic needs of students are met. Four basic needs are water, food, sleep, and exercise. I started thinking about how I could better meet those needs in my classroom. Each day we receive a bag of healthy snacks but I always struggled with having the kids eat the snacks because we typically got them at the end of the day during some of our most challenging behaviors. The bag of snacks was often tossed to the side and forgotten until the end of the day when I ended up often throwing them out. I am thinking that if I got a mini-fridge next year I could stock it with the healthy snacks and have them available to the students throughout the day.

She also shared in this section the resource of Every Moment Counts which is a website with resources for positive mental health and well being. I am looking forward to exploring this website.

Other resources she shared at the end of her presentation:

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