Behavior, Language and Communication


Understanding Trauma and Supporting Students who Have Experienced Trauma
Reports following Hurricane Katrina indicated that as many as 95% of public school students in New Orleans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In addition, trauma caused by witnessing or being exposed to community violence and other negative experiences can have a profound impact on student mood and behavior. This session focuses on causes of trauma and appropriate ways to respond to and support students who have experienced trauma.

Resources for Challenging Students: Juvenile Justice, Legal Rights, and Youth Opportunity
It has become a trend—and in some schools, policy—to involve law enforcement at the first sign of unfavorable behavior. While it may be necessary to involve law enforcement in some cases, effective special education leaders (and all school staff!) identify the warning signs forstudents who exhibit signs of distress, but also understand and utilize the resources available as an alternative to involving law enforcement. This session also includes an overview of the new Youth Opportunity Center and other alternative programs and tools.

Structural and Curricular Supports for English Language Learners
No, speaking a language other than English is not a disability! But, we know many special education coordinators become responsible for supporting ELL students. This session will address the identification process for determining which students require ELL instruction and explore various instructional models, language domains, and curricular supports to facilitate language acquisition.

Facilitating Communication and Engagement for Students with Severe Autism Spectrum Disorders
The population of students with diagnosed autism spectrum disorders in New Orleans is growing rapidly. Students with more severe disorders struggle with communication and to engage with others. This session explores effective tools for facilitating various types of communication (verbal and non-verbal) and increasing the degree to which students engage with others. General strategies as well as specific interventions and resources will be addressed.