START Connecting Articles



FAPE in the LRE

Fape in the LRE: The New Bloodborne Pathogens

Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) is a foundation of special education. It is important that all school professionals and family members understand these terms in order to support students with disabilities. This is why we recommend that administrators, general and special education teachers, and itinerant and ancillary staff receive information and training about FAPE in the LRE...

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Social Thinking Logo

Social Thinking

What does it mean to teach “social skills”? Ask 10 people and you’ll probably get 10 different answers. There appears to be no collective agreement as to how to define it. You might notice that people tend to define what they can observe. As a result, treatment tends to focus on teaching a defined social behavior that an individual is expected to demonstrate without learning to problem solve when and why to use this skill. 

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ASD State Plan Infographic

Michigan ASD State Plan 2018 Progress Review and Recommendations: A Call to Action

The Michigan ASD State Plan 2018 Progress Review and Recommendations is available. You could easily decide that this is a state level document with a lot of information that is not particularly relevant to the average professional, provider, family member, or community member.

Read more about the Michigan ASD State Plan

Child Writing

Paraprofessionals as Independence Facilitators: Modeling for 5:1

When determining the need for paraprofessional support, it is critical to design a plan that focuses on independence since this is a primary goal for all students. A good place to start involves giving paraprofessionals a new title; we suggest calling them Independence Facilitators...
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Hamilton Peer to Peer

Peer LINKS, Elective Credit, and Pupil Accounting  

A Peer to Peer program is a strategy for providing ongoing support and modeling by a peer to peer support student (called a LINK for the purposes of this document) to a student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Peer to Peer programming is considered an evidence-based practice...
Read more about Peer LINKS, Elective Credit, and Pupil Accounting

Meeting Mechanics Manual

Effective Teaming and Meeting Mechanics Resource Manual: Tools to Improve Meeting Processes 

Meetings are an important part of sharing information and making decisions that help us capitalize on the strengths and experiences of a group of people with common goals. The most efficient and effective meetings adhere to a defined process and agreed upon guidelines that the group follows...
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The PEERS Approach to Social Skills Training

The PEERS® Approach to Social Skills Training

We all need social skills to get along with others, negotiate the school years, make friends, and relate to others at our job. For individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), understanding social behavior and using social skills is often a challenge, making it difficult to navigate many social settings...
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START Community Conversations Help Students Gain Valuable Opportunities

START Community Conversations Help Students Gain Valuable Opportunities

Given that young adults with ASD have the lowest employment rate among those with disabilities, and that the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is more than double the rate for people without disabilities, it’s critical for schools to develop relationships and opportunities...
Read more about Community Conversations