I completed my Masters Degree in Education at Simon Fraser University, focusing on Supporting Educators in Understanding the Experience of Students with Autism.
In September 2011 I also became a part of the instructional team for Simon Fraser University’s Graduate Field Studies Program “Supporting Diverse Learners.“ I am excited about the opportunity to work in a mentorship role with educators to support them in building their understanding(s) and capacities within the teacher research paradigm and for their own work to support the diverse needs of students that are present in our schools.
I write 30 Days of Autism from the perspective of a special education teacher, working with other teachers, students and their families, and as a parent of a child with autism. I share what I notice and what I am learning about neurological diversity, education, mental health issues, interventions, parenting, and child development and I try to do so from a perspective that encourages understanding and acceptance for those who experience and process the world differently.
I believe in kindness, the potential in each of us, and the power of one small voice… (well perhaps not so small… one insistent and passionate voice) to bring about change…
Workshops and Presentations:
• Developing Perspective Taking & Social Understanding with Literacy Activities (Universally Designed Strategies (UDL) for the inclusive classroom setting)
• Flipping the Table on IEPs: Building collaborative relationships between home & school
• Autism: Thinking about Perspectives
• Supporting Resiliency and Self-advocacy in Development
• Strategies for Inclusion in the Regular Education Classroom
• Challenging Behaviours
• Getting Beyond Frazzled: Adlerian Theory and Classroom Management
Upcoming Speaking Engagements:
January 2013 – Phoenix, Arizona, AzTASH Annual Arizona TASH Conference on Inclusive Practices: Perspective-taking and Developing Social Understanding Through Story: Literature Based Activities for Students with Social Cognitive Challenges
October 2012 – BCTELA (BC Teachers of English Language Arts) Provincial Conference: Autism and Literacy Strategies for Perspective Taking
September 2012 – Fraser Valley Autism Society: Flipping the Table on IEPs: Building collaborative relationships between home & school
September 2012 – Panel Discussion – SFU Along Together Film Festival: Discussion of Documentary Film: Vectors of Autism
June 2012 – Phoenix Arizona, AzTASH Conference on Inclusion and Advocacy: Strategies for Inclusion in the General Education Classroom
April 2012 – Flagstaff, Arizona at the Northern Arizona Autism Society of America (NAzASA) Conference held at NAU: Autism: Thinking about Perspectives and Developing Perspective Taking & Social Understanding with Literacy Activities
I have presented on Autism and Literacy Strategies for Perspective Taking for the October 2010 BCTELA (BC Teachers of English Language Arts) Provincial Conference, as well as for numerous Simon Fraser University Teacher SDL (Supporting Diverse Learners) Graduate Diploma Programs. I have also presented Autism and Perspective Taking within my own school district, in addition to facilitating other inservice opportunities for educators.
On Twitter: @Leah_Kelley
Journal Articles, Published Work:
Treasures I found at the Thrift Shop: Autism and Understanding: English Practice, (BCTELA Journal, Spring 2012) bctela.posterous.com/treasures-i-found-at-the thriftshop-by-leah-kelley
Ladybugs: English Practice, (BCTELA Journal, Spring 2011) bctela.posterous.com/ladybugs-by-leah-kelley
Olden Days of Summer: English Practice, (BCTELA Journal, Spring 2011) bctela.posterous.com/olden-days-of-summer-by-leah-kelley
Film: Vectors of Autism: A Documentary about Laura Nagle (pre-release version premiered April 13, 2012) John Schaffer ~ Director; Susan Marks ~ Producer; Leah Kelley ~ Co-Producer
Autism Positivity 2012 Project: I am a part of the blogging collective Thinking About Perspectives and together we have collaborated to create the Autism Positivity 2012 Flashblog Event and Website. http://autismpositivity.wordpress.com/
AWOP Radio ~ interview on A World of Progress Radio: http://awopradio.com/post/22427282365/leah-kelley-of-30-days-of-autism-and-co-producer (Aired May 4th, 2012) *Please Note – the segment containing my interview begins about 1/3 of the way through the podcast link
Healthy Place TV~ America’s Mental Health Channel: Video Interview My Child has Autism (February 2012)
CBC Radio ~ On the Coast: Interview for The Parent Project with Michelle Eliot http://www.cbc.ca/onthecoast/episodes/2011/07/05/the-parent-project-1/ (Aired July 5, 2011)