Bio Notes, Presentations, and more…

I am a K–12 Special Education Resource Teacher, a parent of a child on the Autism spectrum, and an experienced primary teacher.

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 an Autistic child. 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 strength-based 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…

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Workshops and Presentations:

• Developing Perspective Taking, and  Social & Emotional Understanding with Literacy Activities with Universally Designed Strategies (UDL)  for the inclusive classroom setting 

Flipping the Table on IEPs: Building collaborative relationships between home & school

Autism and Neurodiversity: Thinking about Perspectives

Transition as Process: Supporting Resiliency and Self-advocacy in Development

Strategies for Inclusion in the Regular Education Classroom

• Strategies for Supporting Challenging Behaviours

Getting Beyond Frazzled: Adlerian Theory and Classroom Management

Upcoming Speaking Engagements:

April 2014CEC (Council for Exceptional Children) Conference – Philadelphia – AUtism Strand Presenter: Supporting Transition to Adulthood for People on the Autism Spectrum

Recent Presentations:

December 2013TASH International Conference, Chicago – Panel Participant/Presenter: Autism and Neurodiversity: UDL Strategies for Inclusion

October 2013BCTELA – Richmond, BC: presentation on Autism across the lifespan and supporting educators in understanding the perspectives of students with autism from a neurodiverse perspective

July 2013 – Presentations for pre-service teachers at Simon Fraser University

July 2013IASE (International Association of Special Educators) Biennial Conference – Vancouver, BC: Screening Vectors of Autism and Panel Participant

May 2013Inclusion BC Conference – (Formerly BCACL – BC Association for Community Living)

May 2013 – School District #36 (British Columbia) Surrey Teacher’s Association Convention

February 2013 – Keynote Presentation – School District #33 (British Columbia) Keynote presentation for Student Services and Special Education Training Day.

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  2012BCTELA (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 Alone Together Film Festival: Screening and 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

Previous Presentations:

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 and mentoring opportunities for educators.

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Contact Information:

gmail: mailto:thinkingaboutperspectives@gmail.com

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/30-Days-of-Autism-Leah-Kelley/154311301315814?sk=wall

On Twitter: @Leah_Kelley

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Journal Articles, Published Work:

“Dear Teacher: A letter from H”…Listening to Autism 13-year-old Style, International Bureau of Education of the UNESCO in partnership with the Gulf Arab States Educational Research Center (GASERC) based in Bahrain. This article is included in the guides/resources for the development of inclusive schools and classrooms in seven Arab States of the Gulf.

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

Other Projects:

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, 2013 Projects: 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/

Interviews:

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)

11 Responses to Bio Notes, Presentations, and more…

  1. Hi Leah,
    What a wonderful project. I admire you that you are doing such a worth while course of study. I plan to go to Uni in the next few years to study Psychology and then hopefully do a PHD in Education to go and help students with learning difficulties at school. Looking forward to reading more.
    I found you via Twitter. Please stop by and say hi.
    Sarah http://www.acceptingandembracingautism.com

  2. I’d love for us to connect. I used to be a school teacher. I hold a Masters in Education (curriculum and development). I have Aspergers and so does one of my sons. We have a small support group on line as well. My blog is Everyday Aspergers. :) “Sam”

  3. Hi Leah,
    I wanted to let you know that I just nominated you for a “One Lovely Blog” Award… http://thethirdglance.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/the-one-lovely-blog-award/ because, well, you have one very lovely blog…

  4. Pingback: Gratitude List as 2011 Flies Toward the Sunset « Delightfully Different Life

  5. Poke N Grits says:

    Hi there! Just stumbled upon your blog and I really am enjoying it! I have one son with Severe ADHD and Tourrettes and the other is currently being diagnosed with some form of autism. Your stories are inspiring and I look forward to reading more. Cherie’

    • Leah Kelley says:

      Thank you so much for your encouraging comment! I am so pleased that these stories of our journey speak to you. Your comment was also wonderful because it gave me a lttle nudge to update this info page. You might find the fb page (listed above) helpful as well.

  6. Renee Salas says:

    AWESOME! That about covers it ;) x

  7. suzanne phizacklea says:

    I am presently studying autistic spectrum,as part of a qualification in learning disability. I work as a support worker of people with various disabilities in England, and I stumbled across your wonderful blog. I have to tell you, I am learning such a lot about the lack of understanding, discrimination, and stereotyping, and the impact that has on people, and their families. Also ,the steely determination to fight for acceptance and change. This blog is awe inspiring. I have mentioned your web address in the module I’m working on, as I think my tutors would be very interested in it, and could perhaps spread the word about it, as I will.

    • Leah Kelley says:

      Suzanne, thank you for your wonderful comment.

      To be described as someone with ‘steely determination to fight for acceptance and change’ is a complete win in my books and it made my day!

      And yes… please – share away. Please also note the blog roll over to the right. There are fabulous perspectives of Autistic people – which need to be included if we really want to build understanding, acceptance, and effective support.

  8. PK says:

    Hi Leah – I just found you through the wordpress recommended sites and am looking forward to reading more. My first “taste” was “Two Little Girls”. I have a 6 year son on the spectrum, and also have several nephews of different ages on the spectrum as well. I’m currently looking at the UNT Masters Program – Special Ed with Concentration in Autism Intervention. I don’t have an education background, but I am very drawn to this for obvious reasons, especially to the transition areas of school-to college-to work. If you have time to email on this, I would SO appreciate your thougts, input, etc. on getting started on this. Thanks!

  9. Pingback: Perspectives: Blogging About Autism — Blog — WordPress.com

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