The ASD Nest Egg

strategies to support kids on the autism spectrum

The Power of Wordlessness (Part 2 of 2)

The Power of Wordlessness (Part 2 of 2) by Jules Csillag   Last week, you read about the reasons to use wordless texts. Today, learn about how to use these texts, and review a few examples.   How? There are… Continue Reading →

The Power of Wordlessness (Part 1 of 2)

The Power of Wordlessness (Part 1 of 2) by Jules Csillag   This is the first part of a two-part series on silent books and movies, and pictures. Today, we will look at why to use wordless activities, and next… Continue Reading →

Talk Less, Draw More

Talk Less, Draw More By Brandy Stanfill   The mainstream classroom is full of language processing demands that can be challenging for a wide array of students.  Strategies to support comprehension while reducing language processing can benefit English language learners,… Continue Reading →

Lessons About Inclusion from Nest (Part 2)

Lessons About Inclusion from Nest (Part 2) by Lauren Hough Williams   In Part 1 of this series, you learned that: Inclusion works. The classroom is the therapeutic environment. School. is. school. To read about each of these in depth,… Continue Reading →

Lessons About Inclusion From Nest (Part 1)

Lessons About Inclusion From Nest (Part 1) by Lauren Hough Williams   The ASD Nest Support Project and its Nest Model have developed over the past 15 years after a “lightening strikes” realization on a Colorado road at the foot… Continue Reading →

Consider Video Modeling

Consider Video Modeling by Brandy Stanfill   Video modeling is an effective tool for teaching a variety of skills to students with autism.  True to its name, video modeling is pre-recorded model of an individual using a skill or completing… Continue Reading →

Hurry Up and Wait!

Hurry Up and Wait! By Jules Csillag   Inspired by my colleague Allison Brown’s post about waiting, I decided to delve deeper into this subject since waiting can be one of the trickiest things to do (at least for me!)…. Continue Reading →

When You See Your Teacher In Public

When You See Your Teacher in Public by Christina Annunziata   “Is he one of yours?” my husband asked as we waited at a bus stop.  I looked up and saw one of my fourth grader’s dead in his tracks,… Continue Reading →

Preserve Student Dignity: Give ‘em an out

Preserve Student Dignity: Give ‘em an out Aaron Lanou   How often has it happened that you called on a student and she didn’t know the answer? There’s that awkward few seconds when you and all the other students are… Continue Reading →

How to Do the Do Now

How to Do the Do Now by Aaron Lanou   In middle and high school classrooms, the “Do Now” is ubiquitous. It is a necessary element of the lesson, with a dual purpose: 1) it gives students something to do… Continue Reading →

Using Roles and Building Self-Awareness

School is social and for autistic kids, this can be tricky to navigate. Social situations– essentially any situations where space is shared with others– can be difficult because the expectations are not consistently explicit and clear. Throughout the day, students… Continue Reading →

Fostering Independence in the Classroom

by Lauren Hough-Williams Fall is an exciting time for students and teachers alike: Sharpened pencils, pristine classrooms; new books and opportunities for a new year. There is a mix of nervous anticipation and the excitement of potential in the air…. Continue Reading →

Big Thinking Requires [Consistent] Visuals

by Aaron Lanou   BIG THINKING Teachers regularly ask students to do big thinking: infer what this character is thinking; synthesize what you’ve learned from these various sources; provide relevant evidence for your claim. We may take for granted that… Continue Reading →

Multilingualism & Autism Spectrum Disorders

School, la escuela, l’école, 学校. These words all have the same meaning, but are written in different languages. Students who speak a language other than English at home make up 43.3% of students in the New York City Department of… Continue Reading →

Together in Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity

by Allison Graham Brown   “It seems that for success in science or art a dash of autism is essential.” -Dr. Hans Aspergers   Neurodiversity is a buzz word right now, but what does it really mean?   Well, neurodiversity,… Continue Reading →

The Hidden Curriculum

by Brandy Stanfill There are unspoken rules and expectations in every environment.  Dr. Brenda Smith Myles dubbed these unspoken rules “the hidden curriculum.”  The hidden curriculum includes the unspoken or implicit academic, social, and cultural messages that are communicated to… Continue Reading →

Teacher Prompts—Reminders for Teachers

by Laurie DuBos As we begin the new school year and think about working with new or returning students, teachers are often considering how they can better encourage students to remember to follow routines, complete tasks, or wait their turn–usually… Continue Reading →

Developing Positive Relationships with Families

by: Christina Annunziata As a teacher, I loved planning the first weeks of school. Establishing tone and building a sense of community was a priority and I put a lot of thought and effort into building connections with my students…. Continue Reading →

The Most Important Three-Word Phrase

The following is the text from a speech delivered by NYU Professor Kristie Patten Koenig at the Doctoral Convocation Speech for NYU Steinhardt, May 11, 2017 First, on behalf of the faculty I would like to congratulate each of you for… Continue Reading →

Say something nice!

  All day, every day, we send people positive or negative vibes, positive or negative energy that either draws people to us or warns them away. Smiles and words of agreement, affection and appreciation, affect people in a positive way… Continue Reading →

Top 3 Tips for setting up your classroom in the fall

Summer’s winding down, and it’s time to start thinking about setting up your classroom! Yes, think about desk arrangements. Yes count your book bins. Definitely break out your label-maker, but let’s not start there.   Instead, let’s step back and… Continue Reading →


This post is by special guest author Dolores Troy-Quinn.   As a former principal of an ASD Nest school, I had the opportunity  to hire numerous staff members as the program expanded. In my twelve-year tenure as principal I interviewed… Continue Reading →

You’ve been sitting down for how long??

In school, especially middle and high school, we tend to plan period to period. When we plan in period increments it becomes easy to become so focused on the parts that you forget to think about students’ experience across the… Continue Reading →

What was the idea behind the ASD Nest Program, and what are its key elements?

Before the advent of the ASD Nest program parents of autistic children in New York City had two choices: a District 75 school for children with severe disabilities, where basic curriculum took a back seat to therapeutic services; or a… Continue Reading →

Simply Magical Post-its

I have a theory:   Office referrals for both behavior problems and academic difficulties would decrease exponentially if teachers were armed with post-its.   Yes, just post-its.   We use them all of the time to remind us to make… Continue Reading →

Catch ’em Being Good

Most people are wired to notice things that don’t match our expectations.  We notice the person facing the wrong way in line or the person speaking loudly when everyone else is whispering.  In the same way our attention is drawn… Continue Reading →

Directions: Say it in three

Teachers like to talk! When we lead a lesson, support a student, and give class directions, we tend to use lots and lots of language. Seriously. Lots of language. The irony is, much of what we are saying in the… Continue Reading →

The 45 Second Rule: Using Wait Time to Increase Student Success

Studies have found that teachers typically allow only 1.5 seconds to respond after asking questions. However, research conducted by Mary Budd Rowe found that when teachers embed more wait time there are significant benefits in the quality and attitude of… Continue Reading →

Word Sneak for class discussions

Struggle with getting full student participation during whole-class discussions? Word Sneak is an activity that helps scaffold small-group or whole-class discussions for all students. It’s particularly helpful to encourage 100% participation, with support for students who are reluctant to participate…. Continue Reading →

Priming students to ensure success

Students do better when they feel successful and confident. Catching them off guard or unprepared can make them feel quite the opposite. So when posing questions to the class, allow students time to think about their answers without having to… Continue Reading →

Social Stories

“Social Stories are a social learning tool that support the safe and meaningful exchange of information between parents, professionals, and people with autism.”  -Carol Gray, creator of Social Stories Social Stories are short, simple stories that describe social situations, interactions,… Continue Reading →

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