Welcome to Tool of the Week, CEC’s special education resource destination! We want to make your work easier and support you in your practice. Subscribe today and you’ll find a FREE tool for your special education toolbox in your inbox every week.

Tool of the Week is a service of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the international professional membership organization supporting special educators. All Tools of the Week come from CEC’s first-rate publications and are provided for educational use only; the content may not be reproduced or resold without express permission of CEC.

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Recent Posts

Adaptations for All

The concept of universal design originally came from architecture: why construct a stairs-only building that will require a ramp later when you could simply start with the ramp? The same concept applies to universal design for learning. Why create a classroom environment that requires work-arounds? To help you make learning accessible to more students more easily, this week’s FREE tool ...

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Real-World Curriculum on Track

Educating students with developmental disability or autism spectrum disorder in a real-world curriculum doesn’t happen in a day—or even a year. Students need continuity. This means curricular activities in elementary school should look toward expectations in middle school, and middle school activities should prepare students for high school. To help you keep track of student progress, this week’s FREE tool ...

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Template for transition

Successful transition to life after school can often hinge on solid partnerships with community organizations that can offer support, services, or employment. To help you reach out to agencies in your community and get them involved in transition planning for your students, this week’s FREE tool is a letter template you can use to invite community representatives to participate in ...

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The lowdown on wraparound

When you implement a system of support that engages the student, the family, and the teacher, we call that a “wraparound.” In the wraparound approach, supports, services, and interventions are blended and literally wrapped around the student in a process that engages everyone who interacts with the student. Your FREE tool this week will walk you through the phases of ...

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Mobility masters

The ability to move around your community without assistance is key to independent living. Catching a bus to work, walking to visit a friend, finding a public restroom, and even knowing how to use an escalator are all important skills that, when mastered, can free individuals to work, socialize, attend school, and run errands on their own. To help you ...

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Who’s responsible for that?

It’s transition time—when high school seniors have flown the coop for bigger things, and teachers begin to turn their sights to the next crop of students preparing for this major life change. To help special education teachers, school counselors, and transition specialists plan for this important journey, this week’s free tool is a chart that articulates the way students’ rights ...

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Summer Cool Down

This week marks the first day of summer! For many of us, temperatures outside are rising, but this time of year can also mean tensions inside are rising as final exams or state testing schedules progress. To help cool things off, this week’s FREE tool is a simple set of breathing exercises for you to do with your students before ...

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The IEP in parts

The IEP is the central document guiding students’ special education supports and services. But the document itself can feel overwhelming with all of its moving parts. To demystify the IEP and its purpose, this week’s FREE tool describes all of the essential parts of the IEP. Tack it to your conference room wall, pass it out to parents, and keep ...

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Conquering conflict

We all have conflict in our lives. It may be as minor as picking out a shirt to wear or as big as negotiating a divorce in the family. As part of an effective transition to life after high school, students need to know how to diffuse conflict by communicating their feelings in an assertive way that will ensure they ...

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Challenging Behaviors: What to Expect

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can exhibit a range of challenging behaviors in early childhood, with temper tantrums being one of the highest occurring problems and aggressive behaviors more common among those children with minimal language abilities. This week’s FREE tool is a figure illustrating the various challenging behaviors that young children with ASD might exhibit. Print it off ...

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