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14 January 2005: Stories From Full Inclusion (3 of 7)

Harry was a student with an autism diagnosis. Most of my students were familiar with Harry from previous years, and some had social relationships outside of school. Harry tended to stay quiet and unfocused, relying on an adult to give him assignments in small pieces. I liked Harry immediately because of his eagerness to debate issues one on one, and his love for mysteries.

Midway through the school year, Harry developed a compulsive habit of blowing his nose. The statistics were truly unbelievable--he could blow his nose 40 or 50 times a minute, if he was not distracted by something else. Together with the inclusion support teachers and Harry's mom, we brainstormed strategies to curb this behavior. It was happening so often that positive reinforcement of the lack of nose blowing was impossible.

Although the incessant nose-blowing was distracting to other students, we felt extra pressure because Harry's doctor had expressed concern that he could cause permanent damage to his sinuses as a result of this over activity.

teaching quote of the day

Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.

- Chinese proverb

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