Special Services

Welcome to Special Services

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or concerns.
Phone: 541-689-3280 Extension 2030 (Amy) or Extension 2009 (Georgeann). Or click on our pictures to send email.


8 Tips for Preventing A Summer Slump

By Brit Landis, UO School Psychology Practicum Student

Student readingHave you heard of the terms summer loss or summer slump? Both refer to the fact that over the summer many of our children lose one to three months of what they learned at school. When this happens, students can struggle to learn new skills in the fall.

Fortunately, there many simple things you can do to prevent summer slump!

  1. Create a daily reading routine.

Daily reading helps build reading skills and a whole lot more, including general knowledge and other academic skills. Find books that are motivating and interesting to your children based on their interests.

  • The Eugene Library (https://www.eugene-or.gov/130/Eugene-Public-Library) is a great place to get free books (and access other free online learning resources, and fun events). Librarians can also help you pick out books that are good for your child’s current reading level.
  • This site has free decodable stories that you can use based on the sounds your child knows. http://www.freereading.net/wiki/Decodable_passages.html
  • Try out these summer book lists, for ages 0-12 (http://www.readingrockets.org/books/summer/2018) and get the books from the library!
  1. Ready, set, read it again!
  • Help your children read the same text more than once in the same day, so they can read it more fluently the second, third, fourth, and fifth time. Make it fun by picking text that is short, interesting, and at a comfortable level for your child.
  • Beat your score! Once your child can read most words in the story successfully, challenge them to read it again and more fluently! It can be very motivating for kids to watch their reading improve. This website gives some tips about what this process can look like Continue reading

Traumatic Brain Injury – What is it?


by Sue White

Traumatic Brain Injury is:

TBI is any injury to the brain caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or a penetrating injury that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain.  Some causes of TBI may include falls, sports injuries, car accidents, collisions with objects or other people, and being shaken.

Symptoms of TBI may include:

  • Feeling dazed or “in a fog”
  • Feeling disoriented
  • Feeling confused
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty processing information
  • Memory problems
  • Problems learning and retaining new information
  • Difficulty completing multiple tasks
  • Feeling irritable, angry, anxious, depressed
  • Difficulty with social interactions
  • Withdrawing socially
  • Feeling less motivated
  • Physical symptoms, such as dizziness, weakness, headaches, changes in vision and/or hearing, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and difficulty with balance

Continue reading

Sensory Tools for All

By Carolyn Jenkins

When we think about sensory supports, most of us think about students on the Autism Spectrum. However, more and more teachers are realizing the impact that sensory needs can have on ALL students in the classroom. We know that our students who have Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder require sensory support, but think also about those students who are kinesthetic learners, or those who benefit from support with regulating their bodies, emotional, or behavioral responses. Many students can benefit greatly from access to sensory tools in any classroom.

Some types of sensory input can be calming for kids. It can help them regulate their internal discomfort, whether that discomfort is restlessness or some other type of agitation. To support calming, try:

  • Headphones/music
  • Deep pressure or weight
  • Proprioceptive input such as jumping jacks or lifting/carrying heavy objects, such as a box of books (consider assigning students a “job” to meet this sensory need)
  • Breathing or meditation
  • Tents or boxes for students to use to block out sensory input for a short period

Continue reading

Celebrating Autistic History Month

by Carolyn Jenkins

I am always excited to learn about new ways to increase Autism awareness, understanding, and acceptance. This blog post on The Mighty (themighty.com) not only has great information, but is an enjoyable read:

The Mighty Blog Post

The author, Adrianna White, is herself on the spectrum. She shares some insight into her own experiences as a person on the spectrum, and also introduces us to Carly Fleischmann.

If you haven’t heard of Carly yet, you can learn more about her here: Carly Fleischmann. Carly is a young woman who was diagnosed with autism as a young child. She is non-verbal, but has learned to communicate through typing. Her powerful descriptions of her experiences can help educators better understand our students’ experiences.

**Please note** The above article does not use person first language. While Bethel continues to use person first language, there is conversation among some people with autism that they prefer to be known as “autistics” or as “autistic.” They feel that being autistic is part of who they are, and that it is impossible to pull apart their autism and their personhood.

And be sure to click on the link in the article that will take you to the official website of Autistic History Month!

Social Skills Programs Recommendations

Research is clear that students who have self-regulation skills are more successful in school and in life after school. We want to share information about three programs that have helped students gain skills.

Please review this information and if you would like to learn more about these three programs, tell us in the comments!!

Zones of Regulation

Link -> Grade: K – 12

This is geared toward helping students gain skills in consciously regulating their actions, which in turn leads to increased control and problem solving abilities. Using a cognitive behavior approach, the curriculum’s learning activities are designed to help students recognize when they are in different states called “zones,” with each of four zones represented by a different color.

In the activities, students also learn how to use strategies or tools to stay in a zone or move from one to another. Students explore calming techniques, cognitive strategies, and sensory supports so they will have a toolbox of methods to use to move between zones. To deepen students’ understanding of how to self-regulate, the lessons set out to teach students these skills: how to read others’ facial expressions and recognize a broader range of emotions, perspective about how others see and react to their behavior, insight into events that trigger their less regulated states, and when and how to use tools and problem solving skills.


Whole Class: Introduce the Zones to the whole class. You could do a team project with students and have each person design what one of the zones looks like on a face. These can be put up in the classroom for reference and to teach others that come into the classroom. Continue reading