288 ASD Mastery Autism – Developmental Delay – Mahoney

asd mastery

ASD Mastery: Learning Resources for Developmental Delay

Angie Angie Mahoney, M.Ed., is currently a special education case manager at Rogers Park Middle School in Danbury, Connecticut. Angie has worked on ASD mastery with students of all ages in a variety of settings for the past thirteen years. Her career includes tenure at a private school where she worked with over seventy-five middle school and high school-aged students on a weekly basis, running an inclusion-based elementary program for students with autism, as well as co-teaching core academic classes as part of a team comprised of fellow middle school educators.

Angie’s Evolution

“When I began teaching in 2001, I had just graduated college with a degree in Intensive Needs Special Education from Lesley University. I was truly excited to begin my teaching career and thrilled to accept my first teaching job as a Pre Vocational Teacher at Cotting School, a private, nonprofit school in Lexington, Massachusetts. I knew that Cotting School offered a unique opportunity for growth and knowledge, all the more so given the exceptional group of students and staff with whom I would work.

I could not wait to begin.

I led a program through which I would see ten different groups of students, ranging from ten to twenty-one years of age, two times a week, for class periods of forty-five minutes each. My role, regarding their objectives for ASD mastery, was to teach them prevocational skills in the classroom setting. When the first month of school began, I quickly realized that in order for each and every one of my students to succeed vocationally, I needed to problem solve and plan a strong program to meet the many needs of the students.

The program in place at the Cotting School offered a small range of prevocational activities with little organization of materials, few modifications, and limited tracking of student progress. I struggled to connect the existing prevocational activities (such as sorting colored rubber bands) to real-world job environments and sought to make each activity meaningful versus the “routine” of mere task completion.”

Photo by N. on Unsplash

She Made Changes

“I found myself wondering, how I could make each and every student feel both challenged and successful while learning crucial skills for their future? I began to look around my new classroom and truly explore the possibilities. I spied an array of materials one would find in an office setting: pencils, staplers, paper, paperclips, etc. That got me really thinking not just about the current age of my students but also more towards the time they would graduate.

What jobs would they apply for? Where would they hope to volunteer? I literally pictured the stores and job opportunities in the surrounding town, and it all started to connect. As I wrote out my list of places of employment (e.g., offices, grocery stores, florists, farms, retail stores), I started to see a pattern that then transformed into the I Can Work! modules: Clerical, Retail, Food Service, and Grocery. Creating a range of modules allowed me to focus on each vocational area one at a time and determine which jobs fell under each category.”

Her Mission for ASD Mastery

“I wanted to know for certain that every student, with his or her individual challenges, would have access to each area of specialization and all that it had to offer for prevocational learning. I began breaking each unit into time frames and allowing each activity to connect and build on one another, as a slow progression geared specifically for each student,

I also began looking beyond the physical jobs and deeply into the communications, routines, and the aspects of working in a job environment. I knew that introducing and practicing a range of problem-solving occasions would highly benefit a number of students and enable each one to perform confidently when placed in a range of these situations.”

Angie’s Website & References:

CBJ Autism Mastery and Developmental Delay Experts

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  • CBJ/175 Dr. Zac Bush on Restore for Advanced Gut Healing & Immunity
  • CBJ/153 Dr. Debra Moore Autism Community & Family
  • CBJ/152 Bill Protzmann on Music Healing
  • CBJ/141 Dr. William Walsh on The End of Autism
  • CBJ/140 Dr. Kurt Woeller on Biomedical Testing with more details here
  • CBJ/134 Dr. Stephanie Seneff on Toxins and Autism
  • CBJ/125 Dr. William Shaw on Testing for Toxins
  • CBJ/115 Dr. William Walsh on Methylation Challenges
  • CBJ/097 Dr. Rachel Fresco on Candida Comorbidity
  • CBJ/096 Penny Williams on Parenting Autistic Children
  • CBJ/039 Dr. John Morrow on Autism and Genetics
  • CBJ/010 Dr. Robert Mellilo on Brain Balance Insights
  • CBJ/005 Dr. Peter Osborne on Gluten Sensitivity & Specific IgG Testing


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Until next time, thanks so much for joining us here at CBJ again. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.

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In closing, if you have any questions, drop a comment on any posting here at CBJ, and I’ll get back to you. This discerning show of world-class experts is here for you, your families, and your clients – to tighten the dialogue for more precise answers.

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Special thanks to Angie for joining me here at CBJ. Her input is an excellent start for a New Year.

I look forward to our next travels together.


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