Implementing strategies in the school placement panel

Quick Overview

In this panel discussion, educators and parents share strategies for implementing inclusive education for children with Angelman Syndrome. They emphasize the importance of teamwork and collaboration among school staff, parents, and therapists. They discuss the benefits of mainstreaming activities, such as music and art, and offer suggestions for incorporating academic skills into functional activities. The panelists also highlight the significance of friendships and social inclusion for children with Angelman Syndrome. They provide tips for sharing highlights between home and school, including using communication devices and finding the best communication method for each family. Overall, the panelists stress the importance of presuming competence and focusing on a child’s strengths to create a supportive and inclusive educational environment.


The last panel of the 2017 FAST Educational Summit focused on implementing strategies learned at conferences in school teams. The panel featured a team of educators and parents who discussed their experiences in providing an inclusive education for children with Angelman Syndrome. The panelists shared their insights on working as a team, creating a conducive learning environment, and maximizing the potential of school placements.


The panel consisted of Danielle Williams, a teacher who had worked with Ainsley, a student with Angelman Syndrome, for several years; Shari Holt, a speech-language pathologist with 18 years of experience working with students with special needs; Tricia Brawley, Ainsley’s current teacher and a middle school multi-needs teacher; and Amy Gerard, a parent of a child with Angelman Syndrome who has successfully collaborated with the Concord, New Hampshire School District to create an inclusive educational experience for her daughter.

Importance of Collaboration

The panel emphasized the importance of collaboration among all members of the school team, including parents, teachers, therapists, and administrators. They highlighted the need for a multidisciplinary approach to education, where everyone’s input is valued and used to create a supportive learning environment for the child. The panelists stressed the significance of open communication and the sharing of ideas between home and school to ensure the child’s progress and growth.

Engineering the Environment

The panelists discussed the importance of engineering the environment to make it functional for the child. They suggested labeling objects with their functions, using visual cues, and incorporating assistive technology to support communication and learning. They also emphasized the need to incorporate academic skills into functional activities, such as cooking and shopping, to provide a well-rounded education.

Presuming Competence

The panelists emphasized the importance of presuming competence in children with Angelman Syndrome. They encouraged educators to focus on the child’s strengths and build on them, rather than setting limitations based on their current abilities. They also highlighted the significance of friendships and social interactions in the child’s educational journey, and how cultivating these relationships can support their academic and personal growth.

Communication between Home and School

The panelists discussed various ways to share highlights between home and school. They suggested using different communication methods, such as emails, phone calls, or communication devices, based on the preferences of the parents and the child. They also emphasized the importance of sharing not only academic progress but also moments with friends and other activities to provide a holistic view of the child’s experiences.


The panel concluded by highlighting the importance of collaboration, presuming competence, and engineering the environment to create an inclusive and supportive educational experience for children with Angelman Syndrome. They encouraged parents to advocate for their child’s needs and to build strong relationships with the school team. The panelists shared their passion for their work and the joy they find in supporting children with Angelman Syndrome in their educational journey.

Talk details

  • Title: Implementing strategies in the school placement panel
  • Author(s): Amy Grouard, Shari Holt, Danielle Williams, Trish Brawley
  • Author(s)’ affiliation: None
  • Publication date: 2017-12-23
  • Collection: 2017 FAST Educational Summit