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Florida Atlantic University

Lisa Decker, Martin County
Jensen Beach Elementary School
CARD Staff: Linda Peirce

Lisa Garrett Decker currently teaches students K-5 with intensive ASD at Jensen Beach Elementary. She earned her master’s degree in mental disabilities from Florida State University and her bachelor’s degree in special education from University of Central Arkansas. She has taught in the field of special education, with emphasis in Autism and severe disabilities, for over 15 years. Her PEPSA project focuses on the use of teaching communicative phrases, such as “I need help” to replace dangerous behaviors, such as kicking and biting, that keep students from interacting with their peers. Ms. Decker’s students, previously self-contained all day for all activities, are becoming more involved with school-wide green projects such as recycling and gardening and have begun monthly lunch bunch with their peer pals. Ms. Decker has one son, Garrett, who is 9 years old and has participated in FAU-CARD sponsored Kids’ Club.

Proposed Project:

“Presenting the Parent Empowerment Zone (PEZ): The “Sweet Life of Collaborative Creations”

The teacher will be holding (PEZ) pow-wows, where she will provide resources and opportunities for parent make-n-takes (e.g. visual schedules, behavioral interventions, and community resources) based on obtained parent needs surveys, matching existing classroom strategies and research-based best practices. Parents will meet in one room with students and their “peer mentors” from the JBE-based A-TEAM practicing adult-facilitated social skills opportunities in another room simultaneously.

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This product was developed by the Partnership for Effective Programs for Students with Autism, a project funded by the State of Florida, Department of Education, K-12 Public Schools, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services, through federal assistance under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B.
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