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School: Ferguson Sr. High School

Area of Specialization:

County: Miami-Dade



After working 25 years with the State of Florida Office of Disability Determinations, Holly Swanson made a career change. She went back to school after having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology from Florida State University many years prior. Holly earned her Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology at Florida International University in 2007. She did her clinical fellowship with Miami-Dade County Public School System and has been employed as a Miami-Dade County Schools speech language pathologist ever since. She has provided therapy for students in multiple schools since she started. However, in August, 2010, she was assigned to John A. Ferguson Senior High School which introduced her to a large population of students on the autism spectrum. Therefore, Holly is relatively new in working with students on the autism spectrum and has found it a challenge to her creativity in therapy. Since her students are at the high school level, Holly feels a sense of urgency to provide them with communication skills for the community.

PEPSA Partner: Proposed Project (2012)

Project Description:

Holly will be making portfolios for 5 high school students in one of the self-contained ASD classes to whom she provides services. The intention is for the portfolios to provide the students with assistance in gaining some control over everyday decisions and being able to communicate their likes, dislikes, and choices. The portfolio will also assist the student in "where do I find and how do I do" situations for community destinations like malls, restaurants, and grocery stores. It will also be a guide for the students to use even after leaving high school.

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Department of Child & Family StudiesCollege of Behavioral & Community SciencesUniversity of South Florida
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This product was developed by the Partnership for Effective Programs for Students with ASD, 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 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B.