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Teaching for the Lifespan

Teaching for the Lifespan
Successfully Transitioning Students With Learning Differences to Adulthood

Foreword by Thomas G. West

November 2015 | 200 pages | Corwin

Your step-by-step guide to successful transition planning

Transition planning is a challenging process. Finally, here’s a practical guide that makes transition planning easier so you can prepare your students with learning differences to successfully navigate adulthood. Backed by the latest research in learning and development, Teaching for the Lifespan provides the pedagogical best practices needed to promote your students’ strengths and abilities for life-long success. You’ll benefit from:

  • A deep understanding of the  educational, vocational, social, and emotional dimensions of adulthood for students with learning differences
  • Explicit techniques to help students with learning differences develop an awareness of proactive behaviors
  • Strategies to help all learners achieve the demands of the Common Core and high-stakes assessments through Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
  • Practical tips on effective IEPs, personal stories from adults with learning differences, and suggestions from real teachers 

Few things feel better than seeing your students succeed years after they have finished school. With this practitioner-friendly guide, you’ll be equipped to help all students with learning challenges succeed as adults. Let’s get started! 

Part One: Context
1. The Construct of Learning Differences
A Fundamental Question

A Paradigm Shift to a Strengths-Based Model

Historical Perspectives

Definitions of Learning Disabilities: How Much do They Matter?

Differences, Not Disabilities

Moving Forward

2. Adult Developmental Theory and Learning Differences
Theories of Adult Development

Implications of Theories of Adult Development for Individuals with Learning Differences

3. Keys to Success
Abraham Maslow

Steven Covey

Dale Carnegie

Deepak Chopra

Summary and Synthesis of Models of Success

What is Success in Adulthood?

4. Success of Adults with Learning Differences
New Perspectives

Accentuate the Positive

Focusing on Success

Stories of Success

Parto Two: Good Teaching
5. Building a Better Classroom
Facing New Challenges

A Multifaceted Approach to School Success (MASSive)

Two Examples of the MASSive Approach

The Most Critical Variable: Praise, Praise, Praise

6. The Common Core: Teaching for a Lifetime or Teaching for One Way of Life?
Good Intentions, Change, and Confusion

The Good

The Meh

The Ugly

7. Self-Understanding
Building a Sense of Self

Implications for Adulthood

Skills for Building Relationships

Social Skills and Teachable Moments

The IEP as Relationship Builder

A Systematic Approach to Building Self-Awareness, Self-Efficacy, and Agency

8. Breaking the Failure Cycle
The Winning Picture

Skills and Game Success

Acquiring Social Skills

Meditation not Medication

Stress, Anxiety, and Other Realities of Adulthood

Don’t Forget the Arts

Life Skills

Outside the Box Inclusion

It’s not the Program. - It’s You

9. Teaching the Attributes of Successful Adults with Learning Differences
Seven Attributes of Successful Adults with Learning Differences

It Comes Down to This


Goal Planning and Goodness of Fit

Learned Creativity


“Henry Reiff and Nicole Ofiesh provide an urgently-needed, practical and comprehensive look at transition from a new perspective. The authors believe all students with learning differences can learn to succeed as adults, and they offer parents and teachers clear and applicable ways to make it happen." 

Eric Dezenhall, Co-founder and CEO of Dezenhall Resources
and Author of Glass Jaw, The Devil Himself, and seven other books

"A 'must read' book by Drs. Henry Reiff and Nicole Ofiesh, masterfully combining theory and best practices for empowering kids and adults with learning differences."

Dr. Ken Druck, Author
The Real Rules of Life: Balancing Life's Terms with Your Own, The Secrets Men Keep, and How to Talk to Your Kids
Key features

The book will include:

  • A discussion on best STEM practices, which infuse ULD
  • Many tips, tricks, and strategies
  • Teacher suggestions throughout
  • A chapter dedicated to discussing the implications of COmmon Core and PARCC for students with learning differences
  • Sidebars such as an overview of the IEP
  • A first-person blog on disclosure from an adult with learning differences


Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

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ISBN: 9781506300580

ISBN: 9781483373843

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.