Promoting and Advancing Personal Living Skills and Self-dependence in Students with Severe and Multiple Disabilities – 60 minutes

This session will build educator capacity with the necessary knowledge and skills to enable students with severe and multiple disabilities to play an active role with personal living activities. Techniques and tools to remove many of the barriers that impact their self-dependence with intensive instructional intervention, customized adaptations, and technology supports enhanced with student-specific situations will be illustrated. In this session you will learn:

  • How to embed academic, functional and life skills objectives and also address math, science, and literacy concepts within personal living/personal care activities - cooking activities, ordering and eating a meal, personal grooming, etc.
  • Gain skills in how to move the student from partial/no participation towards maximal participation to gain greater self-dependence and reduce dependence on adults.
  • Identify a variety of supports and activity adaptation ideas to actively involve students with sensory, communication and/or cognitive disabilities.
Promoting and Advancing Personal Living Skills and Self-dependence in Students with Severe and Multiple Disabilities handout

Padmaja Sarathy

Padmaja Sarathy

MA, Author & Educational Consultant

Padmaja Sarathy is a highly sought after, globally engaged educational consultant and author with extensive expertise in the fields of special education and early childhood education. Driven by an intense commitment to maximize learning outcomes for children with special needs, Padmaja uses evidence-based methods to guide educators to pursue innovative instructional techniques across the United States, and abroad. She inspires educators through webinars, onsite coaching, and workshops at international and regional conferences. She has also written multiple books focusing on autism, significant and multiple disabilities, paraeducators, early childhood education, and special education legal compliance. Earlier in her career, she was a diagnostician and served as Special Education Supervisor at the Ford Bend Independent School District. Visit for more information.

She is also the founder and president of a nonprofit organization – Parent Engagement for Active Child Enrichment (PEACE). PEACE ( coaches and guides families, particularly those from marginalized populations, to enable and empower their children towards a positive and productive academic and life trajectory.


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