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Including Children with Autism in the Montessori Classroom

Originally presented on November 5, 2015.

Presenters: Natalie Danner, Mary Anderson, & Deb Ryan
For: Teachers (both novice and experienced) of Infant & Toddler, Early Childhood, and Elementary students; as well as school and teacher education administrators, and parents

Individual On-demand Webinar Group On-demand Webinar


On-Demand Webinar

After the live webinar airs, the presentation will be made available for a 30-day rental via Vimeo On Demand, allowing you to view the webinar at any time, as often as you would like, within your rental period. Please note: the on-demand webinar is not included with registration to the live webinar; it must be purchased separately

$55/individual (Certificate of Continuing Professional Development for 1 person) 
$200/group (CPD certificates for up to 20 persons)


Many schools, both public and private, struggle to include children with autism successfully. This webinar will highlight ways in which the Montessori environment works ideally for children with autism, and offer additional strategies to use one-on-one or in small groups to help children with autism participate fully in the daily life of the classroom. 

Key points of this webinar will include:

  • Facts and myths about autism
  • What to do when you suspect autism?
  • What works in the Montessori classroom for children with autism?
  • Additional research-based strategies for children with autism (visual supports, limiting choices, wait time, peer supports)
  • Teaming with outside professionals (e.g., speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists) to support children with autism
  • Working with families of children with autism
  • Developing school policies to promote a supportive and inclusive Montessori program (while following IDEA and ADA regulations)

You will come away with:

  • An understanding of myths and facts about autism
  • Knowing what to do if you suspect a child may have autism
  • Ideas for how you can directly support a child with autism in the Montessori classroom using research-based strategies, and teach typically-developing peers how to support children with autism in their class
  • Understanding how to work in a team with non-Montessori professionals to meet the needs of the child with autism and their family
  • Ideas for developing inclusive school policies for all children and families in the school community

About the Presenters

Natalie Danner, PhD, is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Connecticut, where she supports states to develop, implement, and evaluate professional development for early childhood teachers. She completed her PhD in Early Childhood Special Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where her research focused on the inclusion of young children with disabilities in Montessori environments. Natalie is an experienced early childhood Montessori teacher and school leader. AMS-credentialed (Early Childhood). 

Mary Anderson, MA, is the principal of Garfield Montessori School, a PreK-8 public Montessori school in Decatur, IL. AMS-credentialed (Elementary I-II).

Deb Ryan, MS, is the school psychologist for Decatur, IL, public schools, and head of the autism team.

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