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First-Time Author Stories

“I’m an Author” … with First Author™

Meet some first-time authors from Warren Woods Middle School and Bovenschen School in Warren, Michigan as they share their excitement about what they’re doing with the first writing curriculum for students with complex needs — First Author.

Video screenshot of a student being interviewed in a classroom about First Author

Antonio is an Author … with First Author

Meet Antonio — a bright author from Bovenschen School in Warren, Michigan and see how writing with First Author transformed his confidence and his behavior.

Sean Changes His Communication at Home … with
First Author

Sean has not been able to use words spontaneously for his first 17 years. Listen as his mom describes how he communicates and expresses himself through First Author.

Devin Writes When Few Thought He Could … with
First Author

Despite significant physical disabilities, Devin wrote a story that involved his whole class. Writing gave Devin the ability to communicate his passion for roller coasters for the first time. Listen as Dr. Janet Sturm, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL, F-ASHA  reads his story to his class.

Teachers’ Perspectives Change … with First Author

Teaching writing in self-contained classrooms is a challenge. Listen to teachers as they express their excitement about the changes First Author has brought to their classrooms. When their students are excited about writing — progress is natural and lives are changed.

First Author

Explore the First Author Writing Curriculum and access free sample lessons.


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Karen A. Erickson, Ph.D.​

Karen A. Erickson, Ph.D. is Director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill. Her focus is on understanding the best ways to assess and teach reading and writing to children with the most severe disabilities. As a special education teacher, Dr. Erickson has worked to support students with a range of disabilities in a variety of classroom settings, particularly students who do not use speech as their primary means of communication.


Author Profile:,Ph.D.

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