Q: Why Is It Important To Accommodate Students With Learning Disabilities
A: It is important for schools to accommodate students with learning disabilities because without accommodation, students academic careers can be negatively impacted, they can develop mental and physical health problems, and they are not able to reach their full potential as members of society. Additionally, schools are legally required to accommodate students with learning disabilities, and must do so to comply with applicable laws put in place to protect and serve children.
When Designing The Layout For The Space Consider The Following
Items that move easily. Chairs, furniture on wheels, portable desks, pillows.
Uniformity. Keep furniture and objects placed in an organized manner. Think of a grid
Nooks, cocooned, private secluded area for alone time
Rounded corners on furniture for safety and calming
Large windows. Research has shown that many small windows in a space can be disturbing for those with ASD. Large windows are an ideal element in a space to view nature and listen to the pink noise. The sensory sounds of the rustling leaves or rainfall are calming. Large windows also allow natural light to come through. However, if the large windows face a busy, noisy street and become disturbing, install thick drapes to buffer the sounds.
Rise To The Challenge
Positive Action recognizes the value of each and every person. We help special needs students integrate into mainstream classrooms while equipping them with the essential skills and motivation to thrive.
Positive Action can help you assess your special education students needs and plan how to meet them with Individualized Education Plans.
I am very grateful for these lessons. They fulfill a need that so many children are lacking in the educational process today. Linda Davis, 2nd Grade Teacher, Davis Elementary
If you want to see how Positive Action can increase educational success at your institution or organization contact us by phone, chat, or email or schedule a webinar with us below.
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Can I Make My Own Visual Supports
Some of these programs tend to be expensive and not everyone can afford them. An alternative to buying a pre-packaged product is to make your own visuals. You can achieve this in a number of ways:
- Cutting out pictures from print media such as magazines or old calendars
- Dollar stores can be a great place to find inexpensive visuals.
A note of caution when taking photos be sure to keep the background at a minimum and make the focal point the subject of the photo. If you take photos from too far away, the background tends to get busy looking and can become the focal point for people with autism.
Delta Children Cozee Fluffy Chair
Dont you feel cozy just looking at this chair? This sensory-friendly kids chair is made from plush, non-abrasive materials that help your special needs child to feel comfortable and safe.
Delta Childrens Fluffy Chair is filled with shredded foam that supports your childs body and provides a relaxing spot to read a book or watch their favorite cartoon. The chair is available in four pastel colors and is suitable for ages 2-6.
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Underwater I Spy Alphabet Bottle:
Sparkling water is one such activities for children with autism social skills to attract. Here is a great alphabet bottle activity that helps to keep your little one focused and engaged. Your kids can recognize letters in a creative manner through the shiny floating sequins.
You Will Need:
How To Do:
Techniques For Calming An Upset Child
Even the most vigilant parent will be faced with the occasional meltdown from their child with autism. When that happens, the following tips may help:
- Recognize the signs: Children with autism will often show signs of distress before they have a meltdown. Be cognizant of changes in your child’s demeanor, and ask them what they are feeling if something doesn’t feel right.
- Check for any changes in the environment: This may involve things as simple as closing a door, turning off a light, or turning down the music.
- Give the child space: If your child is in no danger of harming themselves, give them space to calm down on their own. Stay nearby to ensure they remain safe, but avoid crowding them or trying to “make things right.”
- Keep self-soothing tools nearby: If you’re away from home, be sure to have your child’s favorite sensory toy, weighted blanket, video, or book close at hand.
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Are Bean Bag Chairs Good For Sensory
Bean bag chairs can be a great option for kids who need a little extra sensory input and make affordable and portable DIY classroom seating. Bean bags that are filled with pellets or beans, which can provide a lot of sensory input for kids. The beads or pellets move around inside the bag as your child moves, which can help to stimulate their senses.
What Is The Best Way To Use Visual Supports
There is a hierarchy to using visual supports. Start with matching an object to object, then object to picture, then picture to picture. You begin with using the actual object matching to the same object. Once that is mastered, then match an object to a picture. This helps the child understand that a picture can be a representation of an object. Finally, you can match a picture to a picture. I see people who do not use this progression and cant understand why the child doesnt understand a picture such as the ones generated by Boardmaker.
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Causes Of Meltdowns In Children With Autism
Unlike their typical peers, few autistic children “throw fits” to garner attention or achieve a desired outcome .
In most cases, autistic children react to physical or emotional stress without any particular agenda. They may simply be expressing feelings of excitement, frustration, or anxiety. They might also be responding to sensory assaults .
The reality is that children with autism generally have less control over their emotions than other children. As a result, emotional outbursts are more common.
How Visual Schedules Help Autistic Children
Visual schedules can help reduce scheduling-related anxiety.
Many autistic children prefer to stick to regular routines. And unexpected scheduling changes can be upsetting and stressful. Even transitioning between regular activities can be difficult if a child does not know what to expect.
A visual schedule can help autistic children understand whats coming next, which can help facilitate smoother transitions.
Also, the visual schedule can reinforce lessons or help develop new skills. Giving a child a visual schedule allows them to study, learn, and repeat the expected behaviors of a task or activity.
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Areas Of Challenge For Kids With Asd
Techniques For Avoiding And Managing Meltdowns
Children with autism can have a tough time managing their behavior. Even high-functioning children can “have a meltdown” in situations that would be only mildly challenging to a typical peer.
Children with severe autism can get upset on a daily basis. Meltdowns can make it hard to participate in everyday activities or, in extreme cases, even leave the house. It is not always easy to calm a child with autism, but there are techniques that can help.
Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin
This article explores some of the tools and techniques used to manage or prevent meltdowns in children with autism. It also looks at the causes and signs of a meltdown to help you recognize and deal with them more effectively and with less anxiety.
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Bespoke Furniture For Children With Autism
Dr Stephen Shore is a professor of special education who is himself Autistic. He is famous for saying, If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism. What he means is that each person with Autism presents in their own different way, just like every single one of us. It is possible that an Autistic child or young person might find some of the more traditional design, furniture or equipment in schools and colleges harder to cope with. But, a little creative thinking has the power to transform the learning experience for all of us.
Do Schools Have The Right Model For Autistic Kids
A look at whether the mainstream education system is doing the best it can for children with autism.
To decide if our schools are using the best model for our children, we need to think of the environment, the interventions, and the impact of both on our children.
Most school interventions in the US are based on the model of autism in the American Psychiatric Association diagnostic manual . The traditional medical understanding of autism is that its a neurodevelopmental disorder diagnosed by observable behavioral characteristics. This is a challenge-based or pathology-based model.
If autism and its manifestations are pathological, it makes sense to try to fix them so the children behave in ways that are generally seen as more acceptable. Evidence-based gold standard treatments aim to eliminate autistic behaviors.
Whats particularly important about the pathology model is the criteria describing behaviors are based on outsiders observing them. The conclusion that a behavior or routine of an autistic child is non-functional is not based on the experience of the autistic child but rather on the ideational framework of the neurotypical observer.
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Q: How Do You Accommodate Students With Special Needs
A: Research shows that classroom accommodations often include how the room is arranged, individualized instruction and resources, accommodating student learning styles, recording directions, changing the length and difficulty level of assignments, and giving prompts for the special needs student. When testing the special needs student, they often increase the test time, shorten the test, or deliver the questions orally. To support peer interaction, teachers said they use peer tutoring, teaching specific social skills, creating social opportunities, using cooperative learning groups, and delivering special reinforcement to support learning for the special needs student.
The Best Toys For Autistic Children
As a child psychiatrist, I have tried and tested a lot of games and toys with my patients and my own children. For children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, choosing toys that they can not only enjoy, but that can be therapeutic is very important.
You can also check out my list of games for autistic children here.
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Safco Height Adjustable Desk
Fidgety children crave an outlet for their energy, and active sitting chairs help tremendously, but take a look at what Safcos AlphaBetter Desk can do! The desks swinging footrest allows students to rid themselves of pent-up energy without disrupting class.
Complete with storage underneath the desks surface and more above the footrest, this classroom essential will bring peace and focus to lessons.
Is There A Reason For The Behavior
Most non-academic school interventions focus on behavior. Behavior is often described as avoidant, attention-seeking, oppositional, manipulative, or a variety of negative attributions. Thats because the behavior gets attention and isnt what we might want the child to be doing. In trying to eliminate the behavior, we often dont consider what underlies itwhat need or experience is being expressed. Instead of understanding and providing empathic support, we are critical of the behavior. According to autistic adults, autistic children experience this kind of misunderstanding and criticism frequently.
Let me give an example with excerpts from an article written by Lisa Morgan, a certified autism specialist and consultant.
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Ecru4kids Sand & Water Play Table
Whats simpler and more calming than a day at the beach? The ECRU4Kids Sand and Water Play Table is a great way for your child to experience the joys of being oceanside without expensive trips to the coastline. Playtime is fun and calming, and clean-up afterwards is easy and efficient.
Children with autism and other sensory processing disorders will enjoy the sensory input the sand and water tables provide without becoming overstimulated or stressed.
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Different Types Of Sensory Input
The Harkla hug provides two main sensory inputs: proprioception and tactile.
Proprioception is the awareness of the position and movement of the body. Sensory receptors are located on your skin, joints, and muscles. When we move, these sensory receptors send signals to our brain, telling it about the movement’s effort, force, and heaviness. Then our body can provide an appropriate response. When we think about proprioceptive movement, we can also include heavy work – any movement that works the muscles, deep pressure – any input that provides pressure to our body, and vibration. Proprioceptive input is typically calming to the nervous system. Individuals are usually not over-responsive to proprioception, meaning they don’t have over-reactions to this type of sensory input. We do, however, see individuals who are under-responsive or sensory craving, meaning they want more heavy work, crashing, hugs, etc. The Hug provides proprioceptive input through compression – almost like an actual hug!
Another Added Benefit
Another area that the Hug adds to is body awareness and spatial relations. When we complete an activity that provides both proprioception and tactile input, our ability to understand our body in space better and within our environment improves. This has the added benefit of improving safety, coordination, and motor planning!
The Good: Desk Kick Bands
Helping your child sit through a day of school for less than $15 is hard to beat. In the spirit of Occupational Therapy, this is a very simple product that has the potential for big impacts. If you have a wiggly student that struggles to sit still and pay attention, desk kick bands could be of big help in providing sensory input to your child without disrupting the class.
I chose the brand pictured in this review due to the material used and the ease of setup. While still a great product, parents have complained that the style of the other bands that are made of rubber and slip onto the feet of the desk can be noisy and hard to install.
This green band that I chose has easy to install straps that wrap around the desk legs and can be adjusted to varying sizes. While the band is still rubber, it is smaller in this product and less prone to causing noise. In the grand scheme of things, these are small differences, so it is worth checking out both styles of product and see which one you prefer.
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