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Increasing Students’ Social Skills / Resilience: Through Optimism in the Integrated Setting.

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Presentation on theme: "Increasing Students’ Social Skills / Resilience: Through Optimism in the Integrated Setting."— Presentation transcript:

1 Increasing Students’ Social Skills / Resilience: Through Optimism in the Integrated Setting

2 Of all the blessings that time and earth bestow, there is none so precious as one true friend. (Celex Group, Inc./Celebrating Excellence) (Celex Group, Inc./Celebrating Excellence)

3 Integration A positive movement to enhance the opportunity of students with disabilities to learn and interact with peers with non-disabilities (role models). A positive movement to enhance the opportunity of students with disabilities to learn and interact with peers with non-disabilities (role models). To encourage students without disabilities to become more compassionate and understanding of differences. To encourage students without disabilities to become more compassionate and understanding of differences. To ensure appropriate educational opportunities for all children. To ensure appropriate educational opportunities for all children.

4 Results Physical proximity of students with disabilities and their classroom peers DOES NOT result in social inclusion. Physical proximity of students with disabilities and their classroom peers DOES NOT result in social inclusion. What we experience and observe... What we experience and observe... (Gresham, 1982; Hoben & Lindstom 1980; Quintal, 1986)

5 Challenges of Students’ with Visual Impairments Considerations for social development, interaction and learning: Early parent-child attachment Early parent-child attachment Acquisition of social knowledge Acquisition of social knowledge Using visual cues Using visual cues Nonverbal communication Nonverbal communication Physical development Physical development Cultural norms Cultural norms

6 Integration Components Education of students with visual impairments in the regular classroom involves a multitude of interrelated issues: Education of students with visual impairments in the regular classroom involves a multitude of interrelated issues: Child Capabilities Child Capabilities Social skill development Social skill development Challenges of a visual impairment on social skills Challenges of a visual impairment on social skills Social Learning Environment Social Learning Environment Peer and school culture Peer and school culture Interaction styles Interaction styles

7 Development of Social Interaction Newborn (Bonding) Newborn (Bonding) Interest in other infants (6 months) Interest in other infants (6 months) Parallel play ( months) Parallel play ( months) Consistent play behaviour and purposeful interaction with other children (3 – 4 years) Consistent play behaviour and purposeful interaction with other children (3 – 4 years)

8 Elementary Years Friendship based on proximity and common interests Friendship based on proximity and common interests Play with a variety of children in first few years of school. Play with a variety of children in first few years of school. Stable friendships develop by grade 2 or 3 (focus more on peer interactions) Stable friendships develop by grade 2 or 3 (focus more on peer interactions) “Best Friend” middle elementary years (sex- segregated) “Best Friend” middle elementary years (sex- segregated)

9 Junior and Senior High Jr. High intense years of students’ desire to belong to the peer group (cliques) Jr. High intense years of students’ desire to belong to the peer group (cliques) Increased time peers spend together and/or on phone Increased time peers spend together and/or on phone Most intense conflict with parents as youth struggle with emerging sense of independence Most intense conflict with parents as youth struggle with emerging sense of independence Egalitarian relationships – interpersonal communication Egalitarian relationships – interpersonal communication Relationships become more prevalent Relationships become more prevalent Similar attributes and behaviours among friends Similar attributes and behaviours among friends

10 These interactions in turn facilitate the development of specific skills which: Form the basis of attachments Form the basis of attachments Promote interaction and success in school Promote interaction and success in school Form personal theories of why one succeeds and why one fails. Form personal theories of why one succeeds and why one fails. Form the underpinnings for success in the work place Form the underpinnings for success in the work place

11 Rejection by one’s peers during the elementary school years is highly correlated with behaviour and/or emotional problems in teenagers and adults. (Hartup, 1984)

12 Characteristics of Popular Children in Elementary Friendly Friendly Supportive Supportive Outgoing Outgoing Not aggressive or disruptive Not aggressive or disruptive Physically attractive Successful in games Successful in sports Successful in academics How Child behaves toward peers: Gregarious, not critical, and who display an interest in others (positive, supportive behaviour). (Bee, 1989)

13 Social Cognition The understanding of social relationships The understanding of social relationships Social competence is directly related to cognitive or intellectual development (Bee, 1989; Berndt, 1982, Kjurdek &Krile, 1982). Social competence is directly related to cognitive or intellectual development (Bee, 1989; Berndt, 1982, Kjurdek &Krile, 1982). Learning to interpret nonverbal communication Learning to interpret nonverbal communication Perspective taking Perspective taking Learning to identify vocally expressed emotions Learning to identify vocally expressed emotions Requires relationship interactions of friendship, discussions and conflict with parents and peers. Requires relationship interactions of friendship, discussions and conflict with parents and peers. Change with learning, maturity and experience Change with learning, maturity and experience

14 Explanatory Style Permanent Permanent Pervasive Pervasive Personal Personal Temporary Specific Impersonal

15 Reacting to Good and Bad Event OPTOMIST PESIMIST

16 Societal Interactions Perceptions associated with mannerisms Perceptions associated with mannerisms Appearance Appearance Attitudes towards those with disabilities Attitudes towards those with disabilities Natural and spontaneous communication Natural and spontaneous communication Goal: How to enhance the social acceptance within the typical social environments of children. Goal: How to enhance the social acceptance within the typical social environments of children.

17 “Schools are the social organizations which function as a primary socializing agent for youth during their formative years.” (Hargreaves, 1975 in McCuspie, 1996)

18 Self-concept is influenced by the position one has within the classroom and the status associated with this position. Self-concept is influenced by the position one has within the classroom and the status associated with this position. One’s self-concept is derived by one’s perceptions of how others view him/her, which in turn, influences the behaviours one has towards others. One’s self-concept is derived by one’s perceptions of how others view him/her, which in turn, influences the behaviours one has towards others. (Tuttle, 1984)

19 Self Esteem deals with two components: Self Esteem deals with two components: Doing-Well Doing-Well Feeling-Good Feeling-Good “Bolstering the feeling side of self-esteem without breaking the shackles of helplessness or passivity accomplishes nothing.”

20 Purpose To create a learning environment that values all students equally and promotes: To create a learning environment that values all students equally and promotes: Positive acceptance of differences Positive acceptance of differences Development of positive thinking and relationships Development of positive thinking and relationships Feeling of belonging, acceptance, support and caring. Feeling of belonging, acceptance, support and caring.

21 Helping or Hindering Statements Statements True True False False Assistance Assistance Doers Doers Do for Do for Interpreting Interpreting Ways of thinking Ways of thinking

22 Assumptions of Pupil Culture “In school, children ought to play and associate with their “best friend.”” “In school, children ought to play and associate with their “best friend.”” “To be part of a group a child ought to be able to do what the other children are doing.” “To be part of a group a child ought to be able to do what the other children are doing.” “To be part of a group a child ought to initiate interaction with others in the group to gain access to the group.” “To be part of a group a child ought to initiate interaction with others in the group to gain access to the group.” “Boys and girls ought not to be “best friends.”” “Boys and girls ought not to be “best friends.””

23 “unpopular children ought to play with other unpopular children.” “unpopular children ought to play with other unpopular children.” “Children ought not associate with unpopular children.” “Children ought not associate with unpopular children.” “To be part of the class, children ought to like the same things, dress the same, and act the same as their classmates. “To be part of the class, children ought to like the same things, dress the same, and act the same as their classmates. “Best friends ought to help each other.” “Best friends ought to help each other.”

24 “Children ought to play with children from their own classroom.” “Children ought to play with children from their own classroom.” “Children ought to follow the rules negotiated within the school culture.” “Children ought to follow the rules negotiated within the school culture.” “Friends ought to reciprocate the actions of their friends, whether positive or negative.” “Friends ought to reciprocate the actions of their friends, whether positive or negative.” Acceptance is a multidimensional phenomenon. (McCuspie, 1996)

25 Enhancing Social Acceptance Strategies Intervention takes a broad perspective Intervention takes a broad perspective Input needed from administrators, educators, students and parents. Input needed from administrators, educators, students and parents. Develop a social integration plan (Social Skills section on the IEP) Develop a social integration plan (Social Skills section on the IEP) Open and honest discussions about environments that promote acceptance of differences Open and honest discussions about environments that promote acceptance of differences Correct misconceptions; Correct misconceptions; identify how beliefs influences ones actions. identify how beliefs influences ones actions.

26 Use the in-school team as a collaborative problem solving process to ensure positive interactions Use the in-school team as a collaborative problem solving process to ensure positive interactions Include the parents and student Include the parents and student 1. What activities will increase interactions? 1. What activities will increase interactions? 2. What has worked positively versus negatively? 2. What has worked positively versus negatively? 3. How do we increase opportunities for reciprocal interactions? 3. How do we increase opportunities for reciprocal interactions? Observe students in non-teacher directed activities. Observe students in non-teacher directed activities.

27 Provide in-service to classroom teachers Provide in-service to classroom teachers Provide classroom teachers with support materials Provide classroom teachers with support materials Parent education is just as critical Parent education is just as critical Advocate for cooperative learning Advocate for cooperative learning Positive interdependence Positive interdependence Face to face instruction Face to face instruction Individual accountability Individual accountability Interpersonal small group skills Interpersonal small group skills Group processing Group processing

28 Use assessment instruments and checklists to guide your observations and monitor progress Use assessment instruments and checklists to guide your observations and monitor progress Provide direct instruction on social skills Provide direct instruction on social skills Provide instruction on visual impairment Provide instruction on visual impairment Frequently visit the classroom and facilitate interactions – without doing for! Frequently visit the classroom and facilitate interactions – without doing for! Encourage positive thinking – optimism by paying attention to students explanatory style Encourage positive thinking – optimism by paying attention to students explanatory style

29 “Things are neither good nor bad but thinking makes them so.” (Shakespeare)


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