Presentation on theme: "DEFINING SEVERE DISABILITIES Most educators today maintain that developmental levels have little relevance to this population and instead emphasize that."— Presentation transcript:
DEFINING SEVERE DISABILITIES Most educators today maintain that developmental levels have little relevance to this population and instead emphasize that a student with severe disabilities—regardless of age— is one who needs instruction in basic skills, such as getting from place to place independently, communicating with others, controlling bowel and bladder functions, and self-feeding. W Most children without disabilities acquire these basic skills in the first 5 years of life, but the student with severe disabilities needs special instruction to do so. W The basic-skills definition makes it clear that special education for students with severe disabilities must not focus on traditional academic instruction. The Association for Persons with Severe Disabilities (TASH) definition: individuals of all ages who require extensive ongoing support in more than one major life activity in order to participate in integrated community settings and to enjoy a quality of life that is available to citizens with fewer or no disabilities. Support may be required for life activities such as mobility, communication, self-care, and learning, as necessary for independent living, employment and self-sufficiency. T 13.1 W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e, 2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.
CHARACTERISTICS OF STUDENTS WITH SEVERE DISABILITIES W Slow acquisition rates for learning new skills W Poor generalization and maintenance of newly learned skills W Limited communication skills W Impaired physical and motor development W Deficits in self-help skills W Infrequent constructive behavior and interaction W Frequent inappropriate behavior Despite the intense challenges their disabilities impose upon them, many students with severe disabilities exhibit warmth, persistence, determination, a sense of humor, sociability, and various other desirable traits. T 13.2 W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e, 2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.
DEAF-BLINDNESS IDEA defines students with deaf-blindness as a combination of both auditory and visual disabilities that causes such severe communication and other developmental and learning needs that the persons cannot properly be educated in special education programs solely for children and youth with hearing impairments, visual impairments, or severe disabilities, without supplementary assistance to address their education needs due to these dual, concurrent disabilities. (IDEA, 1990, sec. 1422) W the intellectual level of students with dual sensory impairments ranges from giftedness (as in the case of Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing at about 16 months of age) to profound mental retardation W over 90% of students labeled deaf-blind have some functional hearing and/or vision and can make use of information presented in those modalities W when used in instruction, however, auditory and visual stimuli must be enhanced and the students' attention directed toward them W tactile teaching techniques involving the sense of touch are used to supplement the information obtained through visual and auditory modes. W dual communication boards can help students who are deaf-blind discriminate the receptive or expressive functions of responses from a communication partner T 13.3 W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e, 2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.
AUTISM autism a disability marked by severe impairment of communication, social, and emotional functioning, usually accompanied by severe intellectual impairment The essential features of the condition typically appear prior to 30 months of age, and consist of disturbances of (1) developmental rates and/or sequences; (2) responses to sensory stimuli; (3) speech, language, and cognitive capacities; and (4) capacities to relate to people, events, and objects (Autism Society of America). W autism occurs in approximately 5 to 15 of every 10,000 children W boys are affected four to five times more often than girls W although the precise cause of autism is unknown, it almost certainly is of biological or organic origin W six frequently observed characteristics (Lovaas & Newsom, 1976): Wapparent sensory deficit Wsevere affect isolation Wself-stimulation Wtantrums and self-injurious behavior Wecholalic and psychotic speech Wbehavior deficiencies W Although the prognosis is generally considered to be extremely poor, with problems existing into adulthood for 90% of cases, recent research evaluating the effects of intensive early intervention based on principles of applied behavior analysis is encouraging. T 13.4 W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e, 2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.
CURRICULUM CONSIDERATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH SEVERE DISABILITIES Functionality Functional skills are immediately useful to a student, frequently required in school and nonschool environments, result in less dependence on others, and allow the student to participate in less restrictive environments. Chronological Age-appropriateness Students with severe disabilities should participate in activities that are appropriate for same-age peers without disabilities. Making Choices Special educators should recognize the importance of choice-making, as a way of making activities meaningful and as an indicator of quality of life for students with severe disabilities. Communication Skills Instruction and supports in the area of communication for persons with severe disabilities must increasingly focus on the development of functional communication (i.e., communication that "works”). Recreational and Leisure Skills Children with severe disabilities may not learn appropriate and satisfying recreational skills unless they are specifically taught. Prioritizing and Selecting Instructional Targets It is seldom, if ever, possible to design and implement a teaching program to deal with all of the learning needs and challenging behaviors presented by an individual with severe disabilities. One of the greatest responsibilities a special educator undertakes in his role as a member of an IEP team is the selection of instructional objectives. T 13.5 W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e, 2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.
INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS FOR STUDENTS WITH SEVERE DISABILTIES W Students with severe disabilities seldom acquire complex skills through imitation and observation alone. W Their learning and behavior problems are so extreme and so significant that instruction must be carefully planned and executed. W The teacher must know what skill to teach, why it is important to teach it, how to teach it, and how to recognize that the student has learned the skill. Careful attention should be given to the following components of an instructional program: W The student's current level of performance must be precisely assessed. W The skill to be taught must be defined clearly. W The skills may need to be broken down into smaller component steps. W The teacher must provide a clear prompt or cue to the child. W The student must receive feedback and reinforcement from the teacher. W Strategies that promote generalization and maintenance must be used. W The student's performance must be carefully measured and evaluated. T 13.6 W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e, 2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.
POSITIVE BEHAVIORAL SUPPORT AND FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT Special education programs are responding to challenging, excessive, or unacceptable behaviors by attempting to: (1) understand the meaning that a behavior has for a student, (2) offer the student a positive alternative behavior, (3) use nonintrusive intervention techniques, and (4) use research-validated strategies that are intended for use in integrated community settings. Called positive behavioral support, this approach begins with a functional assessment of the problem behavior. Although functional assessment refers to a variety of behavior assessment methodologies for determining the environmental variables that are setting the occasion for and maintaining challenging behaviors, it usually consists of these three steps (Horner & Carr, 1997): 1. Structured interviews are conducted with teachers, family members, and others who know the child well to find out the circumstances that typically surround the occurrence and nonoccurrence of the problem behavior and the reactions the behavior usually evokes from others. 2. Systematic observations of the child are conducted to learn (a) the environmental context and events that covary with the problem behavior (e.g., transitions from one classroom or activity to another, task difficulty); (b) the intensity, duration, and form of the problem behavior; and (c) the events that follow the problems behavior and may function to maintain it (e.g., teacher attention, withdrawal of task demands). 3. Functional analysis (i.e., experimental manipulation) of the variables identified in steps 1 and 2 is carried out to verify their "function" in either triggering or maintaining the problem behavior. T 13.8 W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e, 2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.