Presentation on theme: "Standard # 2 Paraeducator Training"— Presentation transcript:
1 Standard # 2 Paraeducator Training Development and Characteristics of LearnersOverview of DisabilitiesThis is the title slide for the presentationIt can be displayed while participants are entering and getting settled.It can also be used during breaks and when the session is completed.Presenters will make the following points before the presentation:1. Reminder about cell phones2. Introductions.3. What’s in handouts—Go through handout package and all materials. Be sure to point out that the PowerPoint miniatures give all the information that is going to be on the slides so participants don’t have to write everything down.Standard # 2Paraeducator Training
2 Local PolicyYour local district’s policies regarding paraeducator job descriptions, duties, and responsibilities provide the final word!This is a disclaimer that refers participants to their local district policies for the final word on paraeducator duties and responsibilities since there is a wide variance among districts across the Commonwealth.
3 Agenda Characteristics of student development Identify thirteen (13) disability categories as listed in IDEACharacteristics of the disabilityIssues related to the disabilityDiscuss paraeducator’s role in supporting students with disabilitiesPresenters can go over the agenda items as printed on the slide.In today’s session we are going to answer the following questions:What are some factors around student development?What are the thirteen disability categories found in the Federal IDEA Regulations?What are the characteristics and issues related to those disabilities?What is the Pareducator’s role in supporting students with disabilities?
4 Learner Outcomes Participants will be able to: Recognize importance of student developmentIdentify thirteen disability categoriesList characteristics of the disabilityDiscuss issues related to the disabilityDescribe the paraeducator’s role in supporting students with disabilitiesThe purpose of this training is to help Paraeducators learn more about students with disabilities. When you leave this session we hope you will be able to do the things that are listed on this slide. Remember, first and foremost, your job is to help the student become an independent learner. An independent learner is one who has the skills to be able to access information and use it; problem solve situations; and apply learning appropriately.Recognize importance of student development and how it effects behavior and learning at different stages in a student’s life.List and identify characteristics of the 13 disabilities defined in IDEA and PA regulations and discuss issues related to the disability.Be able to discuss how Paraeducators support students with disabilities in a variety of settings. Through a variety of ways which we will discuss at length
5 Student Support Activity Look at handout #1Describe the studentPhysical developmentSocial/emotional skills including behaviorCognitive and communication abilitiesDaily living skillsThink of one student you work with.Describe your student.Physical developmentSocial/emotional skills including behaviorCognitive and communication abilitiesDaily living skillsKeep this sheet handy and as we go through this presentation you may want to add more information about this student.
6 Developmental Expectations: Children learn naturallyAll students grow at their own developmental pace.Some students experience delays in their development.When you think of a baby and how he or she is growing, you notice things like how soon he or she smiles, sits up, rolls over, or how well he or she walks, talks, holds a spoon, and feeds himself or herself. Children learn naturally during this time, by doing, by watching you and/or other students, and by being taught how to do different things. Because you know each student so well from daily contact, you might notice that he or she is growing or developing differently than other students of the same age. What you are noticing are changes in different developmental areas. While all students grow and change at their own rate, some students can experience delays in their development. This can be a cause for concern.
7 This is where your assistance is needed. To Teach Effectively……educators must always keep in mind the dynamics and needs of the group as well as the individual characteristics and needs of each student in the group…This is where your assistance is needed.Read the quote.Discusses differences such as gender, temperament, interests, learning styles, life experiences, culture, special needs, second language learners, etc.No matter how much students may resemble each other in their patterns of dev., every student brings specific interests, experiences and learning styles to the classroom.You will need different strategies to help all students succeed as learners.Your understanding of individual differences will help you respond to students in ways that make every student feel comfortable and ready to learn.
8 How Children Develop and Learn Adults must know how students are working developmentally, as well as what makes each student unique.In order to plan and implement appropriate instruction and learning activities, adults must know what students are like developmentally as well as what makes each student unique. This means understanding the sequence of growth and social/emotional , physical, cognitive , and language development.It also means learning about each child’s strengths, interests, needs, experiences, and learning styles.By knowing students, adults can build relationships that help them to make decisions about how to support learning and development.
9 How Children Develop and Learn Child development is the accepted body of knowledge about how students grow and learn.Read slide.Research into human development covers all stages of life. As adults working with students of varying needs and developmental levels, access to information about what to expect at each level of development can help in planning and understanding student behavior and interests.
10 How Children Develop and Learn Five areas of development that make up the whole child:PhysicalCognitiveSpeech and LanguageSelf helpSocial/emotionalRead slide.Let’s look briefly at what each area of development represents.
11 The Five Primary Developmental Areas Physical development – the ability to move, see, and hear Cognitive development - the ability to think and learn Speech and Language development - the ability to talk, express needsThe five primary developmental areas are:Ability to move, see, and hear - physical development, this is an area where disabilities may be easier to recognize as a student develops and are often caught early because they are the most visible areas of development. They ability to hear begins before birth. At birth, the new born will recognize it’s own mother’s voice and turn their head toward her.Ability to talk, express needs-language and speech development - development in this area begins at birth through crying and quickly moves to other ‘baby’ sounds. Soon parents and caregivers are able to understand the child’s needs by the way they cry. Again we notice early if a student is not developing in this area. Most students are able to understand more that they can convey through speech in the first few years, they are able to express their needs and wants in many ways.Ability to relate to others-social and emotional development – Parents often can’t wait to hear their baby coo, laugh and respond to social overtures they make. Child learn very early how to gain attention and entertain others.
12 The Five Primary Developmental Areas Self help - (or adaptive development) the ability to eat, dress, and take care of themselves Social and emotional development – the ability to relate to othersAbility to eat, dress, and take care of themselves-self help (or adaptive development) – ‘My do it” is often one of the first sentences students say. They are eager to learn to do things themselves. Babies who are bottle fed often learn to grab and hold their bottle, when other foods are started, they try to grab the spoon. They learn to undress before they can dress themselves.Ability to think and learn-cognitive development – students are curious about their world. They love to explore using their senses to find out about new or different things. They try to figure out how things work and love to take things apart and put them back together again. They are good at solving problems if adults give them a safe place and time to think things through.In all areas of development, learning and refining skills is life long. When we are interested in something or see a need, we pursue information and refine skills to meet our needs and desires.
13 How Children Develop and Learn These developmental areas are interrelated – development in one area affects other areas.Read slide.Children grow and develop at different rates in different developmental areas. Often the ‘range’ of ‘normal’ development is broad depending on the child’s interest and needs. Some students are interested in developing physical skills needed for outdoor play or sports, along with social skills that are necessary to get along with others. Other students may be interested in speech and language development along with reading and writing to express their thoughts and ideas.
14 How Children Develop and Learn All students bring to school a set of unique characteristics and experiences that affect how they respond to school experiences, relate to others, and learn.Read slide.To support students, adults need to learn about each child’s strengths, interests, needs, experiences and learning styles. Some of the students who come into the classroom may have never left the town where they live, may never have visited a zoo or been to the beach. In the same respect, other students may have traveled extensively in cars, airplanes and trains, been to many zoos and ‘Sea World’ and spend a week each summer at the beach. The first student only knows a elephant from pictures in a book or on TV. They still think they are the size they see on the TV. The second student knows that elephants are very big and understand more about size differences.By knowing students, teachers can build relationships that help them to make decisions about how to support learning and development.
15 How Children Develop and Learn Effective teachers and other adults learn about each student in order to individualize teaching and learning.Read slide.Taking time to know each student gives the adult a clearer picture of how to individualize and meet the student where they are in their learning , skills and abilities. It helps know what the ‘next steps’ are and how to plan to move the student along the developmental continuum.
16 We need to remember that we see the world differently than students We need to remember that we see the world differently than students. Often they think we know what they are thinking. We need to ask them about the thoughts behind their work.This picture was drawn by Joshua when he was 4 1/2. It was right after Christmas, when his Aunt Jennie and her fiancée, Kevin, were visiting their family. Everyone was talking about their wedding plans for May. On Dec. 17, Joshua’s newest brother, Jonah, was born. As with the other two students, Julie nursed Jonah. About a week after everyone settled back into their daily routines, Joshua drew this picture. What is it about? Let participants guess.It is not about Julie nursing and the baby’s crib with toys in it, as about 99% of participants guess. Joshua is going to be the ring bearer at Jennie and Kevin’s wedding in May. He is holding the rings in front of himself as he walks down the aisle past the people in the pews. He wrote his name at the top.
17 Child Development and Disabilities There is a definite relationship between the way a student grows and develops and a disability. Take for example, a student with brittle bone disease but who is age appropriate in speech and language, cognitive and social skills. However, because of the disability is not able to walk. A very young student may need assistance with mobility and must be pushed in their wheelchair. As the student gets older, they may have the ability to control an electric wheel chair and move wherever they choose.Child development impacts the disabilityThe disability impacts child development
18 Student Support Activity Handout #1 Review the skills and abilities of a student you know.Have participants look at Handout #1 and focus on question #2Think of one student you work with.What does the student do well?What does the student find challenging?What skills is the student currently working on?Keep this sheet handy and as we go through this presentation you may want to add more information about this student.Now that we have looked at the student first as a person, now let’s take a look at Disability Categories.
19 Introduction to Disability Categories Need to identify the disability:For eligibilityTo better match related services to student needsMatch individual development levels with appropriate supportA student has to have one of the 13 disabilities listed in IDEA (Individual with Disabilities Education Act) in order to meet the first part of the two-part eligibility definition for special education. The two-part eligibility definition can easily be put into the form of two questions. At the initial IEP meeting, first question is very simply "Does the student have a disability?" If the answer is "no", the student is not eligible. If the answer is "yes", the second question is "Is the student in need of Specially Designed Instruction?" If the answer is "no", the student is not eligible. If the answer to the second question is "yes", an IEP is developed. So in all cases, the student must have a disability and be in need of specially designed instruction in order for an Individualized Education Program to be developed.
20 Thirteen disability categories as listed in IDEA AutismDeaf-blindnessDeafnessHearing impairmentEmotional disturbanceMental retardationMultiple disabilitiesThe next two slides show the list of 13 disability categories that a student must fit into to meet the first part of the qualifying definition. These disability categories have very specific definitions in the federal and state regulations. For the purposes of today’s training, we will be using informal descriptions.1. Autism-students with this disability have difficulties with communication, behavior, social skills.2. Deaf-blindness- students with this disability have both a vision and a hearing loss, and this combination causes great educational need.3. Deafness- when a student hears so little that he is unable to learn through the hearing process even with the use of hearing aids.4. Hearing impairment-a hearing disability, not as severe as deafness where the student has some hearing with or without hearing aids or amplification.5. Emotional disturbance-when, over a long period of time, a child’s behavior or mood interferes with his ability to learn.6. Mental Retardation-children with this disability have low intelligence and generally have difficulty learning simple tasks such as dressing, speaking, playing, and toileting.7. Multiple Disabilities-several disabilities together (such as mental retardation, along with blindness or orthopedic problems) that cause a need for many educational services.
21 Thirteen disability categories as listed in IDEA Orthopedic impairmentOther health impairmentSpecific learning disabilitySpeech/language impairmentTraumatic brain injuryVisual impairmentThis is a continuation of the list of 13 “official” disabilities from IDEA.8. Orthopedic Impairment-children with this disability have skeletal problems (which may be first seen at birth [clubfoot, cerebral palsy], or may be the result of disease [polio], or accident [amputation]).9. Other health impairment-children with this disability have limited or heightened sensitivities to their environment, or limited strength or endurance caused by health problems like asthma, attention deficit disorder, diabetes or epilepsy.10. Specific learning disability-this is a disorder in one of the basic ways we process, use or relay information like listening, thinking, reading, writing, spelling or math calculation. Most students are in this category.11. Speech/language impairment-a disability that affects communication such as stuttering or not being able to make certain vocal sounds.12. Traumatic brain injury-a disability caused by a head injury that may impair memory, problem solving or judgment.13. Visual impairment- an inability to see that cannot be corrected by lenses or surgery..
22 Disability Categories: Autism Autism is a developmental disorder significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication. Students with this disability have difficulties with communication, behavior, and social skills.There is no one test for a diagnosis of autism . It is diagnosed through observation of the student’s behavior. Autism is frequently characterized as a “Spectrum Disorder” because of the wide range of disabilities included under its umbrella. It includes:Autism - the characteristics necessary for the diagnosis of autistic disorder include problems with communication (beginning conversations, letting others know what you want or need, etc.), with interacting socially with others (being polite, knowing how to join groups, etc.), and having a very limited set of interests and activities (only wanting to talk about trains, or dinosaurs, or airline schedules, for example). Some students with Autism may relate to people, objects or events poorly, prefer an unchanging environment, and demonstrate repetitive movements or sounds.Childhood Disintegrative Disorder- It begins prior to age 10 following at least two years of normal development and is more common among boys. Children with this disorder lose many skills that they already had in language, in social skills, in bowel and bladder control, and in play and motor skills. Frequently they have severe mental retardation and seizures.Asperger’s Syndrome – often referred to as high functioning autism; these students have many of the characteristics mentioned in the discussion of Autism but usually have average to above average intellectual ability. Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome tend to have communication skills like other students their age, but are often slightly less developed in gross motor skills than other students with Autism.PDD-NOS – Pervasive Developmental Delay Not Otherwise Specified – this diagnosis was introduced so that people with problems and disabilities related to autism, but without all of the characteristics required for a definition of autism, could obtain a classification and obtain the services they need.
23 Characteristics of Autism Difficulties understanding spoken languageDifficulties expressing needs verballyPoor pronunciation and voice controlMisunderstanding social situationsProblems in understanding gesturesUnusual responses to touch, taste, smell, and/or soundsCHARACTERISTICS OF AUTISM:The term Pervasive Developmental Disorders was first used in the 1980s to describe a class of disorders with similar symptoms or characteristics. The term occasionally causes some confusion, because one of the disorders underneath the umbrella has a very similar name---PDDNOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). As a result, PDD and PDDNOS are sometimes used interchangeably. A doctor, for example, may tell a parent that his or her child has PDD. This may stir up confusion further down the diagnostic and treatment road, because PDD actually refers to the overall category of disorders. It's not a diagnostic label. Some doctors, however, are hesitant to diagnose very young children with a specific type of PDD, such as Autistic Disorder or Asperger's Syndrome, and therefore only use the general category label of PDD. In other cases, the doctor may say PDD as a shorter way of talking about PDDNOS.People with ASDs have serious impairments with social, emotional, and communication skills. They might repeat certain behaviors again and again and might have trouble changing their daily routine. Many people with ASDs also have different ways of learning, paying attention, or reacting to things. ASDs begin before the age of 3 and last throughout a person's life. It is important to note that some people without ASDs might also have some of these symptoms. But for people with ASDs, the impairment is bad enough to make life very challenging.
24 Characteristics of Autism Clumsiness in skilled movementsAloofness and social withdrawalResistance to changeSocially embarrassing behaviorMay appear fearfulMay play differently, line up or spin objectsOften better with visual skillsPeople with ASDs have serious impairments with social, emotional, and communication skills. They might repeat certain behaviors again and again and might have trouble changing their daily routine. Many people with ASDs also have different ways of learning, paying attention, or reacting to things. ASDs begin before the age of 3 and last throughout a person's life. It is important to note that some people without ASDs might also have some of these symptoms. But for people with ASDs, the impairment is bad enough to make life very challenging.
25 Characteristics of Autism What might you do?provide structure in routine and classroom environmentprepare students for changes in routineuse very concrete languagemake language visualobserve activities to identify support needsprovide choicesBecause students with this disability have difficulty processing information that is coming to them from their environment, we have to help them to organize what they see, hear, and feel around them. One way to do this is to help them to structure their day. Show them through the use of pictures and personal and class schedules when things will happen during the school day (for example, reading comes before recess, and math happens right after lunch). Label areas in the classroom for specific activities such as art and group work.Students with autism also have difficulty with sudden changes in the daily schedule…if a fire drill is planned for Tuesday or a field trip for Friday, put this on the student’s schedule.Humor and sarcasm are often misinterpreted by students with ASD because they use language in a very literal way…saying that it’s “raining cats and dogs” will have very little meaning. Instead of asking the student to “run this note up to the Office,” ask them instead to “take it to the Office.”“Making language visual” is a key concept to remember when working with this population. Using a sequence of pictures to describe the steps in a task, or encouraging a student to write a checklist of things that he needs to remember for the next day’s assignment will help him to function better.And because it is frequently hard for these students to tell you what they like and don’t like, it is important for you to be a good observer…what toys do they pick up; what people do they stand close to; what foods do they choose? All of this information will help the team of people working with this student to be better able to develop a menu of items that the student responds to.
26 Disability Categories: Deaf-Blindness Deaf-blindness is the combination of a visual impairment and a hearing loss.Educational approaches to address only one of these problems is not be the best way to help a student learn.Deaf-blindness is a combination of vision and hearing loss, not necessarily complete blindness or complete deafness. Students who are deaf-blind are very limited in their ability to receive input about the world around them. Vision and hearing are “distance senses.” That is, they allow us to know how far things are from us and we from them. For people with this disability, the world extends only to their fingertips.Students with deaf-blindness may need to develop skills, such as tactile learning. Tactile learning is exploring and learning about the world through the sense of touch. Representing things by touch is necessary for some students with this disability. It includes things like tangible objects and symbols, Braille, and tactile maps.Tangible objects are things that can be seen, felt, smelled. Tactile maps are vacuum formed maps with lines, ridges and geographical formations in relief.There is a wide range of developmental ability among deaf-blind individuals from those who are gifted to those who are profoundly handicapped. Deaf-blindness may create additional problems in the areas of mobility and communication.
27 Characteristics of Deaf-Blindness What might you do?Teach through touch to help with extensive sensory lossHand-under-hand is an essential instructional strategy5. A child who is deafblind and often apparently quite helpless tends to elicit helping behaviors from caregivers. One of the most prevalent kinds of help that people give is “hand-over-hand” manipulation (the teacher’s or parent’s hands over the hands of the child). Done too routinely and exclusively, hand-over-hand touch conditions the hands of the child who is deafblind to be passive, to wait for direction from the hands of another, and to avoid reaching out into the world for information and stimulation. It also shifts the child’s attention from the object he is touching to the hands which are on top of his. In the majority of situations, the most skillful way of touching the child (or adult) who is deafblind is hand-under-hand. When the child’s hand is exploring an object, or part of his own body, or the body of another, a gentle touch under part of the child’s hand, or directly alongside her hand, becomes the tactile equivalent of the pointing gesture. Such a touch establishes a mutual topic and lays the groundwork for language development. The precise nature of this touch is important. Hand-under-hand touching of this kind must be done carefully, with three goals in mind.This hand-under-hand touch (or finger-alongside-finger touch)is noncontrolling.allows the child to know that you share the experience of touching the same object or of making the same kind of movements.does not obstruct the most important parts of the child’s own experience of any object he may be touching.
28 Characteristics of Deaf-Blindness What might you do?Maximize the use of vision and hearingLearn successful procedures for “greeting” each studentHelp students orient themselves to classroom, bathroom, cafeteria, etc.You may be the eyes and ears for the student. They may not be able to receive the same information that we receive easily through our vision and hearing. Know as much as you can about how they use their vision and hearing. Acknowledging the impact of deaf-blindness on learning is the first step toward understanding how to interact with student.Because students with this disability may not be aware that you are there, or that you are approaching them, you will need to develop a system of greeting. Often different people within one location, such as a school, will agree to a specific system (the teacher will always touch him lightly on his right upper arm, the nurse will touch his left, the gym teacher his hand, etc.). Another useful technique is to use “signatures,” that is wear a certain ring, or a watch so that the student can identify who you are.Object Cueing is a technique that is often used to help these students learn about their surroundings (orient themselves). For example, a cup is used to mean “Snack time, go to the table”, diaper is used to mean “Let’s change your diaper”, a backpack is used to mean “Here’s the bus. Time to go home.” Orientation of a student to their various environments is likely to be something that you will do on a daily basis. Help the student to find their way around the classroom by walking in front of him, and leading him to his desk or chair. Put a piece of Velcro on the back of the chair so that he can identify which one is his.
29 Disability Categories: Deafness Deafness is a hearing loss so severe that the student cannot get information through the sense of hearing, even with the use of amplification.Amplification includes hearing aids and frequency modulation (FM). Students may also use hearing aids in order to get information about environmental sounds.Students may have a significant degree of hearing loss or may be totally deaf.Students often rely on visual and tactile cues to gain information about the world around them.Paraeducators who work with students who are deaf have many roles: note takers (copy content for students….note taking is not a substitute for interpreting), C-print captionists (use laptop computer and software to type what is being said), or learning facilitators (explain and clarify academic content).It is very common for Paraeducators to work closely with interpreters. Paraeducators may need to use sign language or other communication methods that the student uses to be most effective.
30 Characteristics of Deafness May exhibit unintelligible or no speechPossible speech and/or language delaysUsually use hearing aidsMay use assistive listening devicesMay use sign languageCHARACTERISTICS OF DEAFNESS:It is useful to know that sound is measured by its loudness or intensity (measured in units called decibels, dB) and its frequency or pitch (measured in units called hertz, Hz). Deafness can occur in either or both areas, and may exist in only one ear or in both ears. Deafness can be described as severe or profound, depending upon how well a person can hear the intensities or frequencies most greatly associated with speech. Generally, only children whose hearing loss is greater than 90 decibels (dB) are considered deaf for the purposes of educational placement.There are four types of hearing loss. Conductive hearing losses are caused by diseases or obstructions in the outer or middle ear (the conduction pathways for sound to reach the inner ear). Conductive hearing losses usually affect all frequencies of hearing evenly and do not result in severe losses. A person with a conductive hearing loss usually is able to use a hearing aid well or can be helped medically or surgically.Sensorineural hearing losses result from damage to the delicate sensory hair cells of the inner ear or the nerves which supply it. These hearing losses can range from mild to profound. They often affect the person's ability to hear certain frequencies more than others. Thus, even with amplification to increase the sound level, a person with a sensorineural hearing loss may perceive distorted sounds, sometimes making the successful use of a hearing aid impossible.A mixed hearing loss refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural loss and means that a problem occurs in both the outer or middle and the inner ear. A central hearing loss results from damage or impairment to the nerves or nuclei of the central nervous system, either in the pathways to the brain or in the brain itself.
31 Characteristics of Deafness Instruct the student in how to make sure that the device is working well: check the volume, be sure the batteries are charged, that the device is on, etc. Remember, the goal is that the student will learn to do this independently.You will be working with the interpreter, if the student has one, to be sure that homework assignments are understood, and that the student has the vocabulary correct.What might you do?Help the student learn to operate their listening deviceMeet with interpreter to share homework, vocabulary
32 Characteristics of Deafness What might you do?Look at environment for bestseatingWork with others to follow goodcommunication behaviorFacilitate student learningConsider where the student needs to be in the classroom for optimum listening…does he need to be in the front, or in a corner to minimize distractions?You can be a positive force in helping others to communicate well with your student. Help them to follow good communication behavior: be sure that they have the child’s attention, that only one person is communicating at a time, and remind them to avoid talking while the student is focusing on written assignments.You can facilitate student learning in the following ways:-place labels on objects within the classroom (encourage parents to do the same at home) so that students will see the printed word and associate the word with the object,-remember that “line of sight” communication is very important. The Paraeducator should face the student and position himself/herself in such a way so that the student does not have to look into bright light coming from a window or light fixture. This applies when signing or speaking to a student.
33 Disability Categories: Hearing Impairment For a student with a hearing loss hearing aids can help the student hear more, but do not necessarily give the student normal hearing.Depending on when the impairment occurs and how severe it is, the student may also have problems with speech and language.A student with a hearing impairment may use sign language or rely on speech reading (understanding another person by watching the lips and face) to communicate with others.Reading and writing skills may be below where you would expect them to be and the structure and order of words in a sentence may be difficult.Because of communication difficulties, interactions with students their own age may be difficult.Some students with hearing impairments talk too loudly or too softly, or make unintentional noises.Students with hearing impairment frequently depend on vision and hearing together to gain information about their world.Even with amplification, students do not get the same auditory information as someone with normal hearing.Hearing impairment means an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. It is not as severe as deafness.
34 Characteristics of Hearing Impairment May exhibit unintelligible or no speechPossible speech and/or language delaysUsually use hearing aidsMay use assistive listening devicesMay use sign languageCHARACTERISTICS OF HEARING IMPAIRMENTS:It is useful to know that sound is measured by its loudness or intensity (measured in units called decibels, dB) and its frequency or pitch (measured in units called hertz, Hz). Impairments in hearing can occur in either or both areas, and may exist in only one ear or in both ears. Hearing loss is generally described as slight, mild, moderate, severe, or profound, depending upon how well a person can hear the intensities or frequencies most greatly associated with speech. Generally, children whose hearing loss is less than 90 decibels (dB) are considered Hearing Impaired for the purposes of educational placement.There are four types of hearing loss. Conductive hearing losses are caused by diseases or obstructions in the outer or middle ear (the conduction pathways for sound to reach the inner ear). Conductive hearing losses usually affect all frequencies of hearing evenly and do not result in severe losses. A person with a conductive hearing loss usually is able to use a hearing aid well or can be helped medically or surgically.Sensorineural hearing losses result from damage to the delicate sensory hair cells of the inner ear or the nerves which supply it. These hearing losses can range from mild to profound. They often affect the person's ability to hear certain frequencies more than others. Thus, even with amplification to increase the sound level, a person with a sensorineural hearing loss may perceive distorted sounds, sometimes making the successful use of a hearing aid impossible.A mixed hearing loss refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural loss and means that a problem occurs in both the outer or middle and the inner ear. A central hearing loss results from damage or impairment to the nerves or nuclei of the central nervous system, either in the pathways to the brain or in the brain itself.
35 Characteristics of Hearing Impairment What might you do?Optimize learning environmentOrganize their instructional materialsCommunicate clearlyPromote self-advocacyWhen looking at the learning environment, consider ways that you can make it the most effective for the student. For instance, allow the student to sit in the front, avoiding talking when the student is concentrating on what is being said by the teacher, and try to find way to minimize distractions.You may be helping the student to organize their instructional materials: highlighting parts of the test or task and asking the student to repeat instructions after they are given to be sure they understood correctly. If you are acting as a note taker, you will be providing access to content in a written format. Remember that this is not a substitute for the use of interpreters because you will be delivering content only and not relaying other things going on in the classroom.Speak naturally, clearly, at a normal pace, and be sure the student is watching your face.Get into the habit of repeating student comments, answers to questions, and questions in need of answers, so that all students can get the benefit of knowing both sides of a conversation. Encourage the student to become a strong self-advocate…to ask questions when they don’t understand, to participate in classroom discussions and interactions, and to become comfortable with their disability.
36 Activity Look at Handout #3 Consider the disabilities that we have just discussed: autism, deaf-blind, deafness, and hearing impairment.Answer the three questions on the handout relating to these disability categories.Go to Handout 3 and fill in the information concerning the four disabilities we just discussed.Allow 3-5 minutes.
37 Disability Categories: Emotional Disturbance A condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics which occur over a period of time, and to a marked degree, which affect a child’s ability to learn:difficulty building or maintaining interpersonal relationshipsinappropriate behavior or feelingsThe inability to learn cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factorsStudents with this disability have one or several of the characteristics that you see on this slide and the next. They have difficulty learning, and yet don’t have a problem with vision, or hearing, or have a health issue like seizures.They also don’t seem to have the ability to get along with others.And they often have poor attendance, may not be accepted by others and perhaps be inattentive or indifferent.
39 Characteristics of Emotional Disturbance Students with the most serious emotional disturbances may exhibit:distorted thinkingexcessive anxiety,bizarre motor actsabnormal mood swingsMany students who do not have emotional disturbances may display some of these same behaviors at various times during their development. However, when students have an emotional disturbance, these behaviors continue over long periods of time. Their behavior thus signals that they are not coping with their environment or peers. Educational ImplicationsThe educational programs for students with an emotional disturbance need to include attention to providing emotional and behavioral support as well as helping them to master academics, develop social skills, and increase self-awareness, self-control, and self-esteem. A large body of research exists regarding methods of providing students with positive behavioral support (PBS) in the school environment, so that problem behaviors are minimized and positive, appropriate behaviors are fostered. (See the resource list at the end of this publication for more information on PBS.) It is also important to know that, within the school setting:For a student whose behavior impedes learning (including the learning of others), the team developing the child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) needs to consider, if appropriate, strategies to address that behavior, including positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports.Students eligible for special education services under the category of emotional disturbance may have IEPs that include psychological or counseling services. These are important related services which are available under law and are to be provided by a qualified social worker, psychologist, guidance counselor, or other qualified personnel.Career education (both vocational and academic) is also a major part of secondary education and should be a part of the transition plan included in every adolescent’s IEP.There is growing recognition that families, as well as their students, need support, respite care, intensive case management, and a collaborative, multi-agency approach to services. Many communities are working toward providing these wrap-around services. There are a growing number of agencies and organizations actively involved in establishing support services in the community.Info from
40 Characteristics of Emotional Disturbance What might you do?Keep rules shortCheck for understandingProvide verbal cues to students to remind them to prepare for changing classes or going homeGive written cues such as schedules or To Do ListsRemain patient!Don’t give students a long list of what they have to do, when they have to do it, and what they need to do next. Keep the rules brief, and then take the time to be sure that the student understands. Ask them to repeat the information to you. Or watch them briefly to see that they they are doing what was requested and doing it correctly.Use a behavior support plan that has been developed by the student’s team. Make sure that you understand the expectations and consequences for the student if an infraction occurs. Make sure that you know what to do if unacceptable behavior happens. You are not responsible for the student’s behavior, but you are responsible for your reaction to the student’s behavior.Don’t hesitate to help the student with organizational reminders, either verbal or written (a look, a gesture, a list on the board, a schedule, etc.). When they comply, you can “catch them being being good” and reward them with a smile or praise.Your patience and encouragement will go a long way in helping students to be successful. Use humor to defuse or divert student problems.
41 Disability Categories: Mental Retardation Students with this disability have impaired mental development which adversely affects their educational performance, and who exhibit impaired adaptive behavior in learning, maturation, or social development.A student with mental retardation will:- require more time to learn a task- show lower academic achievement than peers in academic areas- socially mature more slowly and behave less maturely than their peersmay have poor motor coordination.have difficulty with activities of everyday life, such as using the telephone or dressing appropriately.Individuals with mental retardation often have difficulty applying learned information to new situations (generalizing). For instance, if a young person with mental retardation learns to use a vending machine in the school cafeteria, we can’t assume that they will be able to use on in the mall. We may have to teach that skill separately.There is a wide range of student ability within the category of mental retardation.Students with mild retardation show social, emotional and mental immaturity, but can achieve some degree of academic success.Students with moderate retardation often require continuous supervision and are less capable academically and socially.Students with severe to profound retardation are usually non-verbal and may have multiple disabilities.
42 Characteristics of Mental Retardation Intelligence testing score of 70 or belowDifficulties with learning, communication, social, academic, vocational, and independent living skillsVaries: mild, moderate, severe, profoundThere are many signs of mental retardation.Many students with mental retardation need help with adaptive skills, which are skills needed to live, work, and play in the community. Teachers and parents can help a student work on these skills at both school and home. Some of these skills include:communicating with others;taking care of personal needs (dressing, bathing, going to the bathroom);health and safety;home living (helping to set the table, cleaning the house, or cooking dinner);social skills (manners, knowing the rules of conversation, getting along in a group, playing a game);reading, writing, and basic math; andas they get older, skills that will help them in the workplace.Supports or changes in the classroom (called adaptations) help most students with mental retardation. Some common changes that help students with mental retardation are listed below under "Tips for Teachers." The resources below also include ways to help students with mental retardation.Source:
43 Characteristics of Mental Retardation What might you do?Make instruction and practice more concrete and personally relevant by relating them to tasks and experiences the student understandsProvide additional practice on skillsProvide skill practice and lots of repetitionBreak down tasks in to small units-promptsTo make a new learning experience more relevant, build the new information on something that the student already knows how to do. For instance, if you are teaching a student how to read their class schedule or roster, begin by making sure that they can identify the names of the days of the week on the schedule, as well as the times for each activity or class. Then move to the larger task of teaching them the schedule.In addition, you should allow a longer time for a response from the student, break the task into smaller steps and teach in smaller parts. Show the student how to do something…don’t just tell him. When teaching a student how to make a sandwich, divide the job into little pieces, demonstrating one at a time, before helping the student to begin to put the steps together.Extra time will be needed to learn most tasks, so be sure to allow the student to have more time to practice the skill that you want him to learn.Offer support in the area of social skills and getting along with other kids. Many students with this disability will not automatically pick up on nonverbal cues (such as when another person is ready to end a conversation) and will need to know appropriate actions and reactions (move away, or say “see you later”, or “goodbye”).Be clear on classroom rules and expectations, and repeat them often. It may be helpful to review what is expected during the next class activity or time period immediately before the student is expected to begin the class or activity.
44 Characteristics of Mental Retardation What might you do?Provide social skill instructionRepeat instructions or activity descriptions;Keep directions simpleOffer support in the area of social skills and getting along with other kids. Many students with this disability will not automatically pick up on nonverbal cues (such as when another person is ready to end a conversation) and will need to know appropriate actions and reactions (move away, or say “see you later”, or “goodbye”).Be clear on classroom rules and expectations, and repeat them often. It may be helpful to review what is expected during the next class activity or time period immediately before the student is expected to begin the class or activity.
45 Disability Categories: Multiple Disabilities Students with multiple disabilities have more than one disabling condition.This term does not include deaf-blindness. Students with multiple disabilities often:-have difficulty with communication/many are non-verbal-frequently have orthopedic problems-have difficulty with daily living skills such as grooming, dressing, feeding and toileting.Many students with multiple disabilities use equipment such as wheelchairs, communication devices, special lifting devices, and feeding tubes.
46 Characteristics of Multiple Disabilities Students with severe or multiple disabilities may exhibit a wide range of characteristics, depending on the combination and severity of disabilities, and the person’s age. There are, however, some traits they may share, including:CharacteristicsPeople with severe or multiple disabilities may exhibit a wide range of characteristics, depending on the combination and severity of disabilities, and the person’s age. There are, however, some traits they may share, including:
47 Characteristics of Multiple Disabilities Limited speech or communicationDifficulty in basic physical mobilityTrouble generalizing skills from one situation to another; and/orA need for support in major life activities (e.g., self-care, leisure, community use, vocational).Limited speech or communication;Difficulty in basic physical mobility;Tendency to forget skills through disuse;Trouble generalizing skills from one situation to another; and/orA need for support in major life activities (e.g., domestic, leisure, community use, vocational).
48 Disability Categories: Multiple Disabilities What might you do?Provide physical support in daily activities: dressing, feeding, toiletingLearn positioning techniquesUse safe lifting techniquesAsk for training in specialized areas (tube feeding, seizures)!Much of the work of the paraeducator with this group of students has to do with daily living activities. It is likely that you will be helping students with dressing (when arriving and departing) as well as instructing them in how to dress them selves. Some students will be able to feed themselves, but you may be preparing their food for others (cutting their food, pureeing it). You may also need to know how to connect feeding tubes…ask for training in this area if you need it.Toileting duties (helping students in the bathroom, lifting them, using special devices, changing diapers) are often part of the paraeducators’ responsibilities. It is also common for paraeducators to be involved in instructing students in toileting skills.Knowing how to safely lift and position a student is important for your safety and the child’s. You will most likely be directed in how to do this by your partner teacher or the physical therapist.It is important that you know what to do in case a student has a seizure. Ask for information about this, as well as for information in other specialized areas such as using communication devices, or connecting to feeding tubes, as mentioned earlier.
49 Disability Categories: Orthopedic Impairment Student with this disability have skeletal or physical problems which may be first seen at birth (e.g., cerebral palsy, spina bifida), may be the result of disease (e.g., meningitis), or may be the result of an accident (e.g., amputation).Students with this disability:-have difficulty with limb and muscle control-some students may have a deteriorating muscle condition such as muscular dystrophy-may be unable to coordinate body movements. Some students have very jerky movements, some are very stiff, while still others are quite limp.-may have speech and mobility problems-may have associated intellectual functioning problems, but not always.-children with this disability show the full range of intellectual levels.
50 Disability Categories: Orthopedic Impairment What might you do?Learn to accommodate the classroom environmentUse assistive devices for writing skills and communicationConsider logistics and plan for inclusionRemove or work around barriers. Typically this means looking at the arrangement of the room and anticipating what will cause a problem for the student ( a blocked pathway, steps, a table that is too low or too high), and removing it if possible, or finding another way around it if it is not.Many students with orthopedic impairments have difficulty writing or holding a pen or a pencil. Assistive devices (computers, adapted switches, knobs and buttons) are available to help with these issues. Some students may use communication devices and it is sometimes the paraeducator’s responsibility to program these for different classes.Inclusion (students with a variety of special needs going to regular education classes) poses some interesting challenges for the special education paraeducator. It is likely that you will be the communicator between the regular and special education teachers. You may be collecting data about the child’s performance in regular ed to share with the special education teacher, and you may be reporting on issues like how well the student is getting along with others in the class, and whether or not he seems to be making friends. It may also be up to you to decide how much you will do for the student you are supporting and yet still allow him to become an independent, self-regulated learner (one capable of making decisions about his own actions).Remember that you will be working with your partner teacher in making these judgments.
51 Disability Categories: Other Health Impairment Students with this disability have limited or heightened sensitivities to their environment, or limited strength or endurance caused by health problems like asthma, diabetes, or epilepsy.The range of abilities and disabilities in this category is very broad and the student involved may experience permanent, temporary, or occasional problems. Some of you may be working with youngsters who, because of their heightened sensitivity to their environment, have difficulty paying attention to instruction. This is known as attention deficit disorder. These students may qualify for special education services under the category of Other Health Impairment. Some of the most common health problems include the following: Allergies- a student with an allergy shows a strong reaction or intolerance to a substance that doesn’t cause problems for most people, such as mold. Reactions may include sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, tiredness, itching, or a rash. Avoiding the substance and/or taking medications will help the student. Fatigue and absenteeism may cause problems with academics. Asthma: usually the result of an allergic reaction that causes the bronchial tubes or lungs (or both) to be blocked by excessive mucous. Could also be triggered by cold air, certain odors (bleach, perfume, etc) or pet hair on your clothes. The student may struggle to breathe, wheeze, turn pale, and perspire. Diabetes: a diabetic’s body is not able to use and properly store sugar because the body is not able to produce enough of the hormone insulin. If proper treatment is not followed serious problems can result, including insulin shock. This can be caused by too much exercise, too little food, or too much nervous tension. Usually, fruit juice, candy, a soft drink, or even a sugar cube can help. A diabetic coma, on the other hand, can occur if the student has had too much sugar. Epilepsy: these students experience seizures, during which time the brain’s nerve cells are charged with extra amounts of electricity causing loss of functions, such as attention, feeling, comprehension, and muscle control.
52 Disability Categories: Other Health Impairment What might you do?Be sure you are aware of serious health problemsGet clear direction on what you need to do in an emergencyMonitor safety and healthYou will need to know whether a student has epilepsy, or diabetes, or allergies, or asthma or whatever. Knowing that, you need to know what to do to help that specific student. For instance, some students with a health impairment are absent from school frequently…sending assignments home, allowing the student to keep an extra set of books at home, shortening assignments, or administering a test orally over the phone, are all ways that you can support a student.You will need to know what to do in an emergency. For instance, if the student that you work with has epilepsy, you need to know how to handle a seizure. There are two types of seizures: called petit mal or absence …lasting for 3-30 seconds, and grand mal or tonic-clonic. During a petit mal the student may appear to be daydreaming or unresponsive. The paraeducator should be aware of signals that a seizure is happening, stay with the student, and record that the seizure happened. During a grand mal or tonic-clonic, the student may fall to the floor, lose consciousness, stiffen muscles and begin jerking movements. In this situation the paraeducator should remain calm, help the student to lie down, and put something soft and flat such as a jacket under the student’ head. Be sure to ask for specific training regarding any student that you are supporting.And finally, as the paraeducator, you may be responsible for ensuring the safety of the student, as well as for monitoring the impairment. You will need to train yourself to be very observant of the student’s physical condition.
53 Activity Look at Handout #3 continued Consider the disabilities that we have just discussed: emotional disturbance, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, and other health impairment.Answer the three questions on the handout relating to these disability categories.Go back to Handout 3 and fill in the information concerning the five disabilities we just discussed.Allow 3-5 minutes.
54 Disability Categories: Specific Learning Disability Learning disability is a general term that describes specific kinds of learning problems. A learning disability can cause a person to have trouble learning and using certain skills. The skills most often affected are: reading, writing, listening, speaking, reasoning, and math.As many as 1 out of every 5 people in the United States has a learning disability. Almost 3 million students (ages 6 through 21) have some form of a learning disability and receive special education in school. In fact, over half of all students who receive special education have a learning disability (Twenty-fourth Annual Report to Congress, U.S. Department of Education, 2002).Students with this disability may:-have difficulty taking in information (reading and listening), or may have trouble discriminating between sounds (e.g. mistakes “cat” for “cap”)-processing information (understanding and relating new information ) and so may have difficulty connecting information that they hear in science class today, with the experiment that they did yesterday.Students with specific learning disabilities may also have problems storing information, that is, with both long- or short-term memory. Because most content areas in school introduce new vocabulary regularly, and require the recall of facts for tests, students with memory problems are likely to face serious school difficulty.These students may also have trouble producing information (writing, demonstrating, explaining) and they may be lacking in: planning or organizational skills, study skills, problem-solving skills, social skills, and self-esteem.
55 Characteristics of Specific Learning Disability Students may have difficulty:Taking in, remembering, and producing informationUnderstanding, connecting and relating new informationPlanning, organizational, study and problem-solving skillsSocial skills and self-esteemStudents with this disability may:-have difficulty taking in information (reading and listening), or may have trouble discriminating between sounds (e.g. mistakes “cat” for “cap”)-processing information (understanding and relating new information ) and so may have difficulty connecting information that they hear in science class today, with the experiment that they did yesterday.Students with specific learning disabilities may also have problems storing information, that is, with both long- or short-term memory. Because most content areas in school introduce new vocabulary regularly, and require the recall of facts for tests, students with memory problems are likely to face serious school difficulty.These students may also have trouble producing information (writing, demonstrating, explaining) and they may be lacking in: planning or organizational skills, study skills, problem-solving skills, social skills, and self-esteem.
56 Characteristics of Specific Learning Disability What might you do?Adapt the physical environmentProvide organizational changes in areas such as time, instructional methods, or materialsTo adapt the physical environment consider seating students near other students or personnel who can help focus attention during classes and school functions, and who can support them when necessary with information or cues.Do what you can to provide a distraction-free environment…for instance, keep desks away from pencil sharpeners, open doorways, and windows, to help reduce extraneous noises. When necessary, arrange for a special quiet space within your classroom.Do not hover.Organization is often a real challenge for students with specific learning disabilities, and they will need help to remember assignments, materials needed for class, schedules, etc. Have the student keep a calendar or assignment notebook and check daily to be sure that they have noted what they need to remember.
57 Disability Categories: Specific Learning Disability What might you do?Use advance organizers (outlines, study guides, focus questions) to structure classroomAllow more time for assignments, projectsUse advance organizers and vary presentation formats. Use verbal information, visual aids, concrete manipulatives, field trips, computers, audiotapes, and videotapes frequently.Allowing more time to DO the assignments, and more time to PLAN for the assignments. Students who are having trouble processing information will need to take additional time to decide what steps need to be taken to complete a project and in what order.
58 Disability Categories: Speech/Language Impairment Difficulty with one of the following:Producing speech sounds or whole wordsReceptive and expressive language skillsConversational skillsMay be related to other disabilities such as mental retardation, autism or cerebral palsyStudents with this disability may experience problems in one or more of the following areas:Articulation (mispronunciation of syllables or whole words)Voice disorders (abnormal pitch, loudness, or quality)Fluency disorders (pauses, repetitions, or hesitations)A student with a language impairment may experience problems in normal language development (difficulty or delay in acquiring or using language) at any age.
59 Characteristics of Speech/Language Impairment Speech Disorders:interruption in flow or rhythm of speechproblems with the way sounds are formeddifficulties with the pitch, volume, or quality of the voiceA child’s communication is considered delayed when the student is noticeably behind his or her peers in the acquisition of speech and/or language skills. Sometimes a student will have greater receptive (understanding) than expressive (speaking) language skills, but this is not always the case.Speech disorders refer to difficulties producing speech sounds or problems with voice quality. They might be characterized by an interruption in the flow or rhythm of speech, such as stuttering, which is called dysfluency. Speech disorders may be problems with the way sounds are formed, called articulation or phonological disorders, or they may be difficulties with the pitch, volume, or quality of the voice. There may be a combination of several problems. People with speech disorders have trouble using some speech sounds, which can also be a symptom of a delay. They may say “see” when they mean “ski” or they may have trouble using other sounds like “l” or “r.” Listeners may have trouble understanding what someone with a speech disorder is trying to say. People with voice disorders may have trouble with the way their voices sound.
60 Characteristics of Speech/Language Impairment Language Disorders:inability to express ideasinappropriate grammatical patternsreduced vocabularyinability to follow directionsA language disorder is an impairment in the ability to understand and/or use words in context, both verbally and nonverbally. Some characteristics of language disorders include improper use of words and their meanings, inability to express ideas, inappropriate grammatical patterns, reduced vocabulary, and inability to follow directions. One or a combination of these characteristics may occur in students who are affected by language learning disabilities or developmental language delay. Children may hear or see a word but not be able to understand its meaning. They may have trouble getting others to understand what they are trying to communicate.
61 Characteristics of Speech/Language Impairment What might you do?Adapt the physical environmentProvide many opportunities for student to interact verbally or through alternate means (pictures, symbols, etc.)With student who stutters, use nonverbal listening skillsIf there is concern that other students may tease the student with the speech problem, and if directed by your partner teacher, prepare the class ahead of time by speaking privately to students who may be suspected of teasing. Try to gain their help and support.Place students with communication disorders near the front of the room for easier listening, This will also allow for easier access if they need help, or if you have devised a special way for them to let you know that they want to respond in class.Provide as many opportunities as possible for the student to speak in class. Don’t rush the student, allow them time to respond. Don’t finish sentences for student. Make sure the student is not excluded from communication within classroom.Nonverbal listening skills might include eye contact or body language…let the student know that you want to hear what they have to say.
62 Disability Categories: Traumatic Brain Injury A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain caused from a blow to the head. This injury can change how a person acts, moves, and thinks. A traumatic brain injury can also change how a student learns and acts in school.A student with traumatic brain injury (TBI) has had some type of head injury that has resulted in permanent brain damage. The term TBI is not used for a person born with a brain injury. It is also not used for brain injuries that happen during childbirth.The student with TBI will often have problems with memory and attention, language, and thinking and reasoning, paying attention and behaving appropriately. All of these issues will negatively affect his academic performance.Because the brain has been injured, it is common that the person’s ability to use the brain changes. For example, students with TBI may have trouble with short-term memory (being able to remember information from one minute to the next, like what the teacher just said).In addition, he may have reduced stamina which will cause him to have difficulty completing assignments in the time allotted. He may also experience seizures and/or headaches and have hearing or vision problems.
63 Characteristics of Traumatic Brain Injury Students with TBI may have one or more difficulties, including:Sensory issuesPhysical disabilitiesHeadachesFatigueSeizuresParalysis…The signs of brain injury can be very different depending on where the brain is injured and how severely. Children with TBI may have one or more difficulties, including:• Physical disabilities: Individuals with TBI may have problems speaking, seeing, hearing, and using their other senses. They may have headaches and feel tired a lot. They may also have trouble with skills such as writing or drawing. Their muscles may suddenly contract or tighten (this is called spasticity). They may also have seizures. Their balance and walking may also be affected. They may be partly or completely paralyzed on one side of the body, or both sides.
64 Characteristics of Traumatic Brain Injury Difficulties with thinkingShort and long term memoryConcentrationSocial, behavioral, or emotional problemsMood, emotional changesRelating to othersDifficulties with thinking: Because the brain has been injured, it is common that the person’s ability to use the brain changes. For example, students with TBI may have trouble with short-term memory (being able to remember something from one minute to the next, like what the teacher just said). They may also have trouble with their long-term memory (being able to remember information from a while ago, like facts learned last month). People with TBI may have trouble concentrating and only be able to focus their attention for a short time. They may think slowly. They may have trouble talking and listening to others. They may also have difficulty with reading and writing, planning, understanding he order in which events happen (called sequencing),and judgment.• Social, behavioral, or emotional problems: These difficulties may include sudden changes in mood, anxiety, and depression. Children with TBI may have trouble relating to others. They may be restless and may laugh or cry a lot. They may not have much motivation or much control over their emotions.A student with TBI may not have all of the above difficulties. Brain injuries can range from mild to severe, and so can the changes that result from the injury. This means that it’s hard to predict how an individual will recover from the injury. Early and ongoing help can make a big difference in how the student recovers. This help can include physical or occupational therapy, counseling, and special education. It’s also important to know that, as the student grows and develops, parents and teachers may notice new problems. This is because, as students grow, they are expected to use their brain in new and different ways. The damage to the brain from the earlier injury can make it hard for the student to learn new skills that come with getting older. Sometimes parents and educators may not even realize that the student’s difficulty comes from the earlier injury.
65 Characteristics of Traumatic Brain Injury What might you do?Provide a structured environmentShorten homework assignmentsUse lots of drill and practiceBreak instruction into smaller amounts of timeHave consistent routines. This helps the student know what to expect. If the routine is going to change, let the student know ahead of time.Give the student more time to finish homework and tests. Reduce distractions when possible. Realize that the student may get tired quickly. Let the student rest as needed.Show the student how to perform new tasks, and give him lots of examples to go with new ideas and concepts. Give instruction in small pieces. Check to be sure that the student has actually learned the new skill. Give the student lots of opportunities to practice the new skill.
66 Characteristics of Traumatic Brain Injury Extra books at home will help the student when he forgets to bring home what he needs. An assignment book and a daily schedule may help the student to organize himself better.The student may need help remembering classroom rules.What might you do?Allow student to keep extra set of books at homeBe clear on classroom rules & expectations …repeat them often… check for understanding
67 Disability Categories: Visual Impairment Students with this disability are blind or have low vision.The terms partially sighted, lowvision, legally blind, and totally blindare used in the educational context todescribe students with visualimpairments.“Partially sighted” indicates some type of visual problem has resulted in a need for special education;• “Low vision” generally refers to a severe visual impairment, not necessarily limited to distance vision. Low vision applies to all individuals with sight who are unable to read the newspaper at a normal viewing distance, even with the aid of eyeglasses or contact lenses. They use a combination of vision and other senses to learn, although they may require adaptations in lighting, the size of print, and, sometimes, braille;• “Legally blind” indicates that a person has less than 20/200 vision in the better eye or a very limited field of vision (20 degrees at its widest point) and Totally blind students, who learn via braille or other non-visual mediaMost students who are visually impaired can see some things. Some students may see only light and dark shadows, some may see objects best when they are close, some may see objects best when they are moving or some may see only part of the visual field (peripheral). An example of a restricted field would be tunnel vision wherein only the very central part of the visual field is clear. The visual field may be restricted to peripheral vision where some or part of the outside edge of the visual field is clear, such as the sides, top or bottom edges. Some students can see clearly at very limited distances, while others see through an opaque lens and nothing is clear. For some students their vision changes throughout the day depending on fatigue, lighting conditions and/ or other factors such as medications. It is very important to discuss each student’s eye condition with the teacher of students with visual impairments.For some students, visual impairment is their only disability, while others have one or more additional disabilities that will affect, to varying degrees, their learning and development.Visual impairment is a low incidence disability with a group of students that are very diverse. Less than one percent of students have a visual impairment. This group of student may be low incidence, but often have high learning needs.
68 Characteristics of Visual Impairment Students with Visual Impairment:have little reason to explore environmentmissing opportunities to learnAre unable to imitate social behaviorDo not understand nonverbal cuesMay have obstacles to independenceThe effect of visual problems on a child’s development depends on the severity, type of loss, age at which the condition appears, and overall functioning level of the student. Many students who have multiple disabilities may also have visual impairments resulting in motor, cognitive, and/or social developmental delays.A student with visual impairments has little reason to explore interesting objects in the environment and, thus, may miss opportunities to have experiences and to learn. This lack of exploration may continue until learning becomes motivating or until intervention begins.Because the student cannot see parents or peers, he or she may be unable to imitate social behavior or under- stand nonverbal cues. Visual disabilities can create obstacles to a growing child’s independence.
69 Characteristics of Visual Impairment What might you do?Use concrete materials and tactile aids like relief maps, math manipulatives, and raised-line paper for writingEncourage hands-on learningHelp students “see”, e.g. incidental learningGoals for students with visual impairment are essentially the same as those of many other students, but the approach differs. Vision is the primary sense upon which most traditional education strategies are based. Impairment of vision can create a filter that affects how the student “gets and gives information” as well as how he interacts. Therefore, these strategies may need to be modified through touch, vision, or hearing. For instance:concrete materials and tactuals such as relief maps, raised line paper, math manipulatives, will provide students with information about their environment.Hands-on learning should be encouraged through the use of actual items, not representatives or miniatures. Students need to touch a real horse, not hold a replica of one. They need to feel real coins, not play money.Help students “see” what they need to see or “put together” parts to whole. Incidental learning is what you and I do on a regular basis…we observe and record information when walking on the street or down a hallway getting perspective and we are not even conscious of it. Students with visual impairment have limited opportunities to gain information this way. We need to help them to “see” what they are passing by commenting on it, by calling their attention to the fact that there is a note on the Message Board, or a sign that they need to be aware of in the hallway.
70 Characteristics of Visual Impairment What might you do?Produce modified materials on aExpect and support active participation and engagement in learningStudents will most likely be using Braille or large print materials. These often require additional time to prepare and you may be asked to assist with this process. You may be asked to enlarge printed materials or produce tactual materials, raised line drawings or Braille.You may need to read directions or verbal descriptions of choices.Expect the student “to do” and be actively engaged with the whole activity. Being organized and having the materials available so that the student can actively participate is important. We need to be aware of “the fairy godmother syndrome” and not just have the correct book appear, turned to the right page with the worksheet inserted into the brailler and then have it all disappear.A significant challenge to being a Paraeducator is providing the appropriate support for students without becoming a barrier between the students and his peers as well as the teacher. The student needs to interact and be ready even though it may take additional time.
71 Activity Look at Handout #3 one more time Consider the disabilities that we have just discussed: specific learning disability, speech/language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment.Answer the three questions on the handout relating to these disability categories.Go back to Handout 3 and fill in the information concerning the five disabilities we just discussed.Allow 3-5 minutes.
72 Student Support Activity Look at your Student Support Activity Handout #1Using your notes from Handout #3 complete the section on ideas for supporting your student.Look at Handout #1. Using handout #3 complete the last section.If time, have participants share with others at their table.
73 What have we talked about? The importance of student developmentThirteen disability categoriesCharacteristics of the disabilityIssues related to the disabilityThe Paraeducator’s role in supporting students with disabilitiesWe’ve talked about how students become eligible for special education. We’ve discussed the thirteen disability categories, the characteristics of each, and how Paraeducators can support students with these disabilities.These are the learner objectives form the beginning of the session