Teaching Strategies by Dominick Saffioti - HTML preview

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Home schooling your child with a learning disability

Dominick Saffioti

Introduction

 

Full book available at Sonny’s EBook Depot

This book contains many strategies for teaching and recognizing a child with learning disabilities. It covers Social, Physical and emotional disabilities. All the information is from various book and web resources that I have gathered over the years.

My Intention is to give parents of children with a disability some ideas on how they can help their child succeed in there learning whether in a public school but manly when they are home schooled.

I also have a book that is for the student. An Instructor’s View on Student Success.

The author makes no warranty or representation whatsoever, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to equipment, procedures, and applications described or referred to herein, there quality, performance, merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose. The Author assumes no responsibility for any changes, errors, or monitions in this book. The Author specifically disclaims any liability, whatsoever including any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special, or exemplary damage resulting, in whole or in part from the reader’s use or reliance upon the information, instructions, procedures, warnings, cautions, applications or other matter contained in this book. The Author assumes no responsibility for the activities of the reader.

ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER (AD/HD)

Attention deficit disorders are disorders characterized by serious and persistent difficulties in attention span, impulse control, and hyperactivity. Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a chronic disorder that can begin in infancy and extend through adulthood. It can have a significantly negative effect on an individual's life at home, in school, or in the community. There are two types of attention deficit disorders: undifferentiated Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In undifferentiated ADD, the primary and most significant characteristic is inattentiveness but hyperactivity is not present. These students still manifest problems with organization and distractibility, even though they may seem quite and passive. These students also tend to be overlooked more easily in the classroom, and may be at a higher risk for academic failure than those with ADHD.

To be diagnosed as having ADHD a student must display, for six months or more, at least eight of the following characteristics prior to the age of seven:

1) Fidgets, squirms, or is restless.
2) Difficulty remaining seated.
3) Easily distracted.
4) Difficulty waiting for his/her turn.
5) Blurts out answers.
6) Difficulty following instructions.
7) Difficulty sustaining attention
8) Shifts from one uncompleted task to another
9) Difficulty playing quietly
10) Talks excessively
11) Interrupts or is rude to others
12) Does not appear to listen
13) Often loses things necessary for tasks
14) Frequently engages in dangerous actions

As many as 3.8 million school-age children, most of them boys, are believed to have attention deficit disorders. Symptoms may include a short attention span, impulsive behavior, and difficulty sitting still. The guidelines, which fall in line with those issued in recent, years by the National Institute of Mental Health, were created in consultation with child psychiatrists and psychologists. They suggest that the evidence favoring medications like Ritalin is stronger than the evidence about behavioral therapy.

Symptoms improve in at least 80 percent of children on stimulants, and medication should be switched if it is not working, the guidelines say. Critics say that many doctors and teachers turn to drugs like Ritalin as an easy fix and that their long-term effects are uncertain. The guidelines say any treatment should begin only after a diagnosis is certain and doctors, parents, and teachers have discussed appropriate treatment goals. The guidelines say drugs should be used with behavioral techniques, including time-outs for hitting. They call for rewarding children when they complete tasks, like homework.

Strategies

 

Bring to the student's attention role models with a similar disability to the

 

student. Point out that this individual got ahead by a combination of

 

effort and by asking for help when needed. Student monitoring, self

 

management, discipline, and encouragement can be a very important

 

aspect for academic success. Below are the two basic aspects of AD/HD

 

facilitation.

 

Self-monitoring techniques can be very effective in the school setting.

 

Self-monitoring of attention involves cueing the student so that he/she

 

can determine how well he/she is attending to the task at hand. Cueing

 

can be done by providing an audio tone such as a random beep, timer, or

 

the teacher can give the cue. Have the student note whether he/she was

 

on or off task on a simple recording sheet. Self-monitoring techniques

 

are more likely to be effective when tied to rewards and accuracy checks.

 

Behavior management techniques should be used in the learning

 

environment. By examining a student's specific problem behavior,

 

understanding its past history and consequences, teachers can help

 

students with AD/HD to develop behaviors that lead to academic and

 

social successes. Provide supervision and discipline: Monitor proper behavior frequently and immediately direct the student to

 

an appropriate behavior. Enforce the rules consistently. Avoid poke fun

 

at the student and showing them your disappointment in them.

 

Remember that students with AD/HD have difficulty staying in control.

 

Providing encouragement and rewards more than punishment.

 

Immediately praise any good behavior and performance. If rewards are

 

not effective in motivating behavior change, find alternate ways to

 

encourage the AD/HD students. Teach the student to reward him or

 

herself. Encourage positive self-talk (like, "You did very well remaining

 

in your seat today. ") This encourages the student to think positively

 

about him or herself.

 

Bring to the student's attention role models who have a disability similar

 

to that of the student with impairment. Point out that this individual got

 

ahead by a combination of effort and by asking for help when needed.

 

If possible, reduce the amount of material present during activities by

 

having the student put away unnecessary items. Have a special place for

 

tools, materials, and books.

 

Always reward more than you punish, especially with positive

 

reinforcement. Try to be patient with an AD/HD student. Seat the students with AD/HD in the front of the class near the teacher with their

 

backs to the rest of the class will help the student stay focused on them

 

and not the distractions in the classroom. Surround students with

 

AD/HD with good peer models, preferably students whom the AD/HD

 

student views as significant peers. Encourage peer tutoring and

 

cooperative/collaborative learning. A class that has a low student-teacher

 

ratio will be helpful to a student with AD/HD. Avoid all distracting

 

stimuli in the class room, try not to place students with AD/HD near air

 

conditioners, high traffic areas, heaters, doors, windows, etc. as these

 

items can distract the student with AD/HD. Avoid transitions, physical

 

relocation, changes in schedule, and disruptions. Be creative; produce a

 

somewhat stimuli-reduced study area with a variety of science activities.

 

· Parents set up appropriate study space at home, with set times

 

and routines established for study. Also, use this home area for

 

parental review of completed homework, and periodic notebook

 

and/or book bag organization. You can find all the worksheets

 

you need to help you atSonny’s E Book Depot. Have a pre

 

established consequence for misbehavior, always remain calm,

 

state the infraction of the rule, and avoid debating or arguing with the student. Avoid publicly reminding students on

 

medication to "take their medicine."

 

Teacher Presentation

 

Teachers consult with special education personnel to determine specific

 

strengths and weaknesses of each student.

 

Maintain eye contact during verbal instructions during the lesson. Give

 

all directions in a clear and concise way. Be consistent with your daily

 

instructions to the class this will help the student stay calm. When

 

asking an AD/HD student a question, first say the student's name and

 

then pause for a few seconds as a signal for him/her to pay attention. To

 

help with changes in assignments, provide clear and consistent

 

transitions between activities and notify the student with AD/HD a few

 

minutes before changing activities. Repeat the instructions in a calm,

 

positive manner. Some AD/HD students will need both verbal and visual

 

directions. You can do this by providing the student with a model of

 

what he/she should be doing.

 

You can give an AD/HD student confidence by starting each assignment

 

with a few questions or activities you know the student can successfully

 

accomplish. Develop an individualized education program (EDP). By identifying each student's individual strengths and specific learning

 

needs, you can design a plan for mobilizing those strengths to improve

 

students’ academic and social performance. As the student shows

 

improvement gradually reduce the amount of assistance, but keep in

 

mind that these students need more help for a longer period than the

 

student without a disability. When possible require a daily assignment

 

notebook as necessary and make sure each student correctly writes down

 

all assignments. If a student is not capable of this, the teacher should

 

help the student. Initial the notebook daily to signify completion of

 

homework assignments. (Parents should also sign.) Use the notebook for

 

daily communication with parents.

 

Hands On

 

Gradually reduce the amount of assistance, but keep in mind that these

 

students will need more help for a longer period than the student without

 

a disability. Consider alternative activities/exercises that can be utilized

 

with less difficulty for the student, but has the same or similar learning

 

objectives. Require a daily assignment notebook as necessary and make

 

sure each student correctly writes down all assignments. If a student is

 

not capable of this, the teacher should help the student. AD/HD students may need both verbal and visual directions. You can

 

do this by providing the student with a visual model and a verbal

 

description of what he/she should be doing. You can give an AD/HD

 

student confidence by starting each lab assignment with a few questions

 

or activities you know the student can successfully accomplish. To help

 

with changes in assignments, provide clear and consistent transitions

 

between activities and notify the student with AD/HD a few minutes

 

before changing activities. Make sure all students comprehend the

 

instructions before beginning their tasks (the AD/HD student will

 

probably need extra assistance). Simplify complex directions and avoid

 

multiple commands. Repeat instructions in a calm, positive manner. As

 

a teacher always, help the students feel comfortable with seeking

 

assistance (most students with AD/HD will not ask for help).

 

Assigning only one task at a time will insure the student is not over

 

whelmed. When the student has difficulty with an assignment, you

 

might have to modify assignments as needed for the AD/HD student.

 

Keep in mind that students with AD/HD are easily frustrated and they

 

need assurance of things that are common in science, e.g., when an

 

experiment does not turn out as expected. Stress, pressure, and fatigue

 

can help reduce their self-control and can lead to poor behavior.

 

Group Interaction and Discussion

 

· Help the students feel comfortable in seeking assistance (most

 

students with AD/HD will not ask for help, especially in a group

 

activity). When the student feels comfortable gradually integrate

 

the AD/HD student into the interactive system

 

Reading

 

Provide additional reading time. Use "previewing" strategies by being

 

aware of the following reading problems:

 

1. Reversals when reading (i.e., "was" for "saw", "on" for

 

"no", etc.)

 

2. Reversal when writing (b for d, p for q, etc.)

 

3. Transposition of letters and numbers (12 for 21, etc.)

 

4. Loss of place when reading, line to line and word to

 

word.

 

Shorten the amount of required reading and avoid oral reading for all

 

assignments, clearly identify your expectations in writing. Make required

 

book lists available prior to the first day of class to allow students to begin their reading early. Encourage the use of books-on-tape to

 

support students reading assignments. Provide the students with chapter

 

outlines, or handouts that highlight key points in their readings. During

 

your lesson read aloud, material written on the chalkboard or that is

 

presented in handouts or transparencies. Provide the student with

 

published book summaries, synopses, or digests of major reading

 

assignments to review beforehand, downloads for Cliff notes are

 

available for computer use.

 

Research

 

Review and discuss with the student the steps involved in a research

 

activity. Think about which step(s) may be difficult for the specific

 

functional limitations of the student and with the student devise

 

accommodations for that student. Consider alternative

 

activities/exercises that can be utilized with less difficulty for the student,

 

but has the same or similar learning objectives. Give extra time for

 

certain tasks. Students with AD/HD may work slowly. Gradually reduce

 

the amount of assistance, but keep in mind that these students will need

 

more help for a longer period than the student without a disability.

 

Testing

 

Make sure you are testing knowledge and not attention span. Give extra

 

time and frequent breaks for certain of the examination tasks (e.g., math

 

related). Students with AD/HD may work slowly. Keep in mind that

 

students with AD/HD are easily frustrated. Stress, pressure, and fatigue

 

can result in reduction of self-control and lead to poor behavior.

 

Testing accommodations

 

(1) Use of a highlighter;

 

(2) Computer with/without spell check/grammar/cut & paste features; and

 

(3) Suitable setting such as private room and preferential seating.

 

For more help go to my website www.sonnysebookdepot.com

 

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