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Disabilities

1. OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER 

2. ATTENTION SKILLS

3. SELF-ESTEEM

4. ENTRAL AUDITORY PROCESSING-INVOLVES ATTENTIVE LISTENING COMPREHENSION SKILLS

5. LISTENING COMPREHENSION SKILLS

6. NON-VERBAL REASONING-LACKS SKILLS TO UNDERSTAND CONCEPTS

7. ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS

8. PHONOLOGICAL PROCESSING-INVOLVES DISCRIMINATING DIFFERENCES IN SPEECH SOUND

9. SEQUENCING SKILLS

10. SOCIAL SKILLS

11. SEQUENCING SKILLS

12. TASK INITIATION

13. TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS

14. VISUAL-MOTOR SKILLS

 15. THE BULLY

16. CHRONIC LYING

17. WHEN A CHILD TATTLES....

18. DEALING WITH THE CHRONIC TEASER


1. OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER

ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) is the most common psychiatrically diagnosed behavioral disorder in children that usually persists into adulthood.  Children with ODD are often easily annoyed and deliberately annoying to other people. They repeatedly lose their temper, argue with adults, refuse to comply with rules and directions, and blame others for their mistakes. Stubbornness and testing limits are common, even in early childhood.   They are often touchy, angry and resentful; spiteful and vindictive; speak harshly and unkind when upset, seek revenge and have frequent temper tantrums. They are manipulative and often induce discord in those around them.  The primary behavioral difficulty however is their consistent pattern of refusing to follow the commands or requests by adults.  Symptoms of ODD are usually seen in multiple settings, but may be more noticeable at home or at school.

All children display most of these behaviors from time to time and oppositional behavior is often a normal part of development for the two to three year old and early adolescent.  However, children with ODD display these behaviors more frequently and over a long period of time (i.e. six months or more) and to the extent that these behaviors interfere with learning, school adjustment and sometimes social relationships.

Who Gets It?

Five to 15% percent of all school-age children have ODD.  In younger children it is more common in boys than girls, but as they grow older, the rate is the same in males and females.  Some children with ODD may go on to develop the more serious Conduct Disorder (CD) which is characterized by aggressive, criminal and violent behaviors.  Thus, ODD is sometimes a precursor of Conduct Disorder. And, although much of the literature tends to lump ODD and CD together, they seem to be distinct entities.  Conduct disorder has a genetic component, ODD does not.

What Causes ODD? 

The causes of ODD are unknown, but biological and environmental factors may have a role.  The quality of the child's family life in particular seems to be an important factor in the development of ODD. Some studies have found that certain environmental factors in the family increase the risk of disruptive behavior disorders including: poor parenting skills, domestic violence, physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, poverty and substance abuse by parents or caregivers.   Some students develop ODD as a result of stress and frustration from divorce, death or loss of a family member. ODD may also be a way of dealing with depression or the result of inconsistent rules and behavior standards.

Diagnosing ODD

A child showing symptoms of ODD should have a comprehensive evaluation because the diagnosis of ODD is not always straight forward.  Therefore it needs to be made by a psychiatrist or some other qualified mental health professional after a comprehensive evaluation. The child must be evaluated for other disorders as well since ODD usually does not exist alone. ODD commonly occurs in conjunction with anxiety disorders and depressive disorders.  Fifty to sixty-five percent of children with ODD have ADHD, 35% develop some form of affective disorder, 20% have some form of mood disorder such as depression or anxiety and 15% develop some form of personality disorder.  If the child has ADHD, mood disorders, or anxiety disorders, these other problems must be addressed before you can begin to work with the Oppositional Defiant Disorder component.  It will be difficult to improve the symptoms of ODD without treating the coexisting disorder.

Treating ODD

The treatment of ODD may include: Parent Training Programs to help manage the child's behavior, Individual Psychotherapy to develop more effective anger management, Family Psychotherapy to improve communication, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to assist problem solving and decrease negativity, and Social Skills Training to increase flexibility and improve frustration tolerance. However, below are suggested behavioral and instructional classroom strategies that can be used for children with ODD.

Behavioral Strategies and Approaches for Children with ODD 

Getting a reaction out of others is the chief hobby of children with ODD. They like to see you get mad.  They try to provoke reactions in people and are often successful in creating power struggles.  Therefore it is important to have a plan and try not to show any emotion when reacting to them. If you react too emotionally, you may make big mistakes in dealing with this child. Plan in advance what to do when this student engages in certain behaviors and be prepared to follow through calmly.

  • Decide which behaviors you are going to ignore. Most children with ODD are doing too many things you dislike to include all of them in a behavior management plan. Thus, target only a few important behaviors, rather than trying to fix everything.
  • Make this student a part of any plan to change behavior. If you don't, you'll become the enemy.
  • Provide consistency, structure, and clear consequences for the student’s behavior.
  • Praise students when they respond positively.
  • Establish a rapport with the ODD child.  If this child perceives you as reasonable and fair, you'll be able to work more effectively with him or her.
  • Avoid making comments or bringing up situations that may be a source of argument for them.
  • Never raise your voice or argue with this student.  Regardless of the situation do not get into a "yes you will" contest.  Silence is a better response.
  • Do not take the defiance personally.  Remember, you are the outlet and not the cause for the defiance- unless you are shouting, arguing or attempting to handle the student with sarcasm.
  • Avoid all power struggles with this student. They will get you nowhere. Thus, try to avoid verbal exchanges. State your position clearly and concisely and choose your battles wisely.
  • Always listen to this student. Let him/her talk. Don't interrupt until he/she finishes.
  • Address concerns privately. This will help to avoid power struggles as well as an audience for a potential power struggle.
  • In the private conference be caring but honest. Tell the student calmly what it is that is causing problems as far as you are concerned.  Be sure you listen as well. In this process, insist upon one rule- that you both be respectful.
  • When decisions are needed, give two choices or options.  State them briefly and clearly. Students with ODD are more likely to complete or perform tasks that they have chosen. This also empowers them to make other decisions.
  • Give the ODD student some classroom responsibilities. This will help him/her to feel apart of the class and some sense of controlled power.  If he/she abuses the situation, the classroom responsibilities can be earned privileges. 
  • When you see an ODD child getting frustrated or angry, ask if a calming down period would help. But don't force it on him/her.  Rather than sending the student down to the office for this cooling down period, it may be better to establish an isolated “calming down” place  in the classroom so he/she can more readily re-engaged in classroom activity following the cooling down period.  
  • Ask parents what works at home.

Instructional Strategies and Classroom Accommodations for the ODD Student

  • Establish clear classroom rules. Be clear about what is nonnegotiable.
  • Post the daily schedule so the student will know what to expect.
  • Make sure academic work is at the appropriate level. When work is too hard, students become frustrated. When it is too easy, they become bored. Both reactions lead to problems in the classroom.
  • Pace instruction.  When the student with ODD completes a designated amount of a non-preferred activity, reinforce his/her cooperation by allowing him/her to do something they prefer or find more enjoyable or less difficult.
  • Systematically teach social skills, including anger management, conflict resolution and how to be assertive in an appropriate manner. Discuss strategies that the student may use to calm him/ or herself down when they feel their anger escalating. Do this when the student is calm.
  • Select materials that encourage student interaction. Students with ODD need to learn to talk to their peers and to adults in an appropriate manner. All cooperative learning activities must be carefully structured, however.
  • Minimize downtime and plan transitions carefully. Students with ODD do best when kept busy.
  • Allow the ODD student to redo assignments to improve their mark or final grade.
  • Structure activities so the student with ODD is not always left out or is the last person picked.

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2. ATTENTION SKILLS

Characteristics

Students in need of acquiring more appropriate/age appropriate attention skills may often be off topic, have difficulty attending to a task/assignment and struggle with sitting still. They may be disorganized and have trouble controlling their impulses, resulting in frequent calling out or off topic talking in class.

What it is

An area of student need, involving difficulty with maintaining concentration, especially on non-preferred activities, while ignoring distractions

Teaching Strategies

Instructional

• Provide frequent physical breaks; avoid long periods of sitting or being physically inactive. One strategy could be to ask the student to collect/distribute materials.

• Set up a cueing system, when you will be calling upon or asking something of the student. For example, say, “I will stand beside you, and when I do this, this will let you

  know that the next question is for you.” Or: “You will always be the next person I ask a question of, after I ask Student A.” (focuses student’s listening).

• Give specific instructions with a check list for the student to check off when each item is finished.

• Alternate between sitting/less engaging and active classroom tasks.

• Provide a “leadership” role for the student in class, so that he or she is responsible for repeating instructions or writing them on the board.

• Give few instructions at a time, use numbering/cueing system for instructions: “First you, second, you and third you.” / “First… and then…” / “Do-A, then-B and finally-C.”

• Use graphic organizers for the student to collect or interpret information.

• Chunk assignments into parts and provide feedback when each step is finished.

• Post the daily schedule and review it with the whole class.

• Explicitly teach organizational strategies.

• Teach social skill lessons to the student and/or small group on appropriately asking for help in the classroom, for instructions to be repeated/rephrased, completing work, etc.

• Consider the development of an alternative programming page for the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).

• Communicate regularly with parents/guardians and focus on positive behaviours.

• Reward on-task behaviours.

• Use a timer for the student to self monitor the amount of on-task behaviour.

• Allow the student to earn a reward for a set amount of on-task behaviour.

• Use differentiated teaching methods frequently, with various media forms.

• Have the student use a computer with text to speech for reading.

• Have the student use a computer with speech to text for writing activities.

• Use a colour coding system for organization and/or learning activities.

• Use various technology tools, so the student can better follow the lesson.

• Provide a list of tasks that need to be accomplished during a set period, and allow the student to choose the order, or alternate between activities.

• In consultation with the student, develop a non-verbal signal for the teacher to give the student to redirect behaviour.

• Consider referral to the school board speech and language and/or psychology staff.

Environmental

• Post simple and action-focused rules and consequences.

• Use preferential seating to reduce distractions for the student.

• Provide a choice of work areas for the student to move between in the classroom.

• Provide for the student to take a physical break (delivering material to another class or to the office).

• Consider the use of music and headphones if it helps the student to concentrate.

• Provide items that a student can physically manipulate (stress ball, chewing gum).

Assessment

• Provide choice in assessment activities, including use of various media forms.

• Use oral tests.

• Chunk tests/assignments.

• Allow breaks during tests (consider giving the student only one page of a multiple page test, with a walk break or other suitable break prior to receiving the next page).

• Use a variety of methods on written tests (short answers, matching, fill in the blank, long answer).

• Provide printed assignment requirements and rubrics.

• Provide an alternate testing location that is freer of distractions.

• Prompt the student to return to task if he/she seems to be off task.

• Allow additional time.

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3. SELF-ESTEEM

Characteristics

Students with self-esteem needs may think and feel negatively about themselves. They may seem withdrawn or shy, may not have positive peer relations, may blame others and/or display negative behaviours.

What it is

An area of student need, involving a negative concept of one’s abilities and worth

Teaching Strategies

Instructional:

• Directly teach strategies and vocabulary related to self-esteem.

• Develop and implement an alternative programming goal in the student’s Individual

  Education Plan (IEP).

• Focus on successes and strengths.

• Reinforce even small improvements and efforts.

• Pre-determine peer groupings to maximize chances of success.

• Provide opportunities for the student to demonstrate and recognize his/her strengths.

• Use a journal for the student to focus on strategies and strengths.

• Use multi-media and literature to highlight others’ self-esteem.

• Use strength profiles and personality inventories.

• Provide replacement behaviours and language to combat negative comments made to

  self or others.

Environmental:

• Use preferential seating, so that the student is in close proximity to peers whom the

  student would be most likely to be successful with.

• Post classroom rules, including “no put downs to others or self”.

Assessment:

• Ensure that the student is in a positive frame of mind at the time of a test.

• Allow for flexible timelines.

• Provide a choice of assignments, so the student can select an area of strength.

• Reduce the quantity of items.

• Check that the student understands the questions.

• Reduce distractions/offer an alternative location for testing.

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4. ENTRAL AUDITORY PROCESSING-INVOLVES ATTENTIVE LISTENING COMPREHENSION SKILLS

Characteristics

Students with central auditory processing challenges often experience difficulty in the classroom when they have to listen while other sounds are present. They may or may not be able to locate the source of the sound or identify the correct sound that is made. Predicting speech is also a difficulty, along with determining rhyming words and other word patterns.

What it is

An area of student need, involving attentive listening comprehension skills amongst background noise/conversations and/or processing to understand information given orally

Teaching Strategies

Instructional:

• Use prescribed FM system or Sound field system.

• Develop alternative programming goals to teach the student active listening, comprehension skills and self-advocacy.

• Use the student’s name or a visual signal to prompt listening attention before speaking.

• Use a visual signal for class to stop and listen, before giving instructions.

• Use questioning to check for student’s understanding.

• Pair oral instructions with visual, especially for new vocabulary and letter patterns/rhymes.

• Provide copies of notes so that the student can focus attention on listening and understanding during lessons.

• Ensure adequate volume in the class; repeat questions/comments of soft spoken students.

• Reward the student for extra efforts in concentrating on oral information.

Environmental:

• Minimize background noise. A good strategy is to place tennis balls on chair legs.

• Have students wait to be acknowledged before allowing them to contribute to classroom discussions.

• Provide physical break/change of activities after periods of concentration on oral information.

• Use a visual schedule.

• Post written copies of information that is provided orally (e.g. a class calendar).

• Use preferential seating, so that the student is at the front of the class and/or close to

  the speaker.

Assessment:

• Provide extra time.

• Provide a quiet environment.

• Ensure understanding of test instructions.

• Provide written copies of assignment instructions and rubrics.

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5. LISTENING COMPREHENSION SKILLS

Characteristics

A student with listening comprehension skills needs may not fully understand oral instructions and may ask for information to be repeated. Sometimes he/she may say “huh?”, even though it seems like information may have been heard. They may take increased time in responding to oral requests and could have a reduced vocabulary.

What it is

An area of student need, involving difficulty with receptive processing of oral information

Teaching Strategies

Instructional

• Provide extra time for processing of oral information.

• Pair oral instructions with visual ones (writing or symbols).

• Develop a cue for the student to focus on listening before important information is given (“Stop, look and listen,” or turning the lights off and on).

• Pre-teach new vocabulary and regularly review previously taught vocabulary.

• Frequently check with the student for understanding.

• Use Differentiated Instruction to teach lessons in a variety of ways.

• Use repetition frequently and ask the student to repeat information back in his/her own  words.

• Provide copies of notes.

• Use graphic organizers.

• Reward efforts for increased listening.

• Develop and implement an alternative programming goal for the student to increase listening comprehensions skills.

• Teach direct lessons in listening comprehensions skills (likely the whole class would benefit).

• Use clear and concise language.

• Consider referral to a speech and language pathologist.

Environmental

• Reduce auditory distractions in the classroom.

• Use preferential seating to limit distractions.

• Post reference information for student to use (charts, schedule, etc.).

Assessment

• Ensure student understands test/assignment questions.

• Provide written instructions and rubrics for assignments.

• Provide a choice of assessment activities so that the student can select one related to

  their strengths.

• Provide a reference sheet or vocabulary and/or a dictionary for tests.

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6. NON-VERBAL REASONING-LACKS SKILLS TO UNDERSTAND CONCEPTS

Characteristics

A student with non-verbal reasoning needs may have difficulty making inferences and applying concepts to other situations. Mathematics is often a challenge, as following a logical sequence tends not to be a strength.

What it is

An area of student need, involving a difficulty with recognizing and understanding concepts, especially with relations between patterns and complex problems

Teaching Strategies

Instructional:

• Use language-based instructions frequently (oral and written).

• Directly teach problem-solving methods.

• Encourage the student to use oral and written methods to solve non-verbal problems (talking to self, writing steps).

• Frequently check for level of understanding.

• Chunk non-verbal tasks and give feedback frequently.

• Allow for additional time.

• Use reference materials (formula sheets).

• Use step-by-step instruction and develop “how to” references for the student.

• Encourage use of calculators.

• Use highlighters to promote pattern skills.

• Use a home communication book/agenda.

• Use manipulatives, combined with oral instructions.

• Provide direct instruction for attaining information from diagrams, maps and charts.

Environmental:

• Use preferential seating to limit distractions.

• Seat the student close to posted reference materials.

Assessment:

• Provide additional time.

• Ensure student understands test questions.

• Provide a choice of assignments with a written outline.

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7. ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS

Characteristics

A student with organizational skills needs may not be able to locate necessary materials and loses things easily. Their papers may be crinkled and seem uncared for. Their written work may be disorganized and jump from idea to idea, without regard for the main idea. Time management is also often a difficulty.

What it is

An area of student need, involving difficulty in following or developing a system of managing materials and ideas

Teaching Strategies

Instructional

• Develop an organization system, and provide time and prompts for the student to use it.

• Reward efforts.

• Use a home communication book/agenda, where the student records the necessary information and the teacher checks for accuracy.

• Provide direct instruction in organizational methods.

• Consider developing and implementing an alternative programming goal pertaining to organization.

• Use a colour-coding system for notebooks.

• Provide graphic organizers to support the development of writing ideas.

• Use a checklist for the student to ensure that required materials are present.

• Use computers and assistive technology with graphic organizers.

Environmental

• Use preferential seating to position the student close to the teacher for prompts.

• Post and refer to a daily/lesson schedule.

• Provide additional space for organization (file or magazine holder for work instead of in desk or locker).

• Have a clean-up period for desk and locker, and directly instruct the student on this.

• Use a visual timer.

Assessment

• Provide extra time.

• Provide graphic organizers.

• Encourage use of computers and assistive technology.

• Encourage use of highlighters.

• Provide the necessary materials for tests (pencil, ruler, etc.).

• Use a visual timer.

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8. PHONOLOGICAL PROCESSING-INVOLVES DISCRIMINATING DIFFERENCES IN SPEECH SOUND

Characteristics

A student with phonological processing needs may have limited sound-to-symbol (written letter) skills, may take longer or be unable to recognize sounds and identify parts of words (rhymes, blends, syllables etc.), may make errors in speech and/or written language and may not be able to remember things that are presented orally.

What it is

An area of student need, involving detecting and discriminating differences in speech sounds - This is an oral skill and is not based on the student’s knowledge of letters.

Teaching Strategies

Instructional

• Assess student’s current level of functioning to determine a baseline of what phonological information the student knows (rhymes, identifying parts of compound words, identifying initial sounds, blending, etc.).

• Develop and implement modified language expectations on the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).

• Pair visuals with oral instructions.

• Provide direct instruction in phonological processes by using visuals and/or concrete materials.

• Use concrete objects (blocks with letters on them) for the student to physically move when saying and reading a word.

• Use highlighting and clapping to identify parts of words.

• Use multi-media sources for phonological awareness instruction (board games, Leap Frog DVDs, computer games –www.starfall.com).

• Use assistive technology (speech-to-text and text-to-speech programs).

• Regularly review sound symbol skills.

• Directly teach and practice suffix and prefix skills.

• Reward and reinforce efforts.

• Consider referral to the school board speech-language pathology staff.

Environmental

• Use preferential seating to avoid distractions, so that the student is close enough to access assistive technology and manipulatives.

• Post reference information relating to phonology (word walls, word families, suffix and Prefix rules, etc.).

Assessment

• Provide additional time.

• Use oral testing and/or scribing.

• Allow the use of reference materials (dictionary).

• Ensure the student understands the questions.

• Provide opportunities for the student to demonstrate his/her learning by concrete application of the concepts.

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9. SEQUENCING SKILLS

Characteristics

Students with sequencing needs may not be able to retell parts of a story or event in order. They may not be able to apply steps to solve problems, especially involving more than one step, in math and/or in writing.

What it is

An area of student need, involving difficulty with following logical steps to solve a problem

Teaching Strategies

Instructional

• Pair visual/concrete objects with ordering activities.

• Develop and use “how to” steps for curriculum expectations.

• Use mnemonics for the student to remember steps.

• Use graphic organizers for the student to record ordered information.

• Use prediction questions involving sequencing.

• Use computers and/or assistive technology (Inspirations for graphic organizers to assist text development).

• Use numbers and letters to represent order.

• Use colour coding for ordering story parts (beginning=green, middle=yellow, end=red).

• Use cloze activities, where one part is missing for the student to complete, and gradually increase the number of missing parts.

• Consider referral to the school board’s speech-language pathology and/or psychology staff.

Environmental

• Use preferential seating to position the student near reference materials, manipulatives and computers.

Assessment

• Use graphic organizers for written responses.

• Use a variety of test questions (matching, true-false, fill in the blank).

• Provide a choice in assignments, with a demonstration option.

• Provide extra time.

• Use computers/assistive technology.

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10. SOCIAL SKILLS

Characteristics

Students with social skills needs may have problems interacting with peers and/or adults. They may misinterpret social situations, may seem uncomfortable with others and may feel victimized.

What it is

An area of student need, involving difficulties with social interactions

Teaching Strategies

Instructional

• Directly teach lessons to the whole class on specific social skills.

• Determine the student’s baseline of current functioning and next steps in social skill development (see the list of social skills below).

• Develop an alternative programming goal for the student on an attainable social skill improvement.

• Use media/literature examples to highlight pro-social skills and positive choices made by the characters.

• Develop “how to” charts on various social skills of need.

• Use positive reinforcement for improvements.

• Use modeling, with articulation of social skills steps.

• Use social stories.

• Use visuals.

• Use role play.

• Teach character traits.

• Coach the student to follow steps when in real situations.

• Teach the meaning of classroom rules and consequences, and consistently apply these.

• Select student groupings and set roles to establish the best chances for success.

• Use a journal for the student to reflect on positive interactions and strategies.

• Develop strategies for recess/lunch/unstructured times.

• Consider referral to the school board social work and/or speech-language pathology staff.

Environmental

• Use preferential seating to place student near others who would foster positive interactions, and close to the teacher for coaching.

• Post rules and consequences.

• Post social skills visuals/charts with strategies.

• Provide activities for unstructured times (ball, game, etc.).

Assessment

• For group projects/presentations, provide structure, chunk requirements and provide frequent feedback.

• Assess the student in an area of strength (oral, written, with computer, etc.)

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11. SEQUENCING SKILLS

Characteristics

Students with sequencing needs may not be able to retell parts of a story or event in order. They may not be able to apply steps to solve problems, especially involving more than one step, in math and/or in writing.

What it is

An area of student need, involving difficulty with following logical steps to solve a problem

Teaching Strategies

Instructional

• Pair visual/concrete objects with ordering activities.

• Develop and use “how to” steps for curriculum expectations.

• Use mnemonics for the student to remember steps.

• Use graphic organizers for the student to record ordered information.

• Use prediction questions involving sequencing.

• Use computers and/or assistive technology (Inspirations for graphic organizers to assist text development).

• Use numbers and letters to represent order.

• Use colour coding for ordering story parts (beginning=green, middle=yellow, end=red).

• Use cloze activities, where one part is missing for the student to complete, and gradually increase the number of missing parts.

• Consider referral to the school board’s speech-language pathology and/or psychology staff.

Environmental

• Use preferential seating to position the student near reference materials, manipulatives and computers.

Assessment

• Use graphic organizers for written responses.

• Use a variety of test questions (matching, true-false, fill in the blank).

• Provide a choice in assignments, with a demonstration option.

• Provide extra time.

• Use computers/assistive technology.

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12. TASK INITIATION

Characteristics

Students with task initiation needs don’t start tasks once assigned. They may not plan their work or use problem solving strategies. They may frequently ask for help and not meet deadlines.

What it is

An area of student need, involving difficulty starting work

Teaching Strategies

Instructional

• Chunk work into parts.

• Frequently check with the student to get him/her started.

• Use a key word and visual signal to indicate that work is to be started.

• Provide oral and visual instructions and examples.

• Use graphic organizers to outline the steps for work completion and timelines.

• Use a visual timer and/or stop watch for the student.

• Have the student use an agenda to plot out work.

• Set an attainable goal related to task initiation with the student, and measure successes.

• Reinforce improvements and efforts.

• Develop an organizational system for the student to easily restart work at another time.

• Check for homework completion daily.

• Use another work space to signal independent work, versus whole class lessons.

• Use checklists.

Environmental

• Use preferential seating to avoid distractions.

• Use a visual timer.

• Provide an alternative work space.

Assessment

• Use oral and visual prompts to begin tests.

• Use a visual timer.

• Provide an alternate location for tests to avoid distractions.

• Provide organizers for assignments.

• Chunk assignments with timelines, and give feedback.

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13. TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS

Characteristics

Students with time management skills needs may not complete work on time, may be off task and/or be disorganized.

What it is

An area of student need, involving difficulty with using time effectively

Teaching Strategies

Instructional

• Provide direct instruction in methods of managing time.

• Use a visual timer.

• Break tasks into parts with accompanying time lines.

• Frequently check on work completion and give feedback.

• Teach and prompt student to use an agenda.

• Use checklists.

• Reduce the quantity of work.

• Use work completion contracts, with clear consequences.

• Use visual and oral prompts with respect to time management.

• Provide a reward/break when each segment of work is completed.

Environmental

• Use preferential seating to avoid distractions.

• Provide an alternative work space.

Assessment

• Provide additional time.

• Chunk test questions/assignments.

• Use checklists for assignments.

• Provide feedback for each part of an assignment.

• Provide a choice of assignments.

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14. VISUAL-MOTOR SKILLS

Characteristics

Students with visual-motor skill needs may have fine motor difficulty, especially with copying and cutting. They often have poor pencil grasp and can’t write on pre-printed lines. They may seem clumsy and have slower response time for physical activities.

What it is

An area of student need, involving difficulty with coordination between hands and eyes to produce accurate physical movements

Teaching Strategies

Instructional:

• Implement recommendations received from a physical and/or occupational therapist.

• Develop and implement alternative programming goals on the student’s Individual

  Education Plan (IEP), relating to visual-motor development.

• Use computers/assistive technology (voice to text).

• Provide copies of notes.

• Teach cursive writing and allow the student to choose printing or writing.

• Reduce the amount of writing.

• Reduce expectations in physical education, and monitor safety.

Environmental:

• Use preferential seating, so that the student is close to assistive technology.

Assessment:

• Use assistive technology.

• Use oral testing/scribing.

• Use a variety of testing questions (true-false, matching, fill in the blank).

• Provide extra time.

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15. THE BULLY

What is Bullying?

This child bullies others and can be quite a manipulator. He/she is frequently involved in name calling and likes to make fun of others. He/she will antagonize others, involves him/herself in fighting or instigating fights or arguments and belittling others. The bully is described as being 'insensitive' to others. He/she likes to solve problems by winning fights and arguments. Aggressive children often threaten others. Other students will fear the bully as he/she will be both verbally and physically aggressive. The bully loves power, is dominant and is usually guiltless. The bully tends to be lacking in empathy and compassion.

Why?

The bully is usually somebody who has also been bullied. There may be an issue at home (physical/mental abuse or neglect, or very poor role modeling). Remember, the bully doesn't usually suffer from self-esteem.

Interventions

  • You need to sit with the bully in a one to one situation to find out where the behavior stems from. Ensure you have eye contact, engage the bully in conversation to find out what those deep roots are. (Family problems, lack of social skills, psychiatric disorder)
  • Teach cooperative skills, teach anger management, teach empathy. Use drama (role playing) when you can.
  • The bully thinks it's ok to be abusive; you will need to teach otherwise.
  • You need a 'No Tolerance' policy and the bully has to be a part of the implementation of the policy. The bully needs to fully understand the no tolerance policy.       
  • Consistent use of effective consequences. Over time, this method will reduce the amount of bullying.
  • The entire staff needs to be involved to curb this behavior - using the consistent consequences.
  • If you can build home/family connections, this too will assist in the consistency of approaches used and consequences implemented.
  • This child may need counseling and you may be instrumental in ensuring that this happens with a professional.
  • Bullies need to be taught to be accountable for their actions and state what they did, how it should have been handled and what they will do next time. Bullies also need to self-monitor.

Never forget that ALL children need to know you care about them and that they can contribute in a positive way. It took the child a long time to become a skilled bully, be consistent, patient and understand that change will take time.

The Top Four Strategies

  1. Students often don't know what appropriate behavior is - they need to be taught! Teach the appropriate interactions, responses, anger management – social skills. Use role play and drama.
  2. Expect/demand appropriate responses by ensuring the bully apologizes directly to the victim.
  3. Have a zero tolerance classroom policy in place that is well understood.
  4. As much as possible, recognize and reward positive behaviour

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16. CHRONIC LYING

This child is often caught up in 'distorting the truth'. Do not let lying become a habit.

Why?

The child who exaggerates, tells lies or distorts the truth does so for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they feel that they are not liked (for reasons often unknown) and will tell lies to make the listener like him/her more. They have learned that some forms of distorting the truth get them some attention; this sometimes compensates for their feelings of inadequacies. Sometimes the child will lie to avoid being reprimanded or to avoid consequences that they believe will happen with a truth. Some children lies to get others into trouble, these children are often in trouble themselves. Children often lie to avoid tasks; a child will say that their homework is done in order to do something more pleasurable. Children don't like to get caught when misbehaving and will often lie or stretch the truth.

We must remember though, chronic or habitual liars rarely feel good about themselves. Look for patterns in the child's lying; does the lying only occur at specific times or in specific situations? Try and determine what the child's needs are that makes him/her want to lie.

Interventions

  • Always model 'telling the truth', avoid 'little white lies.
  • Teach your child through role playing, the value of telling the truth. This will take time and some patience.
  • Role play the potential devastating consequences of lying.
  • Do not accept excuses for lying, lying is not acceptable.
  • Children should understand the hurtful consequences of lying and whenever possible, they should apologize for lying.
  • Logical consequences need to be in place for the child who lies.
  • No matter what, children need to know that lying is never acceptable and will not be tolerated.
  • Children often lie to keep their parents or teacher happy, they need to know that you value the truth much more than a small act of misbehavior.
  • Children need to be part of the solution and or consequences. Ask them what they are prepared to give or do as a result of the lie.
  • Remind the child that you're upset with what he/she did. Reinforce that it's not the child but what he/she did that upset you and let him/her know that you are disappointed. You know the saying - bring them up before you bring them down.

    For instance: "It is so unlike you to lie about your homework, you're so good at getting things done and staying on top of things."

  • Praise the truth! Catch them telling the truth at a time when you know they would like to sugar coat a situation.
  • Avoid lectures and quick irrational decisions. E.g., if you lie again, you'll be grounded for a year!"

Never forget that ALL children need to know you care about them and that they can contribute in a positive way. It took the child a long time to become a master of distorting the truth, exaggerating, lying chronically, be consistent, patient and understand that change will take time.

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17. WHEN A CHILD TATTLES....

Behavior Description

This child likes to 'tell on' everyone. He/she's a chronic tattletale and will be caught up in some of the following phrases: 'Erin won't let me play.............Jason is copying my work..................Kim budded in front of me in line.........Ben took Evan's snack............

Every classroom seems to have tattletales but some children become chronic and telling on others is a frequent occurrence. This child often uses tattling as a form of threatening other children. For instance: 'I'll tell on you if you don't let me play with you.'

Why?

The child who tattletales is usually seeking attention, this child needs to know the difference between appropriate 'telling on somebody' and when it isn't appropriate to tell. Tattletales do so as it gives them a sense of power. Try and determine what the child's needs are that makes him/her want to seek attention in this fashion. Usually a tattletale has a self-esteem issue, when they tattle, somebody listens and they are gaining the attention they seek which often makes them feel important.

Interventions

Dealing with a tattletale can be tricky. Usually the tattle tale is aware of the routines and rules to be followed and tells on a child that isn't following them. This gives them the opportunity to 'look good' so to speak. It is important to listen to the tattletale, but equally so, the child needs to try and solve the problem on their own. Prompt the child as to how they could resolve the issue.

A one to one with the tattletale is also a helpful method. Remember - acknowledge that the child knows the rules/procedures but that there's a better method of dealing than becoming a tattletale. Always remind the child that there is a place for tattling and it is when a child is in danger or in trouble, for older children it could mean being involved in something illegal.

If the child is a tattle tale because it gives him/her a sense of power, you could give him leadership opportunities to help deal with the tattling, focus on the child's strengths and downplay the weaknesses.

Teach the child through role playing, the value of knowing when to tattle and how to solve their own problems instead of tattling. This will take time and will require you to put some scenarios together for practice.

Children should understand the hurtful consequences of tattling and whenever possible, they should apologize for inappropriate tattling.

Children need to be part of the solution and or consequences. Always ask them how they could have resolved the issue instead of tattling.

Avoid lectures and quick irrational decisions. E.g., if you tattle again, you'll be grounded for a year! Or you'll have 6 detentions"

Sometimes a tattletale always seems to 'tell on' the same child. In this case, encourage the child to find something positive to say about the child.

Tattling results in the loss of friends and can result in arguments and fights. Tattling shouldn't be rewarded but the problem cannot be ignored. Teach the child about good and bad judgement calls and to know the difference between the two. Never forget that ALL children need to know you care about them and that they can contribute in a positive way. It took the child a long time to become a master of tattling, be consistent, patient and understand that change will take time.

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18. DEALING WITH THE CHRONIC TEASER

Behavior Description

This child constantly teases and pokes fun at others and is often seen as picking on them. Teasing is actually another form of criticizing and harassment, the child who teases is usually 'putting others down'. Unfortunately, it's the child with special needs that is often getting the brunt of teasing. Ironically, it's often the child with a behavior disorder that is doing the teasing.

Why?

At some point most children have taken part in teasing. Some tease because the one being teased is just different and the teaser doesn't understand those differences. Others tease because they take pleasure in poking fun and it's a quick way to get attention. Sometimes the child who teases just likes to hurt others and if they get the response they're looking for, they'll continue to tease that much more. Usually the teaser has a lower self esteem, or is someone that has been picked on him/herself. Some children tease out of sheer ignorance. It must be noted however, that a certain amount of teasing can help children build strategies and become stronger socially. Both teachers and parents can help children to use effective strategies to deal with teasing, learning to ignore is often a good strategy.

Interventions

  • The teaser needs to be taught that he is hurting others. This can be accomplished through some role playing.
  • The teaser needs to be taught about difference among children, why a child may stutter or why a child looks different, or why a child has a limp etc.
  • It's important to find out why the teaser teases and educate the child about the harmful consequences.
  • Children also need to be taught what to do in the event that they witness teasing.

Teasing need not be tolerated.

  • Teach the skills for dealing with the teaser (ignoring, finding a better friend to play with, don't over react, teach the child that's being teased that they 'can handle it'.
  • The teaser needs to know that teasing will not be accepted or be tolerated in the classroom.
  • Teach the child that is getting teased to provide the teaser with a response they're not expecting. For instance, if they're being teased about their glasses or a piece of clothing, have them say "Thanks, I quite like them too", and ask them to walk away.
  • Children need to be part of the solution and or consequences. Ask them what they are prepared to give or do as a result of the hurt they've cause through teasing.
  • Remind the child that you're upset with what he/she did. Reinforce that it's not the child but what he/she did that upset you and let him/her know that you are disappointed. You know the saying - bring them up before you bring them down. For instance: "It is so unlike you to tease XXXX about his/her glasses."
  • Praise the teaser for positive interactions, this will help his/her self-esteem and hopefully reduce the amount of teasing he/she embarks on.
  • Avoid lectures and quick irrational decisions. E.g., if you tease again, you'll be suspended!"

Never forget that ALL children need to know you care about them and that they can contribute in a positive way. It took the child a long time to become a master of distorting the truth, exaggerating, lying chronically, be consistent, patient and understand that change will take time.

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Windigo Education Authority Special Education Handbook

 



 

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