handicapped child in class

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Teener, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. Teener

    Teener Companion

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    Jul 22, 2004

    This year I am going to have a child in my room who is in a wheelchair. I need ideas for physical activities that I can use in my room during transitions, etc that will not exclude her.
    I like to do things like song/dance type movements. Example: "do a little..." You sing "Do a little ____' (like jumping, clapping, etc) repeat 3 times, then last line is "Do a little ____ in your spot" This is a good way to get the kids moving after sitting in one spot for a long time and having ot go back to sitting very soon.


    Any and all ideas would be great.

    (As far as I know the girl can still use her hands, arms, etc. just not her legs)

    Thanks for your help!
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 22, 2004

    Think of the game Simon Says. There are lots of arm movements you probably have used in that game. Also, touch your nose, pat your head, stick out your tongue, wiggle your hands..... I had a boy in a wheelchair just one year. The room was small and tiled - not great. He was also in a lot of pain so the poor guy had a rough time. But, he sometimes liked to crawl (feet were amputated) rather than maneuver and he was great at hopping from desk to desk. I had to watch that the other kids didn't go nuts wheeling him down the hallway, though. He also had ostomy bags that frequently opened (urine) - so the tile floor was actually not too bad on that account. Can your student use the lower body at all?
     
  4. Teener

    Teener Companion

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    Jul 22, 2004

    No, she also has the cathader (sp?) and I think the bag hooked up to it. But, she can change it herself which is good. She can roll herself around except for on dirt, etc or up hills. I have been told that she is a very sweet girl and loves to do a lot of activities at school.

    I just want to make sure that I don't exclude her in anyway or anything like that. I think I am going to talk to the parents about how the girl feels if there is some things done that she can't -- like the jumping. To see just how sensitive she is. I don't mind at all having to change those things so that she will be happy in my class, I just don't know exactly where to start.
     
  5. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jul 22, 2004

    I think the key is that you want to include her. We had a student that can has limited use and a subbed in the class. I, too, was a little worried, but found out that she really liked when I came in because I included the child as much as I could. It's important to try... I think they (the student & family) know that she won't be able to do everything, but as long as your doing things that do include her she will feel welcomed.
     
  6. Noel

    Noel Companion

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    Jul 22, 2004

    I think that the most important thing to remember, is that she is a kid first and a kid with a disability second. My 4 yr old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 1. Although it is not a physical disability like a wheelchair, it still is considered a disability and included in the Americans With Disability Act. My child's dr. told me as soon as he diagnosed Aidan that he was a kid first and a kid with diabetes second and to always treat him like that. I was extremely fortunate that his teacher this year followed this philosophy as well. You are right the most important thing is to include them as much as you can. Talking to the parents ahead of time is a great idea too...hopefully they will suggest you speaking directly to the daughter as well. I know that even at 4 my son has very specific things that he likes (for example he doesn't want anyone except his teacher to touch his insulin pump or tube, but he wants the whole class to watch him get his blood tested) I would have advised the teacher to take him aside and do his blood testing away from everyone else, but he had a different view on how it should be done.

    Anyway sorry this was long winded. Best of Luck I am sure that you will do great because you are sensitive to the needs of the child already!!
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 22, 2004

    True, Noel. I was tutoring a student this morning who has diabetes. He was in my class this past year. I noticed his hand shaking and questioned him about how he felt and whether he had eaten breakfast. He said he was fine, etc. A few minutes later he asked if he could test his sugar level just to be sure. His reading was 45 so he had to immediately eat the item he had packed in his test kit.

    When my student in the wheelchair was in 3rd grade, we even had him participate in field day. We adjusted the rules for his soccer kicks into the goal and his relay race. He was given an award for sportsmanship and speed.
     
  8. Teener

    Teener Companion

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    Jul 22, 2004

    Thank you all for your help. I too, believe that she is a kid first and a kid with a disability second. I know that I can take everthing out of my lessons/class activities that has to do with using your legs. I guess maybe rather than taking out everything, I am looking for ways to change the meaning of the directions, or something (like for jumping, maybe she is able to raise herself up in the chair???). This will require working closely with her and her parents to decide just what she can/can't do.

    I would just like a lot of suggestions to go into the future conference/meeting with so that I remain in control of the situation and so that the parents realized that I am going to care about their daughter as a person and not "just one of many students".

    Thanks for all your suggestions. Keep them coming!
     
  9. Bobbimarie

    Bobbimarie Guest

    Jul 22, 2004

    Maybe try "rolling" in the student's shoes

    My daughter, Katy, is legally blind, not in a wheelchair, but mobility is still some what of an issue, so I thought I'd share what her teacher did.
    Something that helped the teacher to prepare before Katy joined her class was that she put herself in Katy's shoes.
    The occupational therapist loaned the teacher a pair of goggles that were doctored to imitate my child's vision loss. The teacher then tried to manuver around the class room and found herself tripping over and running into a variety of objects.
    She was able to easily move or reorganize some furniture and other objects that made it much safer for Katy (and any child not watching where they were going).
    Perhaps you can borrow a wheelchair for a couple of hours just to gain a perspective of how to rearrange your tables/desks. And just roll around the school so you can get an idea of what can be done to help accomodate the student's needs (like position in line, which end of the lunch table would be best to seat the student at). Even though there may be a difference in chair sizes, the experience may still prove to be helpful as you are planning for the school year.
    If your school district has an adaptive PE instructor, ask him/her for suggestions on simple movements and such that the student can do with the other students.
     
  10. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jul 22, 2004

    I think it's a good idea to modify your directions, she might enjoy creating her own movements to "imitate" what her classmates are doing or creating ones for the class to do. :)
     
  11. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jul 22, 2004

    You might want to sit down with her and her parents as well. Talk to her and let her give you ideas. She can probably come up with some great ideas for you to use.
     
  12. LABooks

    LABooks Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2004

    This child is fortunate to have you for a teacher. I think you've gotten some great help from the board already.

    My Pal, Victor is a children's book that might interest you for helping the child in a wheel chair and for helping the other students see possibilities for enjoying the company of the handicapped child. The delightful surprise ending inspires and comforts handicapped children. Dominic tells of many things which he enjoys doing with his pal, Victor: swimming, telling stories, reading, riding the roller coaster, etc. On the last page, the illustrator shows Victor in a wheel chair. This is not mentioned in the text. Each page is in Spanish and English. There is a glossary at the end. This is a truly touching and inspiring book by by Diane Gonzales Bertrand.

    You can buy this at Amazon.com or from the ESL page of my website. I also have other children's books and educators' books about anger and stress management, bullying, LD, ADHD, etc.

    Learning Abilities Books
     
  13. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jul 23, 2004

    Looking at this from a teacher's point of view, I agree with the above posters look at your room from the child's point of view. Are the obstacles that you can eliminate? Can you talk to last year's teacher to find out how mobile this child is? Who is her buddy? Are there any other special needs or services that this child gets? The more informed you can be the better prepared you will be. Make your room the warm, caring, nurturing environment that I know it must be.
    Last year I met the Aunt of a kindergartener when she enrolled her nephew. When I met him and Mom the next day, I found out that he was getting resource help, speech therapy and O.T. I wasn't expecting all that. He walks like a toddler. By May it was determined that he is cognitively impaired. The rest of the kids never made fun of him when he couldn't do what they did (which is just about everything!).

    As a parent: My daughter has a classmate that depending on the situation i.e. when the latest surgery was is anywhere from a wheelchair to walking on his own. A buddy was needed when he was on crutches to carry his books & supplies. My son is allergic to peanuts & he doesn't have a problem knowing who knows that. In his case, it helps educate parents of his friends & helps his teacher to remember his epipen!

    Good luck!
     
  14. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 25, 2004

    The Rainbow Buddies line of products have cute graphics which include one of the kids in a wheelchair. They have posters, postcards, certificates, mouse pads. I saw them in the catalog, Educational Aids. www.educationalaids.com
     
  15. bjfergiegrl

    bjfergiegrl Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2004

    The website http://www.pecentral.com has some great modifications for children with special needs. Hope that this will help you!
     

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