High School Autism/Life Skills class Help

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by anewstart101, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. anewstart101

    anewstart101 Cohort

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    Aug 28, 2010

    Okay. . .

    got to go in my classroom

    I am way OVERWHELMED not sure where to start.

    The program is already has a lot in place.

    I met my paraprofessionals

    4 fulltime
    and 3 part time position

    Any ideas for team building with my paraprofessionals.

    First thing I noticed not a lot of visuals per say in the classroom

    They physically restrain kids quite a bit espescially the boys[/B]

    Paras love their job but feel out of the loop.

    As for the kids !

    Three boys and Three girls

    Their program is very individualized -- each child has an individualized schedule. . .not much group work going on ---

    Every afternoon is a community outings

    two of my students have their own classroom seperate from ours One looks like a classroom. The other needs some work

    It looks like an awesome program

    it basically needs fine tuning

    food is used as a primary reward

    :dizzy: I feel totally lost and really need to see what goes on before I make changes

    Any advice would be more than welcomed

    The kids would be considered severely disabled.

    Functioning level ranges from 18 months to 7 to 10 years old.

    Thanks for reading and am looking forward to first day Monday

    Would a morning focus work in high school? As long as it is done independently?????

    TIA

    Stephanie
     
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  3. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 28, 2010

    Morning Focus, as I designed it,
    is intended to be done as a group activity. You could definitely use the materials as you please, but for your functioning group it would be more than appropriate.

    It might just me, but I am a huge advocate for group time, even for the most severe kids. Being able to function in a group is such a life skill... Perhaps that will be something you might introduce, even if you start very small.

    My kids function at the same range as yours (18 mos to 7 yrs), and we are able to have one large group (40 minutes) with all of the kids, and several smaller groups with different kid groupings.

    Will give you more Info when I return.

    If you send a pm with your email,
    I will send you a load of materials when I return from my trip.
     
  4. anewstart101

    anewstart101 Cohort

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    Aug 28, 2010

    thanks === I have went back and read lots of your post and have learned alot
     
  5. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    Aug 29, 2010

    I have to agree - my students function in about the same age range (although many more on the lower end with a couple on the upper end) and we manage to do a large group time in the morning and then another group lesson in the afternoon. We do pair and small group activities throughout our programming time as well. Even with one-on-one staffing (as we have) I do find it important to do large and small group activities.

    I also have students who came from other schools who basically were taught in a room all by themselves who we have successfully managed to keep in our room at all times (with a proper sensory diet and tools for communication). In your situation the students being in their own room all the time and the amount of physical intervention needed would be a bit of a red flag. Do you have a behaviour person involved?
     
  6. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Aug 29, 2010

    cease the physical restraint unless it is in the IEP and they are being restrained by someone who is trained
     
  7. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Aug 29, 2010

    Agree completely with M2M.

    There is no reason the kids should be alone all day (I know this is not your doing, just commenting on it so perhaps you can take action...) -- I've had students who display serious aggressive and self-injurious behaviors and even those students were included in group time (when appropriate and safe). The separate room should be a complete last resort (I'd even say After Physical restraint... As I personally believe a seclusion room is more restrictive... But thats just me).

    Perhaps you can look into why the kids are in there... Is it SIB? Aggression? sensory overload? Attention (need a quiet space to work?) I would definitely involve your BCBA, school psychologist, behavior interventionist, etc. To see if an FBA can be completed if there is SIB or aggression involved.

    A visual schedule and a very structured physical environment can help these kids.

    An additional note: I believe that a helmet (although seemingly stigmatizing and restrictive) can actually allow the child to be in and participate in a less restrictive environment. I've had several kids that I've recommended for helmets due to behaviors that were keeping them out of the main group and the helmet successfully diffused he situation (ie biting no longer gets me out of work or hitting my head won't get my teachers attention). Again, this is a recommendation and decision that a behavioral consultant and occupational therapist should be involved in. Just wanted to throw that out there in case you get the "he's too aggressive to be around other kids" answer from the Current staff members.

    I mean, what kid deserves to live a life alone? Especially a kid with autism, who already has trouble relating to others... (I know its not your decision but I'm desperately hoping you'll be able to get those kids
    Out of those rooms and get some interaction going....!)

    Good luck! Tell us about the first day and what you're thinking!!
     
  8. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Most school districts do have a "if he's harming himself or others" policy in place for intervening with last resort crisis prevention techniques by trained professionals. Our kids don't have to have it in their IEPs. Parents can request it not be used, but if we deem it necessary to keep a child from harming himself or others, we are within our rights to protect ourselves and the children with techniques that are completely safe when employed correctly.
     
  9. anewstart101

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    Aug 29, 2010

    A visual schedule and a very structured physical environment can help these kids

    They had behavior plans done at the end of the last year. The visual schedule needs to be strengthen and more structure to the physical enviornment.

    There is a program specialist she is advising to make changes slowly.

    Looking forward to making changes and helping these kiddos and workign with my para's.
     
  10. anewstart101

    anewstart101 Cohort

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    cease the physical restraint unless it is in the IEP and they are being restrained by someone who is trained

    All the kids are on a hughes bill. All the para are CPI or ProAct train. I am the only one not trained and am aware that the paras are the only one that can do.

    I think that once things are put in place things will get better.
     
  11. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Yes. I will give you some ideas on visual structure in the environment and how and why it can help.

    Sounds like you've got good
    Plans and you're ready to make some positive (slow) changes to the program.

    Glad you have a specialist on board to help you out. Don't be nervous- don't be anxious! You'll do great.

    Also- kids with autism (in my opinion) can "sense" your fear. So, especially with the bigger boys who require restraint... Be confident. It will be hard to connect with them if they sense your fear.

    Also ask about getting crisis (restraint) trained ASAP. do not perform any restraint techniques until you're trained and certified-- this can be incredibly dangerous to yourself and the kids.... And can also be law suit city!
     
  12. mom2mikey

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    Aug 29, 2010

    anewstart - Just wanted to say how much I appreciate your original post. I believe that in highlighting the restraint and seclusion comments you realize the need to make some changes. Change does need to methodical. And its tough as you may need to go through some time when the "nay-sayers" will be all too willing to point out it isn't working. I have had to initally leave some things in place (with modifications so I can sleep at night) that I don't really agree with because of the need for that slow change. It does take time. Keep plugging forward and don't get discouraged - there will be good and bad days... you can teach your students to manage their own emotions with the proper supports and instructional methods.
     
  13. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Aug 29, 2010

    Ah, good.

    Proper restraint is the best restraint.
     

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