Students with Multiple Disabilities

Discussion in 'Special Education Archives' started by Chocoholic, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. Chocoholic

    Chocoholic New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 2, 2006

    After years of substitute teaching I got my license and start teaching a class with six students aged 13-16 with severe cognitive delays and CP. The first day of class is this Monday and I am trying to figure out how to organize our first day together and present interesting activities. I also need help finding web sites with free lesson plans. Any advice?
     
  2.  
  3. texas_byrd

    texas_byrd Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 2, 2006

    First Day in an MI Class

    Bless you for taking on this challenge. I taught a Lifeskills class for 9 years, the last 4 of which was much more like an MI class. Many of the children who came into my class were used to sitting all day and doing nothing except tearing things up and tantruming when they got bored.

    The first day sets the tone for the whole year.

    I would give them an important job, like making a present for their mother. A good one is a layed bean jar. This helps with hand-eye coordination and teaches perseverance. You can use anything to fill up the jar. It is important that they fill it by picking up one bean at a time.

    Another good activity is measuring and pouring rice. They could fill a cup up and pour it into another container. Or share the responsibility of working together. A large container keep it neat.

    They could work on color recognition by starting with one color If they had a red mat, they could put many red objects on the mat. This way they are successful.

    Another good thing to begin is communication especially for the kids with CP. You could start with a piece of cardstock divided into 4 boxes. In each you could put a symbol that represents something they might want. If they can pick up the paper symbol, you could glue and they could place. The communication board could be placed at their desk. Every morning they could practice using their symbols, and it can be used throughout the day. Eventually this could lead to using a VOCA, a voice device like Stephen Hawkings uses.

    You can teach following directions by practicing movements that are within their capabilities. Such as raising and arm or going one step. If they can't move, you can help them move.

    Story time would be great. Where the Wild Things Are is a great predicatable book.

    The overall best thing you can do for yourself in to plan a routine with no more than 15 minutes per activity to begin with. The students might be at their limits after 15 minutes worth of work or less and need some down time. This may sound like a lot, but there will be feedings and diapers and other things that eat up time, too.

    Also, nip biting and pinching in the bud, by saying "No," using the sign for 'no' and moving out of range. (The sign for 'no' looks like the first two fingers closing with the thumb to make a bite. Kindof like how you motion that someone is yapping but with only the first two fingers.)

    I hope some of these ideas are useful. Let me know how your first day goes.
     
  4. Chocoholic

    Chocoholic New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 2, 2006

    Thanks

    Thanks so much for your swift reply. You gave me several good ideas and I look forward to trying some of them out. I haven't been given much time to prepare for the start of school. With only one day to unpack and set up, I will be quite busy (but then, aren't we all!)
     
  5. mimers31

    mimers31 Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 3, 2006

    I have been a special ed teacher for 5 years with kids with severe to profound multiple disabilities. I have tought ages 6-14, but currently have 4th-6th graders. The ideas listed were great, and if you have any specific questions, or you want someone who is in the same field right now, I would love to talk. I am not usually on this forum a bunch, so if you want we can set something up through email or PM. Let me know!
     
  6. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 3, 2006

    I, too, have students with multiple disabilities including CP--nice to hear there are more teachers in the same boat!

    Great ideas mentioned so far. I would add--the first few weeks are going to be exploration for everyone--you, your staff, your students, your therapists. Plan activities that will explore a variety of materials and skills, so you can see for yourself (so much better than just what is written about them) how and what they can do. I would suggest starting with a get to know you unit--this is adaptable to be appropriate for any age. Prepare a survey to send home the first day, asking parents to fill out or help their child fill out a "what is your favorite ______." The next few days you can use this in your activities--find out how much your students are able to communicate, whether they can answer yes/no questions about the information you already have, or multiple choice questions using objects [it can help you to judge their accuracy when you already have an idea of the answer]. You can do crafts activities based around that info--I've done an "about our class" book that I laminate and put together with those rings. (Collages of fave colors, pictures or drawings of activities, foods, etc.)

    Art and Cooking are two great venues for students at all levels, because you can incorporate direction following, communication, and motor skills at all the different levels your students might be at (eye gaze, attention, turn-taking, keeping materials on the table, tolerating tactile or sensory stimulation). You are also addressing basic skills in a meaningful, relevant, age-appropriate context.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!
     
  7. mimers31

    mimers31 Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 4, 2006

    BCBlue, I also do a getting to know you unit, I call "all about me" I do the axact thing where I send home homework for the parents and kids to do about their families, their favorite toys, TV shows, books, activities etc. Then I use Boardmaker or other pictures to make a picture essay with the kids and then we share them and post them up. You can also tie this to a basic human body unit which ties lots of stuff together. I usually borrow a full size skeleton from a science center, we do 5 senses which is great for our kids, especially doing fun stuff with taste and smell, then you can do math: how many eyes, hands, fingers, etc. It is a lot of fun, and it helps to get to know the students better, and provides with lots of informal assessments about what the kids know about.
     
  8. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 4, 2006

    Ooh--I like the basic human body unit idea. Wonder if anyone in my district has a skeleton?
     
  9. Chocoholic

    Chocoholic New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 4, 2006

    Thank you all so much for the great hints! I had planned to ask parents to send in pictures of siblings, pets, their home so the students could share all about themselves the first week. When I shared this with my aide, she laughed and said no one even bothers to show up for Open House or IEP meetings so perhaps I shouldn't expect much. Maybe the questionnaire asking for their favorites may be easier for the families. We won't have any therapists visit for at least two weeks. We aren't offered art or music, so it's all on my shoulders for over 6 hours a day. I am so excited but definitely not getting much sleep!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Jennay
Total: 120 (members: 2, guests: 102, robots: 16)
test