Working With Kids In A Wheelchair

Discussion in 'Special Education Archives' started by Suburban Gal, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Aug 23, 2006

    I'm working with a child in a wheelchair in a mainstream classroom and am a bit worried about it.

    Does anyone have any good advice for me?
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Aug 23, 2006

    Hi Elizabeth

    What specifically are you worried about ..... lifting?
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 23, 2006

    Before you do any lifting you need to be trained--for your protection as well as that of the student. Are there other care concerns--feeding, toileting? Again, you should be able to get any training you need and be sure that you know exactly what your responsibilities are and are not. As far as mobility, be aware of obstacles in the path and be sure that there is room in the classroom for your student to move freely. You should be able to get a lot of information from former teachers, the IEP, the parents, and the student.
     
  5. NewTeach

    NewTeach Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2006

    I student taught last year in an inclusion classroom with 2 children in wheelchairs, and a 3rd child who used a walker. The main thing you should do is put yourself in their position. Are things accessible on shelves, are they too high or low? Are there wide enough path ways to get around? Are there places at the tables where they can easily pull up to the table? During circle time will all children sit on chairs so they are eye level with their peers?
    As far as lifting goes, training is very helpful but its not difficult once you've done it a few times. In regards to toileting and feeding, depending on the needs of the children, they probably should have a paraprofessional that is responsible for that, but you should have a good idea how to do it if necessary.
    But the most important thing is to remember that the child is a child first and they want to be treated like all the other children. After a few days of working with the kids you will feel a lot more comfortable.
    Good luck!
     
  6. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

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    Aug 24, 2006

    Keep an eye on peer responses--be willing to help answer questions--younger kids usually have basic questions like how the wheelchair works and what it is for, older kids get into why is she/he in the chair. If your student can propel himself, great! If not, allowing peers to help push the chair sometimes can be a good way to get the student more involved with peers.
     
  7. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Aug 24, 2006

    That and among some other things.

    See here's the deal:

    I took him to PE this morning and was told that I had to run around the gym 4 times while pushing him in his wheelchair so that he could do the required laps before PE officially began.

    I'm sorry, but I just can't that. It's supposed to be his PE time, not mine!

    When I initially took this job I was under the impression that is SPEC ED teacher was going to assist me with him, but now I find out she's going to be team teaching with the 4th grade teacher and will be stepping back quite a bit next week which will then leave me all alone in dealings with "J".

    Quite honestly, I'm just NOT as comfortable as I thought with all this and don't need to go into an eventual burnout since I come home each day to take care of my 83-year-old grandfather in much the same way I do with "J".

    So I spoke to "T", the tecaher in charge if SPEC ED, and my own SPEC ED teacher about all thisafter school because I didn't know what else to do and since they encouraged us to go to them if we felt we had to, I took advantage of the offer.

    As of right now, I'll continue to work with "J" but have asked to be swapped with another newbie so that I'm more of a Classroom Aide instead of a 1-on-1 with "J". My SPEC ED teacher didn't see any problems swapping me with another Aide but told me I may have to speak to the Principal first. That's not an issue for me and will do whatever I have to do to be moved. I just want what's best for "J" and I don't think it includes me as his Aide. So I hope I'm doing the right thing by realizing my limitations and alerting the SPEC ED teachers about my reservations to be able to successfuly handle the physical aspects of the 1-on-1 with him.
     

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