Resources For Teaching Students with Down Syndrome

Down syndrome (Trisomy 21) is a chromosomal disorder due to 3 copies of chromosome 21, causing a number of developmental delays, medical and physical disabilities. Learning is one of the areas that is affected by the disorder. Children born with Down syndrome typically have delays in the area of gross and fine motor skills, thinking, short attention span, speech and language difficulties and sequencing. The following links and resources include information on tips and strategies for teaching children with Down syndrome for both parents and teachers.

5 tips for including students with Down syndrome in a general education classroom

10 things teachers should know about Down syndrome

Classroom strategies for Down syndrome students

Five instructional strategies for children with Down syndrome

Modifications for students with Down syndrome

Modifying your curriculum for individuals with Down syndrome

Quick tips for teaching students with Down syndrome in general education classes

Strategies for learning and teaching

Supporting the student with Down syndrome in your classroom

Teaching children with Down syndrome- 10 tips from a former teacher

Teaching children with Down syndrome to read

Teaching students with Down syndrome

Teaching tips: Special education children with Down syndrome

Tips for teaching students with Down syndrome

What students with Down syndrome want teachers to know

 

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month
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Teaching Children With Down Syndrome

 

10 things teachers should know about Down syndrome

Down syndrome-Classroom strategies

Five instructional strategies for children with Down syndrome

Homeschooling a child with Down syndrome

Including and accommodating students with Down syndrome

Inclusive education for individuals with Down syndrome

Quick tips for teaching students with Down syndrome

Strategies for Learning and Teaching

Supporting children with Down syndrome in primary school

Supporting the student with Down syndrome in your classroom

Teaching numbers to children with Down syndrome

Teaching students with Down syndrome

Tips for teaching students with Down syndrome

What students with Down syndrome want teachers to know

Free Visual Motor Skills Teaching Strategies and Worksheets

Visual processing disorder affects the way a person sees or the ability to draw or copy. The child or the student may have difficulty with cutting, copying information accurately or may struggle to cut or paste. This is due to lack of visual motor integration between the eyes and the hands.

The following resources include information on strategies in improving motor skills and free activities and worksheets.

10 strategies for visual-motor integration problems

Activities for improving visual-motor skills in kids

Teaching students with visual impairments

Visual motor integration activities

Visual motor skill activities that kids will love

Visual Motor Free Activities

Find the animals

Follow that maze

Patterns, Patterns, Patterns

Puppy Maze

Raking Maze

Trace the Squares

Visual discrimination puzzles

Visual Perceptual Worksheets

15 Visual Schedule Resources

Imagine during the course of the day you have no idea what is expected of you. Moving from one activity to the next depending on others to inform you of your daily plans. there are many benefits to using visual schedules especially for autistic children and adults. Studies show that many people diagnosed with autism experience high levels of anxiety often caused by unstructured activities.

Visual schedules are a way to communicate an activity through the use of images, symbols, photos, words, numbers and drawings that will help a child or adult follow rules and guidelines and understand what is expected during the course of the day.

Th following are resources containing information on creating visual schedules and free printables:

8 types of visual student schedules

Building a daily schedule

Daily visual schedule for kids free printable

Examples of classroom and individual schedule and activity cards

Free picture schedule

Free visual schedule printables to help kids with daily routines

Free visual school schedules

How to templates- visual schedules

How to use visuals purposefully and effectively

Time to eat visual schedules

Using visual schedules: A guide for parents

Visual schedule for toddlers

Visual schedule resources

Visual supports and autism spectrum disorders

What is visual scheduling?

Teaching Telling Time To Special Needs Children and Adults

Teaching children and adults with disabilities to tell time is one of the many steps towards independence. While neurotypical children tend to start learning how to tell around the first grade, for children with disabilities, it may take a little longer.

When teaching a child with a disability to learn how to read, teaching time telling skills requires more practice a most. each step should be broken Use multi-sensory activities as much as you can including practices that involve tactile, visual, touch, etc. Be aware if the child has a sensory processing disorder. Look for clues of a pending meltdown as the child may begin to feel overwhelmed. Allow the opportunity to calm down before returning to the activity.

The following resources below includes worksheets, templates and interactive games.

Busy Teacher. Provides beginner steps to teaching time

Education World. Lesson plans including a bingo card and additional resources on telling time

Scholastic. A lesson plan on teaching time using an analog clock model including information on pre-instructional planning and a clock template

Scholastic. Provides 10 ways to practice time skills

Teaching Time. Site includes worksheets, interactive games and templates.

The Mad House. Blog on how to make a paper plate clock- Great multisensory activity for learners

Third Space Learning. A blog article that provides a step by step technique on teaching time including ways to reduce cognitive overload.

We Are Teachers. 5 hands on ways to teach telling time. The webpage also includes a free blank watch for children to color.

Worksheet Generator

Home School Math.Net

Telling Time Quiz

Clock Wise

Games For Telling Time

Clock Games

Just In Time

Teaching Clock

What Time Is It?

Worksheets Printables

Common Core Worksheets

Education.com

Math.aids.com

Telling Time To The Hour

Creating Successful Museum Expereinces For Children With Disabiliites

Published by: Art Works Blog
Written by: Rebecca Sutton

When Roger Ideishi was helping a Philadelphia aquarium develop programming for children with cognitive and sensory disorders, he surveyed parents to see whether or not they thought their child would engage with programming by touching a starfish. “Every single parent said their child would not touch the starfish,” said Ideishi, a professor at Temple University who specializes in helping organizations develop meaningful experiences for children with disabilities. “Guess what happened? Every child touched the starfish.”

It’s an example of the happy surprises that can occur when taking children with sensory or cognitive disorders to community institutions such as Blue Star Museums, which include several aquariums around the country. “Without these opportunities, parents wouldn’t have known that their children had these other capacities or interests,” said Ideishi. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Global Developmental Delays

Global developmental delays describes when children do not meet their developmental milestones. Generally from the age of 2 months to 5 years old. Although each child is different in their development, milestones are established in order to determine functional skills on age specific tasks.

Delays can occur in the following area:

Gross motor- Involves the use of larges muscle groups such as walking, crawling and standing. May impact children diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Fine Motor- Small movement in the fingers used for drawing, painting, buttoning, coloring, and shoe tying.

Speech and language delay- A delay in language may be due to motor-oral problems.

Cognitive- Delays can be caused by, infections, ,metabolic, toxic, trauma, and chromosomal abnormalities (Down syndrome, Turner syndrome, etc.)

Social/Emotional Skills- Shows signs of delay in responding and interacting with other people. Common cause may be autism spectrum disorder

The following articles provide information on understanding global developmental delays:

6 things I’d tell the parent who just heard the word ‘Global Developmental Delay’

Causes and symptoms of developmental delays

Developmental delays and disabilities

Global Developmental Delay

How a child develops

Recognizing developmental delays in your child

Types of developmental delay in children

Understanding developmental delays

What causes developmental delay?

What you need to know about developmental delays

Classroom Accommodations for Austistic Students


A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak to a parent who voiced her frustration with her daughter’s school. Although her daughter is diagnosed with autism, she falls on the mild range of the spectrum meaning her deficits are ignored. This becomes challenging for a teacher who may not recognize the signs and symptoms of an autistic child.

Girls, in particular, often develop the ability to disappear in a large group. Imagine the amount of energy it takes to pretend you hold the same characteristics of others.  This leads to both depression and anxiety in children with autism. There are also sensory challenges a student with autism may face including auditory, visual and tactile.

Reading non-verbal cues forces a child and even some autistic adults to work harder everyday which causes exhaustion and can possibly lead to anxiety.

There are a number of ways to accommodate  a student with autism. If you are a teacher, read as much information as you can on autism. each child is different so it will help to get feedback from parents who can help provide the right accommodations.

The following articles provide great information on both modifications and accommodations  which can be put into the child’s IEP:

10 tips for making middle-school work for kids with autism

14 possible IEP accommodations for children with autism/ADHD

20 classroom modifications for students with autism

23 classroom accommodation suggestions for kids with autism and Asperger’s syndrome

Accommodations and supports for school-age students with autism

Asperger syndrome/HFA and the classroom

Common modifications and accommodations

IEP considerations for students with autism spectrum disorder

Recommendations for students with high-functioning autism

Supporting learning in the student with autism

The Power of Paws: The Therapeutic Benefits of Dogs for Autistic Students

Guest Blogger, Jeremy Divinity

The classroom is a social environment where student success is dependent on the ability to interact well with others. Whereas, 72% of students on the autism spectrum have additional mental health needs that cause challenges in the classroom.

Although the learning disabilities that are associated with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) are unique to each child many autistic students share the same development problems: social interaction, language, and behavior.Autism can hinder a student’s ability to communicate and share experiences with others. Compared to their peers, autistic students are four times more likely to need extra learning and social support. This lack of social-emotional competence leads to a decrease in their connection to the learning environment and academic performance.

ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) treatments for autistic children have proven that the behavior of autistic students can be changed. Studies have demonstrated that ABA techniques produce improvements in communication, social relationships, and school performance.With the right accommodations, including proper modifications to the educational environment, along with the addition of positive reinforcement, autistic students can overcome the many barriers to learning.To put in place effective ABA techniques, educators need a better understanding of autism and how it may affect learning. Teachers are being called upon to be innovative and creative due to the unique challenges that students with ASD provide, this includes modifying their education programs.

One ABA treatment that is growing in popularity is the use of therapy dogs. If you are unfamiliar with therapy dogs and the benefits of therapy dog treatment, here is a brief history lesson: Smoky, a Yorkshire terrier, and World War 2 veteran was the first official therapy dog whose service on and off the battlefield would pave the way for future therapy dogs. Injured soldiers relied on Smoky, their canine companion, for entertainment to boost their morale. Today, therapy dogs act as a safety net, guardian, and friend who are trained to respond to a child’s most repetitive behaviors. Due to their calming influence, therapy dogs are becoming popular in the autism community. The special relationship between the therapy dog and child stimulates positive changed behavior. For children with ASD, their furry companions are not only their best friend but also offer therapeutic benefits.

Teachers and therapists have found that therapy dogs not only act as “social catalysts” that promote social interaction but also increase the activity levels of autistic students. In a study of 22 children, kids who engaged in therapy dog sessions were more talkative and socially engaged, while also less aggressive.The calming demeanor and influence of therapy dogs aid autistic students in managing the sensory challenges of the school environment. Therapy dogs can mitigate the impact of autism in the classroom by providing stability in what may seem like an unfamiliar environment.The relationship a therapy dog has with a child extends deeper than just companionship, therapy dogs can provide both practical and emotional support. Here are some of the most common therapeutic benefits that therapy dogs provide for autistic students:

Companionship

Therapy dogs show unconditional love, and often times, a loving friendship develops. Both therapy dog and patient enjoy each other’s company in nonverbal ways which assists with everyday life. For example, therapy dogs de-escalate emotional meltdowns by gently interrupting any self-harming behaviors.

Social Interaction

The biggest challenge faced by students with autism is social interaction with peers. When introduced to the classroom, therapy dogs can increase a child’s participation and functional level. After interacting with their canine companions, students with ASD transfer over their new-found social relationships with other students.

Behavior Management

Another benefit of therapy dogs is that they can assist with behavior management by their comforting and calming demeanor. Many therapy dogs are specifically trained to decrease inappropriate behavior by acting as a source of comfort, such as leaning against a child or gently across their lap.

Academic Performance

The most important benefit that therapy dogs can provide for students is an improvement in academic performance. After introducing therapy dogs, you will find that your students are more attentive. While also being better behaved with a new-found self-confidence – which is key to academic success. Autistic students face many challenges in the classroom. To help autistic students overcome barriers to learning school administrators, teachers, and parents must be equipped with the right accommodations. Therapy dogs mitigate the impact of autism and assist in managing the sensory overload of the school environment, and provide students with autism with the stability needed to be successful in the classroom.

Resource Articles

Autism and Pets: More Evidence of Social Benefits

Dogs de-stress families with autistic children according to research

How dogs help children with autism

Pets may help improve social skills of children with autism

 

 is an education blogger for Teach.com and freelance writer from Los Angeles. Read more at http://www.JeremyDivinity.com.

 

25 Facts About Cerebral Palsy That You Did Not Know

How much do you really know about cerebral palsy? Here are 25 interesting facts about cerebral palsy:

Is a group of neurological disorders that affects body movement and muscle coordination.

Is caused by damage to the brain which controls movement and balance

Affects the motor area of the brain that directs muscle movement.

The symptoms of cerebral palsy differ in type and severity in each person.

Is the leading cause of childhood disabilities.

Cerebral Palsy is not progressive meaning it does not get worse overtime.

Cerebral Palsy prevalence is 3.3 children per 1000.

There is no cure for cerebral palsy

Cerebral Palsy is not contagious

Risk factors for cerebral palsy include pre-mature birth, infections during pregnancy, exposure to toxic substances and mothers with excess protein in the urine or a history of having seizures.

Cerebral Palsy can also be caused by complicated labor and delivery due to disruption of blood and oxygen to the brain(hypoxia) and babies in a breech position (feet first).Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type affecting 80% of people with cerebral palsy.

Ataxic cerebral palsy affects balance and depth perception

There are more boys born with cerebral palsy than girls.

Stroke in a baby or child less than the age of 3 results in cerebral palsy.

One in nine with cerebral palsy have features of autism

One in three children with cerebral palsy cannot walk

One in four children with cerebral palsy cannot feed themselves

There are 17 million people with cerebral palsy worldwide.

58.2% of children with cerebral palsy can walk independently, 11.3 walk using a hand-held mobility device and 30.6% have limited or no walking ability

Speech and language disorders are common in people with cerebral palsy

Pain is common among children with cerebral palsy

Harry Jennings, an engineer built the first modern folding wheelchair

Sir William Osler write the first book on cerebral palsy

Dr. Sigmund Freud was the first to state that cerebral palsy might be caused by abnormal development before birth.

Cerebral palsy doesn’t necessary mean learning difficulties.

References

www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp

http://www.cerebralpalsy.org/

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/