Supporting a Special Needs Child with Sickle Cell Anemia in the Classroom

 

What is Sickle Cell Anemia?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), SCD is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Healthy red blood cells are round, and they move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In someone who has SCD, the red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle”. The sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. Also, when they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow. This can cause pain and other serious problems such infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke.

What is an Intellectual Disability?

DSM-V defines intellectual disability as a disorder with onset during the developmental period that includes both intellectual functioning including abstract thinking, judgment, academic learning, problem solving.  Adaptive functioning including limitations in activities of daily living, communication, social participation, and independent living across multiple environments such as home, school, work and community. Deficits are on the onset during the developmental period.

According the American Association on Intellectual Disabilities (AAIDD), Intellectual Functioning refers to general mental capacity such as, learning, reasoning and problem-solving.

Types

Although historically, the levels of severity was based on I.Q. scores, this has changed to adaptive functioning which determines the levels of support required.

Mild
  • Social Domain- There may be difficulties in regulating emotions and behaviors in an age-appropriate manner. There tends to be a limited understanding of calculated risk, and social judgment.
  • Practical Domain- May need assistance in independent living skills such as grocery shopping, transportation, banking and food preparation.
Moderate
  • Social Domain: Capacity for relationships is evident in ties to family and friends and may have successful friendships across life and sometimes relationships in adulthood.
  • Practical Domain: Can care for personal needs involving eating, dressing and hygiene and as an adult participate in all household task.
Severe
  • Social Doman: Spoken language is limited. Speech may be ingle words or phrases. The individual understands simple speech.
  • Practical Domain: Requires support for all activities of daily living, including meals, dressing and bathing. The person will require supervision at all times. Unable to make responsible decisions regarding self-care.
Profound
  • Social Domain: Has limited understanding of symbolic communication in speech and gestures. The person expresses his or her own desires and emotions through non-verbal communication.
  • Practical Domain: The child or adult is dependent on other people for basic needs including self-care and independent living including health and safety.

A sickle cell “crisis” occurs when the red blood cells decrease and the irregular sickle cells block the blood vessels leading to organ damage and pain. A person with an intellectual disability may not be able to communicate they are experiencing a crisis. signs and symptoms to look for include:

  • Pain
  • Tiredness
  • Fatigue
  • Leg Ulcers

Ways to support a student with sickle cell includes the following:

  1. Offer water throughout the day including frequent small amounts of water
  2. allow for accommodations during extreme weather conditions
  3. Watch for signs of a stroke
  4. Allow the student opportunities to make up homework if missed days from school are due to an illness or crisis.

Resources

Kids Health
Mayo Clinic
Medicine Net
NHLBI (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
WebMD
Organizations

Children’s Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc.

Foundation for Sickle Cell Research

Sickle Cell Disease Association of America

25 Resources on 504 Accommodations and Modifications

Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (Edefines a physical or mental impairment as any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.  

5 important classroom accommodations for children with autism

12 accommodations and modifications for dyslexic children in public school

20 modifications for students with autism

21 school accommodations available for children with special needs

504 accommodation checklist

504 plan: ADHD accommodations to manage ADHD symptoms at school

504 plan templates

A 504 plan for those with dyslexia

A parents guide to section 504

504 Education Plans

504 Plan: What is it?

Accommodations and supports for school-age students with autism

Accommodations for ADHD students K-12 in the classroom

Accommodations for students with learning disabilities

Classroom accommodations for ADHD

Classroom accommodations for dyslexic students

Classroom accommodations for students with epilepsy

Developing 504 Classroom accommodation plans

Dyslexia accommodations: How to know what your child needs

Dyslexia and accommodations- ADA guidelines for school and work

Examples of accommodations and modifications

Modification for students with Down syndrome

Section 504 and Discrimination

Section 504: sample accommodations and modifications

What are school accommodations and modifications for students with Asperger’s?

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

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

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?

40 Autism Teaching Resources You Should Know About

autismteachingres

The latest estimate shows that 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) as having autism spectrum disorder. This means that more than ever, special education teachers in order to be effective, will require additional resources and support. the following links showcase a number of blogs and information on working with children with autism.

Autism Teacher Blogs

Savvy teachers are creating and developing blogs on teaching children with autism. Many of the blogs give first -person accounts while others share classroom activities, lesson plans and classroom management.

Adventures in Flapping

Adventures in Special Education

Autism Classroom Resources

Breezy Special Ed

Special Ed Spot

Teach.Love.Autism

Teaching Special Thinkers

The Autism Adventures of Room 83

The Autism Teaching Blog

You Aut-A Know

Classroom Management

The following links discuss strategies on engaging learners and managing students in a classroom setting.

Autism and Classroom Management: Interventions that Work (Bright Hub Education)

Autism Classroom Management (Edutopia)

Classroom Management for ASD Students (Autism Investigation Project)

Classroom Management for Autistic Children

Classroom Management for Students with Autism (Amy Glade-Prezi.com)

Classroom Management in an Autism Classroom (Minds in Bloom)

Classroom Tips and Strategies

The following links are tips and strategies that are specific to teaching techniques and helpful information on setting up the classroom, data collection and scheduling.

10 Practical Tips for Classroom Aids of Autistic Children (colotraining.com)

17 Tips for Teaching High Functioning Students with Autism (gadoe.org)

22 Tips for Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Monster.com)

Inclusion Strategies for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Learn NC)

Teaching Students in Inclusive Classrooms (Child-autism-Parent-Café)

Tips for Teaching Students with Autism (Scholastic)

Tips for Working with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Project Independence)

Tips for Working with Autistic Children (Love to Know)

Teaching College Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Faculty Focus)

Teaching Tips for Children and Adults with Autism (Temple Grandin)

Social Skills Lessons

Articles, tips and lesson plan information on social skills development

5 Tips for Running a Social Skills Group Ages 7-11 (Super Power Speech)

How Are My Social Skills? Checklist. (PDF)

How I Use the Social Thinking Curriculum to Teach Flexible Thinking (The Autism Vault Blog)

How to Run a Social Skills Group (Speech and Language Kids)

Social Skills Activities for Kids with Autism (Love to Know)

Social Skills Training Groups (Autism Speaks, PowerPoint Presentation)

Tips for Teaching Social Skills When it does Not Come Easy (Lemon Lime Adventures)

Classroom set-up

12 Tips for Setting up an Autism Classroom (Principal Kendrick’s Blog)

Seven Steps for Setting up a Stellar Autism Classroom (The Autism Helper)

Life Skills

Developing Life Skills: How to Teach a Skill (TACA)

Life Skills for Children and Teens with Autism (North Shore Pediatric Therapy)

Social Life on the Spectrum (Autism after 16)

Teaching Important Life Skills (Autism Speaks)

Teacher Resource Sites

The following sites are great resources specifically for teachers working with children with autism. Many of the sites include free downloads and other resources including curriculums, lesson plans and data collection.

Autism Educators

A resource for teachers, therapist and parents including a free IEP goal bank, parent resources and an assortment of tools and resources on a variety of topics. Autism Educators, Inc. is currently offering a Teacher’s Wish List promotion.

Autism Teaching Tools

This site includes information for individuals with autism and other developmental disorders. Links include information on topics such as toys and games, curriculum management and child safety just to name a few.

Cindy’s Autistic Support

This site contains free resources on lesson plans on a variety of topics including data collection, seasonal, inclusion for teachers and life skills. A great site for parents, therapist and teachers.

Educate Autism

Downloadable printables on topics relating to body parts, colors, data recording, handwriting and emotions.

National Autism Resources

Provides therapeutic tools and resources for individuals on the autism spectrum.

Positively Autism

A resource website for parents, therapist and teachers. Resources include information on fine motor, structured task, social skills, and at home.

Practical Autism Resources

Provides more than 100 pages of free printable items.

The Autism Helper

An autism blog created by Sasha Long, a board certified behavior analysis and certified special education teacher.

Do you know of any links and resources not listed? if so, please send an email to: specialneedsresourceblog@gmail.com and we will add them to the list.