Education Implications for Students with Physical and Health Impairments


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Learning objectives

By the end of the lesson, the student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate exceptional mastery of language
  2. Demonstrate understanding of writing skills through note-taking
  3. Exercise multiplication and addition skills

Learning activities

  1. Reading modification to suit the visually impaired
  2. Instructional adaptation to writing
  3. Assistive technology for motor movement

The Common Core ELA relates to the modification of reading for students with motor difficulties. It requires that the teacher determines the theme of the text and then conducts an analysis of its development. This includes examining the relationship between text characters, plot, and setting. Finally, the teacher should provide a summary of the text. However, this is considered schematic by most teachers. Instead, they prefer the adjustment of material through the use of alternative text in a simple context based on the student’s reading level. Common Core according to teachers pushes education towards a higher achievement level. This is evident through the ability to use language in a sophisticated manner. The analysis of the text by teachers provides a unique opportunity for concentrating on the fluency, thought processes, and compound sentences (Heller & Swinehart-Jones, 2003). As a result, the students will be in a position to analyze texts, create logical arguments, ensure project collaboration and develop coherent questions.

Common Core ELA requires the reading of texts in a repeated manner because the redundancy enables the students to focus on important words and to relax. The students are required to listen the first time the text is read, and then listen for phrases and keywords and finally listen and take notes. The students should then read their notes to their neighbors in the classroom, and both of them can reconstruct the text. The teacher then shows the original texts to students and involves them in the discussion of similarities and differences emanating from their texts and the original text (Palloway, Patton & Dowdy, 2001). This exercise facilitates the student’s ability to read, write and listen. Teamwork among students and the teacher creates a social and cooperative environment for learning. Communication skills are necessary based on math lessons because the students are required to explain their work in several ways, justify conclusions, communicate and responds to arguments from other students. Math standards allow the involvement of assistive technology that assist in the student movement (Family Connect, n.d).

Strategies 

Team approach is a method of involving a child in the development of educational programs. The team comprises of parents, medical, health-related professionals and other students. The team should consider certain areas of need in order to meet the needs of the student satisfactorily. First, the team should ensure physical independence, which enables the student to master the daily living skills. Other areas of consideration by the team are academic growth, communication, life skills training and social maturation and self-awareness. The impaired student also requires interdisciplinary services such as physical, speech and language and occupational therapies (Center for Parent Information and Resources, 2010).

Scoring tool (Learning by Objectives)

The student is required to:

  1. a) Learn new language structures, basic and academic vocabulary and expressions heard during classroom interactions and instructions
  2. b) Use the support from the teacher and peers to read texts
  3. c) Understand the developed vocabulary and language structures including background knowledge for comprehending challenging languages
  4. d) Internalize the academic language through speaking and writing activities in meaningful ways that build concept attainment and language accuracy
  5. e) Demonstrate the variation in multiplication and addition concepts with ease through the use of assistive technology.

Students with health impairments and physical disabilities require the need for placement. This emanates from the provision of educational services which happen in multiple settings such as resource rooms, regular classrooms, special classes including more restrictive settings such as homebound and hospital programs. Considering that educational services include extensive health and medical-related support, the need for arrangements is necessary in order to render these services in diverse organizational settings (Center for Parent Information and Resources, 2010).

Implementation

The modification of reading for students with motor difficulties was applied to ensure the delivery of instructions and assignments in an effective manner. The student was issued with learning materials such as assistive technology, reading and writing scripts to enable the processing of complex concepts. The step-by-step recording of instructions and the receptiveness of the student turned out exceptional. The use of recorded books enabled the ability to share literature with the student (Family Connect, n.d). The student demonstrated an understanding of the writing process through adapting to instructions well. Since the student has motor difficulties, he successfully managed to record stories through the use of Braille.

Activity Student performance
Reading modification ·         The student shows the ability to analyze texts

·         Demonstrates an understanding of complex languages through reading

·         Understands new vocabularies

Instructional adaptation to writing ·         Demonstrates  writing skills through note-taking of read-aloud texts

·         Ability to adhere to instructions and apply to class assignments

·         Requires briefing before the lesson for preparation reasons

Assistive technology for motor movement ·         Demonstrates the ability to interpret and calculate mathematical problems.

·         Ability to adhere to written down assignments on scripts

·         Demonstrates understanding of multiplication and addition concepts due to frequent practice.

Reflection

Description of the student

Age: 7

Gender: Male

Grade: 3

The student performed well in both functional and academic performance. The academic performance is based on the reading and writing ability of the student. It shows his ability to demonstrate understanding of major concepts by writing after information is read out loudly. The student also responds to questions comfortably especially when the questions are addressed with detailed instructions. The student has motor difficulties, which has affected his vision. The use of Braille during math lessons has facilitated his ability to comprehend figures and calculations. Assistive technology has made his functional abilities possible and successful (Center for Parent Information and Resources, 2010).

The teaching strategies, in this case, involve the modification of the learning environment to suit the needs of the student. This includes specially designed desks and positioning and assistive devices. Other adaptations may comprise of procedures that combat medical emergencies in cases where students are subjected to serious medical issues. Teaching materials such as Braille, text scripts and reading materials are important in engaging students with motor difficulties in reading, writing and math (Family Connect, n.d). The student requires regular exercises, which creates the need for assistive devices that facilitate communication. Computer terminals are used to boost the communication ability of the student. The learning environment was safe, accessible and comfortable for the student. The focus on accessibility guidelines for the school administration creates an environment that enables the students to manage without help. When modifications are less restrictive, the student finds the school environment normal like other students. Although a student with physical disabilities requires extreme attention, it is important to allow him to take risks like their able-bodied peers. The technological advancement helps in making life easier and normal for students with disabilities (Palloway et al., 2001). This is an indication that even people with most severe impairments can gain control over daily living skills and communication.

The lesson outcomes of the student were good because he demonstrated exceptional performance. The learning objectives were met because the student showed the ability to read and write with the help of the Braille as an assistive device. The student demonstrated a good mastery of language, which was evident after issuing assessment tests. The ability to apply reading concepts and input the information using the Braille was excellent. The reading strategy was well applied because the student demonstrated listening skills before note-taking. The writing skills were governed by the ability to listen attentively while noting phrases and keywords. The student showed the understanding of vocabularies as the teacher repeatedly read the texts (Heller et al., 2003).

However, the student failed to interpret certain symbols and signs in math due to distractions from other students. The calculation and interpretation of mathematical concepts were successful, and the student demonstrated frequent practice. He also showed the need to take frequent exercises especially challenging vocabularies. At the same time, he requested the need to change the format of presenting texts during reading because it affects his note -taking experience. The student was availed with assistive technology that aided the manipulation of instruments in math class (Family Connect, n.d). Specialized software, peer tutors, oral exams and individualized instructions also enabled the student to understand the multiplication and addition concepts.

The lessons were effective and succeeded in using the assistive technology and other materials. During reading lessons, the modification of text proved effective because the student demonstrated an understanding of the complex concepts. The reading strategy also proved productive because it enabled the student to relax and focus on the presentation of text (Family Connect, n.d). This strategy ensured that the attention of the student was captured including the need to participate in frequent exercises. The writing lessons were also effective as they depended on the reading lessons. The inputting of information using the Braille was successful although the student had difficulties with the speed of information delivery. There were slight mistakes in grammar and spelling due to the speed involved. The student requested the need to conduct briefings before the lesson for preparation purpose. In math lessons, the student managed to interpret figures and symbols with ease. Braille enabled him to successfully locate mathematical concepts (Family Connect, n.d). However, it is necessary to improve the  speed through which information is delivered to the student because of the slow pace and constant need to repeat requested by the student during lessons. The learning strategies were effective for most of the lessons. However, the use of positioning devices and specially designed desks affected the ability to move after lessons due to space constraints (Palloway et al., 2001).

Steps

  1. a) Assist the student with Braille use in order to enhance his speed during lessons
  2. b) Engage the student in multiple assessment tests in order to ensure fluency in reading
  3. c) Train the student on how to avoid spelling mistakes during writing lessons and assignments

Conclusion

Students with motor difficulties require support services, which is a vital consideration in fitting programs based on individual student needs. These services include physical therapy, school health and diagnostic services, occupational therapy, social work services, counseling and transportation. Parents are essential in team approach as they participate in major decisions. Attention among students with disabilities is necessary in their education performance.

References

Polloway, E. A., Patton, J. R., & Dowdy, C. A. (2001). Teaching students with special needs in inclusive settings.

Heller, K.W. & Swinehart-Jones, D. (2003). Supporting the Educational Needs of Students with Orthopedic Impairments, Georgia State University.

Center for Parent Information and Resources (2010). Supports, Modifications, and Accommodations for Students, CPIR.

Family Connect (n.d). Accommodations and Modifications at a Glance: Educational Accommodations for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired. Familyconnect.org. Retrieved 9. Apr 2015 http://www.familyconnect.org/info/education/know-your-rights/accommodations-and-modifications-at-a-glance/235

 

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