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Re: special needs children


From: Sara Scheid (scheidsa3_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Aug 09 2001 - 00:42:34 PDT

In Reply to the following
This coming year I will be teaching a small group of about 6-8 special =
needs children. The 2 assistants and the teacher will be in the room. =
The children range in disabilities and age. some are autistic, downs =
syndrome, and language and speech disabilities.=20

Has anyone worked with such children before and if so can you please =
give me some advice as far as what to teach them and what to expect.=20
Thanks in advance, Christine

 I have taught art to students with autistic, downs
syndrome, and language and speech disabilities.
Teaching these student is very rewarding if you do alot of pre thinking.

You first need to talk to the regular teacher to discover:
What level are these students are at?
Are they high functioning?
What teaching approaches work best?
What seating arrangements work best?
Ask her to explain their IEP's.
What are the rules and procedures in her classroom?
What works best if they get off task?
What works best if they get agitated?

The regular teacher may want you to start a project then she/he would
finish it.
You need to know if you will teach in their classroom?
Autistic students have a very hard time changing classrooms?

Teaching the assistants the lesson first helps or give lesson plans to
them ahead of time helps. Or have very short weekly meetings with them.

Some of these students need to ground their bodies before they can pay
attention and begin to work.
Some need to close their eyes, feet on floor or lay their heads down
before they can pay attention.

Most have problems with group instruction until they get to know you.

Develop a routine.

You need to teach them how to learn and behave in art.
In some classes
I used to teach art position:
1.sit in chair
2.hands on table
3.feet on floor
4.see your eyes (some can not watch but listen then show their hands what
to do) show

Develop non spoken class procedures as when the soft gentle
music starts it is time to listen and/or stay working.

They need a very structured envirorment.
Do a lot of individual praise and rewards.
They need very short clear instructions and answers.
Teach and do in steps.

Give them art classroom chores, rules and procedures that last the
whole year and are consistantly done.

Weaving and beading work great. Do a very simple lesson then get harder.
Some may need to have straws stuck into styofoam to learn to bead and
learn to create a pattern.
Build on the last lesson.

I'm being croppy. There is so much pre thinking that needs to be done.
I can go on and on.

E-mail me if you have more questions.

Sara Scheid