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Re: [teacherartexchange] Advice about learning disabled students


From: Betty B (bettycarol_40_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Aug 17 2005 - 18:43:14 PDT

Wow Heather that's a handful!

How successful this can be (and it can) depends a lot
on the quality of aides. I've had aides who were more
of a problem than their kids, or ones who just read
novels, or ones who did all the students work so the
kid just sat there. Now I have excellent aides (and I
have more experience). They know the students well and
know what their limitations and strengths are. We
adapt projects together. I have found that most of the
life skills kids really want very badly to do the same
projects as the typical student. They are accustomed
to doing adapted things - like when we weave they
might do something with bigger yarn and bigger
stitches, but it is still weaving! Also, mine prefer
to sit together as a group. Their choice. They take
care of each other like a little family. My other
students have always been very kind to them.

On days that I am lecturing, or we are doing written
work, they either have a free draw or usually stay in
their own classroom and catch up on other work. This
works out well because they are always out of the
classroom one day a week for shopping and laundry and
bowling so have things to catch up on.

The students who are so severe they don't know what
room they are in always have an aide - I have learned
to insist on that, otherwise the poor things attach
themselves to my side and move when I move - they are
terrified to be "alone" in that room. And they usually
are happy drawing with crayons so long as the aide can
keep them from drawing on the table. Markers or paint
can be disastrous.

I have such a high percentage of other LD students
that I don't even pay attention to which ones they are
when it comes to the nitty gritty of art making. All
my students get additional time for projects if they
need it, or help reading tests, I basically give
everybody the same options as the basic IEP's.

I also have a lot of SED students since we bus those
students in from a 30+ mile radius. They generally
don't have modifications beyond their behavior. I just
try to put them near positive kids who won't
intentionally push their buttons. I have a new ED
teacher this year, but usually if there is a problem I
can call on my cel phone and they will come escort the
kid to their classroom. I avoid putting them in the
hall for any reason. These students are far more
challenging to me than any of the other special needs
Good luck! I think I would avoid any large scale
projects - lots of team projects perhaps.

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