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THE VISION IMPAIRED STUDENT IN YOUR CLASSROOM - INDIVIDUAL, SOCIAL & FAMILY PERSPECTIVES. Geoff Bowen Psychologist, Statewide Vision Resource Centre. CONTENTS. Are vision impaired students really different? Living your life fully! Families, grieving and disability.

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THE VISION IMPAIRED STUDENT IN YOUR CLASSROOM - INDIVIDUAL, SOCIAL & FAMILY PERSPECTIVES

Geoff Bowen

Psychologist,

Statewide Vision Resource Centre


Contents
CONTENTS

  • Are vision impaired students really different?

  • Living your life fully!

  • Families, grieving and disability.

  • Working with students in the classroom:

    • Discipline issues

    • Stepping back

    • Self Esteem?!


Misconcetions about visual impairment
MISCONCETIONS ABOUT VISUAL IMPAIRMENT

There are multiple causes and effects of visual impairment therefore it is difficult to talk about the educational, social and emotional impact except in very general ways.


However issues to consider
However – issues to consider

  • Approximately 75% of visual impairments result from some problem with aspects of the central nervous system.

  • 60-70% of children with visual impairments will ultimately be diagnosed as having a secondary disability.

  • 50% of blind children have a LD and 56% of those with severe LD or IQ<50 have autism (Steinberg et al., 2002)


  • Same abilities, personalities and basic needs as their fully sighted classmates.

  • Regular classroom and follow the same academic program as other children.

  • Biggest obstacle to their living and learning naturally is the attitude of other people who have normal vision.

  • Most of them can see, although not well, so that while methods of instruction need to be adapted.

  • There is no special psychology attached to being blind.


  • The teacher should be to evaluate his or her own feelings about visual impairment and about the child who has joined the class.

  • As with other mainstreamed exceptional children, the attitude of the teacher will more than likely shape the behaviour of the children’s peers and ultimately the child’s own feelings and self-concept.

  • (Bowd, 1986)


Afb living with vision loss
AFB – Living With Vision Loss about visual impairment and about the child who has joined the class.

  • Live independently and productively

  • Read and write

  • Raise a family

  • Have a social life


Afb living with vision loss1
AFB – Living With Vision Loss about visual impairment and about the child who has joined the class.

  • Travel

  • Maintain a career—or launch a new one

  • Enjoy recreational sports and games

  • In short, lead a normal life


Unemployment australia
Unemployment - Australia about visual impairment and about the child who has joined the class.

“Surveys suggest that while people who are blind or vision impaired are eager to work (62% participation rate, which is high relative to other disability groups (ABS 1997), only 21 % are able to find work (RBS 1996: 101).”

“BCA estimates that the rate of unemployment amongst vision impaired and blind people in Australia to be around 70 percent.”


Non finite loss and grief
Non-finite Loss And Grief about visual impairment and about the child who has joined the class.

  • Internalised expectations for their child and life.

  • Discrepancy and tension between world that should have been, might have been and “what is” emerging.

  • Losses that are contingent on development, time and dysynchrony with hopes, wishes, ideals and expectations.


  • Enduring presence of grief precipitated by a negative life event.

  • Retains a presence - helplessness to fix - a ghost.

  • Dreams, fantasies, wishes - loss captured in other people’s lives.

  • Also - 20% of mothers reached criteria for diagnosis of PTSD [a general finding among victims]. (Elizabeth J. Bruce Parents of children with chronic conditions: The urgency of psychological first aid)


Dealing with families
DEALING WITH FAMILIES event.

“At any given point, families need opportunities to express themselves, and they need acknowledgment of their feelings by others. They also need specific, relevant information regarding their child, presented in an honest, empathic manner.”

(Cohen et. al. 1992)


Grieving helping parents
“Grieving”: Helping Parents event.

  • Loss and grief persist despite passage of time and age of child. Respect the ongoing grief associated with non-finite loss.

  • Be aware that all responses to the loss areways of coping. This is anything the person does, thinks or feels. Fathers often “under-dosed” on loss perspectives (no denial). Mothers “over-dosed” on loss perspectives.



  • Allow expression of feelings without judgement. and be patient.

  • Accept the story being told over and over again.

  • Crisis or change may reactivate a more intense period of stress.

  • Listen and hear what is really being said (Learn some basic counselling skills).




Encourage parents to get help
Encourage Parents to Get Help - disability in different ways.

  • If they are stuck with memories of the crisis and can't seem to get away from them.

  • If they can't really accept your child as he is, but still believe that he will have great achievements in ways that he cannot.

  • If they continue to be very angry or feel very guilty.



Working with vi students in the classroom
WORKING WITH VI STUDENTS IN THE CLASSROOM after they have had all the possible information.

  • Beware the“slippery sided sympathy pit”. Remember if you do it right they won’t need you anymore! Step Back!

  • Non-verbal discipline skills: “the look”, eye contact, body posture and teacher placement.

  • VI students need considerably more verbal indication of where they are “at” with their behaviour.


The moving in approach
THE “MOVING IN” APPROACH after they have had all the possible information.

  • Get close to the child and gain their attention i.e. arms length, eye contact and say their name.

  • Tell your child specifically what you want them to do in calm clear voice.


  • Give after they have had all the possible information. the child time to cooperate and encourage them if they do. If they argue stay calm and even drop your voice level and say something like: I hear what your saying but I want you to do..(Repeat the instruction). If argument continues; step 4.

  • Back up your instruction with a consequence.

  • If they do what they are told after the consequence, use lots of praise.


Effective discipline
EFFECTIVE DISCIPLINE after they have had all the possible information.

  • YOU MUST PLAN FOR EFFECTIVE CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT.

  • POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT IS THE KEY.

  • BEFORE YOU RULE REMIND, WARN OR GIVE A CONSEQUENCE, PRAISE AT LEAST TWO STUDENTS FOR COMPLIANCE.


Other useful ideas
OTHER USEFUL IDEAS after they have had all the possible information.

  • PROXIMITY PRAISE

  • THE CANTER “MARBLES IN JAR” APPROACH

  • ORGANISE “DOWNTIME”


A Good Quality Of Life after they have had all the possible information.

Includes

Having Power And Control Over Your Life

This Is:

Self Determination


Essential Characteristics of after they have had all the possible information.

Self-Determined Behavior

  • Make choices and decisions as needed.

  • Exhibit some personal or internal control over actions.

  • Feel capable and act that way.

  • Understand the effects of own actions.


Component Elements of after they have had all the possible information.

Self-Determined Behavior

Choice-Making Skills

Decision-Making Skills

Problem-Solving Skills

Goal-Setting and Attainment Skills

Independence, Risk-Taking and Safety Skills

Self-Observation and Self-Evaluation Skills

Self-Reinforcement Skills

Self-Instruction Skills

Self-Advocacy and Leadership Skills

Self-Awareness

Self-Knowledge


Self determination stepping back
Self Determination & Stepping Back after they have had all the possible information.

To assist VI students in developing self determination we need to learn how to step back and help VI students and all students with disabilities to do as much as possible for themselves, develop independence and only ask for help when they really need it.

i.e. If I as a aide, teacher or psychologist do it right they won’t need me any more!


19 ways to step back
19 WAYS TO STEP BACK after they have had all the possible information.

It often feels right to give help to students with visual impairments, but this may not be in their best interest. Use the following list to help yourself step back.

Adapted from Classroom Collaboration, by Laurel J Hudson, PhD (Perkins School for the Blind) Available at: http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=6&TopicID=19&DocumentID=1573



  • If you need touch cues, try hand-under-hand instead of hand-over-hand. This gives students much more choice. 

  • Acknowledge your impulse to make students' days go smoothly. There's a reason you chose the helping profession.

  • Sit further away. If you have been within arm's reach, sit just within earshot. If you have been sitting just within earshot, sit across the room.


  • Pat yourself on the back every time you help with seeing, not thinking. Your job is to give information. Record your and their behaviour over time – Functional Behaviour Analysis.

  • Even though helping can feel right, be aware that to much assistance is short sighted. Sometimes less is more, less is better.

  • Unless you are the Classroom Teacher, catch yourself before you correct students' work. Remember, this is about the students' skills . . . not yours.


  • Low self-esteem is a consequence of failing at school not the cause. The whole box and dice of successes and failures in the world cause self-esteem. Therefore if we teach the doing well bit of self-esteem, the feeling good, which we cannot teach will follow.

  • People guided by the popular "feeling good" approach are ready to intervene to make the child feel better.


  • The "doing well" approaches such as the cause. The whole box and dice of successes and failures in the world cause self-esteem. Therefore if we teach the doing well bit of self-esteem, the feeling good, which we cannot teach will follow.Cognitive Behavioral Therapy intervene to change the child's thinking about failure, to encourage frustration-tolerance, and to reward persistence rather than mere success.

  • The "doing well" advocates have a range of new psychological technologies that work, for changing pessimism into optimism and for changing helplessness into mastery.


Therefore
Therefore! the cause. The whole box and dice of successes and failures in the world cause self-esteem. Therefore if we teach the doing well bit of self-esteem, the feeling good, which we cannot teach will follow.

Increase student’s sense of mastery in their lives. Don’t cheat them and lie to them by trying to give false self-esteem. Self esteem grows out of challenge and mastery rather telling a child they are great regardless of what they do.


For further information about the the cause. The whole box and dice of successes and failures in the world cause self-esteem. Therefore if we teach the doing well bit of self-esteem, the feeling good, which we cannot teach will follow.Statewide Vision Resource Centre please contact us on:(+613) 9841 [email protected]


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