Development and Characteristics of Learners Overview of Disabilities Standard # 2 Paraeducator Training
Local Policy Your local district’s policies regarding paraeducator job descriptions, duties, and responsibilities provide the final word!
Agenda • Characteristics of student development • Identify thirteen (13) disability categories as listed in IDEA • Characteristics of the disability • Issues related to the disability • Discuss paraeducator’s role in supporting students with disabilities
Learner Outcomes Participants will be able to: • Recognize importance of student development • Identify thirteen disability categories • List characteristics of the disability • Discuss issues related to the disability • Describe the paraeducator’s role in supporting students with disabilities
Student Support Activity • Look at handout #1 • Describe the student • Physical development • Social/emotional skills including behavior • Cognitive and communication abilities • Daily living skills
Developmental Expectations: • Children learn naturally • All students grow at their own developmental pace. • Some students experience delays in their development.
To Teach Effectively… …educators must always keep in mind the dynamics and needs of the group as well as the individual characteristics and needs of each student in the group… • This is where your assistance is needed.
How Children Develop and Learn Adults must know how students are working developmentally, as well as what makes each student unique.
How Children Develop and Learn Child development is the accepted body of knowledge about how students grow and learn.
How Children Develop and Learn Five areas of development that make up the whole child: • Physical • Cognitive • Speech and Language • Self help • Social/emotional
The Five Primary Developmental Areas Physical development – the ability to move, see, and hear Cognitive development - the ability to think and learn Speech and Language development - the ability to talk, express needs
The Five Primary Developmental Areas Self help - (or adaptive development) the ability to eat, dress, and take care of themselves Social and emotional development – the ability to relate to others
How Children Develop and Learn These developmental areas are interrelated – development in one area affects other areas.
How Children Develop and Learn All students bring to school a set of unique characteristics and experiences that affect how they respond to school experiences, relate to others, and learn.
How Children Develop and Learn Effective teachers and other adults learn about each student in order to individualize teaching and learning.
Child Development and Disabilities Child development impacts the disability The disability impacts child development
Student Support Activity Handout #1 Review the skills and abilities of a student you know.
Introduction to Disability Categories Need to identify the disability: • For eligibility • To better match related services to student needs • Match individual development levels with appropriate support
Thirteen disability categories as listed in IDEA • Autism • Deaf-blindness • Deafness • Hearing impairment • Emotional disturbance • Mental retardation • Multiple disabilities
Thirteen disability categories as listed in IDEA • Orthopedic impairment • Other health impairment • Specific learning disability • Speech/language impairment • Traumatic brain injury • Visual impairment
Disability Categories: Autism • Autism is a developmental disorder significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication. Students with this disability have difficulties with communication, behavior, and social skills.
Characteristics of Autism • Difficulties understanding spoken language • Difficulties expressing needs verbally • Poor pronunciation and voice control • Misunderstanding social situations • Problems in understanding gestures • Unusual responses to touch, taste, smell, and/or sounds
Characteristics of Autism • Clumsiness in skilled movements • Aloofness and social withdrawal • Resistance to change • Socially embarrassing behavior • May appear fearful • May play differently, line up or spin objects • Often better with visual skills
Characteristics of Autism What might you do? • provide structure in routine and classroom environment • prepare students for changes in routine • use very concrete language • make language visual • observe activities to identify support needs • provide choices
Disability Categories: Deaf-Blindness • Deaf-blindness is the combination of a visual impairment and a hearing loss. • Educational approaches to address only one of these problems is not be the best way to help a student learn.
Characteristics of Deaf-Blindness What might you do? • Teach through touch to help with extensive sensory loss • Hand-under-hand is an essential instructional strategy
Characteristics of Deaf-Blindness What might you do? • Maximize the use of vision and hearing • Learn successful procedures for “greeting” each student • Help students orient themselves to classroom, bathroom, cafeteria, etc.
Disability Categories: Deafness Deafness is a hearing loss so severe that the student cannot get information through the sense of hearing, even with the use of amplification.
Characteristics of Deafness • May exhibit unintelligible or no speech • Possible speech and/or language delays • Usually use hearing aids • May use assistive listening devices • May use sign language
Characteristics of Deafness What might you do? • Help the student learn to operate their listening device • Meet with interpreter to share homework, vocabulary
Characteristics of Deafness What might you do? • Look at environment for best seating • Work with others to follow good communication behavior • Facilitate student learning
Disability Categories:Hearing Impairment Hearing impairment means an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. It is not as severe as deafness.
Characteristics of Hearing Impairment • May exhibit unintelligible or no speech • Possible speech and/or language delays • Usually use hearing aids • May use assistive listening devices • May use sign language
Characteristics of Hearing Impairment What might you do? • Optimize learning environment • Organize their instructional materials • Communicate clearly • Promote self-advocacy
Activity • Look at Handout #3 • Consider the disabilities that we have just discussed: autism, deaf-blind, deafness, and hearing impairment. • Answer the three questions on the handout relating to these disability categories.
Disability Categories: Emotional Disturbance A condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics which occur over a period of time, and to a marked degree, which affect a child’s ability to learn: • difficulty building or maintaining interpersonal relationships • inappropriate behavior or feelings The inability to learn cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors
Characteristics of Emotional Disturbance • Immaturity (inappropriate crying, temper tantrums, poor coping skills) • Possible learning difficulties (academically performing below grade level)
Characteristics of Emotional Disturbance • Students with the most serious emotional disturbances may exhibit: • distorted thinking • excessive anxiety, • bizarre motor acts • abnormal mood swings
Characteristics of Emotional Disturbance What might you do? • Keep rules short • Check for understanding • Provide verbal cues to students to remind them to prepare for changing classes or going home • Give written cues such as schedules or To Do Lists • Remain patient!
Disability Categories:Mental Retardation • Students with this disability have impaired mental development which adversely affects their educational performance, and who exhibit impaired adaptive behavior in learning, maturation, or social development.
Characteristics of Mental Retardation • Intelligence testing score of 70 or below • Difficulties with learning, communication, social, academic, vocational, and independent living skills • Varies: mild, moderate, severe, profound
Characteristics of Mental Retardation What might you do? • Make instruction and practice more concrete and personally relevant by relating them to tasks and experiences the student understands • Provide additional practice on skills • Provide skill practice and lots of repetition • Break down tasks in to small units-prompts
Characteristics of Mental Retardation What might you do? • Provide social skill instruction • Repeat instructions or activity descriptions; • Keep directions simple
Disability Categories: Multiple Disabilities • Students with multiple disabilities have more than one disabling condition.
Characteristics of Multiple Disabilities • Students with severe or multiple disabilities may exhibit a wide range of characteristics, depending on the combination and severity of disabilities, and the person’s age. There are, however, some traits they may share, including:
Characteristics of Multiple Disabilities • Limited speech or communication • Difficulty in basic physical mobility • Trouble generalizing skills from one situation to another; and/or • A need for support in major life activities (e.g., self-care, leisure, community use, vocational).
Disability Categories: Multiple Disabilities What might you do? • Provide physical support in daily activities: dressing, feeding, toileting • Learn positioning techniques • Use safe lifting techniques • Ask for training in specialized areas (tube feeding, seizures)!
Disability Categories:Orthopedic Impairment • Student with this disability have skeletal or physical problems which may be first seen at birth (e.g., cerebral palsy, spina bifida), may be the result of disease (e.g., meningitis), or may be the result of an accident (e.g., amputation).
Disability Categories:Orthopedic Impairment What might you do? • Learn to accommodate the classroom environment • Use assistive devices for writing skills and communication • Consider logistics and plan for inclusion