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Welcome to Room 128!. Inclusion Practices for Students with Cerebral Palsy. Linda Dixon EDLE 6322 Summer 2010. Introduction. This presentation seeks to answer these questions: How can I help students with disabilities reach their potential?

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welcome to room 128

Welcome to Room 128!

Inclusion Practices for

Students with Cerebral Palsy

Linda Dixon

EDLE 6322

Summer 2010


This presentation seeks to answer these questions:

  • How can I help students with disabilities reach their potential?
  • What kinds of issues do students with cerebral palsy face?
  • What does inclusion mean to regular education teachers?
  • How did inclusive education come to be?
  • More and more students with special needs have been included in my fourth grade classroom recently
  • Statistically speaking, 19% of the people living in the US have limitations or disabilities—that’s 49 million or one out of every five!

(President’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities, 1994)

  • This fall a student with cerebral palsy will be included in my fourth grade classroom
definitions of key terms
Definitions of Key Terms
  • Inclusive Education

“Authentic membership, full participation, reciprocal social relationship and learning to high standards in age-appropriate general education classrooms with supports” (Jorgensen, 2009)

cerebral palsy by definition
Cerebral Palsy by Definition
  • It is an abnormality of motor function (the ability to move and control movements)
  • It cannot be cured, but will not get worse. It must be managed for a lifetime.
  • Cerebral refers to the brain (not spine) and its inability to regulate muscle tone which consequently impairs movement.
  • Palsy comes from a word meaning “paralysis”
treatment of cerebral palsy
Treatment of Cerebral Palsy
  • May include speech therapy
  • May include occupational therapy
  • May include “orthoses” or any device to stabilize or immobilize a body part to prevent further injury or to assist with function (casting or braces)
  • May include surgeries as well
history of inclusion in american schools phase 1
History of Inclusion in American Schools – Phase 1
  • Children with Disabilities were largely excluded from school in the 1930s—1960s
  • Common practices were institutions, negative labels, restricted daily schedule, little socialization of any kind, considered uneducable, no record of birth or death, no name for child with disabilities
  • Perceived as a burden to society
  • United Cerebral Palsy founded 1946
history of inclusion in american schools phase 2
History of Inclusion in American Schools – Phase 2
  • Children with Disabilities were largely segregated during the 1960s
  • Negative labeling continued
  • Schooling did not begin until after age 12
  • Better socialization, but only with children with disabilities
  • Improved technology and research yielded better care and more highly trained caretakers
history of inclusion in american schools phase 3
History of Inclusion in American Schools – Phase 3
  • The 1960s was a time of greater research and calls for reform of segregated programs
  • In 1963 the Association of Children with Learning Disabilities was formed
  • In 1968 the Architectural Barriers Act mandated access to facilities for all people if federally funded
history of inclusion in american schools phase 4
History of Inclusion in American Schools – Phase 4
  • The 1970s was a time of legislative reforms and mandates passed as public laws
  • The Rehabilitation Acts (PL 93-122, Sections 502 and 504) mandated equal access to programs, transportation, employment, facilities and programs
  • In 1975 the most far-reaching legislation was realized in PL 94-142—Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA) which mandated the right to free and appropriate education regardless of condition
history of inclusion in american schools phase 41
History of Inclusion in American Schools – Phase 4
  • PL 94-14 was revised in 1997 as the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA)
  • IDEA was reauthorized in 2004 as the Reauthorized IDEA which further mandated annual performance objectives be set (IEP), objectives be reviewed each year and students placed in the “least restrictive environment” unless they could not best be served there or were disruptive to the education of other students.
history of inclusion in american schools phase 5
History of Inclusion in American Schools – Phase 5
  • Mainstreaming vs. Inclusion Models
  • Slow changes were seen throughout the 1970s and 1980s
  • Legislation mandated the ideal inclusive education opportunities but in actuality it took some time to become reality
  • Greater awareness and opportunities gradually became common practice and great changes were seen
research findings student performance
Research Findings— Student Performance

When students with disabilities are included in the regular classroom, they have shown--

  • Better performance in reading and math
  • Higher gains in adaptive behavior
  • Higher scores on standardized tests
  • Fewer absences from school
  • Fewer referrals for disruptive behavior
  • Better job placement and independent living after high school
research findings student performance1
Research Findings— Student Performance

When students with disabilities are included in the regular classroom,

  • They show greater social competence with students of all ability levels
  • “Typical” students derive benefits socially and their performance in academic work is not compromised
  • Start up costs do initially increase, but costs over time decrease when compared to segregated school services
research findings teacher perceptions
Research Findings— Teacher Perceptions
  • When labels accompany students with disabilities, teachers were slightly less comfortable than when no labels were used
  • The higher the teachers’ education level and years of experience, the more comfortable they are with including a child with disabilities
  • Although labeling is necessary to qualify the student, effects were negative in that they were perceived as different, expectations were lowered and they were not referred for gifted programs as often
research findings teacher perceptions1
Research Findings— Teacher Perceptions
  • Teachers are more willing to include children who do not inhibit learning in their peers
  • Teachers have concerns that they will not have enough financial and collaborative support when they include students with disabilities
  • Teachers expressed reluctance to include students with disabilities, because they felt untrained or unwilling to take on more responsibilities
current practices and realities
Current Practices and Realities
  • The school setting is now integrated
  • Children with disabilities learn side-by-side with regular ed. students
  • “Person-first” labels are used
  • Parks and recreational facilities are open to all people
  • Open society has a greater awareness of disabilities and acceptance of differences
assistance technology
Assistance Technology
  • Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (TRAID) Centers offer free information and referral for assistive technology devices
  • Laptops and computers have programs to make it much easier to read and write
  • Federal laws mandate the use of assistive technologies to support learning and behavior needs
assistance technology resources
Assistance Technology Resources
  • Web sites Center for Applied Special Technologies (CAST) and Closing the Gap match particular disabilities with technology resources
  • Some that are recommended are Microsoft Windows XP, activation switches, Reading Pen II (portable, pen-shaped scanner that reads text audibly), Keyguards (overlays on computer keys for students with limited finger mobility), and adjustable workstations
collaboration and communication
Collaboration and Communication
  • Parents are the one “constant” in the child’s life and they need to be part of the team with input and equal footing
  • Educators on all levels need to plan together to consistently implement strategies and interventions
  • There must be effective, open communication among team members which is positive and promotes unity
effective teaching interventions
Effective Teaching Interventions
  • Teachers need to start by knowing the child and his or her particular needs, strengths, background, and disability
  • Teachers need to appreciate the dream that the child or parent has and seek to help the child to maximize his or her potential as goals, objectives and academic standards are achieved
  • Teachers should keep the expectations high
effective teaching interventions1
Effective Teaching Interventions
  • For the student with cerebral palsy, there are six milestone stages through which they progress (motor skills). As teachers identify the present stage, they can help the child to move to the next one.
  • There are also ways to use the child’s capacities to encourage motor skills growth
  • Breaking tasks into simple parts gives the child a feeling of accomplishment and success on which to build further learning
teacher workshops
Teacher Workshops
  • Kids Like You, Kids Like Me is a workshop that has been developed in Chattanooga, TN
  • Teachers can collaborate with other teachers and talk with students and adults with disabilities to gain insight and awareness
  • Teachers gather best practices approaches to support inclusive education
  • Teachers leave with fact sheets and classroom activities
the future of inclusion for students with cerebral palsy
The Future of Inclusion for Students with Cerebral Palsy
  • Special needs students need to be mainstreamed recreationally
  • They will need to be evaluated fairly especially when it is deemed necessary to pull them in segregated settings
  • They will benefit from community partnerships
  • They will need to participate in all levels of programs
i ve learned i need to
I’ve learned I need to…
  • Be flexible and use positive labels
  • Collaborate
  • Seek to know the individual
  • Empathize
  • Utilize assistive technology
  • Read to understand the disability
  • Expect the best and then support it
  • Be welcoming and encourage a family atmosphere in the classroom