Teaching Students with Multiple Disabilities
Students with multiple disabilities require unique instruction, adaptations, and modifications to their entire learning environment. It is important for these students to participate in a functional curriculum that focuses on the skills the student will need to be as independent as possible and as active and engaged as possible. Instruction must focus on the student's current and future quality of life, ensuring that the focus of instruction is realistic and provides the student with the skills that will help him or her interact successfully with their world. When setting up the environment, it is essential to provide them with sensory areas that meet their unique visual needs. These areas must be accessible and available where they are. If the student spends time in their wheelchair or positioning equipment, there must be activities set up in those areas for them to interact with. The following pages provide strategies and resources in working with students with multiple disabilities and their teams.
Students who are blind or visually impaired, require adaptations to the curriculum that address their unique learning needs but this is especially true for students with multiple disabilities. This page provides suggestions and strategies for students with multiple disabilities.
Creating a print, picture, or object individual schedules for the students can help them smoothly transition through the day as well as develop time management skills. This page provides suggestions on setting up individual schedules.
Learn how to make custom materials to meet the unique visual and learning needs of each student with a visual impairment.
This page provides suggestions and strategies for creating individual schedules and communication cards for students who are blind or visually impaired.
Transitions between activities within the daily schedule can be stress producing time for students as they are leaving the familiar and moving to the unfamiliar. This page contains suggestions for helping students transition between activities as well as suggestions and tips for student transfers.
You may wonder how to use a lightbox with students or need some new ideas for its use. This page contains suggestions for using the APH lightbox.
This page provides suggestions and strategies for encouraging students to use their vision to the highest extent possible by providing visually interesting and motivating learning activities.
Students with visual impairments frequently seek additional sensory input to compensate for the lack of sensory input they are receiving visually. This page provides suggestions on how to help the student fill their sensory needs.
A sensory station is appropriate for students who need a place to go where they can have minimal visual and auditory distractions. For the student with visual impairments such as Cortical Visual Impairment, they may need this highly controlled environment to learn to look and use their vision. This page provides suggestions for setting up a sensory station in your classroom.
The Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments can work with a student to help them develop efficient use of their vision for visually attending to their environment, shifting their gaze between materials presented and visual pursuit of objects and people. These skills will help prepare a student for learning as well as prepare them for safe and efficient travel.
During play and exploration in the sensory table, the student is able to have hands-on experience with math and science concepts. This page provides suggestions for activities and materials to use in the sensory table.
The ability to perform classroom chores or jobs will prepare the student for being a contributing member of the classroom, homes, and community. It also lays a foundation for job-related skills and employment later in life. This page provides suggestions for classroom jobs.
If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn. -Ignacio 'Nacho' Estrada
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