Renay has come in the last few days in a malaise. Anything extra beyond sleeping and eating has really been put to the back burner. Days are filled with new schedules, new observations, new professional relationships, new students, and new syllabi.
While syllabi are a part of secondary school, for students with disabilities this may find this part of their day going over their head. And yet it’s time to really decode the syllabi.
What can a student with a disability, especially since this is a high stress time hearing things that they may not understand?
- Reward the students for following along.
- If they keep the page in front of them, reward them.
- If they turn when their classmates do, reward them.
- Give the student a list of key words to find and circle in the syllabus.
As for rewards: this varies by student. If they’re able to quietly leave, allow them to. Give them a favorite book to look at. If your campus allows it, give the student access to an iPad for some time to decompress. It’s been a long time since any student has heard a litany of words compressed into hour after hour. We can’t change that this is a part of the education process, but we can help provide a path to make this process easier.
Speaking of too many words, just a reminder in those early days to keep directions short and to the point. For some students with disabilities it’s really hard to sift through a lot of words.
Phrases like “Pencil please” is much more effective than “Get out your Pencil, paper, and text book for science.” Even better: try a visual schedule of things for students. The visual schedule is helpful and lets you walk away, giving the student some independence and a reliable path to finding some easy reminders. For students who can read, just write the words. If they cannot, either draw the picture or find pictures online to create the schedule for use in class.
Yes, it’s available now!
We’re very excited for our new book, “On The Shoulders of Giants”. We are hearing some good things about the book. Check it out here.
Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Would you like to be a guest blogger? Would you like to have an opportunity to pilot some materials at your campus? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. Paraeducate is a company interested in providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published weekly during the academic school year on Thursdays, unless a holiday. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations