Change your teaching not the child…

Change your teaching not the child…

Image result for childrenEducators are the most influential role models for students regardless of their learning differences. They do not  just impact their academic lives, they also impact the students’ well-being both inside and outside.  An educator is like a student’s guardian angel in the classroom.  A great educator understands that all kids learn the same, but master the curriculum through different learning styles.  An educator that allows accommodations or changes to his or her teaching style to match the child is forging a strong future for that student.

Unlike the old one-room schoolhouse were students with learning differences or disabilities were taught, more and more students with learning disabilities are taught in regular education classrooms today. Today educators are mandated by law to understand each student’s needs and provide the educational accommodations necessary to make that student successful in the classroom. The regular classroom has to be fully equipped with many educational accommodation options in order to provide a fair and appropriate education for all students regardless of their learning disabilities. Many educators, special and general educators alike need to collaborate and work as a team to provide educational accommodations to students with learning differences.

Educational accommodations are changes to how we instruct students or changes to the learning environment so that students who learns differently can gain access to an appropriate and fair education. Educational accommodations are tools that make learning a skill much easier, otherwise the student is not able to learn the material because of the student’s learning difference or a disability. Currently, about six million children in the US are considered to have some form of a learning disability. Given the number of students with learning differences, educational accommodations are necessary tools, not optional tools in the classroom. Reasonable accommodations such as the ones listed below are not tedious, but provide ample opportunities for a student to access regular classroom curriculum:

Teacher providing notes/outlines,
Providing highlighted text,
Allowing the use of spell-checker,
Daily agenda checks between home/school, additional progress reports,
Preferential seating,
Giving the student permission to leave room if needed without permission,

Using behavior reward system,
Extended time on assignments, shortened assignments, simplification of directions
Allow tests to be read aloud to student,
Accepting verbal response in lieu of written response,
Testing the student in a quiet sound proof environment.
Simply labeling key areas clearly ( main idea and supporting facts on study guides),
Allowing student to use age appropriate and discrete sensory stimulation to distress
Moving closer to a student and then asking them questions,
Slowing down your speech rate,
Sending key questions home with cues to types of questions the child will be asked
Using technology to support the student: Online books, Electronic books, Text reader (Reading Pen, Scan and Read, electronic calculator).

http://www.npr.org/2014/08/19/341674577/whats-behind-the-stark-rise-in-children-disabilities

http://www.specialednews.com/news/how-to-create-an-environment-that-fosters-learning.htm
http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/math-games/calculator/
Franklin Electronics Merriam Webster Speaking School Dictionary
http://www.wizcomtech.com/
Dragon Naturallyspeaking 13- Home speech recognition software
Providing Appropriate Education for Students With Learning Disabilities in Regular Education Classrooms, http://www.asha.org/policy/PS1991-00101/

staff_54_2223410517Uduak (Udie) Osom holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology from San Jose State University. Udie has served students of all ability levels from preschool through grade 12, for over 20 years. She is very passionate about neuro-developmental disabilities and social-cognitive disabilities. She is the owner/director of Innovative Therapy Services, a pediatric speech, language and social skills clinic in Santa Clara, CA. She can be reached at ussom@pediatricspeech.com.
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