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collinscrew collinscrew is offline
 
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Please help- class list
Old 08-03-2011, 07:57 PM
 
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So, I got my class list and I have a little girl with down syndrome. This is a first for me. She is already 7 and coming to 1st grade not knowing any letters or sounds. She doesn't behave very well and she is a runner! She supposedly will run out of the room of I'm not watching her. I will not have an aide with her. Any suggestions? How do I work with a child that low and meet my other students' needs? Any advice will be appreciated!


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runner
Old 08-03-2011, 09:04 PM
 
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I would not sit her by the door, preferably by or close to your desk. It would make her feel more secure. Let the class know that your job is to keep them safe. Brainstorm things that will keep themselves, each other and the teacher safe. Make sure you guide them to not running in the school and if there is a problem outside find a teacher for help. If you think she is going to run stand close to the door. Try to deescalate her by getting her mind off whatever was getting her to run. Put a good role model student beside her. Use lots of visuals and be ready to differentiate your instructions. Use the language, "What does standing in line look like. What does it sound like." Pictures in classroom books with your students in them modeling your routines can help reinforce this. She can look at these routines until they become automatic. Also saying, "What is everyone else doing?" will show her what she should look like and sound like. Give her a simple classroom job to start out and it will make her proud that she is role modeling how to do the job. There is so much more, but this will get you started.
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:01 PM
 
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Thanks! That's a start. I'd already planned on seating her across the room from the door. Just struggling with what to do with her while I'm teaching the others. I liked your ideas though. Thanks for the advice!
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any kid..
Old 08-04-2011, 07:06 PM
 
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any kid in kinder can be a runner but the next year after expectations are in place can be wonderful. having said that, realistically, sit her close to you as possible, always. as you learn your students, pair her with two of your most caring or understanding, nurturing students to help her grow as an individual. she probably has had little to no boundaries at home due to her condition and will need your support with behavior. be consistent and fair always and during recess, you'll need to keep a close eye on her, but i know you can handle it. and make sure to do some good diversity lessons at the beginning of the year and communicate with her parents as much as possible. there are ways to differentiate, and you might need to get some review from the kinder teachers to work with her one-to-one. best wishes

i always get the runners and the students who come with no letters/sounds
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:25 PM
 
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My 10-yr-old brother has DS, and is often with teachers who have not had much experience with DS kids. He is DARLING and I would love to have him in my classroom. That said,

Here's my advice!

1. Read an article about children with DS and what to expect. They are charming, hysterical, and love to be mischievous, but this can be perceived as oppositional and can frustrate the teacher. If you read beforehand about their typical behaviors and tips on how to prevent this behavior, it will mean a lot to the parents of this child and to the child herself.

2. Call the parent and let them know that you have researched DS, and ask them if there are any other special concerns they'd like you to know about. This will set the parent at ease and let them know that you have their daughter's best interest in mind.

Some comments above were COMPLETELY nonsensical. For goodness' sake--"no boundaries at home based on the child's condition"??? Assume that the parents are loving and caring and are more than willing to support you in the classroom.


Have different expectations for the student. You will only frustrate yourself, the parents, and the student if you do not. Ask your school's learning consultant for realistic expectations for reading, writing, and math.


Last, your students will mirror how you act toward the student. If you model being patient and putting being a friend first, they will soon be holding her hand to line up, calling her to play games, and volunteering to be her "coach" for academic activities.

I had my brother visit my classroom, and was so touched by how my students responded to him. It was because I had spoken with them beforehand about what Down Syndrome is and how we can be good friends to him. I think this can be a great year for you. Let me know of any questions/comments.


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Old 08-04-2011, 09:26 PM
 
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Here are some links from proteacher to info on DS:

http://www.proteacher.com/040021.shtml
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:28 PM
 
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PS--I know this doesn't help--but not having an aide sounds to me like her IEP does not reflect what she actually needs, which may mean that the parents might not know to ask for one. I've never heard of that before. After a couple of days, you might want to talk to the Child Study Team, and if that doesn't work, the parents. If that doesn't work, there are representatives in each town to help kids with special needs get what they need. I think it's called ARC.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:41 PM
 
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Honestly my first thought when I read your post was lucky you! I love working with children with down's syndrome. Generally they are the most loving, affectionate and accepting children I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I am surprised she doesn't have an aide with her as that is uncommon. Children with DS can be quite high functioning so don't be surprised if she is capable of learning more than you think. It might take her a little longer but I have worked with many students with DS who learned how to read and write. You will want to find what activities hold her attention and that she can do independently. There maybe some word work activities you could easily adapt to letters for her. Try to keep things hands on and engaging for her (as I'm sure you do for all your students). I have had many runners in kindergarten who by grade 1 have out grown that tendency. If she does start running I would try to figure out why she's doing it. It maybe she does it when she's scared, or overwhelmed, frustrated or bored. Whatever the reason is once you figure it out it is easier to change the behavior by giving her an alternative.

You may want to try to arrange a home visit before school starts or an early classroom visit. She may be a little anxious about changing to a new teacher/classroom and you could help ease that transition a little by meeting her before school starts.

My mom spent 30 years of her life working with families of children with down syndrome and promoting research. There is so much more information out there than there was back then. Here is a link to the organization my mom founded. DSRF.org

I hope you have a great year and enjoy this opportunity with this special little girl. I love having students with special needs in my classroom because they tend to bring out the nurturing side in all the students.
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You have been chosen for a reason
Old 08-04-2011, 09:59 PM
 
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You will become one her cornerstone assets in her life. The ones who need you the most will try your patience. Incorporate her as well as she can function in your daily routines. Hopefully, there will lots of teachable moments for your class this year. Never had a DS special needs child, but have recently made the acquaintance of a young female adult who is quite social and is leaving next week to go away to college. You are on the ground floor of contributing to a life skills for your student.

I bet she won't be the only one who needs alphabet help. Let a whipper snapper tutor a small group.

Don't shrink back, think of it as an honor to contribute to her foundation just as you do for all your students. We will be here for you.
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A Good Movie
Old 08-06-2011, 07:02 AM
 
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When I was in my Exceptional Learners class back in the day... We had to watch a movie that was titled Educating Peter, it's about a little boy (3rd grade) with DS and the experience that he, his teacher and his classmates have when he goes full inclusion. You will LOVE it! Also, my cousin is DS and he is my community volunteer in my classroom every Friday! He packs the kids homework folders, etc... His parents chose to go the vocational route with him, rather then teaching him to read. He does however have TONS of environmental print that he recognizes, he knows all the names in his cell phone book! He is an excellent transcriper. Anyhow, check out the movie for sure, it's SUPER!


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