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Placement: physical vs. academic needs

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readandweep readandweep is offline
 
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readandweep
 
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Placement: physical vs. academic needs
Old 01-20-2020, 11:36 AM
 
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I have student with multiple disabilities, including a physical disability that means he loses and never regains function.

I don't want to give details because his case is unique. The demands of his care are taking up more and more class time. He is on the bubble academically between my class and a more restrictive placement.

Parents just want him to be happy at school, which he is.

In your opinion and/or experience, at what point do physical needs trump academic needs?


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Haley23 Haley23 is online now
 
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:52 AM
 
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Are the physical needs impeding his ability to access the academic curriculum, even if he has the skill? Are the physical needs more demanding than your program is set up to handle? If either of those are true I would think you would consider the more restrictive placement. If the student is a bit more academically capable than other students in the room, it seems that the other teacher could more easily differentiate for that. If the two rooms/programs are in the same building, could you look at having the student primarily participate in the other program, and then do something like a reading or math lesson in your room? Or have a para spend more academic time with him? Even if none of that is possible, you said he's on the bubble, so to me it sounds like the other placement would be the overall better place for him. I could see it being more of a question if he was way higher academically.
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readandweep readandweep is offline
 
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Good questions
Old 01-20-2020, 12:15 PM
 
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The other placement is at another building. The most restrictive before you are sent out of district. We do you like you suggest with my kids that may be too high for my room - sending them out to one or two classes to test the other placement.

This student definitely needs full support/hand-over-hand to do our pre-vocational work (cooking, cleaning, task boxes). The academic work he does not need any more support than my other students. At this time that just involves OT accommodations and modifications. He needs more support to participate in specials outside my room.

Academically he is my lowest, but in theory the students at the other placement are working on showing any kind of response. This student can respond and initiate conversations.

I think the behaviors masked a lot of ability in past years. You could also say that about a lot of my students.

So academically he is behind, doing letters sounds and number ID. My other students are reading and doing math at a K-1 level while doing pre-vocational tasks with little support.

We do the same curriculum as the other placement, so academically he could pick up where he left off.

His physical needs are demanding in that we cannot find anyone permanent to do his personal care, which in a perfect world should not dictate placement.

I am in self-contained class at a middle school.

Last edited by readandweep; 01-20-2020 at 12:31 PM..
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FarmWife4 FarmWife4 is offline
 
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:41 PM
 
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I am having this same issue within my classroom. My student is also a very special case and the parents just want him to be included. The physical demands of him are taking over classroom time and it is hard to find paraprofessional support that want to work with him. It's a lot of lifting and care giving for basic needs. I am at the same place as you regarding the physical needs trumping the academic needs. I feel that this child's care is more than a public school can handle. With my student I do feel that the physical and medical needs he has are becoming a liability at the school.

We do have other placements outside the school district, but parents are not in agreement to that placement change. Therefore, we are trying to do everything we can as a district, but aren't sure what to do from here.
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