Tips for teaching multiply disabled?? - ProTeacher Community





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Tips for teaching multiply disabled??
Old 05-16-2009, 07:31 PM
 
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I know there is so much to know and what is needed is going to be based on each individual but any tips/advice are appreciated. I have taught SpEd for 5 years, anywhere from self contained to in class support but really had only high functioning students without any strong physical or mental disabilities. I am applying to a different district for a multiply disabled position. They do say, "experience is a plus but not necessary." I don't have any real experience in that part of this field. Obviously, I don't know the students but am looking for any general tips or advice that you may be able to give. Thanks!


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Oh, Honey
Old 05-16-2009, 08:17 PM
 
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my main advice is to have the patience of a Saint, the fortitude of a Marine, and a sense of humor like no other.

Only two of my students are in the category of Multiple Disabilities and I've only been doing this for four years myself but it doesn't change my advice.

I would ask about the caseload numbers--how many students overall and how many of each category--and the amount of other adult assistance available--be it co-teachers, paras, nurses, etc. It is common sense that the worse the disabilities, the lower the student count should be...

Also ask about your specific responsibilites for health and hygiene issues--diapers, toileting, brushing teeth, mobility and transportation issues, medications, feeding tubes, and so on. The classes themselves may be based on low level academics, social skills or life skills. I am very frustrated at times because I have these two who need endless attention to life and social skills yet still have to do very basic academics with my very low functioning MR/LD students. It is impossible to juggle at times.

Good luck though--these kids often have a lot of great qualities that are sometimes easy to overlook in light of all of their obvious problems.
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:20 PM
 
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lots of hands-on activities are good. check the students ieps and see where they are at individually and tailor make activities and assignments for their own needs. there are websites like do2learn.com and tinsnips.com that have tons of ideas you might could use
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Oh Honey is right!
Old 05-20-2009, 06:22 PM
 
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I've taught a K-2 multi-disabilities class for 8 years and I wholeheartedly agree. I taught SLD for 8 years before moving to this position, and I was clueless about what to expect. BUT, it's been the most rewarding experience ever. Each child is different, and you will have a whole new understanding of that concept after working with them. You just can't imagine the combination of abilities and needs that you may find with each one.


Be careful, tho, because case load is sometimes misleading with these students. Four students with multidisabilities could be the equivalent of an entire classroom of kindergarteners....seriously.
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