I am a first year Special Ed teacher teaching severe and profound mental disabled students. Anyone work with this type of children? Any suggestions? Any ideas? Anything WILL help me!!!! I'm SO nervous for my first year.
I worked with HS age students in the past and primarily focused on a life skills curriculum. Everyone in the class had a weekly job, kept a checkbook and earned "money" for their job. Each week they got paid and had to enter the deposit into their checkbook. They also had to pay me "rent" for their desk and chair.
We also did calendar every morning: month, day, year, pattern, birthdays, time, counted the days of schools using straws (and put them into groups of 5s, 10s when possible so students could practice counting that way).
I don't know if your students would be able to do any of this, but you could modify this.
Hope this helps!
EVERYTHING is FUNCTIONAL.... Even navigating to the classroom, finding lockers or classroom cloak area, removing jackets (zippers, buttons, etc...) following directions, own desk, chairs, bathroom, grooming - brushing teeth, washing hands, - etc.
Encourage language and communication in all activities; adults should always be engaging students, not carrying on their own conversations....
Visual schedules (group and individual) should be used, even posted for all to see and go over.... use LOTS of photos, picture communication symbols. sequenced picture tasks all over the room.
Plan out your day.... think functional and think SENSORY... behavioral issues are often the result of sensory issues... get a hold of your Occupational Therapist and work on some functional sensory activities... experiment with textures, fold socks, set tables, read recipes, taste and cook, sort flatware, ask for a vestibulator (expensive but worth it for sensory integration,) therapy balls for bouncing, lots of vibrating toys (check special needs catalogs,) and other sensory items which you dan get cheaper at Target, KMart, etc. (e.g. storm balls, water fountains, bubble machines, etc.)
Lang Arts... Use Boardmake and PixWriter programs or others like them to write age appropriate stories with communication symbols. Get and use a digital camera and plaster photos of the kids all over stories and social stories to teach appropriate behaviors by exploring positive approaches to the students' individual needs areas and goals.
Plan community experiences (school is a community, too...) and use lots of photo stories about them... bus, school building, gym, auditorium, lunch room, office, music, library... with photos of teachers in those areas.....
Think simple... following directions... Example: Play the "Name" game Sit all in the room dispersed over the greatest area possible... Simply call a student.. "Joe, come here." If Joe does not respond, have an assistant (or another student,) give physical assistance to that student, helping him get up and come over to you. Have other adults (assistants) or students call one another.
Do NOT repeat directions... make sure they are simple, direct, given to a student with eye contact... give physical prompts and other cues, and reinforce with praise when task is completed.
Math... simple one to one correspondence is a good place to start if students understand "give me one." Make and place numberlines all over the room and small ones for table work. Make them large enough to hold circles to count glasses and other meal prep items, or small enough to target coins. Count everything students use... rather have STUDENTS do this... Also give each student a wallet (dollar stores are the greatest resource for lots of stuff) with a zippered area for coins, a bill area and places for picture communication cards. Make games relating to money, coins, matching, sequencing scheduled events, etc.
Get an Able Net Spinner for group games you will make - great for everything, including social science (id flags, white house, president, governor, etc.
Make yourself a list of abbreviated IEP goals for each student on a large 4 x 6" card to use when you are writing lesson plans... Make a list of these goals on a chart which includes everyone's goals... some may be similar and you can see a a glance what kinds of things you might be able to cover in a single activity. You can also note which state goals can be aligned with the IEP goals on these so you can make sure you are connecting to the curriculum.
Lots of goals will be long term, and your weekly schedule will be generally similar, so set up your lesson plans on a word processor so you can just change activities and goals as necessary... I could send you some examples by email if you like....
Most of all, remember, your goal is to make adaptations which will allow your students to access the curriculum, and to make necessary modifications to that curriculum in a manner which will allow your students to participate in a joyous educational experience and in the least restrictive setting. This may mean spending a lot of time making adaptations and modifications which will allow your students to participate in general ed settings as per their IEP. Get input from the gen ed teachers re: their units and plans and be creative in planning their experiences in those gen ed classes. Examples follow....
Student's Goal: Follow directions, participate in a group activity, use a switch, use a boombox or tape recorder
Application Possibility: Allow student to "give" the Spelling tests in an age peer gen ed class.... Pre-record the test, and have an assistant monitor or physically assistance. Use a tape recorder with an Able net timed direct switch to progress through the "word...sentence...word" pattern which would be normally used to give the Spelling test.
Student's Goal: Use a variety of assistive technology devices to access the curriculum.
Application Possibilities: Make a cut out template which fits over a keyboard exposing only the letter, space and shift keys. In a gen ed computer class, the student could use a color coded name card to type his name.. use marker on forefingers (green and red) to help locate letters... for instance... in Joseph, the "s and e" would be green for left hand, and "j,o, p, and h" would be red for right hand...
Also, a touchscreen really gives a lot of students a great opportunity to connect cause/effect relationships and there are lots of available programs.
Just remember a couple additional things.... everything you teach a kid to do means someone else does NOT have to do that for him... it's a great self esteem builder... also... do activities across domains and settings because we can't assume that our kids will automatically be able to replicate successful tasks in different settings without concrete experiences. I could go on and on... Oh.. I have.... well, you asked.... Feel free to bring back more questions,,, this should give you a start...and relax! The most important thing the kids will learn is how to get through a day in a happy and productive way! Patience, patience, patience! M
I have copied & pasted all of your suggestions. They are all terrific!
My kids (k-4, DD) have been working on BLUE for 12 days and it is still green or orange! We have sung it, worn it, scavenged it, watched it, colored it, posted it on the word wall, painted it, collaged it, seen & heard it (baby einstein- van gogh). We have not yet EATEN it, but will do that Monday! Blue jello molds, blue M&Ms hidden in blue Easter eggs (only the blue ones will contain a reward- a blue m&m). I don't know what else to try if this doesn't work!
Lots of goals will be long term, and your weekly schedule will be generally similar, so set up your lesson plans on a word processor so you can just change activities and goals as necessary... I could send you some examples by email if you like....
I'd love to have some examples, too! Thanks, in advance!
I am actually in my 2nd year teaching the same group. Make use of songs' most of the kids enjoy music. Check out their strengths and needs and u can work towards meeting those needs. Use a lot of tactile materials too.
I am a first year severe disabilities teacher. I just learned that a lesson plan is needed for my students ASAP. I really appreciate the reply that you posted regardig teaching the severe profound, it is very, very helpful.
Can you help me to put this into word in a lesson plan to turn in to my administrators. It must be Monday - Friday. The basics probably can remail the same, I just need some wording for the acitvities.
Hey! I really appreciate all these tips! I could use some lesson plan ideas as well. I am a first year teacher teaching 1st-3rd graders with severe/ profound needs. I love my kids. But Im not sure what to do half the time! I wish there were more resources out there for first year teachers!
I am, as most of the people on this board, a new teacher as well! I am teaching a group of six very special students ranging from 2-6th grade. Lesson plans seem to be the hardest thing for me to comprehend because they have to be soooooo basic! I have ready the other posts and would greatly benefit if any of you could assist me also! Lesson plans would definitely be of the greatest help to me! I am working at a school just for the severe and profound so I have an immense amount of resources, but with the start of the school year, everyone is so busy trying to figure out their own students. So far I am absolutely loving my class and my two aides! The school is absolutely amazing and so are the students! They break my heart at times but I love what I am doing so far! Thanks for any help! Thank you so much for any advice, resources, examples you can give me!! And good luck to everyone with the school year!!
I have a mixed special ed classroom and have to do many student individual lesson plans as I have severe/profound highschool, downs syndrome highschool, preschool ED and autistic, Mild MR 2-10th, and midddle school LD( in and out for different subjects). We are a small school and have no choice. I would like an idea for simplifying my lesson plans to accomodate all, as I am also teaching diffferent subjects at the same time. Oh, and by the way I do have 2 new teacher aids and must help them get started with each child.
I've got some 3 and 4 year olds with severe/profound disabilities in my class now. They are at an infant level--- 1 to 3 months of age. I'm trying to figure out the best things for them. I could use some extra help right now if anyone has ideas. They aren't even up yet to figuring out cause/effect toys. That will be a long-range goal because they aren't mobile yet. But they sure are completely precious!
Even though I am not a special education teacher yet I have worked with students who are severe and profound. The students I worked with were mostly in high school. These students did not have to write their name or other basic skills such as knowing objects, colors, or how to read even basic words. I don't know what age your students are but for those students I worked with they mainly needed to learn life skills such as washing and folding clothes, sweeping and mopping floors, how to brush their teeth, combing their hair and other hygiene skills, as well as basic cooking skills and even how to make a bowl of cereal or jello. It is hard to teach them to use the microwave if they don't know numbers. It would also be beneficial to teach them basic survival signs such as where the bathrooms are and exit signs. Also teach them about money and what things cost and how to make change. Also if you get a chance you can teach them to cross the road safely even if you make a fake road and stop sign. Just whatever you teach them make sure you include their goals and objectives in their IEPs.
Are you still teaching special education? How did you year go? I need to chat with you because after 25 years of teaching in regular education, I was placed in a severe and profound mentally challenged classroom for the fall which starts in less than 2 weeks. Please help me with any ideas, suggestions, etc. Thanks so much.
Hello,this semester I will be teaching Life Skills for High School students from 9-12 grade. I would like to have some of your ideas that may help my students if possible. I enjoyed reading what you were saying and I need as much help as possible. Also, I have two aids and one is always underminding all of the work or ideas we put out there. I have an attached room and another special education teacher is next door and she is teaching life skills also, the only difference is that I am teaching the severe and the profound. We just would like some type of input that will help us to do some classroom management and align that with the students by following their IEPs. Any information will work and help.
I am also beginning my first year teaching with K-3 severe profound students. I love these kids, but am scared to death to begin teaching in the public school! I will have help with an experienced TA, but I am so inexperienced with traditional teaching/ classroom scheduling and lesson plans. I have experience with this population, but not with teaching in a school setting/ classroom. I would love any examples of lesson plans or suggestions for good websites & resources to find lesson plans and other help for first timers with S/P younger children. Thanks so much!
Sometimes colors are just too abstract for young low or autistic children. I'd continue to mention it at every opportunity, but don't make yourself crazy about it. For children with autism, sometimes pairing the word with it helps, even if they don't appear to be reading!
I see that many people are suggesting the functional skill route! However, I want you to remember to push the kids as hard as you can! I began teaching these same types of kiddos and 5 out of 8 of them are now reading sight words! Their parents were thrilled and so were the kids!
I agree that starting with looking over the IEP's are the best way to start. Work from their goals and try the hardest to push them beyond those goals!
Don't stress these kids are wonderful to work with!
Ohh one last thing PICTURES PICTURES PICTURES are very helpful when used EVERYWHERE! I have schedules and charts, and labels all over the room with pictures and word labels! very helpful for these students!
hi, thank you for your ideas. I am taking over a classroom where students are severed disabled. 3 of the students are in wheelchairs and sleep all day due to medicine. They are fed thru a tube and the nurse does that. Three other students are severe autistic. I am been asked to bring instruction into the classroom. I am totally new, and do not know what todo. I searched the classroom and do not see much to work with. Ill appreciate your input and some examples of lesson plans.
I have been reading the posts and have found them informative. I will be a first year teacher this coming up year-provided that I am able to find a job. I have been working in special ed for 3 years as a paraprofessional. At my school the severe and profound teacher has resigned and my principal wants to speak with me regarding this position. I want to go into my interview with more information under my belt as we all do! I am curious about the lesson plans that I keep reading about. Can anyone help me with this?
The definition of "severe/profound" must vary greatly from state-to-state... I teach severe/profound, but my students would not be able to "make change" as a previous poster stated. I would have thought if a student had the ability to count money and make change they would fall under mild/moderate?
I would also appreciate lesson plans or ideas for teaching HS students with severe special needs. I am a first year teacherfor severe needs. I have twenty students in a sub-sepererate class (divided into 4 groups of five) ranging in needs from Downs to Developmental Delays to Autism. The range of ability is great, and I am trying to figure out how to create a curriculum and lesson plans that will meet the needs of the students that and streamline the tremendous amount of work that I have in planning for these students.
I am in my 7th year as a special education teacher. Until this year, I have worked with LD students. This year, I have a student with low cognitive functioning (skills range from 3 months to 9 months). To set up my "program" I took pictures of all of the "toys" or activities for this student and sorted them according to skill (fine motor, gross motor, cognition~mostly cause effect, and language ~ switchwork). I then backed the pictures on colored paper ~ blue for fine motor, yellow for cognition, green for gross motor, and orange for language. I also use a rating system in my room so the para's can communicate (I have more than 1 for this student). The para's document in the following way. They put a circle (attached with velcro) on each picture once the activity is completed to tell one another how the student performed. The pictures are put on a board in the classroom, which serves as our communication system. Green means the skill is indpenedent and purposeful and is worth 2 points. Yellow means the student required 5-8 prompts and is worth 1 point. Red means the studnet required constant and/or hand-over-hand assistance or that the student was not interested. Then at the end of the day, I report the points to mom. The points are also an easy way to document for the IEP goals. We also do other sensory activities in our room (swinging, jumping on trampoline, squishing (deep pressure), massage, ball pit, etc). These times are built into a daily schedule. Like you, I was nervous and unsure of what to do. Things have worked out well. I find that looking through magazines such as Abilitations helps me come up with new ideas.
I am a Paraeducator working with 3 students who are profound and am frustrated by the lack of direction I have from the teachers regarding what they want to see during the times I have to teach these kids. I have found many fantastic suggestions from these posts and are great ways to help the kids learn and get their sensory needs met. Now I have to train myself how to train them!!
I have taught MOID/SID/PID students for 18 years. I have elementary students but have worked with all age levels. I have lots of ideas from AT to teaching independence. What specifically do you want to know about?
I took over a postion in Mid January and I have been struggle with how to write my lesson plans and coming up with activites for elementary lifs skills class. Need help any suggestion on where to look?
I have been teaching over 25 years in a high school setting for students 14-22. I usually have the severe/profound because that in more my area of expertise. I do alot of community activities. We go out to eat once a month, go to the public library, shop then cook what we eat. There are also many web-sites I pull from. One good one for work skill samples is hot-ideas.org. I have made many of my own mini job samples. We are fortunate this year to have an I-Pad in our dept. It also has alot of free apps using cause and effect. I touch this, this happens. One real success we've had with a very verbal/social student is doing the joke of the day. I'm surprised how many students and teachers come up to him and ask what the joke of the day is today. Hope this helps.
thank you thank you thank you Chicago Blues Fan...although I've taught many kinds of sped kids over the years and have been in severe and profound rooms, these ideas have lowered my anxiety and given be such a great frame work to start teaching in the class. Thank you for all your time and effort.
thank you so much for each post. I have worked with sped students for 5 years and this year will be my first in a SP/MI room. Chicago Blues Fan will never know how much you have helped me! I also have found a web site that was helpful - Severe and Profound Curriculum. Love and understanding takes us a long way. It seems that file folder work and shoe box exercise used with my Autistic students may work well in this class also. Thank you again!
I have just begun teaching students with severe disabilities. I have one verbal student and the rest are non-verbal. The program is mew to my school and I do not have an interactive board and I have limited resources. I am struggling to come up with a daily schedule and writing lesson plans. I would greatly appreciate and ideas or lessons.
Do your students use any assistive technology? I've worked with student using low tech devices like communication boards and students using high tech devices like Big Mack talkers. If they do use any of that you will want to incorporate that into your teaching.
But, as far as lesson plans and daily schedule, I do have ideas for that. If you could tell me what grade levels you are working with, and what kind of activities you do, if you have any centers in your class, it would be easier to know what kind of ideas you need.
I usually write a lesson plan based on what the general ed classes are learning, such as a lesson on planets, but modified to meet my learner's needs. For example, if I have a student who cannot talk without using a talker, I will pre-program the answer to a question into his talker so that he can participate in that way.
I agree with you the definition is completely different.
I have six students in wheelchairs, visually impaired
and not able to move. Now, can someone tell me what
kind of activities will you be having. First year teaching
8th and 9th grade. Thanks
Here are few ideas, a few things I do with my students...
One of my students communicates with assistive technology, she presses down on a button that activates a communicator with a prerecorded message. My other student communicates through eye gaze.
At the beginning of each week I let my students decide what Science topic we will be talking about by holding up 2 pictures in their line of vision and whichever they eye gaze at is what we do. This week we are going over landforms. I research on the internet and find some activities that go along with the topic and we just do it. Most of the stuff we do is hand-over-hand of course but they are still participating through eye gaze and/or by allowing me to move them through each activity.
That is how I plan and implement my lessons. You can do any lesson or activity with your students, you will just need to move them through the activity if they cannot move themselves.
My students also have different communication needs and I also work with them on ways that they can do independent recreational activities like use a switch to operate a toy.
Oh, and I try to stay as close to the general ed curriculum as possible. Ask the gen ed teachers in your school what they are covering and ask if you can use any worksheets or any activity ideas from them.
I make PowerPoints about the topics we are covering and stand in front of my class and give them a lesson just as I would a general ed class. I really don't know how much some of them are able to comprehend so I treat them as if they understand all I say.
If you have students have visual impairment the use of objects will be important to help them anticipate upcoming activities. Some of my students are doing science and social studies activities with heavy picture support. Currently, I use Unique Learning Systems for this, but previously I taught a modified curriculum based on general education content. I would grab key concepts and teach them. Such as in a space unit, sensory exploration with moon dust, sorting with planets, categorizing pictures, icons or materials as being found on earth or space.
I like to make my own books that teach concepts, utilize real objects (not miniatures). Also you can make xperience boxes, such as a McDonald's experience. Include a cup, bag, container, and etc. then you can relive the experience. This is also a way for the student to share at home.
Math varies greatly. I have kids counting using a hand-under-hand method coupled with number cards and a switch. But I have some who work on sorting, concept of more, and sequencing.
My lowest student works on proprioceptive activities with music, then Object books, directing we're she would like to be massaged and object exploration.
All my students who are in wheelchairs get out every 40 minutes. That takes up a lot of the day. Positioning and range of motion plus sensory time are extremely important. Then get the students out for a few electives and you got your day. I love what I do!
I am in the same boat as you! I recently transferred into a medically fragile class and am at a loss at what to do with them. So far, I have a few ideas but I need help. It's summer school so time flies quickly with feeding, and diapering 2x 5 students. EVERYTHING with them is hand over hand. My students are cognitively low, that some have no concept of their own name.
I agree. I did find that individual districts have different definitions. We had a severe/profound boy transfer in from another district and we thought he was mild/moderate. There is no way a severe/profound student can do most things suggested here. My principal agrees. The most we can do for children who can barely lift their heads is add something positive to their lives. Requiring this population to be taught the same material as regular ed students is ridiculous. I have found that teachers who have been with these students for many years drastically over-estimate their cognitive abilities. I can understand working with themes, but "teaching" severe/profound students about recycling? Come on.
His name is David Whitt. It gave me some perspective on what to do for those children. I focused on lights, images, textures, odors, and sounds such as music or animals. You can do basic switch activities such as he shows in one of the videos. He has a few videos. He has been teaching for years and has built a phenomenal classroom. Don't be overwhelmed by it, just get ideas.
I also use "How Do I Teach This Kid" by Kimberly A. Henry. It helps a great deal.
It seemed worthwhile to update this post as it still comes up in a search.