In the teaching-learning process – objectives and contents
There are several things to be considered in this area. First of all clearness: the goal of the task has to be well understood, the steps, how to deal with the content too. Another thing is to remember, that these children can be easily overwhelmed by the too big demands. So the complicated task has to be divided in to the smaller portions.
Sometimes, they could need to adapt objectives and contents, especially those related to visual, motor and perceptive skills.
Don´t adapt these points until using general compensative strategies, to try to help them to achieve the normal level of curricula.
On the other hand:
Prioritize standards related to oral expression, minimizing those that involve writing.
Prioritize educational aims of social interaction and functional activity with objects; communication, symbolic representation and imitation; motor development skills and autonomy.
SPECIFIC TASKS TO TRAIN
These tasks are especially thought for support teachers. What must be developed in these pupils depending on their particular needs?:
Arm coordination. It´s good to practice this kind of exercises:
Throw and receive objects. First with bigger objects, and later smaller ones.
Throw objects into a basket or box. Or insert rings in a bar…
Bounce a ball.
Pass objects from hand to hand.
Play with darts and a bullseye.
Play bowling, basketball, handball, games with rackets, volleyball…
Bring objects into a tray.
Play a xylophone.
When training is advanced, the child could cover the eyes while doing the activities.
Crawl (even though if the child is older already knows how to do it is a good exercise for them).
Run avoiding obstacles.
Go up and down stairs (different sizes).
Jump from one hoop to another.
Stop a ball with a foot.
Hit a ball in a static position and then in movement.
Try to score a goal.
Again, children could cover their eyes to practice more.
Static and dynamic balance.
Stand only on one foot.
Walk joining the toe and the heel.
Walk over a line in the floor.
Walk on one leg.
Jump and keep the balance.
Ride a bike or skating.
Play in a park and in psychomotor parks.
Firstly, the child could have the teacher´s support. Later, they must try to do them by themselves.
Fine motor activities and eye-hand coordination:
Although these children will have problems and are clumsy, we have to be patient and encourage them to train these activities: trim, buttoning, type on a keyboard, open and close with a key, catch different small objects, model with clay or mud, peel or paste, nail tacks, tighten or loosen screws, open and close different types of boxes and bottles, hang clothes with hangers, string beads, do origami, removable toys…
Perceptive and spacial skills
Complete unfinished drawings.
Build figures or pictures using geometric shapes (Tangram)
Play draughts and chess.
Play with counters where the child has to put his/her counter to correspond with the teacher’s counters on a table.
Play with “right-left” games/activities.
Identify figures in a mirror.
Repeat teacher’s body positions and face expressions.
Identify pictures in the same position of a model.
Put objects in the same position as others.
Follow small circuits and gradually do bigger or more difficult circuits.
When on a trip using a map ask them to explain the route..
Walk in the country/outdoors trying to help them to remember the way. Draw a plan about the followed path and consult before and after.
Start trying to encourage them to draw simple pictures, for example, lines. Gradually drawing more difficult objects. Always provide a lot of emotional support and rewards.
Draw the hands of a clock over empty clocks.
Teacher draws a path over a dash line and the pupil must repeat it by drawing on paper.
Put a few objects into a black bag (you can increase the amount to make it more difficult when they are ready) and ask the child to identify the objects eyes closed.
Then, practise with letters and numbers made in plastic.
Teacher draws an object (on paper or other material) and the pupil has to look for a similar object inside the bag without looking.
Pupils can guess with eyes closed what the teacher is drawing on the back of their hand.
Writing. We should only train a better writing if illegible. If the pupil is older it is advisable to do short training daily (a few minutes).
Practise writing on large blackboards, on sand, large papers. We can reduce these materials as the pupil improves.
Train movements that must be written.
With smaller children, train simple lines (different directions and circles).
Social interaction and social communication
Please note that the support teacher should train not only the skills related to motor coordination and perception, but social skills also because this is most important to prevent other added difficulties and to facilitate better prognosis.
GENERAL STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE SOCIAL SKILLS
Avoid “labelling”. Be careful with your comments when talking to these pupils (“you are a mess”, “your handwriting is so bad”, etc.) Remember that if you always tell the child “you are a mess”, they will end up behaving as such to fulfil your expectations.
Make positive evaluation of the pupil´s strengths. And talk about them.
Give them the opportunity to show their skills. Give them responsibilities.
Observe them in the playground. More than you do with other pupils since these children are more vulnerable to rejection or bullying than others.
Design activities that favour their social integration. Use games or toys that they can play with classmates. Give them ideas to play in a positive way, train in conflict awareness and problem solving.
Train social skills. Use “roleplaying” to set hypothetical situations for practice. Encourage them and their families to practise these skills in social and familiar contexts.