Results of Focus Groups
The identified problems and with individual solutions provided by the parents are briefly noted in the following chart.
|1.TAKS Test Anxiety, I
|Explain to student who is being tested: the teacher.
|2.TAKS Test Anxiety, II
|Explain to the student they need to do their very best on the test.
|3.Likes to Read All the Time
|Chunking: demonstrating proficiency with shorter assignments then allowing student time for his/her desired activity.
|4. Child is Very Literal
|Use complete and concrete explanations. Define terms.
|5. Child Could Not Read
|Teacher thought outside the box. Teacher suggested a solution for helping the student learn to read that was not a method ever tried for a student with our son’s diagnosis.
|6. Lack of Organizational Skills
|School uses online communication system. Teacher and student fill in a daily planner that parents see each school day. Personal assistance occasionally.
|7. Organizational Issues
|Maintain second set of books at home.
|9. Lack of Recognition of the Disability
|Teachers received the IEPs and the modifications yet did nothing to accommodate the student. Parents met personally with each teacher to communicate the need for the goals and the modifications.
|10. Perfectionist Student
|Resource teacher wrote modifications for all the student’s classes to allow the student extra time to work on assignments at home.
|11. ARD Committee Members, I
|Assistive Technology (AT) expert attended ARD meeting to instruct teachers about how to implement the modifications.
|12. ARD Committee Members, II
|All of my son’s teachers attend ARDs so they get the message on the importance of items required by ARD committee.
|Give student idioms ahead of class time to allow time for understanding.
|14. Reluctant to Read
|Allow reading assignment topics to be chosen by the student when possible.
|15. Student Not Wanting to Come to School
|Work closely with administration and pick your battles.
|16. Frustration Issues
|Allow the teacher to show compassion but not coddle student.
|17. Obsessing Over Time
|Early years – make time his “job.” Later years – remove clock from the classroom.
|Teacher found an interest of the child. Used that interest to allow child to make passes for breaks when the student felt frustration building.
|19. Throwing Fits
|Allow a break when student becomes frustrated but come back to the work in a few minutes.
|Give child notice when schedule or teacher/staff will be different from normal.
|21. Circumstances that Trigger Negative Behavior
|Give teacher information on things that cause difficulty for students. Teacher and parents communicate closely so each will know the latest triggers.
|22. Obstinate Student
|Parents communicated expectations of completion. Parents and teachers communicate the day’s events by communication book, through e-mail, phone calls and personal visits. Poor behavior addressed both at home and at school.
|23. Trouble Transitioning
|Teacher created a picture schedule.
|24. Trouble Getting Started
|Teacher created a “Start Chart”.
|25. Progressing With Work
|Positive Behavior Support Chart and use of School Economy.
|26. Low Self Esteem
|Offer students opportunities for small successes on which to build.
|27. Too Much Stimulation
|Teacher created an “I need a break” card.
|Mother shared her method of “small deal” versus “big deal” comparison.
|29. Carrying objects to school
|Allowed student to have object in pocket but not play with the item.
|30. Anxiety Attack
|Parents shared with teachers to have student focus on positive thoughts.
|31. Overly Sensitive to Certain Words/Way of speaking
|List of problem words were given to teacher and worked with the student to desensitize him.
|Gauge student’s ability to understand the material.
|33. Bullying (within the classroom)
|Move the bullied student away from the bullying student.
|34. Hands Hurt During Writing
|Teacher provided padded pencil grip.
|35. Can’t Fit Under my Desk
|School provided table with adjustable legs.
|36. Frequent Urination
|Communicated that this was a physical need, not a stalling behavior.
|37. Personal Hygiene
|Signal from teacher to visit locker and apply antiperspirant.
|38. Preferential Seating
|Consider what the modification is truly for. Not always correct to seat on front row.
|39. Science Safety
|Tactile sensitivity, different gloves provided upon request.
|40. Overheating During Exertion
|Allow cool down but return to physical activity once regulated.
|41. Necessary Stimulation
|Allow a “fidget.”
|42. No Stranger Danger
|Communicate student’s tendency to be overly trustful.
|43. Trouble Interacting
|Instruct student to consider how others feel about you when you are not interacting with them.
|44. Finding my Childs Strengths
|Play to the student’s strengths and communicate those strengths to the teacher.
|45. Reaction of Other Students
|Encourage classroom teachers to be up front with your child’s classmates.
|46. Two or Three Steps Behind Everyone Else
|Parents worked with Physical Therapist (PT) to acquire a power wheelchair. Greatly increased student’s socialization.
|47. Social Skills
|Behavior specialist videoed the desired behavior, burned a DVD and allowed student to study the behavior and learn the correct way to greet others.
|48. Questions about Disability
|Parents read an age appropriate book about the disability to the class and responded to questions about the disability.
|49. Low Verbal Intelligibility
|Early years: peers interpreted for student. Speech Pathologist created a picture book for student’s use. Once student was reading: she wrote notes.
|50. Lack of Spontaneous Conversation
|Teacher and parents used a communications book, e-mail, phone calls and personal visits to communicate the daily events the child would have communicated if he had possessed the skill.
|51. Be Flexible
|Remember, the child’s worst school day ever could be followed by their best school day ever.
|52. Call on Me
|Parents can be a great resource. Don’t leave out working Moms.
|53. Each Child is an Individual
|Treat each child as an individual, not another person with that same diagnosis.