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NEED HELP PLEASE!


CSP
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Hi All,

 

I'm hoping you can help me. I will be teaching a Rel. Ed class in the fall at my church. I was told that since my son has TS and I understand a little about kids who do not have "special needs" in the sense one might think of "special needs." But more that I understand kids can need accomidations to help them learn. My son has TS only, we do not deal with ADD/ADHD, Aspergers, OCD, ect... so I was hoping you all could help me be a good RE teacher. (this will be my first year)

 

Could you all tell me a little about your child and how do they best learn. I would love to have a stack of info so I can figure out what a child might need if their parents have not shared with us any DX their child may have. I don't want a child labled as a behavioral problem and the finger pointed at the parents for lack of discipline.

 

I hope you all can help. Thanks

 

CP

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I teach children with special needs as well as am a parent to a child with learning differences. IMHO, it is important to teach in multiple modalities, so you are not just talking and expecting all of them to sit there and obediently hang on your every word (like mass.) When you craft your lessons you need to ask yourself; How am I reaching the visual learner, the auditory learner, the tactile/kinesthetic learner?

 

Children are very spiritual beings. My dd10 has never been great at listening to mass; auditory learning is not her strength. But boy has she made some incredibly spiritual and moving observations of the stain glass in our church!!! Not connected to the lesson of the mass, but so what!!! She was thinking about and connecting with Christ, what a blessing!!!

 

So being flexible is key. Appreciating each child's path to their spiritual connection is also important. When you are speaking and expecting them to listen, visual anchors are very important. Many children need a visual to attach what they are hearing or they just zone out.

 

Off task behaviors are your feedback to your success. Are you engaging them and is the lesson on their level; little behaviors.

Give them opportunities to move around and participate frequently.

 

Don't be too hard on yourself if things go south or they seem bored. Every teacher has many lessons that flop, but the good ones know how to learn from it.

 

Best wishes!

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Is this for Sunday school where you will have the kids for about 1 1/2 hrs a day on Sunday? I ask because it actually does affect my answer.

 

Hi All,

 

I'm hoping you can help me. I will be teaching a Rel. Ed class in the fall at my church. I was told that since my son has TS and I understand a little about kids who do not have "special needs" in the sense one might think of "special needs." But more that I understand kids can need accomidations to help them learn. My son has TS only, we do not deal with ADD/ADHD, Aspergers, OCD, ect... so I was hoping you all could help me be a good RE teacher. (this will be my first year)

 

Could you all tell me a little about your child and how do they best learn. I would love to have a stack of info so I can figure out what a child might need if their parents have not shared with us any DX their child may have. I don't want a child labled as a behavioral problem and the finger pointed at the parents for lack of discipline.

 

I hope you all can help. Thanks

 

CP

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My dd10 has never been great at listening to mass; auditory learning is not her strength. But boy has she made some incredibly spiritual and moving observations of the stain glass in our church!!! Not connected to the lesson of the mass, but so what!!! She was thinking about and connecting with Christ, what a blessing!!!

 

So being flexible is key. Appreciating each child's path to their spiritual connection is also important.

 

 

wow - JAG - how nice. i'm ashamed to say, i usually don't have that patience and understanding. i so appreciate that you do!

 

flexibility and understanding what you see on the surface is not necessarily what's reality, i think. my ds had a really rough last half of the year last year. i think it's b/c for whatever reason, his teacher just became frustrated that he wasn't falling in line with all the others and although, she knew of his medical issues, began seeing his behavior as annoying and defiant. i believe she withdrew rather than discussing it with me. it would have been helpful for me to know more of what was happening and perhaps, for her to gain other perspective also - so I say, don't be afraid to discuss things with the parents.

 

also -- last year, at my older non-pandas son's baseball practice, the coach was teaching something about the pattern of the play. i didn't even know there are actual plays in baseball where you call a sequence. the coach was teaching it from pitcher's mound with all the kids in the field. ds looked literally off in left field as coach was talking. when it was his turn to play it out, my dad and i were laughing that he'd surely have absolutely no clue what to do. he got up there and worked the sequence better than most other kids. my dad and i over fell over. although it fully appeared he was not paying attention -- which is often for him -- he was absorbing it all. it just didn't appear that way.

 

good luck.

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Well, to be honest, I am a little surprised they are even asking you such detailed questions considering you will actually seeing the kids only for a couple hours a week. Now, my answer might also depend on what grade you are teaching:) Overall, I don't think you really have to worry too much about having a "special needs" child causing a lot of havoc for that time frame. In our religion class (don't know about yours), a craft, stories, interaction, and even an occasional dvd is used. It's just not 2 hours of sitting and listening. Just make sure you have some religion based books available in the event someone does get antsy or if the kids are younger, print of some Veggie Takes coloring pages to have on hand just in case.

 

My PANDAS son is a visual learner. If he sees it, it makes more sense to him. Even if it's just a picture or written down. Also, one more thing, in our elementary school they do such neat things now to get the kids' attention. Instead of being just strict, the teachers will do things like "If you hear my voice, put your hands on your head" or if the kids are antsy, she will have thems stand up and do stretch in the classroom just to break up the day. One teacher ends the day with, if the kids behaved, she turns on music at the very end of the day and let's them dance.

 

 

Good question, Vicky,

 

Yes, only on Monday right after school.

 

CP

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Vicky, I think you misunderstood me, I did not mean to sound like the church was asking me to deal with children with special needs. I was just trying to let you all know I was talking about children who have needs (ADD/ADHD...ect.) that can be overlooked as bad behavior. ( we have a class for truly special needs)

 

It is the other teachers who were so excited to have someone with a child who had an IEP at school and could help understand children who are in need of accommodations. I was trying to educate myself with other co-morbid conditions since I only deal with Tourette's here at home.

 

I'm sorry if I offended anyone with the way I worded my post.

 

Thanks for the helpful tips everyone.

 

CP

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I just wanted to add something- and You may not be dealing w/ kids who have OCD, so maybe its not even an issue, but, you have to be careful not to "stoke" the OCD. Many of my daughter's fears and anxieties come from safety lessons at school that talk about the bad things that can happen. She will greatly exaggerate them in her mind and end up terrified of small things that everybody else just takes for granted.

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My girls both have separation anxiety and are very uncomfortable when they have to go to new situations without me. Going to sunday school, etc. is not something they enjoy. Making it fun with arts and crafts, stories, drama, anything interactive where they don't have to sit in one place and purely listen works best for them.

 

The OCD aspect makes it hard with religious studies since you never know what will freak them out and scare them. They can't watch the news or any show that might have bad weather or crime in it. I get lots and lots of questions after we watch any documentaries about religion, they are interested but it can backfire on us too and all of a sudden they can't go upstairs any more because they are afraid of something they learned about. Right now, they prefer to believe that God is not real. I know they would like an environment where they felt comfortable to ask questions and voice their own views, even if they were not the views of everyone there.

 

Good luck to you. Sounds like you have the interest and will be good at it!

 

Susan

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Very helpful, Susan and Peglem, I will remember this when we talk about the Crucifixion.

 

I have a friend who has 2 boys with Aspergers and she would say that would be a problem for them as well.

 

Thanks, Vicky, got a little scared there.

 

Faith, hee hee.

 

CP

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not so much the question you are asking but . . . are you familiar with the Living Values Activities series?

 

i just found this book at the library - we are going to be doing some homeschooling b/c we are moving and it hasn't worked out for the beginning of school so to keep transitions to a minimum.

 

the book i have is for kids 3-7, but they also have one for kids 8-14 and then young adults. we've only done a few exercises - the first section is on "peace", which is quite apropos for our house lately. even my 8 year old is enjoying the lessons that are a little corny - songs of peaceful stars etc.

 

i have never been able to work with pandas son, 6, on calming exercises for anxiety -- ie. like suggested in tamar chansky's books. i think b/c the focus has been on him personally and it's approached that these are things to do when he is feeling fill-in-the-blank. however, he is loving these calming visualization exercises - focusing on being quiet like the stars and visualizing a peaceful garden with a swing set. . .

 

the other day he said, 'can we do a peace lesson today?' by all means, yes!!

 

it may be a way to incorporate some quick exercises to help work with the kids that isn't the normal focus of the goals of the RE.

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