How to Include Multi-Disabled Children Into Activities

| | posted on:Multiple Disability

Teaching a student with multiple disabilities can be complicated, and becomes more so when the student is placed in a class with mainstream, able peers. In this setting, the teacher must not only ensure that the academic needs of the multi-disabled student are being met, but also that he is being accepted socially. Class activities present the chance to do both, and require continued, concerted efforts.


    • 1Consider the multi-disabled student’s abilities. To design activities of which the student is capable, consider not what she can’t do, but what she can do.
    • 2Modify activities as appropriate. If you are asking students to mix colors of paint, use this as a chance for a blind student to work on measurement and proportions, even though she may not be able to see the hues she is creating. Keep in mind that you might not be able to modify some activities. For example, if you are asking students to read information off of a color wheel, the activity can not be adapted effectively for a blind student.
    • 3Use assistive technology to help the disabled student complete the same work as his peers. There is an array of technology that can make learning easier for disabled students. The student’s individualized education program (IEP) will likely contain information about appropriate tools. Consult this document as you plan.
    • 4Partner the student with a patient peer. Pick a peer who is kind and helpful, not one who will make the disabled student slow or inadequate. Speak with the selected partner in advance, explaining to him why you selected him, and that you feel that he is capable of helping the disabled student. This confidence boost will give the peer partner even more motivation to make the partnership a fruitful one.
    • 5Check on the student regularly. While you do not want to devote all of your attention to the disabled student, you should give her a bit more than her peers. Check with her and her partner frequently to ensure that any special needs are met.
    • 6Speak to unsupportive peers. If some classmates are rude to the disabled student, deal with this behavior immediately. Speak to these students on-one-on, discussing how disrespectful it is to belittle a peer who is less capable, and encouraging them to be more supportive. Threaten disciplinary consequences if the disrespectful behavior continues.
    • 7Celebrate the student’s successes — even if success for the disabled student is not be the same as success for his peers. Praise the student frequently both to make it clear that he is doing well, and to encourage his continued hard work.

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