Friday, July 14, 2006

Working with Children with Orthopedic Disabilities

I'm thinking it was Kristina, possibly at Autism Vox who gave me the above line to I can't seem to find the blog entry, though, to reference. I AM the queen of space-cadets. Whoever it was, you are a godsend!

It turns out I am going to be working with kids with both severe Orthopedic Disabilities/Disorders (OD), with a secondary diagnosis of Communication Disorders. I've looked at their IEP's, and met with my "aides" (a VAST understatement, they are brilliant), seen pictures of the kids (all bright eyed and bushy-tailed)and scoped out the classroom. I can't wait to get started!

My gosh, people...when you see what these kids deal with every day, it makes our kids look very lucky indeed! Many of the parents deal with issues that we will never have to, like gastric tubes for feeding, bedsores, choking, severe health issues (early deaths)---I can't imagine the strength it takes! Some parents are in the acceptance stage, some have a long way to go.

Back to the title and link...because of the link, my planning for this year has a focus. The link above won't concern most of us, but it will be invaluable to me. It led me to the latest research in teaching kids with severe communication disorders. It starts from the ground up. Most of the kids have identification of objects as Iep goals, but the initial step of communication is to signal discomfort (NO!) and comfort (YES!). One of my children has to simply smile at a familiar voice. What has always been done "wrong" is communication must be taught in concrete form (symbolically, as in actual objects) after yes/no, then by symbolic (pictures), then by abstract (language). ALL of most of the childrens IEP goals are presently using pictures, skipping the second step. Awfully big stuff.

I have 2 weeks to get ready. I may not be around for a while, but I will read posts.
God bless y'all!!


1 comment:

Kristina Chew said...

I'm not remembering if it was me either.......then again, I've been forgetting things all day (cell phone---my lifeline).

We've had a lot of SLP grad students babysitting and doing home therapy with Charlie over the years. Many have done internships working with kids like the ones you will be---there is a special school for kids with such disabilities in this area----it does put it all into perspective.

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