I am a special education teacher and a mother of a child with a disability. It can be a difficult time. So I thought I would give a few tips of some things I do to help my students and my own child.
1. Be prepared – have everything ready in advance. Tell the child what you will be doing and give them time to prepare. Pack a bag, and have all the supplies you need organised well in advance. That way if there is behaviours or incidents, you have more time. You are also not running around stressing, causing extra stress on yourself and the child.
2. Make a plan – Similar to the preparation, it is good to know where you are going and what will be at the place you are going. This will help to identify management strategies if the place is likely to set off the child’s sensory or emotional behaviours. Check if there is a quiet place to take your child, find out if there is adequate changing facilities, look at the distance to walk or move around. This will help in minimising the risks to an unpleasant experience for the child and yourself.
3. Use visual cues – It can be difficult for children with disabilities to understand and process a large amount of information. Explicit instruction is beneficial by breaking down tasks into simple step by step processes. This can be done through the use of visual timetables, visual cues or stories that demonstrate and model what will be happening during the day and the tasks they are expected to perform. If it helps to have visual prompts in public, have a keyring and attach visual cards including toilet, food, drink, stop etc that the child can show you or you can show the child to help them communicate when they are overwhelmed.
I hope these tips help and I will try to share more with you soon!
Posted by ozstarlett, 27th March 2019