Nikki’s SpEd Strategies and Experiences

Question: How can I come up with strategies for the students with special needs in my class while I have full time support worker? How can I learn not to rely on the support worker and for the students with support to see me as someone that can also help? 

When I first started the program I had never worked with students with special needs. I was nervous and unsure how to navigate because I had never had any experiences. My inquiry is all about me coming up with strategies and working with students with special needs. Since I wanted to get these experiences I was nervous that I would not get the opportunity because I had a full time support worker in my class. Once I was comfortable and had gotten to know my students I was able to come up with strategies. I have 2 students in my class with special needs, one with autism and another who is not diagnosed yet. Once I had made a connection with these students and had formed a relationship I noticed that I was much more comfortable and the strategies I used came more naturally. For example one strategy is using class phrases when any of the students get upset because then it does not single anyone out and all students benefit from the phrases.

“YOU GET WHAT YOU GET AND YOU DON’T GET UPSET”

I really like this phrases because it teaches the students to not get upset over small problems like not getting the pink cupcake they wanted. It is great because all the students say this phrase, it is a class connection.

“TAKE A DEEP BREATH, COUNT TO 5, TILL YOU FEEL ALL CALM INSIDE”

This quote is also great because the two students in my class with special needs can sometimes get upset and it is a very big feeling for them so it is expressed big. This phrase you can do together and it uses your body so you say it together and do the movements together which is taking a big deep breath, then you hold up 5 fingers and rub your belly. While on the topic of students getting upset I find another strategy is coming up with a strategy together with the student if they get upset often. My student with autism can often get upset and it sometimes does disrupt the class so we worked on a strategy that would be safe and would be calming. If she gets upset she goes into the cubby room, sits down and drinks her water and when she is ready to come join she does. However I need to be very careful to not let her sit their for too long because sometime the reason she is upset is a small problem and this is a discussion I had with her support worker. We give her 5 minutes then we tell her to join in us in the next 5 minutes.

Below is a picture of my SpED inquiry:

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