Florida Fights FASD


 

 

FASD Educators

Educators

Students with FASD are often easily distracted and frustrated, and experience deficits in social relations, organizational skills, attention to detail, motor skills and concrete thinking.

Although every case of FASD is different and requires individualized attention, teachers can use the following strategies to improve the learning environment for the affected student:

  • Be patient with poor conduct. The student may have at least some degree of brain damage and therefore cannot always control behavior.
  • Place the student near the front of the classroom so he/she can focus more easily.
  • Allow the student to take short breaks when necessary.
  • Place armrests, bean bag chairs or other borders around the student so he/she feels more safe and secure.
  • Provide extra time at the end of the day for the student to prepare to leave.
  • Only give the student one task to do at a time and make sure he/she understands the instructions; also, check on the student frequently to answer any questions or solve any problems he/she may have.
  • Provide the student with a copy of the days notes so that he/she will not become distracted when trying to write down messages from the lesson.
  • Be aware that the student might be sensitive to touch and think that an accidental bump by another student is a shove. Monitor such situations and intervene quickly to diffuse the situation before outbursts occur.
  • Use positive reinforcement over disciplinary action when possible; always reward good behavior with praise and incentives to encourage the student not to behave poorly.
  • Spend some time figuring out how the student learns best. If one technique does not work, try something different. Using visuals and hands-on activities often prove successful.
  • Keep a consistent and predictable classroom schedule to avoid confusion for the student.
  • Provide an easy-to-understand checklist of assignments for the student so he/she can keep track of progress.
  • Have the student reiterate directions in his/her own words to ensure understanding of the assignment.
  • Be patient and understanding, but also show genuine interest in the student. When the student feels that a teacher likes him/her, he/she will feel more comfortable and safe in the classroom.
  • Make a quiet area for the student if the classroom becomes too loud or distracting.
  • Prepare the student in advance for changes in the daily classroom routine.
  • Speak in concrete terms. Avoid words with double meanings, idioms, etc.
  • Be specific when giving instructions. Instructions may have to be repeated a few times before the student retains the information.
  • Rhythmic activities such as choral reading, spelling and math chants are effective to hold a studentfs attention.
  • Use background music to calm the student. Teaching concepts through music can also be effective.

Download FAQs for Educators

Educational Rights for Children with Disabilities

There are two main laws protecting students with disabilities:

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 (IDEA)

Established in 1975, this Act retains the basic rights and protections for children with disabilities. In 1997, the amendments were added to improve education of children with disabilities by:

  • Identifying children with special needs before they enter school and providing services to help them,
  • Developing individualized education programs (IEPs) that focus on improving educational results through the general curriculum,
  • Educating children with disabilities with their nondisabled peers,
  • Setting higher expectations for students who are disabled and ensuring schools are held accountable,
  • Strengthening the role of parents and fostering partnerships between parents and schools,
  • Reducing unnecessary paperwork and other burdens.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 504 of this Act states that “no qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall be excluded from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under” any program or activity that either receives Federal financial assistance or is conducted by any Executive agency or the United States Postal Service.



   

HELPFUL LINKS

Teaching Students With FASD

Teach to Reach

FASD Educational Strategies

Tips for Elementary School Teachers

The Language of FASD

VIDEOS


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Florida Fights FASD is a public awareness campaign facilitated by The Florida Center for Early Childhood whose mission is to build strong families … one child at a time. This public service initiative has been initially funded by the Florida Department of Disabilities Council and has been expanded on through funds from the Florida Department of Health.



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