Does anyone have any great ideas about how best to work with children with fetal alcohol syndrome?
I have a student with FAS and am trying to help him more than I currently am. He has a lot of trouble learning and remembering what he has been taught. Any ideas?
First, remember he is not defined by his disability but is child just like any other. We all have our shortcomings. Some things are easier and some harder for everyone. With that being said, give him a learning assessment to discover his favored learning style. Most likely it will be kinesthetic. If you don’t have access to such a tool speak to your diagnostician. He or she will have several you can chose from. If this child is a poor or non-reader get a copy of Boardmaker Plus to give the child visually supported notes and use manipulative whenever possible. Try to connect content auditorily, visually, and kinesthetically allowing for at least five to eight extra seconds for processing. With so many of our special needs students a strong sense of learned helplessness will have to be overcome. Praise and encourage all success however small it may be to start with. Many, many of them when they begin to believe in their own potential will blossom in ways no one ever dreamed of. Remember most of all just because you may not yet see evidence of it that does not mean you are not reaching the child. Keep at it and never, never give up.
I had two buddies in high school I helped graduate, both had FAS. They both played football with me, so they were high functioning, but both had a damn hard time learning. It was easiest for both of them to be read to and have help outlining the important information before they start reading or writing assingments. I used a lot of visual aid, and really just sat down with them and read out loud.Most of the time I'd end up getting the pages photocopied so we could run a highlighter through the stuff we really needed to go through. Now remember, these were high school football players, it was really difficult for them to ask me specifically as one of their peers to help them, but they felt they were being treated like they were handicapped. I'm friends with both of them to this day, one graduated out of North West Linesmen College, and the other is a diesel mechanic in the Bremerton Shipyard. Neither one of them is handicapped, someone just had to help them learn HOW they learn. I don't know if this point of view helped, but I thought I'd share my story!
Do work for a short period of time if he is not getting it give him a short break and
do it again. ALWAYS end on a good note! It is human nature that when your
student 'gets' something to get happy and excited and try to build on it right away.
DON't move on stop right there he will be much more likely to remember his
accomplishment if it is not blemished with more.
End on a high note.
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