Friday, 2 December 2011

How to support the child with CHARGE

This is an outline of the training I gave to the staff when Patrick (pseudonym) started in the nursery. My apologies if it is only an outline but I think you should be able to fill in the gaps.

Patrick benefits from learning materials with
-        clear contrast
-        thick outlines and lines
-        visually simple not complex
-        little on the page and no clutter 
He needs all the details big enough for him
He loves music and rhyme
He is touch sensitive / tactile defensive and does not like to be touched
He can do simple puzzles
He likes push button toys
He can follow a slowly moving object but not a fast object

Educational needs of CHARGE
Patrick has severe vision loss and a mild hearing loss which is called borderline hearing impairment. This does not mean he can hear as well as you and me.  A mild HI can be quite disabling and debilitating. It demands a lot more concentration and focus and is more affected by distraction. Speech may be unclear. Because of this he needs a total communication programme.

Total communication
-        incorporating everything
-        gestures
-        simple signs
-        print
-        facial expressions
-        symbols
-        PECs –picture exchange system
-        Specific to the child
-        Whole team approach – including family

Impact of HI + VI
-        Living in a bubble
o   Depending how far out child sees and hears
o   Considering the ambient noise and lighting

Curriculum
-        do not underestimate the child
-        overall cognitive level often not realised because of complex needs
-        many CHARGE children are quite clever – have good memory – good capacity to retain info –
-        they need to be challenged

Fatigue
-        Time to relax
-        child needs frequent sensory breaks
-        can be soft floor cushion – books in a quiet space – bean bag chair – minimum distraction in room which is quiet and low light
-        staff be aware of signal that he is tired. Especially afternoon – anticipate the need for a break

My Space
-        Create a space that interests and motivates Patrick
-        Hang pictures of favourite people
-        Decorate with intriguing multi-sensory materials
-        Be creative and imaginative

Teaching strategies
-        ORGANISATION     
-        Work in organised manner – left to right / top to bottom / checklists
-        Use NEGOCIATION – allow child to feel he is in control – give choices
-        Encourage turn taking and sharing
-        Select activities that are interesting – use materials that are interesting
-        Break down tasks into manageable steps / chunks – build in success
-        Model the steps of an activity
-        Age appropriate content
-        Follow student’s lead
-        Vary the content

Sensory techniques
-        awareness of hands – allow others to touch – tapping tactile signing
-        signals – gesturing to gain attention
-        hand under hand – prompts adult’s hand as guide under child’s hand less invasive
-        sensory breaks – pause time

Timing
-        activities to have structure – beginning middle end
-        Pause time for response – don’t rush him – WAIT WAIT WAIT

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