Classroom Management Suggestions:
Listed below are some strategies that may be used by the classroom teacher in teaching a child who demonstrates deficits in the visual-motor area, primarily. These are not remedial training methods. Those must be provided by other specialists. These are accommodations to the deficit area and may prove useful in helping the child function more efficiently in the classroom.
Generally, the child with this type of deficit needs help in structuring and organizing visual information. The suggestions presented here are by no means comprehensive and hopefully can be implemented by the classroom teacher without much difficulty. The key factor to remember is that this child has not yet learned to sort and order visual information in a precise, analytical way. As a result, any additional support (s)he may derive from the other sensory channels (e.g. hands, ears, speech mechanism) that provide him/her with a more organized approach to visual tasks should be encouraged and, indeed, taught.
These are not ”miracle cures” but they can assist the child in managing and understanding visual information. The teacher is encouraged to develop his/her own variation and applications.
- Point out and emphasize differences in whatever visual information is provided. Ask the child to “trace” over the letters and words, “draw” them in the air with a finger, “draw” them with eyes closed, and–in as many other ways as possible-appreciate the construction of the symbols and their interrelationships.
- Emphasize a phonetic approach in reading. Phonics, word analysis and word attack skills should be given first priority over teaching a sight vocabulary.
- Encourage the child to use his finger as a pointer when she is reading. When helpful, allow the student to use an oaktag “liner” under each line of print on the page, or to use a “mask” which has been slotted so that only one line of print is exposed at any given time.
- Explain what you are doing while you do it, so that the child can hear it and see it at the same time. “Tell” while you “show.”
- If possible, evaluate the child’s progress by testing them orally. Encourage oral responses generally.
- Reduce the amount of written seatwork that the child is expected to produce. Eliminate uch tasks as copying “The Morning News” from the blackboard or other activities that involve extensive copying from the board. Substitute activities that involve the manipulation of concrete materials… puzzles, blocks, peg boards, cutting, pasting, etc.
- Illustrate spatial relationships in teaching arithmetic by using concrete materials, (blocks, coins, rods, etc.) and encourage the child to manipulate them in working out number relationships. A counting tape may be helpful.
- Pre-analyze the material for the child before presenting it; that is, break the task down into its component parts. Arrange the lesson into sequentially-ordered steps and, if possible, present them one at a time. The child should be aware of what is expected in production at each step.
- Do not penalize the child for poor handwriting or messy papers.
- Avoid giving the child dittoed seatwork or work book assignments in which the pages are “busy” or cluttered. Simplify the lay-out or clearly divide the work spaces for each task.
- Help the child organize the space on the paper before he starts a written task. For example, have the student fold the paper into rectangles in which to do arithmetic. If the folds do not help enough, use heavy lines to divide the paper into defined spaces.
- Use lined paper and graph paper for the same purpose; do not, however, use lined or graph paper that is too refined. The lines should be widely spaced.
- If (s)he is having trouble with pencil control, let the child try a felt-tip pen or other writing instruments of varying shapes and weight. A pencil holder might prove to be useful.
- Use records and a tape recorder, if possible, to supplement written material.
- Use color cues in introducing new letters, sounds or words.
- Try to seat the child in a quiet corner, away from distractions and stimulation.
- Experiment with various seating positions, paper positions, etc., to determine the most effective combination.
Adapted from Rosner, 1967
Classroom management suggestions:
AUDI TORY-MOTOR DYSFUNCTION
Listed below are some strategies that may be used by the classroom teacher in teaching a child who demonstrates deficits in the auditory-motor area, primarily. For the most part, these are not training methods. Those must be addressed be other specialists. They are accommodations to the deficit area and may prove useful in helping the child function more efficiently in the classroom.
Generally, the child with this type of deficit needs help in structuring and organizing auditory information. The suggestions presented here are by no means comprehensive and hopefully can be implemented by the classroom teacher without much difficulty. The key factor to remember is that this child has not yet learned to sort and order acoustical information in a precise, analytical way. As a result, any additional support (s)he may derive from other sensory channels (e.g. his eyes, hands, speech mechanism) that provide him/her with a more organized approach to auditory tasks should be encouraged and, indeed, taught.
These are not “miracle cures” but they can assist the child in managing and understanding acoustical information. The teacher is encouraged to develop his/her own variations and applications.
- Point out and emphasize the differences in the phonemes of the language. Ask the child to “say” the sounds, listen to them, and appreciate the way his/her mouth “feels” as (s)he does. Have them watch your mouth as you form the sounds.
- Train basic auditory skills while starting a reading program, if possible. When elementary skills have been established (e.g., an auditory appreciation of beginning consonants, short /~/ and short /i/), exploit this in a beginning reading program that teaches basic decoding through phonics.
- Avoid sight-method reading programs. These types of programs fail to stress the differences between the basic individual sounds of the language, and leave it to the child to sort them out.
- Make sure the student is able to blend sounds as (s)he is taught to read them.
- Use such visual mediators as color cues, diacritical marks and underlined letters to aid the child in relating a specific phoneme to a visual stimulus. (An example of this is I.T.A. Be cautious, however, and make certain that the child’s visual perception skills are adequate to the task of interpreting the visual symbols of the I.T.A.)
- Ask short questions.
- Give time to think about a problem before requiring a verbal response from the child.
- In response to a question, have the child repeat the question as part of the answer. Encourage them to use words.
- Be certain that the child understands the meaning of all the words presented.
- Assist the child in organizing his/her verbal responses.
- Use short, one-concept sentences. Avoid multiple commands or directions.
- Speak distinctly and request the same from the child.
- Alter your own verbal presentations (whisper, raise or lower your pitch, tone, speaking rate, etc.).
- Offer visual clues whenever possible. “Show” as well as “tell.”
- Use visual aids as much as possible.
- Encourage the child to repeat verbal instructions subvocally.
- Encourage these children to verbalize.. .to “tell” themselves as they work.
- Encourage sub-vocalization during silent reading until (s)he is capable of eliminating the behavior and still is meeting the demands of the situation.
- Encourage the child to say what (s)he is writing while (s)he is writing.
- If possible, involve them in rhyming games and in activities which stress auditory discrimination, auditory sequence and auditory memory. Singing and rhythm activities are often helpful to these children.
- Review constantly. Assume nothing until (s)he demonstrates automatic type responses.
- Avoid tapes lessons until you are certain the demands of the task can be met.
- Try to seat the child so that without excessive distractions (s)he can watch you speak.
Adapted from Rosner, 1967