Secondary School Classroom guidelines for schools and teachers

The following information has been compiled from a survey taken in 2007, the guidelines are aimed at helping teachers make classroom life more comfortable and productive for children in their calss

The headings listed below are all potential Dyspraxic Difficulties you may encounter in the classroom, simply select the heading to display the problems at school and the recommended classroom stratergy.

Hand to Eye Coordination

Problems at School Classroom Strategies
Handwriting difficulties Practice multi-sensory letter formation e.g. sandpaper letters, sky writing, rice traysUse pencil grips, writing lines, stencils

Other Hand to Eye Coordination difficulties

Problems at School Classroom Strategies
Difficulties with dressing and fastening clothesUsing tools, utensils and cutlery Suggest loose-fit easy on/easy off clothing and Velcro fasteningsBreak down each task into small sections to be mastered one by one

Large Muscle Movements

Problems at School Classroom Strategies
Difficulty walking in straight line, bumps into people and thingsDifficulties running, hopping, jumping, catching/kicking balls Provide balance or wobble boards, walking on the line and hand to hand throwing using bean bags or water-filled balloons

Attention/concentration

Problems at School Classroom Strategies
Reacts to all stimuli without discrimination.Attention span is poor.

Distracted in open-plan environments.

Flits between activities.

Disturbs others.

Allow child to choose activities which meet child’s own interests.Avoid disturbing child when on task.

Avoid fluorescent lights, fluttering ceiling displays.

Keep wall displays to a minimum.

Promote a ‘no-disturbance’ culture showing respect for each child’s work space.

Conceptualisation

Problems at School Classroom Strategies
Difficulty understanding concepts such as ‘in’ ‘on’ ‘in front of’. Play farm/zoo/journey games with command cards such as ‘cow in front of barn’ with correct picture on back of card.

Personal Organisation

Problems at School Classroom Strategies
Generally poorly organised. Supply time-tables, daily diaries and instructions for specific activities in sequenced picture cards.

Communication

Problems at School Classroom Strategies
Unable to remember and/or follow instructions Get the attention of the child before giving instructions.Use simple language with visual prompts.

Provide time to process the information.

Use activities, demonstrations and pictures.

Speech. Language and communication

Problems at School Classroom Strategies
Difficulty in explaining needs or answering a question.Difficulty in retelling an incident. Provide visual supports to help recollection of personal experiences.Use closed questions rather than open ended questions.

Social skills

Problems at School Classroom Strategies
No concept of personal belongings.Difficulty keeping friends.

Difficulty judging how to behave in company.

Role play to develop understanding of the concepts of private and public.Have consistent explicit classroom rules.

Use social stories to explain the social rules and expected behaviour.

Creativity/imagination

Problems at School Classroom Strategies
Artwork and story telling immature.Difficulty with time, sequencing ‘before’ ‘after’ ‘future’ Use role play and drama to explore different outcomes and scenarios.Timelines can help fix events in child’s mind.

Teach from ‘concrete’ to ‘abstract’ by making concepts relevant to child’s own experience.

Social skills and flexible thinking

Problems at School Classroom Strategies
Difficulty coping with sudden changes, leading to anxiety. Give advance notice of any changes.Use visual timetables.

Give clear rules and consequences.

Flexible thinking

Problems at School Classroom Strategies
Difficulty in understanding the feelings of other people and the effect of their own behaviours on other people.Difficulty in using a learnt skill out of the learnt situation. Work on understanding emotions.Use strategies such as comic strip conversations and mind reading etc.

Teach each skill in all the possible contexts and in different ways.

Sensory perception and flexible thinking

Problems at School Classroom Strategies
Resistance to certain activities or situations. Prepare for the change.Introduce to sensation gradually.

Provide other options if the student cannot overcome the sensory difficulty.

Introduce new sensory experiences using the child’s interests, eg messy play making aliens to get used to slimy texture.

Sensory perception and social skills

Problems at School Classroom Strategies
Finds it difficult to concentrate. Give a distraction free learning environment.Reduce the social demands while learning.

Permit time out if child is becoming over-stimulated.

Social skills, flexible thinking and communication

Problems at School Classroom Strategies
Difficulty in developing play skills and following game rules. Identify and focus on teaching necessary play skills such as turn-taking, negotiating etc.Introduce a circle of friends or buddy system to help the child in building relationships.

You can download a copy of the Dyspraxia – classroom guidlines here