Results of Focus Groups

The identified problems and with individual solutions provided by the parents are briefly noted in the following chart.

Area Problem Solution
Academics 1.TAKS Test Anxiety, I Explain to student who is being tested: the teacher.
Academics 2.TAKS Test Anxiety, II Explain to the student they need to do their very best on the test.
Academics 3.Likes to Read All the Time Chunking: demonstrating proficiency with shorter assignments then allowing student time for his/her desired activity.
Academics 4. Child is Very Literal Use complete and concrete explanations. Define terms.
Academics 5. Child Could Not Read Teacher thought outside the box. Teacher suggested a solution for helping the student learn to read that was not a method ever tried for a student with our son’s diagnosis.
Academics 6. Lack of Organizational Skills School uses online communication system. Teacher and student fill in a daily planner that parents see each school day. Personal assistance occasionally.
Academics 7. Organizational Issues Maintain second set of books at home.
Academics 9. Lack of Recognition of the Disability Teachers received the IEPs and the modifications yet did nothing to accommodate the student. Parents met personally with each teacher to communicate the need for the goals and the modifications.
Academics 10. Perfectionist Student Resource teacher wrote modifications for all the student’s classes to allow the student extra time to work on assignments at home.
Academics 11. ARD Committee Members, I Assistive Technology (AT) expert attended ARD meeting to instruct teachers about how to implement the modifications.
Academics 12. ARD Committee Members, II All of my son’s teachers attend ARDs so they get the message on the importance of items required by ARD committee.
Academics 13. Idioms Give student idioms ahead of class time to allow time for understanding.
Academics 14. Reluctant to Read Allow reading assignment topics to be chosen by the student when possible.
Behavior 15. Student Not Wanting to Come to School Work closely with administration and pick your battles.
Behavior 16. Frustration Issues Allow the teacher to show compassion but not coddle student.
Behavior 17. Obsessing Over Time Early years – make time his “job.” Later years – remove clock from the classroom.
Behavior 18. Meltdowns Teacher found an interest of the child. Used that interest to allow child to make passes for breaks when the student felt frustration building.
Behavior 19. Throwing Fits Allow a break when student becomes frustrated but come back to the work in a few minutes.
Behavior 20. Inflexibility Give child notice when schedule or teacher/staff will be different from normal.
Behavior 21. Circumstances that Trigger Negative Behavior Give teacher information on things that cause difficulty for students. Teacher and parents communicate closely so each will know the latest triggers.
Behavior 22. Obstinate Student Parents communicated expectations of completion. Parents and teachers communicate the day’s events by communication book, through e-mail, phone calls and personal visits. Poor behavior addressed both at home and at school.
Behavior 23. Trouble Transitioning Teacher created a picture schedule.
Behavior 24. Trouble Getting Started Teacher created a “Start Chart”.
Behavior 25. Progressing With Work Positive Behavior Support Chart and use of School Economy.
Social-Emotional 26. Low Self Esteem Offer students opportunities for small successes on which to build.
Social-Emotional 27. Too Much Stimulation Teacher created an “I need a break” card.
Social-Emotional 28. Overreacting Mother shared her method of “small deal” versus “big deal” comparison.
Social-Emotional 29. Carrying objects to school Allowed student to have object in pocket but not play with the item.
Social-Emotional 30. Anxiety Attack Parents shared with teachers to have student focus on positive thoughts.
Social-Emotional 31. Overly Sensitive to Certain Words/Way of speaking List of problem words were given to teacher and worked with the student to desensitize him.
Social-Emotional 32. Sex-Education Gauge student’s ability to understand the material.
Social-Emotional 33. Bullying (within the classroom) Move the bullied student away from the bullying student.
Social-Emotional 34. Hands Hurt During Writing Teacher provided padded pencil grip.
Social-Emotional 35. Can’t Fit Under my Desk School provided table with adjustable legs.
Social-Emotional 36. Frequent Urination Communicated that this was a physical need, not a stalling behavior.
Social-Emotional 37. Personal Hygiene Signal from teacher to visit locker and apply antiperspirant.
Social-Emotional 38. Preferential Seating Consider what the modification is truly for. Not always correct to seat on front row.
Social-Emotional 39. Science Safety Tactile sensitivity, different gloves provided upon request.
Physical 40. Overheating During Exertion Allow cool down but return to physical activity once regulated.
Physical 41. Necessary Stimulation Allow a “fidget.”
Physical 42. No Stranger Danger Communicate student’s tendency to be overly trustful.
Physical 43. Trouble Interacting Instruct student to consider how others feel about you when you are not interacting with them.
Physical 44. Finding my Childs Strengths Play to the student’s strengths and communicate those strengths to the teacher.
Physical 45. Reaction of Other Students Encourage classroom teachers to be up front with your child’s classmates.
Physical 46. Two or Three Steps Behind Everyone Else Parents worked with Physical Therapist (PT) to acquire a power wheelchair. Greatly increased student’s socialization.
Safety 47. Social Skills Behavior specialist videoed the desired behavior, burned a DVD and allowed student to study the behavior and learn the correct way to greet others.
Safety 48. Questions about Disability Parents read an age appropriate book about the disability to the class and responded to questions about the disability.
Verbal Skills 49. Low Verbal Intelligibility Early years: peers interpreted for student. Speech Pathologist created a picture book for student’s use. Once student was reading: she wrote notes.
Verbal Skills 50. Lack of Spontaneous Conversation Teacher and parents used a communications book, e-mail, phone calls and personal visits to communicate the daily events the child would have communicated if he had possessed the skill.
Other Comments 51. Be Flexible Remember, the child’s worst school day ever could be followed by their best school day ever.
Other Comments 52. Call on Me Parents can be a great resource. Don’t leave out working Moms.
Other Comments 53. Each Child is an Individual Treat each child as an individual, not another person with that same diagnosis.


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