We appreciate the important role you play in enhancing the educational experiences of students with Down syndrome. Education is a crucial component of any child’s life. One of the areas of focus for the Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization is supporting educational professionals who work with our children.
In September 2011 we introduced our Exceptional Educators Project, a collaboration with the School District of Palm Beach County. Over 50 teachers who have students with Down syndrome in their general education classrooms attended this first training to learn the basics of Down syndrome, Florida Access Points, Curriculum Modifications, and behavior strategies. The evaluation response was overwhelmingly positive. We appreciate that teachers found value and want to learn all they can to help children with Down syndrome reach their highest potential. Organization staff are available to assist classroom teachers in any way possible. Click here if you are an Exceptional Educator!
Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization maintains a Resource Lending Library offering video and audio tapes from national conferences, books and other materials addressing a wide range of topics related to Down syndrome. If you would like to know more, please give us a call at 561-912-1231 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We have offices in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach, but serve all of Palm Beach County. We welcome your inquiries.
Tips for Teaching Students with Down Syndrome
1. Have high expectations for the student. Be enthusiastic and encouraging.
2. When planning a student's instructional program, be guided by the student's individual ability and needs, and not the label of Down syndrome.
3. If the student is highly distractible, seat the student away from windows and doors to minimize distractions in the environment.
4. Small group instruction may be more beneficial to the student than whole class instruction. Try to also set aside some time for one-on-one instruction.
5. Model the task and give the student many opportunities to perform it. Break down tasks into smaller sequenced steps.
6. Ask the student to repeat or rephrase instructions. Ask the student specific step-by-step questions to make sure the student has understood the instructions given.
7. Set aside time for frequent review and practice of tasks.
8. Allow the student adequate response time.
9. Provide consistent positive reinforcement immediately after the student produces a correct response.
10. If the student makes a mistake, do not say "that's wrong." Ask the student to try again, or provide the correct response and require the student to repeat the correct response immediately. Immediate corrective feedback is more effective than delayed.
11. Give clear signals about the end of one activity and the beginning of the next. Use picture cues or audio cues with young children. For example, use picture symbols representing activities or sing a certain song before a specific activity.
12. Present only a few stimuli or objects at a time. For example, if you are using worksheets, create worksheets that do not have too many pictures or sentences with complicated wording. Highlight or print key words in bold.
13. Use concrete objects/manipulatives along with verbal explanations. For example, while teaching counting use manipulatives that are alike in shape, size and color, so that the student concentrates on counting, rather than being distracted by shapes, etc.
14. Be flexible with attaining educational goals. For example, if the student has difficulty writing with a pencil, teach the student to write using a computer.
UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING:
Universal Design for Learning is an educational approach with three primary principles:
· Multiple means of representation, to give diverse learners options for acquiring information and knowledge,
· Multiple means of action and expression, to provide learners options for demonstrating what they know,
· Multiple means of engagement, to tap into learners' interests, offer appropriate challenges, and increase motivation
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework for designing curricula that enable all individuals to gain knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for learning. UDL provides rich supports for learning and reduces barriers to the curriculum while maintaining high achievement standards for all.
The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) is now offering free online modules
which introduce the theory, principles and application of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to teacher candidates and inservice teachers. They provide higher education faculty with a multimedia, interactive online-learning environment that can be embedded in instructional methods courses.
View the NDSS Education Series presentation
powerpoint and video.
Universal Design for Learning Resources: