Looking for suggestions

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by tiredmommy, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Duckie's teacher and I have been talking and have decided that it may be beneficial for Duckie to have a 504 plan in place when she leaves elementary school at the end of next school year due to her sensory processing disorder diagnosis. She will have this teacher next year (she's looping) so we won't have to "break in" another teacher next year.

    I'm looking for some suggested accommodations for a sensory defensive student. We already are keeping her seated at the periphery of the classroom and trying to have her seated as far away from the extremely disruptive student in class. We're also getting a note from the private Occupational Therapist (OT) requesting that Duckie or the teacher have the option of Duckie sitting at the allergy table on stressful days due to how loud and crowded the cafeteria is. The principal has said he's fine with it as long as Duckie's lunch is nut-free and he has a note.

    Her teacher is more concerned about middle school when there are several teachers that they may not be willing to work with her needs informally. Duckie's biggest problems are getting stressed in a loud environment, she's tactile defensive and gets upset by incidental touch (bumping, accidentally brushing up against her) so she needs a little extra space and general organization (she gets overwhelmed).

    I'll also be asking the school & private Occupational Therapist (OT)'s for input but I'd also like ideas from experienced parents. Thank you!
  2. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Junior high is always a worry-for all kids. I'm glad your planning now and that you have such a good support where she is. A 504 plan is a good idea. We did this for our boy. But honestly you will have to "ride herd" on the teachers. We also taught our boy to advocate for himself as these teachers are often overloaded and they don't always plan for their sp. ed. and 504 (let alone gifted)students. Start now having her ask for what she needs from her teacher. I actually called or emailed each teacher weekly about my son and asked, "What have you written in your plans for my son this next week?" Testing time is big-I really micromanaged this-any test he didn't do well on-I called and asked if he had been accomodated and asked for retakes when they had not done their job.m This included finals and state testing. I included the Occupational Therapist (OT) in all 504 meetings (added come expertise) and I refused to have a meeting if all his teachers could not be there (tricky when you have 6-8 teachers).

    Walking in the halls may be a trick for your girl-they are packed and Jr. high kids just barrell down them (at my school at least). I'm wondering how to handle this? Maybe she could leave class 2 minutes early to avoid the huge crowds. Preferential seating is a must for her as it was for my boy-this is where they can learn to advocate for themselves.

    As I teacher, I always appreciate the involved parents. They keep me focused on their kids' needs and honestly, we teachers need this sometimes. A less experienced teacher may take it personally, however they need to learn that they are responsible for those IEPs and 504 plans and parents have the most power. When I sensed defensiveness, I just explained how much I cared about my kid and I understood their stresses, but he was important and I would continue to be involved and supportive whenever they needed me. Most came around-a few never did, but I did not "go-away", or let them intimidate me. I did have to go over a few heads in high school. Just be prepared.

    Orginization is huge- we made one binder which had tabs and folder pockets for each class. One pocket was for unfinished work, the other was for work to be turned in. Each section had paper. We put a pencil pocket in as well. We just got in the habit of looking at that thing every night and going through it. Locker......this was a disaster for both kids. We ended up writing in the 504 that my son could keep a backpack (against the rules in many Jr. high and high school)- he had to leave it in the front of each class, but he could keep his books and binder and lunch in one place. His school didn't have many textbooks so this worked. For my daughter, I ended up going in every week and helping her get the locker organized. Neither kid had developed good enough skills to keep it together without my help in the oranization catagory. 23 year old son does now-just took longer.
    Hope something here helps-hugs!
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Safe spots will be key. Tigger has "sensory breaks" scheduled right into his day, 10 minutes before and after the most stressful part of his day. He goes to a quiet spot and plays with theraputty with headphones on. Eeyore has a "five minute pass". If he is stressed he just tells the teacher, I need to use my pass and leaves (he has 3 go-to people: social worker, counselor and asst principal; he's also gone to the nurse if those 3 were involved with another child's crisis). The key is to be proactive (scheduled sensory breaks, preferential seating, etc) and have a plan when she is overwhelmed so she has an option besides blowing up (five minute pass, etc.)
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thanks ladies. :)

    Exhausted- The other thing I want to do at the elementary level is have her be placed at the front or rear of the line in the hall... that's mute in middle school. She's pretty self-conscious so I doubt she'll want the attention of leaving b4 the others.... she'd probably just prefer to "manage" through that. The good news is that the kids' core classes are in wings by grade at our middle school. She won't have far to go except for specials. Phys Ed & lunch are centralized. She already uses a similar binder this year though it is set up for the whole day rather than by subject. I think perhaps a second set of books at home will be helpful. As is, I pick her up on Wednesdays when she has to manage her regular school book bag with binder, lunch bag and any homework, her music bag, viola and gym bag. Sheesh... it would be too much for most adults!

    JJJ- She's allowed to use a squishy ball in class. It used to be in her desk, but another student kept swiping it (another trigger for Duckie) so the teacher keeps it at her desk. Duckie is the only student allowed to remove anything from the desk without explicitly asking permission. She also allows Duckie to keep hand sanitizer on her desk (I think she likes how it "feels" in addition to the cleanliness) and a bottle of water. I like the idea of the pass but frankly, I'm concerned about her abusing it. She can be pretty crafty... and just follow a friend to the bathroom or nurse. I would do it in a second if I thought she wouldn't abuse it). Classes are about 40 minutes in middle school... perhaps she could be allowed to go to the nurse after class or a few minutes between class. I know she won't go to the counselor... she's way too self conscious.
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    my daughter ontop of all her other fun stuff also has this.

    on her 504 plan i have

    she gets assitant with packing up at end of day. she gets floating free period at the end of the day with a teacher to assist with going over did she get everything from her classes she needed, locker etc.

    she gets extra time to make it to class.

    special locker assignment closest to the classes.

    core teacher copies all work for her incase she misses anything during day.

    she gets seated at front of room.

    there are certain things unfortunately our children face in middle school that cannot be avoided. my daughter as you know day 2 refused to take in liquids or any food and that lead to a huge eating disorder. so i think what your doing is incredibly great and really proactive.

    i'm trying to think of what else.

    oh ok X amt of breaks per day to visit bathroom, nurse etc.if the environment gets too overwhelming so they can escape and defuse themselves. the hallways there are bad.

    id' also suggest to do a walk thru with her now, prior to her entering with all the kids in the building. it'll be hard, yet she'll be with you and that'll be huge. do so many walk thru's with her, than do several over course of the summer so she feels more comfortable.

    ok one odd thing i gave difficult child a rock, got it at some crazy store around here i'Tourette's Syndrome made of lithium it's supposed to calm. it was a very smooth surface, tactile that they love.... smooth no bumps etc. she kept it in her pocket to refer to to calm herself when it all got to be too much. now granted my difficult child was already tanking before middle school. so we didn't implement any of this.

    i can't remember the rest of her 504 if i can i'll post more. hope this helped.