How can special and general educational teachers come together and accommodate/modify for a child who has difficulties stamping their name in a given box/line, who has low vision, and difficulties in using both sides of his body in a coordinate manner when working on fine motor tasks such as assembly lines and etc.?
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The scenario that you propose resonates with a condition called Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). This is a disorder salient for the child's inability to perform fine motor skills activities. Most of the time this cognitive disability is caused by low vision, but studies by Rivard and Pollock (2011) contend that the low vision could also be a result of DCD. This is because children tend to use vision more than any other age group and, unable to see fine print or coordinate themselves, they tend to overuse it.
Among the many suggested activities to be conducted with children who suffer from DCD, the easiest and most effective are:
- pre-organized paper- worksheets with large print, large fill-in blank spaces, larger boxes to check and with plenty of space to do sidework.
- extra time- do not expect a DCD child to finish work anytime sooner than the peers. Co-teachers should place that child in a lower skill group (without labeling the group as such) so that he and other students who need help can maybe even help each other.
- allow the child to speak out the in-depth essay questions. Either scribe or record their verbal answer and then allow time in the computer to paraphrase what they can from that answer. This helps the teacher to assess reading comprehension skills.
- allow pictures- when a DCD child gets frustrated at not being able to coordinate space or process information the best thing is to give them blank paper (no limits in space) and to express their academic thinking in pictures.
It is imperative to remember that no single intervention works magic on its own. All interventions should be considered, combined, and experimented with. All children learn differently and these suggestions are a fragment of what teachers can come up with to help a child sussed.
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