When you teach in a multiple disabilities classroom, there are a lot of interesting and important extra things we use when teaching. I’m talking about equipment! Unfortunately, occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, and the teacher for the visually impaired can only come so often. That’s why it is important for staff in the classroom to implement the activities students need to practice from their various therapists in their regular school day. Lets talk about equipment in a multiple disabilities classroom.
What kind of equipment?
My students have a variety of needs. Some of my students need to sit in a specific chair, like a rifton chair, for a certain amount of time a day. Some students need to use a stander or gait trainer several times a week. Other students need specific wedges or supports to help them sit outside of their wheelchair. Maybe my students need to use a set of mounted scissors, an adapted pourer, a switch, a certain kind of grip or more!
How do I Implement equipment in my everyday schedule?
Look at your schedule and pick out parts of the day where a student is working at a table or when they are in a group lesson. For me, those are the best times to put students in their equipment. Why? If the student is working at the table it’s easy to set up a simple activity while they sit in a special chair or use a stander. Group lessons are perfect for when a student needs to be in positioning equipment like a stander, gait trainer, or tomato chair. If you are ever unsure about how to use your students equipment, make sure to consult with your district’s occupational therapist and physical therapist. Check out this blog post from Taylor for some tips and tricks to get you started.
This is just some of the equipment you can expect to see in my classroom on any given day. All of these things are important to my students’ learning, so I make sure to implement them as often as possible. I hope you enjoyed learning about the different types of equipment in a multiple disabilities classroom.
This year was a hard year in teaching, I know many of you felt the same. But my students really knocked it out of the park this year! With parent permission I would like to share how amazing they are with you! Three of my students won the Yes I Can! Award from the Oklahoma Council For Exceptional Children. It was an amazing opportunity for them and they worked so hard. They won the award for communication, technology, and academics this year.
We also got to go to the Special Olympics for the first time in two years. It was amazing! We all missed it so much. I am incredibly lucky to get to be with my students for multiple years and I loved getting to take my 5th graders to the Special Olympics one last time before middle school. They stepped out of their comfort zone and each student won a medal. They did an amazing job and I wanted to share their amazing achievements this year. We made so many leaps in communication and academic skills this year. I’d love to hear stories about your amazing students!