Students with special needs connected with ADHD and other attention disorders may exhibit behavior that can disturb the learning process, both for the individual and classroom as a whole. Some symptoms may include lack of attention to detail or instruction, restlessness, and even insubordination. Based on Joseph’s observed behavior, areas of focus in the learning plan should be the completion of work, self-control, and following directions. The most competent approach would be to create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) with measurable goals and objects that are universally applicable and can help guide a student’s learning process.
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Staying on Task (Completion of Work)
- The student will begin work on a given task within a 2-minute period and remain focused on it for at least 15 minutes. The teacher should not prompt the student more than 2 times for the majority of the tasks.
- The student will focus on task (including remaining calm in the seat) during group instruction settings for a 15-minute period with 1 prompt from the teacher for 3 out of 5 trials.
These objectives can be measured by benchmark goals such as student adherence in 40% of opportunities by the 2nd quarter and 60% by the end of the year. The teacher will require a timer and a digital chart to record the student’s results. Since it has been effective, visual cues such as a color-coded folder and an item (such as a necklace) that the teacher can carry around to serve as a reminder are additional materials for these goals. Instructional materials should include cues to follow specific tasks.
- The student will show a level of self-regulation, including but not limited to personal space, indoor voice level, and appropriate classroom behavior for 60% of the instructional period.
- The student demonstrates positive behavior such as hand-raising, patience, and sitting in a seat for at least 3 out 5 trials.
Based on observed behavior, a reward-based system is effective. Materials include popsicle sticks or stickers that can be used to reward behavior. Simple prizes such small toys or school supplies can be offered to the student as rewards for good behavior. The teacher should monitor progress by recording incidents in a computerized chart.
- The student adheres to prompts from the teacher when told to complete an assigned task rather than desired activity (such as computer or cooking center) in at least 3 out 5 trials.
- The student follows visual cues or function directional to complete required steps in a given task (i.e., following cues when completing a worksheet) with no more than 1 prompt in at least 3 out of 5 trials.
Similar to the “staying on task” objectives, visual cues should be used by the teacher as a reminder. A reward-based system can be implemented here as well.
The IEP should be implemented quickly (within several weeks) after it has been designed, approved, and discussed with all involved parties. The student’s progress should be evaluated on a quarterly basis. However, comprehensive assessments should be supplemented by records that a teacher maintains to monitor behavioral aspects in a classroom setting. IEP goals can be re-evaluated if the instructor believes that the child can meet the required objectives (Pennell, 2013). A learning plan is flexible which allows to raise the level for some of the objectives. In instruction with students like Joseph, transitioning off the learning plan should be gradual. Organization remains a considerable influence on Joseph’s behavior. Therefore, the transition should occur only when the student shows a certain level of independence in self-management of behavior and adherence to given tasks.
- Strengths: Intelligent child. Works well with visual cues that help with focus and organization. Adheres to plan on a reward-based system.
- Challenges: The child has trouble focusing and remaining seated. Poor response to instruction or prompts. Dysfunctional social attention-seeking behavior. Early intervention key to success.
- Notify that the child is to be evaluated and IEP developed to maintain measurable indicators of progress. A child will undergo evaluations each semester. Section 504 does provide an opportunity for parents to be involved in the process and represented (Schumacher, 2016).
- Positive parenting is key to behavioral management. Parents should attempt to attend behavioral parent training to learn strategies for managing and forming a relationship with the child. Interaction with the child at home should focus on reinforcing positive behavior set by the lesson plan and avoid coercive cycles and escalated negativity which is a common dysfunction in families with children that have learning disabilities (Pfiffner & Haack, 2014). Avoiding negative communication in front of the child.
- The developed plan sets out expectations for all involved parties.
The teacher will:
- Conduct comprehensive evaluations and continuously monitor the child’s progress using measurable goals.
- Develop effective instructional techniques to target challenges in the child’s learning process and provide necessary accommodations.
- Clearly and honestly communicate with both the child and the parents to ensure IEP objectives are met.
- Ensure a smooth transition from the learning environment to home.
- Use positive techniques similar to the teacher to ensure behavior reinforcement.
- Maintain open communication with the teacher
The child will:
- Attempt to follow guidelines and instruction
- Practice a level of self-control
- Use various methods and techniques developed by the IEP as behavioral management cues.
In addition to regular parent-teacher conferences, periodical IEP meetings will be scheduled to review the child’s progress within the context of the measurable objectives.
Pennell, D. P. (2013). Designing the IEP: Measuring and reporting progress toward mastery of annual goals. Web.
Pfiffner, L. J., & Haack, L. M. (2014). Behavior management for school aged children with ADHD. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 23(4), 731–746. Web.
Schumacher, J. (2016). The quality of online social relationships. An Undergraduate Journal in Special Education and Law, 5, 21-28. Web.