Physical and Sensory Disability
Teaching Tips for Working with Students with Physical and Sensory Disability
1. Every person and disability is unique.
2. Having a disability can indicate a wide array of conditions. Do not assume you know their level of ability based only on their mobility device.
3. Create a skills list at the beginning of the year so you know what they are currently capable of and where you want them to go.
4. Be sure to include life skills like transferring on that skills list.
5. Make sure that the reward system you have in place is appropriate for the disability. Physical disabilities alone do not require the same type of rewards as intellectual disabilities.
6. Do not expect too little of your students with disabilities. Sometimes it is not ok for them to simply quit or not try something. What you expect out of your students will become what they expect out of themselves. Do not set the bar too low.
7. Do not limit your student due to your lack of knowledge.
8. The more active your student is, the more independent they will be throughout his or her lifespan.
9. Try to do as little adaptation as is possible.
10. Do not be afraid to get some students out of their wheelchair. This will help to engage muscles they do not utilize on a regular basis.
11. Do not be afraid to challenge them. They may have never been physically challenged in their lives.
12. Loud noises can negatively affect some students who have Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida and other conditions. Whenever possible try to avoid actions and activities that require loud noises.
13. Be sure to give them extra time to complete a task if necessary.