Supporting the Social and Emotional Needs of Children with Disabilities

From KNILT

Megan's Portfolio Page

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Overview and Purpose

When children are diagnosed with a disability we naturally worry about how it will affect their school or academic performance. What we often do not think about, but should, is how having a disability may affect the child emotionally or socially. This is not to say that every child becomes frustrated, sad, angry, anxious or stressed, but it is common for children to go through at least some period of emotional struggle. (Ehmke, 2016) Children will notice and see themselves falling behind their peers at school even when they pretend that they do not notice or care, struggling in school can be a discouraging experience for child. The vast majority of children with a learning disability have some emotional problem associated with the learning difficulty (Gorman, 1999). This is why it is so vital for educators, parents, guardians and caretakers to be aware of the signs of a child that is struggling emotionally or socially.

Why Take This Course

Instructional Problem: When children are diagnosed with a disability, naturally people worry about how it will affect their school performance academically. What educators and staff don’t think about and should start is how having a disability will affect a child socially and emotionally. It is not said that every child with a disability will go through social and emotionally problems but it is common for children to at least experience some period of emotional or social struggle. Children with disabilities have unique strengths and needs that every teacher needs to be aware of as well as how to support them through the social and emotional struggles.

What is to be learned: Participants will learn about a variety of disabilities as well as how to support children with these disabilities that are affected socially and emotionally.

As a participant of this course, you may either be currently working with students with disabilities, or plan to have a career in the future. Also this course is great for parents, family members, guardians, or friends of individuals with a disability that would like to learn more about how to support them appropriately. This course will better develop your knowledge of students with disabilities as well as how to support them socially and emotionally in the classroom.

Instructional Content: This course will be self-directed and will provide you with information on disabilities as well as how to support children how are struggling with social and emotional struggles due to their disability. This course will be a total of three units, one giving background information on different disabilities and some of the signs that students may be displaying when struggling with emotional and social struggles. Unit two will be ways in which to create the right academic environment, and finally three will be strategies and study tips for learners who are struggling emotionally or socially in the classroom and effective instructional strategies educators can implement in the environment.

Exploring Instructional Problems/Solutions: Some teachers and teachers that are new in the field may not have an understanding of how and why some students struggle emotionally and socially let alone how to help them handle the situations. This mini course will help with understanding disabilities more closely as well as some of the emotional and social struggles students may experiences and how to effectively help them during their struggles.

Goals:

Unit One: Develop an understanding of a variety of disabilities and signs that students are struggling emotionally or socially.

Unit Two: Identifying ways in which to create the right academic environment for these children.

Unit Three: Discussing strategies and study tips for learners with emotional and social needs and effective instructional strategies for educators.

Learning Outcomes & Performance Objectives

Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, educators will be able to:

  • Defining the five way interaction among students with disabilities.
  • Discriminate social and emotional characteristics of children who are disabled.
  • Select and implement the best strategies/study tips in assisting students with disabilities
  • Select and observe best practices in create the right academic environment.
  • Explore the best ways in which to communicate with students with disabilities.

Performance Objectives Upon completion of this course, educators will be able to:

  • Identify major social and emotional characteristics of students with disabilities
  • Give examples of strategies that improve the classroom environment.
  • Give examples and describe ways in which to communicate with students with disabilities.
  • Utilize the strategies presented to decrease problem behaviors occurring from social and emotional needs.
  • Draw conclusions about motivational factors that increase positive interactions between teachers and students.


Individuals accessing and participating in this web based lesson on how to support children with disabilities with their social and emotional struggles, will obtain a greater knowledge base of children with disabilities in the content areas of social and emotional feelings and gain strategies to improve their role as the teacher by demonstrating an increased level of awareness and sensitivity to individuals with disabilities and their needs, and applying this to their practices using the effective strategies presented.

PREREQUISITE SKILLS

Essential prerequisites:

  • Auditory and visual processing skills
  • Ability to read and respond to literature
  • Understanding of characteristics of learning disabilities
  • Experience in classroom scenarios as a student, teacher, or both.

Supporting prerequisites:

  • Self motivation and discipline to proceed through course
  • Computer proficiency
  • Positive attitude and moral based learning standards

INSTRUCTIONAL CURRICULUM MAP

Instructional Curriculum Map

Course Units

This mini-course includes the following units. Click the title of a unit to go to its page.

Unit 1: Develop an understanding of a variety of disabilities and signs that students are struggling emotionally or socially.

In this unit, it will explain and discuss the signs to look for in a student that is struggling emotionally or socially. It will go into detail about the five-way interaction to watch for in students with disabilities.

Unit 2: Identifying ways in which to create the right academic environment for these children.

In this unit, we will discuss environmental setup and situations that expose students to positive and welcome environments. It will explain and discuss what makes up or fosters a positive learning environment for the students as well as the educators.

Unit 3: Discussing strategies and study tips for learners with emotional and social needs and effective instructional strategies for educators

In this unit, strategies and study tips will be brainstormed and developed by you or peers. We will discuss effective and positive instructional strategies for educators to use with students with disabilities, as well as strategies and study tips for students to use in the classroom.


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Extended Resources

Bender, W. (1994). Learning Disabilities: Best practice for professionals. Austin, TX: PRO: ED.

Ehmke, R. (2016). Supporting the Emotional Needs of Kids with Learning Disabilities. Child Mind. 1-12

Elksnin, L. & Elksnin, N. (2006). Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities Essential Social-Emotional Skills. LDW.

Gorman, J,C. (1999). Understanding Children's Hearts and Minds: Emotional Functioning and Learning Disabilities. LD Online. 1-11

Helping Children with Learning Disabilities. Help Guide.

Horn, E. & Kang, J. (2012). Supporting Young Children with Multiple Disabilities: What Do We Know and What Do We Still Need To Learn?. National Institute of Health.

King, E. W. (2005). Addressing the Social and Emotional Needs of Twice-Exceptional Students. Council for Exceptional Children. 16-20

National Association of Special Education Teachers (2001). Promoting Positive Social Interactions in an Inclusion Setting for Students with Learning Disabilities.

Quinn, M., Osher, D., Warger, C., Hanley, T., Bader, B,D., Tate, R., & Hoffman, C. (2000). Educational Strategies For Children with Emotional and Behavioral Problems. Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice American Institutes for Research.

TK California. (2016). Social-Emotional Teaching Strategies. Early Edge California.

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