Student Ability Profile: Alice


Student Abilities Profile

Narrative:

Alice is a 16-year-old sophomore who comes to class on time but is rarely prepared to participate in classroom activities. She is a people person and is extremely distractible. She has an above-average I.Q. but does not follow through on assignments. She has Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). Every item in the classroom becomes a tool, toy, or weapon. Noise is a major distraction for Alice. Working in a group and sitting close to a window or door and away from the teacher worsens the situation. She does not like quiet and creates verbal distractions.

Task/Assignment:

Actively participate in general science classroom and lab experiences, including lab manipulations and field trips.

Equipment: (lab equipment, furniture, protective clothing, chemicals, etc.)

A wide range of equipment and materials are used in the science lab. Paper, pencil, chalkboard, chalk, textbook, and occasionally manipulations are used in the classroom.

Environment: (facility, fumes, odors, dust, temperature, noise, lighting, etc.)

Classroom work is typically performed individually, and lab work is performed in pairs. The classroom tends to be quiet, and the lab is noisy.

Physical Challenges

None.

Potential Strategies / Accommodations

None.

Resources

Not applicable.

Sensory Challenges

  1. Easily distracted by external visual stimuli (windows, exits, people, etc.).

Potential Strategies / Accommodations

  • Dim lights away from task at hand.
  • Close outside blinds.
  • Allow for individual work or work with a responsible partner.
  • Limit external stimulation (have only necessary items within reach during lab experiences).
  • Allow her to take exams in an area where external stimulation is limited.

Resources

  • Explore purchasing a cubicle or study area that can be used for individual work.

Cognitive Challenges

  1. Complex tasks are difficult to complete.
  2. Acts out in class.
  3. Does not complete tasks and assignments.

Potential Strategies / Accommodations

  • Talk to Alice about learning conditions that work best for her, try her suggestions, and together evaluate the results.
  • Praise on-task behavior.
  • Pair with peer. Set boundaries and do not assign less work in complexity or volume.
  • Seat close to teacher, with back to window, near quieter students. Structure classroom transitions.
  • Plan for "down time."
  • Explain assignments eye to eye.
  • Praise accomplishments and good behavior.

Resources

  • Consult with school/district AD/HD specialist, IEP team member(s), and/or parents for possible suggestions to increase learning and appropriate participation.
  • Explore the AccessSTEM website at http://www.washington.edu/doit/Stem/ to find suggestions for accommodations and learning strategies.

Physical, Sensory, and Cognitive Issues and Challenges 

Physical Issues

Think of the required physical aspects of the task. What will make the environment accessible, keep the student safe and allow him/her to be an active participant? What lab equipment must be manipulated?

Physical Challenges

  1. lift / carry
  2. stamina / endurance
  3. push / pull
  4. kneel / squat
  5. reach
  6. repetitive tasks
  7. fine motor: pinch / grasp
  8. fine motor: manipulate / maneuver
  9. gross motor
  10. sit in chair
  11. walk / stand
  12. balance
  13. bend / twist
  14. stoop / crouch
  15. other

Sensory Issues

Think of room temperature, noise, fumes, dust, odors, and allergies. Also consider the ability to speak and/or communicate, and the visual aspects of the task or assignment.

Sensory Issues

  1. vision
  2. hearing
  3. touch
  4. smell
  5. taste
  6. oral communication
  7. temperature
  8. fumes
  9. external stimuli
  10. lighting
  11. other

Cognitive Issues

Is the assignment done with a group, partner or individually? What memory and communication skills are needed? What is the level of complexity of the task.

Cognitive Challenges

  1. short term memory
  2. long term memory
  3. task complexity
  4. reading
  5. writing
  6. spelling
  7. string of numbers (math)
  8. paying attention
  9. visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner.
  10. self-esteem / advocacy issues
  11. behavior issues / acting out
  12. other