Student Ability Profile: Rebecca


Student Abilities Profile 

Narrative:

Rebecca is a 15-year-old freshman. She has a condition that affects both motor and cognitive skills. She uses a wheelchair. Rebecca is very personable. It takes Rebecca a long time to grasp even simple concepts. Auditory input works best, but instructions may need to be repeated several times. She is most successful when labs are slow-paced and have few steps. She also needs assistance with manipulatives.

Task/Assignment:

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

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

A wide range of equipment and materials are used in the science classroom and lab.

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

Lab activities are often performed in groups. Field trips to science facilities and museums are taken periodically.

Physical Challenges

  1. Difficulty with repetitive tasks.
  2. Difficulty pinching and grasping.
  3. Difficulty walking and standing.

Potential Strategies / Accommodations

  • Provide hand-over-hand guidance.
  • Provide a "grabber" device and surgical gloves to increase teacher and/or therapist.
  • Avoid small manipulatives.
  • Provide a work station that is wheelchair-accessible.
  • Reduce length of assignments/tasks.
  • Provide lab equipment with easy-to-grasp handles.
  • Pair with a lab partner.
  • Arrange wheelchair-accessible transportation.

Resources

  • Obtain curriculum suggestions from special education
  • Get information on lift-equipped vans from district.
  • Get information on accessible lab furniture and equipment from local vendor; request purchases as needed.
  • Purchase word recognition software or other adaptive technology.
  • Talk with the student about accommodations.
  • Explore AccessSTEM site at http://www.washington.edu/doit/Stem/ for information on accommodation and adaptive equipment.

Sensory Challenges

None.

Potential Strategies / Accommodations

None.

Resources

Not applicable.

Cognitive Challenges

  1. Limited short-term memory.
  2. Limited long-term memory.
  3. Difficulty with complex tasks.
  4. Reading limitations.
  5. Writing limitations.
  6. Poor spelling skills.

Potential Strategies / Accommodations

  • Talk to Rebecca about learning conditions that are best for her, try her suggestions, and together evaluate the results.
  • Provide tape-recorded texts and other written materials.
  • Remind Rebecca of assignments periodically.
  • Allow extra time for testing.
  • Break assignments into small, linear steps.
  • Speak slowly and distinctly.

Resources

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