You are working as an education support worker assisting classroom teachers with the inclusion of children with disabilities in an inner city primary school. One of the children you are providing support for is 9 years old. Her name is Genna and she is Aboriginal. Genna has been identified as having learning difficulties. Her academic/cognitive skills are approximately three years behind the rest of the class. Her reading and numeracy is at Stage One as per NSW school syllabus. Her social skills are also delayed. Her speech can be difficult to understand at times, especially when she is upset, although she rarely initiates conversation while at school. Her spoken language is limited and difficult to understand. She is withdrawn and often sits alone. Recently it has been found that she has a hearing impairment which most likely has been impacting on her learning. She is now being treated for this. It is suspected that her learning disability has been misdiagnosed and that her academic skills will improve with the intervention to improve her hearing. Otherwise, her physical development is normal for her age. Genna lives close to the school with her large extended family. She identifies strongly with her Aboriginal culture but is the only Aboriginal child in her class. She has had a strong interest and skill in art and creative activities. She shows positive response to music and movement activities. Genna has recently become quite negative and unresponsive to your help. When you question her about this she says she doesn’t want any special help as the other children make fun of her, call her names and speak to her in funny slow voices (mimicking her). She also says school is a waste of her time as she is “just a stupid girl and won’t amount to anything”.
Based on the scenario above respond to the following questions:
1. How is Genna indicating her emotional state (verbal, non verbal, and behavioural) and what strategies, materials and resources would you use to support her and address negative feelings about school? Include your responses and how you would encourage classmates to recognise and affirm differences. Include cultural awareness and disability / inclusion issues.
2. For each of the developmental areas identify possible stages of development (milestones) that Genna may have already achieved, and what strategies, materials and resources you will use to help her to progress to stage Two NSW syllabus.
3. For numeracy, consider how you will help her with addition and subtraction skills using numerals 0-50. Write a brief explanation of how and why you would use the following
a. Find three “count me in too” games from this website that would help.
b. Find a commercial resource e.g. snakes and ladders that would help.
c. Make a homemade resource of particular interest to Genna, which is durable, reusable, and can be presented in class.
4. For reading, select three quality books across genres that would be of interest to Genna (culturally, stage, age appropriate etc) and write briefly about why you have chosen them and how you would use them to support reading development.
a. Make one resource that will help Genna develop specific reading skills based on one of your books. This resource must be in foundation print as per NSW guidelines, durable and reusable. Present this in class.
5. Prepare a brief report/summary for Genna’s teacher about her current development, identifying possible helpful strategies in each of the developmental areas, reading and numeracy plus materials and resources that you could use to develop Genna’s skills. Utilise Genna’s interests and family/cultural background in your ideas and a positive approach. Include any references.
The case study belongs to Sociology and it is about Genna, a 9 year-old girl who was misdiagnosed of learning difficulties, but later it has been learned that she’s actually suffering from partial hearing impairment. As a school assistant for the children with learning disability, how will you respond to her statement that she “won’t amount to anything for the school”.
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