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Down Syndrome: Observing Shannon

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Down syndrome: Observing Shannon
Submitted by: Alfonse Bowman
Arcadia University
ED 584: Supporting Students with Low Incidence Disabilities
Professor Hopkins
Fall 2013

Introduction

For our final paper I chose to research trisomy 21 or as it is known clinically, Down syndrome (DS). The primary reason I chose this low incidence disability is because I will make the transition from a regular education teacher to a special education teacher in the spring and I am already familiar with other low incidence disabilities. I realize that with my new role in a self-contained classroom it is important for me to understand the term Down syndrome and then see how the definition and behavioral traits impact the student, the teacher and the other students in an educational setting. This research paper will provide clinical and anecdotal information on DS with real-life observation of a student with Down syndrome.
History of Disorder

According to the National Down Syndrome Society (2013), during the early nineteenth century, John Langdon Down, an English physician, published an accurate description of a person with Down syndrome. It was this scholarly wok, published in 1866, that earned Down the recognition as the “father” of the syndrome. Although other people had previously recognized the characteristics of the syndrome, it was Down who described the condition as a distinct and separate entity. The United States Department of Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines Down syndrome as, “a genetic disorder that includes a combination of birth defects, including some degree of mental retardation, characteristic facial features and, often, heart defects, visual and hearing impairment, and other health problems. The severity of all of these problems varies greatly among affected individuals.” (CDC website, 2009). Further the CDC acknowledges that people with Down syndrome learn in a different manner. There are special programs beginning in the preschool years to help children with Down syndrome develop skills as fully as possible. Along with benefiting from early intervention and special education, many children can be integrated in the regular classroom, to some extent. The outlook for these children are far brighter than it once was. Many will learn to read and write and participate in diverse childhood activities both at school and in their neighborhoods. (CDC website, 2009). This disorder manifests itself in early childhood with the physical characteristics usually being the tip-off to parents that something is amiss with the child. According to authors Patterson and Hassold, (2006), in their book entitled, Down syndrome: A Promising Future, Together, the number of children diagnosed with Down syndrome has skyrocketed in the past 50 years. As the children reach school age, there should be early interventional strategies already in place. Much research has been done on both early intervention and educational models for teaching children on the autism spectrum. Some research has indicated that early parental involvement and intensive behavioral intervention can produce the best results in both acquiring of language/speech for children with autism and comprehension of written and spoken language. Currently, students with Down syndrome can be taught in self-contained classrooms, mainstream and inclusive settings. (Cohen, 2002).

Description of Setting

Shannon is a twelfth-grader at Imhotep Institute Charter High School located in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. The school services students from grades nine thru twelve and 30 % of the attendees have an Individualized Education Plan. The school is on a block schedule with each student participating in four 83-minute block courses for half the year. Block scheduling is long for any student. I have observed that Shannon has been able to adjust to this schedule but some time must be structured into the class to allow movement out of desks and tables. Every classroom I observed Shannon in did allow for movement and periodic breaks.

Description of Student

For this research paper I observed a student who is served in both a self-contained support room and an inclusive classroom. As mentioned previously I was not familiar with working with students with Down syndrome so I did not know what to expect. I thought it would be a good idea to conduct the observation prior to beginning research beyond the initial collection of sources because I did not want to enter the classroom with preconceived notions. As I spent time in the classrooms I noted that there were academic, social, behavioral and emotional issues. For this assignment the student that I observed was a female by the name of Shannon, . Shannon’s mother for this observation gave prior approval(Appendix A). She has been diagnosed with Down syndrome, which is a moderate intellectual disability. She is currently reading and working at a 1st grade level In English and Mathematics. According to the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC), Down syndrome is the most common and readily identifiable chromosomal condition associated with intellectual disabilities.
At this time, Shannon has difficulty with word flow, leaving out words to complete a sentence and saying enough to be understood. For example, 'I go to bathroom' as opposed to 'I have to go to the bathroom'. Shannon was administered two reading probes. On the WRAT she tested at 2.3 reading level and using Slosson Oral Reading Test, a 1.8 reading and decoding level. However, it is agreed by all of Shannon’s facilitators that she is reading and working on a 1st grade level. Shannon's facilitators all report that she is passing her classes, but she struggles with homework and in-class assignments when left to work independently. Shannon exhibits her strengths through hard work and having an out-going personality. Shannon often helps with classroom duties and younger children who visit the class. Phonological awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate the individual sounds, or phonemes, in spoken words (NRP, 2000).
Observational Experience

Initially I observed Shannon in her resource support class during her biology period. The room is compact but well-lit and cheerful. The walls are stacked with books, games and art supplies. The bulletin boards are interactive with individual pocket-cards that hold schedules for each student if they need reminders. There are inspirational posters as well as science themed posters. There are four working computers in the classroom. Mrs. Scott has a desk in the room, which is organized but full. There are workbooks and textbooks on the shelves and every inch of space seems occupied by items that can be grabbed at a moment’s notice to supplement or extend activities. This is a very well organized room. Examples of student work are displayed and I was permitted to see Shannon’s journal, which sits on a shelf with her classmates’ journal. There are only 3 students in this biology class. While observing Shannon I noted immediately that she had very little behavioral issues in class in terms of being off task or disruptive. In her science class she was observed reading from an appropriate grade level science textbook (elementary school text) and able to correctly identify vocabulary words related to the topics being taught. For one class the parts of a microscope were reviewed and discussed. Shannon was accurately able to identify parts but would always repeat the question aloud before answering independently. This is called echolalia. Shannon has been able to adjust her echolalia on occasion by inserting the instructor’s name at the beginning of the question or statement she is repeating. Research in this area has shown some computer-based intervention programs can help lessen echolalia. (Council on Exceptional Children website, 2007). The study was conducted as an early intervention and not on adolescents so I am not sure if Shannon would benefit, but it would be interesting to see if she might. As found on the CEC website, (2007), computers have been found to be effective for teaching children with Down syndrome across various instructional skills. As I reviewed my observation notes, I would have to agree because Shannon’s seminar class is also a Classroom of the Future, grant recipient and as a result, Smartboard technology and iMac computers are utilized almost daily. Shannon thrives during iMac use; however his echolalia is still intact. If an intervention plan was utilized it would be interesting to see how she responds.

Another type of stereotypical behavior exhibited throughout this observation was Stimming. According to information obtained from the National Down syndrome Society( 2013),website stimming may include rocking, hand flapping, and other repetitive behaviors. In this particular observation I noticed that Shannon snapped her fingers and made vocal sounds throughout the 83-minute class period. She was not loud while doing this however it did pose as distraction at times to the group members in an inclusive setting. When I had the opportunity to discuss this behavior with his primary teacher she informed me that she had attempted to come up with a system of reminding Shannon to try to remain quiet during direct instruction and group work but that when working alone she was allowed to exhibit the self-stimulatory behaviors without redirection. This lead me to conduct research on how to effectively deal with stimming and I was particularly drawn to information found in a article published in the Council on Exceptional Children. (2007), that stated that aerobic activity helped to lessen the incidents of stimming in certain female adolescents with down syndorme. According to this research academic work increased after aerobic exercise. It is not practical at this point to have Shannon engage in aerobic exercise prior to class, but in the future, planning for other students with stimming behaviors could take this research into account and perhaps physical exercise can be incorporated throughout the day to help lessen the behavior.

The social impact of Shannon’s presence in the inclusion classrooms is subtle and surprising. I had a unique opportunity to observe not only Shannon but her classmates during this course. As I continued conversations with Mrs. Scott she informed me that she constantly tries to manipulate variables such as which students would be paired or grouped with Shannon. Throughout this course we have been reading the book Riding the Bus with My Sister (Simon, 2004). As a result of reading that book I became aware of the lost opportunities Beth had as a result of her schooling. With this regard I could appreciate Mrs. Scott’s attempts to pair Shannon with students who are good peers, good role models and who are tolerant. I am glad to say that during my observations I never witnessed a student being rude or harassing Shannon. This reflection makes me realize that my new role will require me to take more than simply curriculum in account when designing lessons.

The main issue for Shannon in the social sphere is her lack of independent conversation with her classmates. She will respond to their inquiries but has never initiated a conversation with her peers in any environment. I consulted her teacher early on what can or is done to encourage independent, spontaneous conversation from Shannon. Many behavior modification strategies have been tried but none have succeeded. What is interesting to note is that Shannon does exhibit minimal interaction with adults but none with her peers. That made me wonder, why? Research in this area is spotty and most is done with non-verbal subjects or focus on intervention plans such as Picture Exchange Communication System, (PECs) which Shannon does not need now but did use very early in elementary school. She quickly acquired language skills and her PECs use was modified for only schedule and task analysis use. This would support the research in this area that states, that PECs has a positive impact on verbal acquisition and the teaching of “manding or requesting”. (Eric & Russel, 2006) During my conversation with Mrs. Scott she informed me that she greets Shannon everyday; she responds in kind but does not initiate the verbal exchange. Her peers noticed this and were curious. Since Shannon leaves class twenty minutes early, one day she arranged for her teacher to come in and do a presentation on Down syndrome and Shannon. The information put forth seemed to put the students at greater ease with Shannon and they were very curious about Down syndrome and what causes it. The teacher explained that Shannon understands what we are saying to her but somewhere inside her brain the appropriate social responses do not come forth spontaneously. She is not being rude, she just doesn’t respond the way the other students do and she further explained that they should engage Shannon in conversation whenever possible and appropriate because that would help Shannon learn what is appropriate. I could not help but to think about the potential backlash of singling out a particular student although it was clearly done with the right intentions. While I could see the benefits of creating a support system and a since of community within the classroom I could not help but to wonder about the student’s right to privacy and how it may or may not lend itself to a potential lawsuit. Mrs. Scott went on to inform me that a few days after the talk she played the video, “In My Language” which is about a young woman who types instead of talking and she exhibits many stimming behaviors. The students were uncomfortable during the beginning, because the video does not have any dialogue just stimming behaviors. They could not believe that those words were coming from a person “acting” as she did in the first half of the video. Mrs. Scott said that she immediately noticed that some students greet Shannon now and when in a group setting, they attempt to engage her in conversation. While I haven’t quite made up my mind about her methods, I must admit that I was able to observe her results as the students were observed engaging Shannon into conversations. As I continued my research I found information that noted a decrease in stereotypical behaviors of students with Down syndrome when peer intervention strategies were utilized. In the study the general education students were taught peer-mediation strategies and as a result there was less stereotypical behavior and more peer interaction between the student with Down syndrome and the general education students. (Simon, 2004). The strategies Mrs. Scott employed and asked her other students to employ have proven successful with lessening her stimming but not her echolalia nor has it increased Shannon’s independent social interaction with her peers. During my observations I was able to attend Shannon’s Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) meeting and was introduced to her mother. She was very receptive to my observation of her daughter Shannon and shared with me personal successes and failures her family has faced with regards to Down syndorme. I asked her about life with a child that has Down syndrome. She is a single mom who raised Shannon on her own, she noted that without the supports found in the school district her life would have been much harder. According to Yell (2006) schools are required to provide services to ensure that students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate education and therefore the school district is simply complying with federal mandates. She struggled when Shannon was young to understand her behaviors and her lack of speech. She was diagnosed at birth and not understanding the disorder only made things worse at home. When Shannon was diagnosed support was offered and her mom began to utilize some of the intervention strategies at home. When she described some of these strategies we began to talk about what worked and we both agreed that positive behavioral support (PBS) is a great tool to implement. According to essays presented by authors Klein and Kemp, (2004), it is important for parents to realize that they are the most important advocate for children with disabilities. Despite challenges, Shannon’s mother was determined to find a solution that would allow Shannon to receive the support she needed. For this paper I read literature reviews on the validity of Positive Behavior Support, which supported my view and also proved that family support of PBS is crucial for success. (Buckley, 2002). Shannon’s mother learned all she could but admitted that some days she would just hide in her bed and cry. I thought that she would have benefited from an area of research I discovered in this course called pivotal response training programs (Baker-Ericzen, Stahmer & Burns, 2007). In this research adaptive functioning as measured by Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (Broderick, Mehta-Parekh, and Reid (2005) increased. This was a community based-PVT research experiment. The main thrust was implementation of research-based treatments in real-world settings. This idea of using research-based treatments is currently being implemented in Shannon’s school. I did not observe any of these types of interventions but the small scope of my observations and the fact that I was not permitted to observe her in her main resource support classroom might have prevented me from seeing these interventions.

Best Practice

Just as in the normal population, there is a wide variation in mental abilities, behavior, and developmental progress in individuals with Down syndrome. Their level of intellectual disability may range from mild to severe, with the majority functioning in the mild to moderate range. Since children with Down syndrome differ in ability, it’s important that families and members of the intervention team place few limitations on potential capabilities and possible achievements. Each child with Down syndrome has his or her own talents and unique capacities, and it’s important to recognize these and reinforce them. As the NDSC (2013) website states:
In many important ways, children who have Down syndrome are very much the same as other children. They have the same moods and emotions, and they like to learn new things, to play and enjoy life. You can help your child by providing as many chances as possible for him or her to do these things. Read to your child and play with him or her, just as you would any other child. Help your child to have positive experiences with new people and places. (The National Down Syndrome Congress, 2013) According to the National Reading Panel (2000), phonological awareness is an important skill in learning to read and phonological awareness training should be included as part of a literacy curriculum. Overall there is little research upon which to draw conclusions regarding the best practices in the area of teaching phonological awareness to students with moderate to severe disabilities. In order to asses Chantel she can participate in such instruction like clapping the words in sentences and the syllables in words, playing rhyming games, practice identifying the sounds in words, and manipulating the sounds in words.

Shannon currently has a poor vocabulary, sentence structure and grammar usage. An illogical flow of stories and ideas forces Shannon to become frustrated. There are occasions when Shannon wants to tell a story, but she leaves out information or she can't recall the order in which events happened to her. Shannon is also having issues with organization and her short-term memory. According to Nelson(2000), schedules assist the student in being informed about their routine and increasing independence. Schedules take an abstract concept, such as time, and present it in a concrete and manageable form. Visual schedules allow students to anticipate upcoming events, predict change, develop an understanding of time, and reduce fear of the unknown. Ultimately, a schedule can make the day more predictable and less anxiety provoking. This in turn cannot only reduce interfering behavior but can lead to increased independence. Schedules may be presented in a notebook, poster, or even on a computer, handheld device (iTouch, iPad) or smart phone. They can be stationary and in a centralized location that is easily accessible at all times during the day or may be portable, remaining with the student at all times. The schedule can be presented using a variety of formats.
Shannon's visual perception forces her to write letters reversed; additionally she often does not realize she is writing that way. She will often write words on top of one another, crowds her words and does not leave enough space between words. Shannon's penmanship has improved over the school year by using penmanship manipulatives that are created in the 2nd-3rd grade level. By applying tracing techniques, Shannon has been able to manage writing better. According to Buckley (2002) individuals with Down syndrome have vision problems usually corrected with glasses. Buckley (2002) that visual perception issues require preferential seating, enlarged work, and other accommodations.
Shannon learns certain concepts by mimicking them. When Shannon faces a challenging assignment she prefers to watch another person complete the activity and mimic it. That is how she catches on. Research states that Children with Down syndrome are often sociable and learn by observing and mimicking the behaviors of their peers. Inclusion helps children to feel like part of a group and diminishes feelings of isolation. An activity of particular challenge to a student with down syndrome can often be overcome by peer modeling. For a child that has difficulty with a task, allow the child to observe other children performing that task. Shannon tends to wait for others to begin a task so she can figure out how to do it. Shannon often does not want to ask for help. She becomes irritated and at times disrespectful when students or staffs members try to help her when she does not want it. However, of prompted about her behavior, rarely Shannon does not comply with what is being asked of her.
Shannon will participate with her non-disabled peers during lunch, dance class and any other school related or extracurricular activity. Shannon will not participate in the following general education classes with students without disabilities in 11th grade English, Math, Science, Transitional Skills and Social Studies due to the level of instructional aid and services needed to make her successful.
To ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided a free, appropriate, public education, (FAPE), the federal government passed laws such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, (IDEA) 1997. IDEA is a federal statute that provides funding for services for individuals between the ages of three and twenty-one in the least restrictive environment (LRE). (Roe, Smith, &Ross, 2010). As a student with a disability is identified and appropriate instructional needs are outlined, all school personnel involved with the student’s education are responsible for implementing the individual education plan (IEP) (Roe, Smith, &Ross, 2010). In other words, teachers should be cognizant of instructional modifications or accommodations that are outlined within an IEP.
In an article entitled, “Differentiating Instruction for Disabled Students in Inclusive Classrooms,” researchers Broderick, Mehta-Parekh, and Reid (2005) examined the concept of differentiating instruction, which is often used as a tool to deliver instruction to students with IEPs. According to the article, students with disabilities would benefit from lessons that are well thought out and allow for student interaction. When instructors differentiate for all students, instead of making accommodations and modifications for individual students in the classroom, general education teachers can replace the specially designed instruction typically suggested for students with disabilities through their individual education plan by providing appropriate supports through differentiated instructional techniques. Broderick et al. (2005) assert that a shift in instructional focus is needed to meet the general education curriculum requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. According to the article, when teachers effectively differentiate instruction students with disabilities as well as students without disabilities can participate successfully as full members of diverse inclusive classrooms (Broderick et al., 2005).
The passage of No Child Left Behind and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act has strengthened the conditions for instructional accountability for all learners (Council on Exceptional Children, 2007). School districts have adopted a standards-based approach to curriculum that is tied to state assessments aimed at holding schools and therefore administrators and teachers accountable for student achievement. According to Shapiro (1994) national and state data continue to document a performance gap between students with learning disabilities and their nondisabled peers. Through a 5 year study, researchers were able to compile a list of three basic principles that will decrease the achievement gap that currently exists amongst students. Based on their data, academic success can be achieved for students with disabilities when instruction is aligned with curriculum standards, teachers are knowledgeable about content, and instructional method is given careful thought and consideration during planning (Shapiro (1994).

Transition Plan

Life after high school is a traumatic event for everyone. The uncertainty of going to college or moving into the workforce can spark fear in anyone. However, when I think about students with Intellectual Disability this event is magnified ten-fold. How these particular students transition after high school should be doubly important in our society.
Through this observational process for Shannon, I have observed many things about how she thinks and what motivates her. First, Shannon is an amazing dancer, she loves to dance. I observed Shannon in her dance class, the room is big and all the students are excepting of Shannon. When Shannon enters the room all the students get excited. As a young adult Shannon would benefit from a transition into some form of dance class or dance program. According to Council on Exceptional Children (2007) children with developmental delays, intellectual disabilities and physical challenges perform beautifully when given the opportunity to express themselves through dance and theater.

You can see the joy when Shannon is in dance class, despite her mental and physical disabilities you wouldn’t know that she had an intellectual disability. It is evident that dancing allows Shannon to show her great talent and natural ability. It may also be in Shannon best interest for to have a private instructor for more practice, which could lead to performing with mainstream dance teams or events. There are many dance studios in the Philadelphia area that would benefit in having Shannon in their program. Although all recreation programs should comply with the American Disabilities Act and the standards it sets for accessibility, the process is still ongoing for many. In Philadelphia there are several programs available for Shannon to participate in that will address her love for dance. Kardon Institute for Arts Therapy has helped individuals with special needs through comprehensive music, dance and art therapy. Their specialists are trained therapists who work with children and adults to enhance physical, social and cognitive abilities (Kardon, 2013). Creative Arts Therapy is a form of non-verbal psychotherapy. It uses the senses to open new channels of communication between a client and their therapists, families, and community. The Creative Arts Therapies offered at Kardon Institute include Music Therapy, Dance/Movement Therapy and Art Therapy. Goals for Creative Arts Therapy are individually tailored to each client, but may include improvement in: * Physical skills – gross and fine motor skills; coordination; dexterity; visual tracking ability. * Social Skills – awareness of others; ability to work with others in a group setting; social interaction. * Cognitive Improvements – impulse control; attention span; task planning and orientation. * Language Skills – expression and listening skills. * Psychological Factors – emotional stability; self-esteem; body image; reduced anxiety levels.
During another observation of Shannon led me to think of another transition service for her. Shannon would benefit from a program that helps her transition from high school to college. Recently, there has been an increase in students with disabilities attending college or receiving some level of Post Secondary Education (PSE) after high school (Bob Lenz, 2007). Shannon is a student who is ready for a PSE. Academically Shannon is on a first grade reading and mathematics level. An awesome website Shannon can use to inform herself of post secondary options is Think College a website for college options for People with intellectual disabilities. This website provides in-depth information for students and parents looking for resources about which colleges and programs will best benefit their child. Think College provides online learning, webinars and (Think College, 2013) face-to-face training. I think Shannon and her parent will greatly benefit from this website and programs. Mercyhurst University has a program that Shannon will benefit from its called Opportunities and Advancement for Students with Intellectual Disabilities for Self-Determination( OASIS). The OASIS program is geared toward adults ages 18 and up with documented intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Participants need to have some basic math and reading skills and be able to perform all physical lab and related culinary tasks safely. Participants must have some form of functional communication that they can engage in within a variety of environments. Successful participants will also have developed ways to appropriately manage their behavior in stressful or unexpected situations.
Another transition strategy for Shannon is independent living. As an adult Shannon will need to learn how to live and function on her own. Shannon is intelligent enough to achieve this goal with proper training and assistance. Throughout my search for programs I came across Marbridge a non-profit residential community. Marbridge offers a unique full spectrum of residential care and training for adults with special needs from age 18 to the end of life (Marbridge, 2001-2013). Reading about this program I think Shannon would excel at Marbridge. Being in a setting with other individuals like her will allow her to be the social butterfly she is, and also learning on a pace that is more conducive for her learning. A program that will help Shannon get a job is called Programs Employing People (PEP) this program is located in Philadelphia also. The program provides mildly and moderately disabled adults with paid work at PEP. PEP is a cost-effective producer of subassemblies, mechanical and electrical assemblies, packing and bagging, inspection and sorting, collating and folding, and mailing and insertion services. Consumers work thirty-five hours a week, supervised by full-time experienced production supervisors. Many of PEP’s contracts require workers to acquire new skills and techniques, which also serves to keep consumers focused and challenged. Consumers earn while they learn, with salary based on production and output monitored daily. ( People Employing People,2013 ) My final observation for transition services is a sexual education program for Shannon. Shannon is highly intrigued by sex, and is confused about her sexual orientation and sex in general. Throughout my observation she had inappropriate contact and conversation about sex with her peers. So it would be in the best interest of her to receive some kind of information and training on how to handle sex and sexual relationship. Gougeon states (2009), it is argued that sexuality education for individuals with intellectual has been historically incomplete to non-existent. This statement is so true; students with intellectual disability do not receive sexual education. Shannon is a prime example of a student because she is a girl who has not received any sexual education training. So the only information she knows is from her peers. Through my research there are numerous website to help students with intellectual disability discussion the topic of sex and sexuality. However, the Advocates for Youth website provides the information for professionals and parents to discuss this topic with their children. Advocates for Youth states (2008), even today many people refuse to acknowledge that all people have sexual feelings, needs, and desires, regardless of their physical and/or mental abilities. (Advocates for Youth , 2008)
Reflective

Now that I have come to the end of this course there are many things I realize would be beneficial to utilize for a student with Down Syndrome in the classroom this would include but is not limited to: * Use consistent classroom routines. For example, asking for help, frequent breaks, putting away homework, getting assignments, bathroom breaks). Consistent routines lower all students' anxiety and increase their ability to function independently in the classroom. * Give visual instructions, rules and use visual classroom schedules. Use their visual strengths along with visual reminders to increase their ability to function independently both academically and socially. Picture icons and social stories can encourage appropriate behavior and keep their attention to tasks. For example, when jokes are appropriate, free time activities allowed after completed tasks, and social stories about classroom rules. Picture icons like Boardmaker or Writing with Symbols help to increase student understanding. Use a picture or words system for independent work listing the procedures and tasks to be completed. PaTTAN has a very good graphic organizer on Secondary Transitions that I used to organize my thoughts on Shannon’s secondary transitions. I received the document during an Act 80 training day and it does not have anything other than a handwritten reference to PaTTAN. According to the PaTTAN Secondary Transition Handout, the law required him to have “appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment and where appropriate independent living skills” During his IEP Shannon was asked what she wanted to do after she graduated from high school and after she thought about it and was prompted to a recent conversation about it with Mrs. Scott, where she stated that she wanted to live at home and attend community college. I learned during the IEP meeting that she worked in a nursing home for 8 weeks this year with the assistance of a job coach. She did well in this work and if she wanted to she could continue. In my opinion it is difficult to actually understand what Shannon wants because so often she does not communicate it as say Beth Simon would. Part of the problem with adults with Down syndrome is that they do not want to leave their homes and prefer to be solitary, what would be appropriate for other people with other disabilities are not necessarily appropriate for Shannon. How do we know? I feel the best approach would be to plan and carry out those transition services, like a job coach and training in social living so that in case Shannon wants to live independently she can.

Annotated Bibliography

Baker-Ericzén, M.J., Stahmer, A.C. & Burns, A. (2007). Child demographics associated with outcomes in a community-based pivotal response training program. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 9 (1) 52 – 60.

A large scale study of the effects of pivotal response training (PVT) for children with intellectual disabilities and their families. A need for large scale studies of diverse groups of children and families dealing with DS necessitate this study. An in-depth discussion of what PVT is and what is accomplishes and then the feasibility of training parents in the methods of this treatment was study. Issues such as transportation of diverse populations to training facilities were studied. The results were in favor of PVT being taught in communities specifically diverse communities in which such treatments might not be affordable or readily available. Broderick, A., Mehta-Parekh, H., & Reid, D. (2005). Differentiating instruction for disabled students in inclusive classrooms. Theory Into Practice, 44(3), 194-202. Retrieved from ERIC database.

This article focuses on providing teachers with valuable methods to assist students with problem solving. Its strategy lies in case-based methodology and a constructivist’s approach to learning environments. The capabilities and challenges for the methodology are discussed and supported with numerous quantitative and qualitative data and its analysis. This source will be useful because it develops a teacher’s understanding of classroom management and provides an opportunity for experienced teachers to refine their already best practices. Dr. Choi is employed in the Department of Education Psychology and Instructional Technology at The University of Georgia. His co-author, Kyunghwa Lee, is employed in the Department of Elementary and Social Studies Education at the University of Georgia. In December of 2001, he earned his PH.D. in Elementary Education and Social Studies, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Buckley, S. (2002). Cognitive development and education: Perspectives on Down syndrome from a twenty-year research program. In M.Cuskelly, A. Jobling, & S. Buckley (Eds.), Down syndrome across the life span (pp. 66-80). London: Whurr. This article describes the expertise of teachers about students with Down syndrome. This article speaks about the connection between the spoken language skills and reading skills. When dealing with students with Down syndrome there are several methods to introduce and develop reading skills. These skills are outlined and steps are emphasized in the article. This article will be helpful in my research because it outlines different methods to address when teaching a student with Down syndrome. It also gives several early intervention methods to address as a parent and as a teacher. Sue Buckley and Gillian Bird wrote this article. Sue Buckley trained as a clinical psychologist with the National Health Service in Oxford, and wrote in a variety of clinical child and adult settings until 1971. She was Awarded the Associate Fellowship and was a charter member of Psychologist and Practicing Certificate.

Center for Disease Control (CDC)(2013), Retrieved September 13, 2013 from www. ndss.org CDC researchers, scientists, doctors, nurses, economists, communicators, educators, technologists, epidemiologists and many other professionals all contribute their expertise to improving public health. This site is useful because it gives the characteristic and health problems associated with Down syndrome. Cline, Z., & Necochea, J. (2003). Specially designed academic instruction in English (SDAIE): More than just good instruction. Multicultural Perspectives, 5(1), 18. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

This report analyzed techniques to increase student participation using extrinsic behaviors. The goal of the research was to move such external rewards to intrinsic motivation to continue academic achievement and motivation. This study found that extrinsic rewards did help to motivate student academic participation within the classroom. While other rewards and techniques were also used to generate an increased response, the extrinsic rewards helped motivate learners to begin to participate. Once their interaction became a regular occurrence, students accepted more intrinsic forms of pivotal concept and concern for teachers regarding classroom management. Its current significance demonstrates the need to effectively address classroom management concerns using remuneration to enhance classroom motivation. This source will be useful because it examines teacher strategies for encouraging both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation into the classroom for classroom management. Jeff Haywood is Vice Principal Knowledge Management, Chief Information Officer & librarian, University of Edinburgh; Director of the Center for Research into online Learning and Assessment. For the past twelve years he has completed over 20 projects related to improving classroom instruction and behaviors through the use of technology.

Choi, I.,& Lee, K. (2009). Designing and implementing a case based learning environment for enhancing ill-structured problem solving: classroom management problems for prospective teachers. Educational Technology Research & Development, 57 (1), 99-129. Retrieved September 13, 2013, doi:10.1007/s11423-008-9089-2 This article focuses on providing teachers with valuable methods to assist students with problem solving. Its strategy lies in case-based methodology and a constructivist’s approach to learning environments. The capabilities and challenges for the methodology are discussed and supported with numerous quantitative and qualitative data and its analysis. This source will be useful because it develops a teacher’s understanding of classroom management and provides an opportunity for experienced teachers to refine their already best practices. Dr. Choi is employed in the Department of Education Psychology and Instructional Technology at The University of Georgia. His co-author, Kyunghwa Lee, is employed in the Department of Elementary and Social Studies Education at the University of Georgia. In December of 2001, he earned his PH.D. in Elementary Education and Social Studies, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Council on Exceptional Children. (2007). Retrieved Septemeber 30, 2013 from www.cec.sped.org

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. The site provides up-to-date information for parents and educators on new research findings, classroom practices that work, federal legislation, and policies. It also provides conference schedules for upcoming events in the field. Cohen, Shirley (2002). Targeting autism: what we know, don't know, and can do to help young children with autism and related disorder. University of California Press

This book is ideal for everyone who lives with, cares about, or is trying to understand and help a young child who has or may have autism. It gives special attention to recent advances in early identification and educational treatment. Readers will welcome this informed and humane combination of up-to-date research findings, personal observations, and narratives from parents and adults with intellectual disability. DO IT. (2012). Academic accommodations for students with learning disabilites. University of Washington, College of Education. Seattle: U.S.Department of Educaiton.

This article is on Academic Accommodations for students with learning disabilities. This article informs the reader that students must be diagnosed with learning disabilities if they are of average or above average intelligence and there is a discrepancy between their academic achievement and their intellectual disability. This article also list several learning disabilities and some limitations such as: Auditory perception and processing, Visual perception and processing, Information processing speed, abstract reasoning, memory (long term, short-term), spoken and written language, mathematical calculation, executive function (planning and time management). The Do-It (disabilities, opportunities, internetworking, and technology) organization serves to increase the successful participation of individuals with disabilities in challenging, academic programs. This organization was created in Seattle Washington and has been in existence since 2004. The founder and the director of the organization is Sheryl Burgstahler ,Ph.D.

Eric, J.M., & Russel, A.B. (2006) Treatment of childhood disorders, (3rd ed). NY: The Guilford Press

This book reviews evidence-based treatments for the most prevalent child and adolescent problems. Leading contributors present state-of-the-art applications for anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, ADHD, autistic spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, the effects of maltreatment, substance use, and more. It also incorporates important, ongoing developments in research and treatment design. This source will be used to examine both social and emotional components of Down syndrome.

Haywood, J., (2009). Increasing elementary and high school student motivation through the use of extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. Retrieved September 13, 2013 from ERIC: http:// www.eric.ed.gov /PDFS/ ED50 3268 .pdf This report analyzed techniques to increase student participation using extrinsic behaviors. The goal of the research was to move such external rewards to intrinsic motivation to continue academic achievement and motivation. This study found that extrinsic rewards did help to motivate student academic participation within the classroom. While other rewards and techniques were also used to generate an increased response, the extrinsic rewards helped motivate learners to begin to participate. Once their interaction became a regular occurrence, students accepted more intrinsic forms of pivotal concept and concern for teachers regarding classroom management. Its current significance demonstrates the need to effectively address classroom management concerns using remuneration to enhance classroom motivation. This source will be useful because it examines teacher strategies for encouraging both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation into the classroom for classroom management. Jeff Haywood is Vice Principal Knowledge Management, Chief Information Officer & librarian, University of Edinburgh; Director of the Center for Research into online Learning and Assessment. For the past twelve years he has completed over 20 projects related to improving classroom instruction and behaviors through the use of technology. Jones, F. (2000). Tools of teaching. Santa Cruz, CA: Fredrick H.Jones & Associates, Inc. This classroom management text discusses strategies that focus on instruction and motivation. Areas of discussion include building classroom management systems, providing student centered approaches for learning, rules, procedures and expectations, emphasizing proactive and positive behaviors as well as decreasing time spent on unproductive behaviors. These areas of conversation are key to a developing teacher’s understanding of classroom management and provide an opportunity for experienced teachers to refine their already best practices. This text is useful because in addition to showing teachers the techniques we should use it also has a lot of strategies and suggestions on how to implement the suggestions. The author, Dr. Jones, earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UCLA, Dr. Jones created and implemented techniques to assist children with emotional disorders as head of the Child Experimental Ward of the Neuropsychiatric Institute. He has been a researcher and advocate of education for over 30 years. This book was the finalist for the 2001 Independent Publishers Award as well as a finalist for the 2002 Golden Lamp Award. Klein, S.D. & Kemp, J.D. (Eds). (2004). What adults with disabilities wish all parents knew: reflections from a different journey. New York: McGraw-Hill

This book is a powerful tool for families and friends of persons with disabilities. It is comprised of short essays written by persons with disabilities on an array of topics. Sections include: love and acceptance, the role of experts, parental expectations, sexuality, and education about disabilities. This source will be used to examine the emotional aspect of Down syndrome. Kunjufu, D. J. (2008). 100 educational strategies: to teach childrean of color. Chicago: African American Images. This book shows contradicting theories from the economy/poverty, teacher certification or level of education, and parent interest as all problems for the educational lack of success in this country. The methodologies for these studies have also ranged from elementary to high school, but mostly focused on the mid western part of the United States. Though through the research that has been analyzed, there was only one high school study, which shows some gap in research. Scholars have disaggregated data and realized the effect and factors of student achievement in certain schools. This factor is in the teaching quality of the teacher. This source shows the results from these student/teacher-based methodologies pointed at every contributing factor, but stated that the biggest problem is between the teacher’s ability to motivate the student. Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu was educated at Morgan State, Illinois State, and Union Graduate School. He has been a consultant to many schools in the urban community. He is the author or co-author of over 33 books that look at the African American experience. He has discussed his issues on several different talk shows such as, Oprah Winfrey Show and Black Entertainment Television. The Kardon Institute for Arts Therapy (2013). Retrieved October 21, 2013 from http://www.kardoninstitute.org This website focuses on several opportunities for individuals with special needs. The website has information about the trained therapist that work with children and adults to enhance physical, social and cognitive abilities. This source is helpful to my research because it gives several suggestions and programs for special needs students in the transition phase. Lenz, Bob (2007, November 16). A community of learners: building a supportive learning environment. Retrieved September 14,2013, from Edutopia Website: http://www.edutopia.org/envision-schools-learning-community-respect This article focuses on classroom activities and meetings as a way to decrease negative student behaviors and, therefore, decrease teacher stress with classroom management. The article’s theme is community and how community engagement, involvement and trust build a deep bond between learners and educators. This bond, therefore, minimizes classroom disruptions. Additionally, the community meetings serve as a time and place to install core values to the next generation, who will be the role model of the future. This source will be useful to examine what sources help decrease negative behavior among the students. Bob Lenz, the Chief Education Officer and Co-founder of Envision schools wrote this article. For the past twenty years, Mr. Lenz has served schools as a teacher, student activities director, reform leader and principal. Under Bob Lenz’s leadership, the Secretary of Education named his high school a “New American High School” in 1999. He is known as the leader of high school reform that works. The National Down Syndrome Congress. (2013, January 1). The national Down syndrome congress. Retrieved October 7, 2013, from www.ndsccenter.org This site is a worldwide source of information for parents and professionals concerned with Down syndrome. It also serves as a database of information on over 40,000 case histories of children with Down syndrome in over 60 countries. The site provides a wealth of information on teaching tips for children and adults with Down syndrome. This source will be used to examine the academic component of the observation process.

Nelsen,J.,Lott, L. & Glenn, H.S. (2000) Positive discipline in the classroom: mutual respect, cooperation and responsibility in your classroom. Roseville, CA: Prima Publishing. This book is the basic guide to the Positive Discipline Class Meetings Program. It begins with the overview of the vision, shared by many educators, of a caring classroom where the children feel safe and respected, where they feel a sense of belonging, and where their abilities are valued and encouraged. This source will be helpful because it provides a step-by-step description of how to introduce the concept of class meetings, and how to teach the eight building blocks of effective class meetings, one at a time, until the full routine is established. These building blocks are: 1. Form a circle; 2.Practice compliments and appreciations; 3. Create an agenda; 4. Develop communication skills; 5. Learn about separate realties; 6. Recognize the four reasons people do what they do; 7.Practice role playing and brainstorming; 8. Focus on non-punitive solutions. Subsequent chapters develop these various “building block” concepts, and suggest ways to extend the benefits of class meetings to meet the needs of classroom management during the rest of the day, as well as how to build support among teachers in the school environment. Jane Nelsen has a Doctorate Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of San Francisco in 1979. She is the author and co-author of several books about discipline in the classroom and how to prevent it. H.Stephen Glenn has been internationally recognized for his work in education. He was a featured speaker at the White House, where Nancy Reagan honored him as one of United States of America’s most outstanding family and prevention professionals. He served on state and national advisory boards on safe and effective schools, teacher training, discipline, and tobacco, alcohol, and drug abuse prevention. Patterson and Hassold (2006). Down syndrome: A promising future, together. Future Horizons This book provides a step-by-step guide to educate students with autism. It examines six critical teaching elements: creating and effective classroom environment, curriculum development, instructional strategies, managing problem behaviors, data collection, and building collaborative teams. It is appropriate for new and veteran teachers. This source will be used to evaluate the academic component of the observation process.

People Employing People (2013). Retrieved December 8,2013 from www.pepservices.org

This website source is for intellectual disabled residents in Philadelphia. The website gives several programs on training the students in participation in community life. The programs focus on offering literacy and recreational programs. The website is helpful to my research because I was able to find different occupational programs for Down syndrome students to receive some kind of training.

Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network. (2009) Retrieved December 8,2013 from www.pattan.net

This site is a great source of information for evidence based practices, professional development, and topics related to special education. It provides definitions of terminology, forms, and support in the area of education. Information is updated regularly. This source will be used to examine the academic and social component of autism.

Roe, Betty D., Smith, Sandra, and Elinor, P. (2006). Student teaching and field experiences. (Seventh Edition). Merrill/Prentice Hall. New Jersey.

This book shows contradicting theories from the economy/poverty, teacher certification or level of education, and parent interest as all problems for the educational lack of success in this country. The methodologies for these studies have also ranged from elementary to high school, but mostly focused on the mid western part of the United States. Though through the research that has been analyzed, there was only one high school study, which shows some gap in research. Scholars have disaggregated data and realized the effect and factors of student achievement in certain schools. This factor is in the teaching quality of the teacher. This source shows the results from these student/teacher-based methodologies pointed at every contributing factor, but stated that the biggest problem is between the teacher’s ability to motivate the student. Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu was educated at Morgan State, Illinois State, and Union Graduate School. He has been a consultant to many schools in the urban community. He is the author or co-author of over 33 books that look at the African American experience. He has discussed his issues on several different talk shows such as, Oprah Winfrey Show and Black Entertainment Television.
Shapiro, J.P. (1994). No Pity: People with disabilities forging a new civil rights movement. New York: Three Rivers Press This book is a great resource for understanding the disability rights movement. In a clear and concise manner it examines the social and political barriers that denied basic civil rights to persons with disabilities. It also presents an endless amount of possibilities to parents in regards to the opportunities available for their children. This source will be used to examine how society’s attitude regarding disabilities has evolved. Sornson, B. (2005). Creating classrooms where teachers love to teach and students love to learn. Golden, CO: The Love and Logic Institute. ISBN: 9781930429871. This book provides copious information on student centered classroom management strategies. Its main efforts focus on individual and whole classroom interventions, while providing templates and guides for immediate use. Topics covered include absenteeism; blame shifting, unpreparedness, transition concerns and numerous others within these categories. The book is key to developing teacher’s understanding of classroom management and provide an opportunity for experienced teachers to refine their already best-practices. For the past thirty years, Mr. Bob Sornson has been a classroom teacher and school administrator. He is the founder of the Early Learning Foundation in Michigan, which has been a model school for districts across the country.

Think College (2013) Retrieved September 29,2013 from www.thinkcollege.com Think College is a national organization dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving inclusive higher education options for people with intellectual disability. With a commitment to equity and excellence, Think College supports evidence-based and student centered research and practice by generating and sharing knowledge, guiding institutional change, informing public policy, and engaging with students, professionals and families.

Villa, R. A., & Thousand, J. S. (2005). Creating an inclusive school. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. ISBN: 9781416600497. This book is on inclusion and how the school should incorporate it in the everyday setting. This text outlines several things such as; the laws for teachers that are still confused about how to implement IDEA, strategies that families can use to make sure that their child is in a general education classroom and an inclusive setting and the text also explains what an inclusive practice in the classroom should look like. This book will be helpful to my research because it explains the right and the wrong way to practice inclusion in a classroom. Many times teachers believe they are creating a less restrictive environment and they are not. This text explains and gives a checklist on how to avoid this mistake. Dr. Richard A. Villa has worked with thousands of teachers and administrators to develop and implement support systems for educating all students within general education settings. Dr.Villa has been a classroom teacher, a special education coordinator and an administrator. Jacqueline S. Thousand is a professor in the College of Education at Cal State San Marcos where she coordinates the College of Education’s special education credential and maters programs.

Yell, M. L. (2006). The law and special education, (2nd ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education/Prentice Hall. This classroom management text discusses strategies that focus on instruction and motivation. Areas of discussion include building classroom management systems, providing student centered approaches for learning, rules, procedures and expectations, emphasizing proactive and positive behaviors as well as decreasing time spent on unproductive behaviors. These areas of conversation are key to a developing teacher’s understanding of classroom management and provide an opportunity for experienced teachers to refine their already best practices. This text is useful because in addition to showing teachers the techniques we should use it also has a lot of strategies and suggestions on how to implement the suggestions. The author, Dr. Jones, earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UCLA, Dr. Jones created and implemented techniques to assist children with emotional disorders as head of the Child Experimental Ward of the Neuropsychiatric Institute. He has been a researcher and advocate of education for over 30 years. This book was the finalist for the 2001 Independent Publishers Award as well as a finalist for the 2002 Golden Lamp Award.

Researchers at Down Syndrome Educational Internationa. (2012). Intervention design. University of York, Child Psycology and Psychiatry. This article is explaining the RLI (Reading and Language Intervention) process for students with intellectual disabilities. RLI provides individualized reading and language instruction designed to meet the particular needs of students with Down syndrome. These interventions have also been shown to be beneficial for other children experiencing language and reading difficulties, and incorporate the principles of best practices for all children. Researchers at Down syndrome Education International and of the Centre for Reading and Language at the University of York developed and evaluated RLI in a study that worked on reading and language interventions a the University of York. The final report was posted in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Simon, R.(2004) Riding the bus with my sister. New York, New York: Penguin Group

This book is reflects on changes in her life, Beth's life, and the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This book is about a sister that has Down syndrome an the older sister that is embarrassed of her sister. She decided to ride the bus with her sister an this cause them to get closer an understand what each sister is going through.

Racheal Simon is a well-rounded author of six books and a nationally recognized public speaker on diversity and disability. Her titles include the bestsellers The Story of Beautiful Girl and Riding The Bus with My Sister, which are frequent selections of book clubs and school reading programs.

Simon, J. (2006). Perceptions of the IEP requirement. Teacher Education and Special Education, 29(4), 17-27. from ERIC database.

This study examines the perception of members on the IEP team regarding the IEP document and team process. In the study participants were selected from an urban Southern school district that services approximately 7,000 students with disabilities. Through a stratified selection process 170 special education teachers were chosen to participate in the study. Each special educator received a packet through the mail that contained an in-depth questionnaire along with a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE). Additionally, the packets contained three parent packets and teachers were asked to distribute them to parents of students who were on their rosters. These packets also contained a SASE. Researchers included letters addressed to the participants providing an introduction and study description. Teachers were given a reminder postcard two weeks later along with a second set of questionnaires two weeks after the postcard. As an incentive to follow through with the study, teachers were informed that “three Gifts of Gratitude” would be provided randomly for participation, which relied on the parents also submitting their packets. The results of the study indicated that teachers held significantly more positive views than did parents of the IEP process overall. Wrightslaw (2009). Untitled. Retrieved from www.wrightslaw.com on October 18, 2013

This website is the self-proclaimed “Special Ed Advocate.” It is useful to parents and teachers for information relating to all areas of special education. The site provides links for diagnoses, strategies, tools, and resources. It also contains user friendly legal documents as well as case laws in various states.

Yell, M. L. (2006). The law and special education, (2nd ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education/Prentice Hall.

This book discusses the latest information on the Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA) Improvement Act of 2004. It also examines the effects of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act on special education services. Readers can also learn about the legal requirements for providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with disabilities.

Reflection of Course

After completing this assignment I was able to take from it a great deal of information regarding Down syndrome. As the first semester of the school year comes to an end and a new semester approaches I am eager to take on my new role as a special education teacher. Using the insight I gained from Shannon, her teachers, and her mother I realize the everlasting affects my teaching methods will have on my students whether they are diagnosed with DS or another low incidence disability. In his book entitled, No Pity: People with disabilities forging a new civil rights movement, Shapiro (1994) candidly points out that anyone can become a member of the disabled community at any time in his/her life. While I realize that DS is not something someone gets after a tragic accident it is important to note that the same negative attitudes and prejudices exist. I am eager to advocate on behalf of my students so that they can receive basic civil rights to FAPE as it will always be embedded in my mind the lessons I learned while observing Shannon. I believe that I should receive an A on this paper. This course and the research have allowed me to gain so much beneficial information on Down syndrome. In order to get this grade I made sure I included all the requirements on the rubric. Wen reflecting I really feel like I’m ready to teach students with low incidence disabilities. The twenty hours of time really allowed me to get a clear understand on how a child feels in an inclusion setting and also how difficult but fulfilling a teacher feels teaching a student with Down syndrome.

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