Thursday, 22 January 2015

Some last-minute resources on schooling


Is it too soon to start talking about back to school? Some are probably counting the days. Australian summer school holidays are coming to an end, as we send our kids back to school in the hottest, most humid month of the year! 

If your child is starting kindergarten or high school for the first time, you will have been preparing for months, and we wish you an excellent start. You are welcome to send us your 'first day' photos, to blogeditor@dsansw.org.au 

These links might give you some last-minute useful hints and resources for your own use, or for your child's school, always with the rider to take care not to overwhelm either yourself or the school with too much information in one go:

Back To School: How to Write your Child’s “Owner’s Manual” for Special Education Teachers

Michael Dorfman, The Friendship Circle, 21st August 2014... The “All About Me” pamphlet will describe your child, what makes him or her tick, triggers, biographical information, and any other details you deem pertinent. This pamphlet allows the school personnel working with your child to get to know him or her quicker and help plan efficiently ...


One Place for Special Needs provides a page of links to pre-written social stories covering a wide range of situations, and a link to articles on writing your own social stories.

Down Syndrome Education International's current weekly posting of 21 'examples of how educational research helps and why it matters' might be of interest to your child's teacher.  Each post addresses a single topic, and is available for delivery online, each week until 21st March 2015 (World Down Syndrome Day).

Five Principles for My Daughter's Teacher
Kevin A Thompson, 12th August 2014
In light of a new school year, here are five principles we hope Ella’s new teacher follows:
  • Don’t feel the need to be an expert about Down syndrome, but do take time to learn more ...
  • Demand obedience, but give her time to process your commands ...
  • Be fair, but keep your expectations high ...
  • Help her, but don’t be manipulated by her ...
  • Shield her, but don’t smother her ...
Confessions of a Special Needs Parent: The Back to School Terrifies Me
Ellen Stumbo, Hope and Encouragement for the Special Needs Parent, 27th August 2014
Excitement is muddled with fear as a new school-year approaches. I’m ready for some quiet around the house but I have two kids with special needs and the back to school terrifies me ...

Everyone Everyday Program
Disability ACT’s Community Development team, 2014
The Everyone Everyday Disability Awareness Program has been developed by Disability ACT’s Community Development team. It is a comprehensive teaching resource for mainstream primary schools, and focuses on the concept of ‘inclusion’. The program aims to create a cultural shift in community attitudes towards disability. The underlying assumption is that we all benefit when the environments in which we work, live and play are inclusive; and that we all have a role to play in creating inclusive communities ...

And the most popular resources link ever on this blog, by a long way, is Visual Aids for Learning - free downloads of Australian produced visual support tools, designed specifically with children with Down syndrome in mind.

Enjoy the last week or so of your holidays!

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