Bringing you important info about topics that matter.
The DSAGSL will bring you a recap of what you might have missed in previous weeks as well as additional information about other important topics. If you would like more information about a particular issue featured in this edition, contact Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Month of July Topic - Tips for Paraprofessionals
There are still spots left for our independent IEP consultations with national education experts Patti McVay and Laurie Pachl, click here! Ten spots remain in both Cape Girardeau on September 8 and in St. Louis on September 12. Contact Erin at email@example.com by Friday at 5pm to find out more information and save your spot.
Though there was no Coffee Talk in July, the DSAGSL still hopes to bring you important information and strategies you can use! Erin presented to 150 paraprofessionals in the Fort Zumwalt School District on Tuesday, and below are tips from her workshop. Find more by reviewing the entire presentation.
1. Consider physical health conditions that may affect learning and behavior, including low muscle tone, vision and hearing problems, hypothyroidism, sleep apnea and dual autism/Ds diagnosis.
2. Behavior is usually a form of communication. Consider health or communication issues first before implementing other strategies.
3. Students with Down syndrome are very literal and visual learners. Offer visual aids as often as possible in all classroom and transition settings.
4. Let students make mistakes and take risks. Everyone learns from mistakes. Let natural consequences be part of the classroom experience.
5. Maintain student dignity. Be discreet about the student’s physical needs. Refrain from making comments aloud. Schedule special needs such as stretching and toileting in between classes.
6. Home – school communication is essential. Listen to families and keep them informed.
7. Paraprofessionals are important for facilitating peer relationships. Remind others to communicate directly with the student. Give students the space and freedom to socialize and develop friendships.
8. Give as few prompts as possible. Foster independence. Limit hand over hand assistance to teaching a task, not completing a task. Resist temptation to give verbal directions for every aspect of a task.
9. Help students to create authentic work. Avoid completing assignments, taking tests or answering questions for the students.
10. Enable students to make choices. Offer choices to the student, no matter how insignificant they may seem.
For more information about education for your student with Down syndrome and resources for educators, visit:
Down Syndrome Education USA
Finally, the DSAGSL attempts to offer as much information online for parents and caregivers across our region. You can visit the resource section of the DSAGSL website for access to information on many topics!
If you have specific questions or concerns about this topic, feel free to contact our office at 314.961.2504 or join our private Facebook group “DSAGSL Sharing Our Strategies.”