Monday, February 13, 2012

My First Time Teaching to Individuals with Disabilities

Last week I began my first lab in my Adapted Physical Education and Sport class. During these labs I am responsible for developing and implementing games and activities as well as assessing and developing IEP's for a physical education program for students with individuals. Last week I was given two students to work with during the second session of the program which is located in the pool at SUNY Cortland's campus. I was given two female adults who both have MR and one of which is also impared with blindness. I knew that this would be a challenge for me since I have never worked with an individual with a disability. Because both of these individuals, Abby and Sammy, are new to the program The only knowledge I had while creating my first lesson plan was their disabilities and that they both wanted to get more exercise. I decided to begin with water aerobics. This would allow for me to pre-assess Abby and Sammy on their health and skill abilities. After getting Abby and Sammy into the water Sammy began to yell and complain that the water was too cold. I was definantly being challenged. I did not know how to use behavioral management on an adult but I chose to use the same management that I would use as if she were a child. After a few minutes of calming Sammy down I was able to begin the lesson. We were beginning the first task of the lesson when Sammy started to act out again. I realized that this lesson would be a learning experience for me and that I would have to learn more about my students in order to have successful lessons with them in the future. It began to be aparent to me that my lesson I had prepared was not going to be a successful one and if I had chosen to continue then my students wern't going to get the exercise and experience that they deserve from the program. I decided to scrap my lesson and work on swimming. I had them both begin by tredding water and from there I decided to teach them how to swim the side stroke. They enjoyed using the noodles to assist their upper body while practicing kicking. I made sure to stay an arms reach from Sammy but to continue giving instruction to Abby as well. They were very encouraging to each other and we were able to converse over what their interests were. They enjoy yoga, bowling and singing. I left the lesson feeling challenged but motivated. I knew this wasn't going to be easy for me but I also know that I may come across challenges similar to this when I have a classroom on my own and I need to be able to educate these individuals through the physical reguardless of their disabilities. For this weeks lessn I decided I would focus on yoga and also touch up on different swimming strokes as we progress through the program. I also developed a game that I would use as a closing activity. Durimg this game I will have a portion of the pool sectioned off and Abby and Sammy must assist each other in hunting for floating pbjects in the area and then bringing them to the treasure box on the side of the pool. I am excited for this weeks lesson but I am also prepared to deal with any obsticles and challenges that Abby and Sammy throw at me. As a volunteer opportunity given from my professor I also decided to help another student durimg the first half of the program. This portion of the program is located in the gymnasium. I was fortunate enough to have my own student instead of just assisting another college student with an individual. The student I was given, Mike, is 11 years old and has muscular distrophy. I used this first lesson to assess his skills in various actovities. I was told that he had trouble being active after a short period of time because his muscles wouldn't allow for him to do intensive exercise for a long period of time. However, I made sure to give Mike plently of breaks and to vary the skills that I was assessing based on which muscles were beimg used. I noticed that he was competent in many of the skils I had assessed but was having some trouble with his hand-eye amd foot-eye coordination. For this weeks lesson I decided I would work on these two abilities of Mike's. I am going to use progressions to educate him on how to play hacky sack, juggle and cup stacking. I will implement some cardiovascular exercise into this lesson but allow for breaks following the more intense parts of the lesson. I am excited to see Mike this week to work on his coordination because I believe he will enjoy the lessons I have prepared for him.