School accommodations for students with Turner Syndrome is a strategy understood that can help a child learn, grow and feel supported. Foster a positive learning experience by understanding your role, how you can assert helpful strategies, as well as sharing the responsibility with the education team.
Is there a resource for creating a positive learning environment and education plan?
Yes, the Turner Syndrome Foundation’s ‘Teacher’s Guide‘ is a resource guide that parents and teachers find helpful in understanding specific school accommodations that are helpful for students of all ages. It comes in a pack of five that allows everyone on the education team to understand strategies for optimal learning.
Do I have to share the diagnosis to obtain services?
Not exactly. There are many reasons beyond the diagnosis of Turner Syndrome that may illustrate the need for special accommodations in a classroom. Additionally, many school districts do not recognize non verbal learning disability (NLD) as a diagnosis. There are other disabilities that could be used to obtain services for your child if NLD is not recognized. These include:
- LD-NOS (Learning Disability-Not Otherwise Specified)—listed in the DSM(Diagnostic Statistical Manual which is used by psychology, counseling and other professionals)
- Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)—also listed in the DSM
- Semantic Pragmatic Disorder—a recognized communication disorder which would result in the student being classified as communication-disabled
- PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disability-Not Otherwise Specified)—This diagnosis is used when there are symptoms displayed that are similar to autism but symptoms do not meet the full criteria for autism or other pervasive developmental disorders.
- Neurologically impaired or encephalopathy (brain damage of unknown origin)
- Asperger Syndrome—specifically listed in the DSM under the category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders Disability
- Other Health Impaired (OHI)- This is not a diagnosis from the DSM, but it is an educational classification used in schools. This classification indicates that the student has some kind of health condition, either acute or chronic, which adversely affects his or her educational performance.
How can I get the support I need?
An evaluation by the special education staff in the school (also referred to as the child study team) is often used to determine what supports and services are necessary to best address the student’s needs.
How can I help secure in-house education program for teachers?
In-house workshops and education programs help educate teachers about the issues that may be seen in the classroom, particularly when it comes to the matter of teaching students with learning disabilities
What are the benefits of in-class vs. small class sizes?
Small class sizes often help provide more individualized attention to students with learning difficulties as could classroom aides in regular classrooms. Not all students with NLD or Turner’s syndrome require a smaller class. This is something that should be discussed with educational personnel at your child’s school.
What are extended education/enrichments?
Extended education and enrichments provide advanced learning experiences for those who are not as challenged as they could be by the normal curriculum provided in the classroom. These classes go into more depth with the different subjects offered in the traditional curriculum and provide more challenging material to master. Extended education and/or enrichment may be provided to students who have advanced or gifted abilities in certain areas.
What strategies can help with homework?
Homework performance can be improved by following a few strategies including:
- Planning study time with a schedule
- Prioritizing with a to-do list that includes homework that needs to be done, activities, chores, and plans that have been made
- Organizing each day and making sure everything has been packed for school. Binders could be used to organize work for each subject
- Setting up a workspace that has good lighting, plenty of space, no clutter, and little or no noise. Establishing “rules” such as avoidance of loud music, TV, and text messaging while doing homework.
- Encouraging the student to ask for help from the teacher
- Considering the use of a study buddy or homework partner who can be supportive of the child’s needs resulting from her disability and also helpful in organizing assignments, task division, and time management.
What are strategies to help with test-taking?
Test-taking can be very stressful for students with learning disabilities but some accommodations can be used to make these experiences easier for those who qualify for them. Talk to your child’s teacher and/or special ed. personnel to see if your child may qualify for these accommodations. Untimed tests if the test is being timed for other students. This will reduce anxiety over the amount of time that is being given for the test.
- If there are tests being given with a Scan-Tron answer sheet (a form that requires filling in a “bubble” which corresponds to a multiple-choice selection), provide the test-taker with an answer sheet on which her responses may be written directly or provide larger spaces for the answer to be filled in.
- Give the test in a different room away from other students to allow for less anxiety over the test experience and for less distractions or noise.
- Tutoring may assist in the organization of schoolwork, providing strategies for studying, helping in a particular subject, —- or helping the child to progress if she is working below grade level.
Are there proactive measures to fend off or overcome hurdles?
Some proactive measures can be utilized to fend off or overcome hurdles. These include:
- Preparing in advance for any major life transitions and guiding the child with NLD through each step of the transition to give a clear sense of direction on what is to occur throughout this new stage of life.
- Social hurdles can be overcome through social skills groups or classes where the child can learn appropriate social skills for different situations they might face.
- Ongoing counseling can be helpful in avoiding negative mental health issues.