Being a special needs teacher can be one of the most difficult jobs you’ll ever face. Your students have probably been through more than you can comprehend in their lives, and you are their safe haven where they learn and have fun. One of the biggest challenges facing special needs teachers are ensuring that each student has an equal opportunity to participate. To help students overcome their learning challenges, teachers use a variety of instructional techniques and materials – in addition to classroom schedules. By following a preplanned schedule for each student, teachers can help every student succeed.
A preplanned schedule can be a great help to teachers, students and parents. Here are some of the benefits:
1. Reduces distractions.
Special needs children can be easily distracted by their surroundings, especially if they have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A routine and predictable schedule helps reduce the amount of distractions, which allows the child to focus on what is being taught and not on the other students around them.
2. Increases organization and independence.
Having a routine also helps special needs children with organization, which can lead to increased independence in tasks. By having a set plan for each day, students know what is expected of them and when it should be done by. This gives them more control over their lives and increases their self-esteem because they are able to do things on their own rather than having someone else tell them what to do all day long.
3. Makes transitions easier for students with special needs.
Students with special needs often have difficulty with transitions from one activity to another or from one place to another. This makes it harder for them to stay focused on what they are doing while they are transitioning between activities or places. A preplanned schedule reduces the number of transitions that need to be made during the day so that students can remain focused on their current activity or location without being distracted by other things going on around them!
4. Helps create more routine
For special needs children, a preplanned schedule can help create more routine. This is especially true for students who have trouble transitioning from one activity to another, or when their behavior becomes unmanageable.
In a classroom for special needs children, a preplanned schedule can help teachers and parents know what to expect from each day and keep them informed about what activities are coming up next.
5. There is less chance of a meltdown.
One of the biggest benefits of using a preplanned schedule is that it reduces the chance that your child will experience a meltdown because he or she can’t handle changes in routine easily. Children with autism or ADHD have a difficult time transitioning from one activity to another, so having an established routine can make all the difference when it comes to avoiding meltdowns and keeping them on task.
7. Less chance of behavioral problems.
Behavioral problems are common among children with special needs. Children with autism, ADD/ADHD, and other disorders may exhibit challenging behaviors such as aggression, hyperactivity, vocalizations, or self-injurious behaviors. A well-planned curriculum can help to decrease these behaviors because it gives the child something to focus on and look forward to each day.
The most difficult part of organizing a schedule for children with special needs is assessing the limits of each child’s abilities. Ideally, a schedule will lay out the specific goals you want to accomplish in each subject. This way, you can go over each task and determine which ones are appropriate for the individual child. More than likely, some modifications will have to be made, but this method will still result in a more productive and less frustrating experience.