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EMT603 Inclusive practices in education settings

Danielle Ridler 142977

Assessment Task 2

1. Purpose
This position paper will illustrate how Miss Ridler will promote the learning,
development and achievement of Poe; a student with severe Autism. It will do this by:
(1) examining Poes key educational needs in relation to her Individualised Education
Plan (IEP); (2) discussing the legal obligations teachers hold; and (3) identifying and
examining the strategies that would address Poes needs.
2. Poe
Nine year old Poe is a curious and visually astute learner, as she processes and
retains information better when it can be seen, as opposed to heard (Tissot & Evans,
2003). For this reason, Poe loves creating posters, and pictures often involving her
interests which include: coins and cats. When class activities accommodate Poes
interests she is able to work efficiently, and aside her peers. Poe also achieves a high
standard in Mathematics, due to her strong rote memory. However, despite these
strengths; Poes ASD places significant implications on her ability to participate in the
classroom.
3. ASD
To support Poes achievement Miss Ridler must understand ASD. In 2013, under
the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) 5 (American
Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013) all branches of Autism were merged into one
umbrella diagnosis of ASD. ASD refers to a complex developmental disorder that
impacts two core areas: social communication, and repetitive and restricted interests
(APA, 2013). However, Poes diagnosis is based on the DSM-IV-TR (APA, 2000) which
categorises her as having severe difficulties with: social interaction, language for
communication, and restricted interests and behaviour.

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EMT603 Inclusive practices in education settings


Danielle Ridler 142977

Assessment Task 2

ASD is a spectrum disorder; meaning, students with ASD have a diverse range of
needs and abilities (Patten & Watson, 2011). For this reason, diagnosis of ASD does not
ensure eligibility on the Register of Students with Severe Disabilities (Department of
Education, Tasmania, [DoET] 2015a). However, Poe meets the requirements of the
register as she has ASD in the upper severe range, and experiences significant
educational implications as a result (DoET, 2015a).
4. IEP
Miss Ridler understands her role in Poes IEP .IEPs are a written document that
build on the principles of the Disability Standards for Education (DSfE)
(Commonwealth Government, 2005), as they contain: (1) three key outcomes that are
crucial to the students successful participation; (2) strategies that support their
achievement of the outcomes; and (3) adjustments that ensure their participation is on
the same basis as their typically developing peers (DoET, 2015b; Ashman, 2014). The
outcomes of IEPs for students with ASD often focus on social functioning as they are the
areas of most need (Prunty, 2011; Duff & Flattery, 2014). For instance, Poes key
outcomes are: (1) communicating how she feels in appropriate ways; (2) responding
appropriately to peer interaction; and (3) identifying appropriate ways to deal with
anxiety.
The achievement of Poes outcomes involves the collaboration of several key
stakeholders: Poe, Poes parents, speech pathologist, support aid, school psychologist,
and Miss Ridler. Symes and Humphrey (2011) argue students with severe ASD often
become isolated from their peers and classroom teacher due to their increased interaction
with support workers. To ensure Poe is not isolated Miss Ridler will integrate Poes IEP

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EMT603 Inclusive practices in education settings


Danielle Ridler 142977

Assessment Task 2

outcomes into her instruction and make adjustments to the curriculum, and environment
(DoET, 2015b).
5. DSfE
The DSfE (Commonwealth Government, 2005) ensures students with disabilities
participate on the same basis as other students by making the obligations teachers hold
explicit. Teachers can achieve this by eliminating negative attitudes and making
reasonable adjustments. Reasonable adjustments refer to any action that is made to
assist the student with a disability that takes into account the interests of all parties
(Commonwealth Government, 2005). The Commonwealth Government (2005) asserts
teachers should also involve the student and their parents in decision-making to ensure
the adjustment is beneficial. For this reason, the strategies illustrated in the following
section have taken into account the impact the adjustment has on Poes ability to
participate and achieve learning outcomes.
6. Behaviour
Students with ASD often experience behavioural difficulties (Ledford & Wehby,
2014). Poe displays several restricted behaviours which become severe when she is
anxious or stressed. Poe becomes agitated: during transitions and group work; when
changes are made to her routine; and when peers talk too loud. Research suggests
(Able, Sreckovic, Schultz, Garwood, & Sherman, 2015) Autistic students inability to
cope often causes them to become emotionally vulnerable. For instance, the situations
above often result in Poe throwing tantrums and becoming aggressive towards her
peers; in which, she screams, throws objects, and runs away. Poes restricted
behavioural difficulties also increase when the classroom is noisy. Research (Stevenson,
Segers, Ferber, Barense, & Wallace, 2014) indicates this is attributed to alterations in

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EMT603 Inclusive practices in education settings


Danielle Ridler 142977

Assessment Task 2

sensory processing, in which areas such as sound may cause an overload. Rhodes (2014)
argues these behaviours have severe implications on both Poe and her peers as they
disrupt the classroom environment. To prevent Poes restricted behaviour Miss Ridler
will:
a. Create a supportive physical environment;
b. Place Visual Activity Schedules (VAS) at the front of the classroom;
c. Ensure students are aware and respectful of Poes needs;
d. Encourage Poe to communicate when something is making her anxious;
e. Utilise Poes interests to provide positive reinforcements for preferred
behaviour;
f. And provide notice to Poe and her parents regarding changes to routines.
Miss Ridler will create a supportive environment that prevents Poes restricted
behaviours. Making adjustments to the physical environment to minimise problem
behaviour is reasonable as it benefits all students (McCurdy & Cole, 2014). These
adjustments will include eliminating unnecessary sound, and creating a calm down
zone. Poe is sound-sensitive, as sound creates a sensory overload, in which she
experiences difficulties coping. Research (Brandwein etal., 2015) suggests a sensory
diet will provide an effective proactive response to preventing sensory overloads. For
this reason, Miss Ridler will: place tennis balls on the feet of chair legs to reduce
scraping; and place Poe on a table with two of the quieter students. Some noises such
as fire alarms are out of Miss Ridlers control. For this reason, Miss Ridler will create a
quiet zone at the back of the classroom with ear muffs and headphones where Poe can
recover from anxiety in a more appropriate way.

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EMT603 Inclusive practices in education settings


Danielle Ridler 142977

Assessment Task 2

Managing auditory issues also requires the teacher to manage other students.
Able etals. (2015) research shows students with awareness of ASD and its
characteristics are more likely to hold positive attitudes towards ASD students. For this
reason, Miss Ridler (with all stakeholders permission) will provide her students with
explanatory information about ASD to raise their awareness, tolerance, and
understanding of being respectful to Poes needs.
Consistency is important to most students with ASD (Brandwein etal., 2015).
Poe becomes anxious and agitated when her schedule is disrupted. For this reason, Miss
Ridler will provide Poe with sufficient warning and explanation if there are any changes
to her routine. VAS will also be utilised as Knight, Sartini, and Spriggs (2015) research
suggests they help students with ASD build a routine and predict daily events; thus,
reducing their transition difficulties. Miss Ridler will place: a general VAS on the
whiteboard at the front of the room which provides an overview of each task students
will complete throughout the day; and an individual VAS on Poes desk which explains
what needs to be done during each of the activities on the general schedule.
7. Interaction
Students with ASD often experience difficulties with social interaction and
communication (Ledford & Wehby, 2014). Poe experiences significant difficulties using
and understanding both verbal and non-verbal communication, as Poe avoids eye
contact, flinches when students speak to her, and does not recognise when she has upset
other students. Research (Chin & Bernard-Opitz, 2000) suggests, these poor nonverbal conversation skills such as reading other peoples body language can cause
students with ASD to experience difficulties making friends as peers often believe the
student is rude. In class, Poe is withdrawn and often does not initiate or respond

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EMT603 Inclusive practices in education settings


Danielle Ridler 142977

Assessment Task 2

appropriately to social interactions. For instance, when Troy asked to borrow a pencil
Poe screamed and flung a pencil at the floor. Poe also finds it difficult to communicate,
in which she becomes anxious and does not know how to express how she feels often
resulting in her running away from whoever is speaking. Ledford and Wehby (2014)
argue this inability to understand appropriate social interaction can lead to social
isolation. To support Poes full participation Miss Ridler will:
a. Set up peer supports;
b. Utilise social stories to support Poes social interaction;
c. Provide wait time when posing questions to Poe;
d. Avoid sarcastic tones and communicate in clear short statements;
e. Support verbal directions with visual supports;
f. And check for understanding.
Difficulties with communication is one of the central features of ASD (Vellonen,
Krn, & Virnes, 2012). Poe has the ability to verbally communicate; however, Poes
verbal delays in processing others speech, and anxiety towards social interaction result
in her running away. Students with ASD who have difficulties communicating with
others often experience negative educational implications as they are unable to ask for
help when they do not understand instruction (Tissot & Evans, 2003; Low & Lee, 2011).
For this reason, programs such as itaalk will be installed on Poes iPad to aid her
communication abilities, and an emotion strip will be created that indicates Poes levels
of anxiety and agitation so Miss Ridler can check-in with Poe during lessons, and help
Poe make graceful exits when necessary (Bouck, Satsangi, Doughty,& Courtney,
2014).

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EMT603 Inclusive practices in education settings


Danielle Ridler 142977

Assessment Task 2

Poe needs opportunities to interact and observe her peers, as peer mediated
interventions have been shown to increase appropriate behaviour and decrease
undesirable behaviour (Ledford & Wehby, 2014; Able etal , 2015). Poe experiences
difficulties reading body language; meaning, she often does not recognise and
understand the feelings of others. For this reason, Poes peers need to explicitly tell Poe
when she does something upsetting and why it was upsetting (Bryson, Rogers, &
Fombonne, 2003). Furthermore, research suggests students without disabilities benefit
from supporting their disabled peers as their self-esteem is increased by taking a
positive role. For this reason, Miss Ridler will implement circle of friends; a support
network for Poe that focuses on developing strategies that will help develop her social
and communication skills.
Miss Ridler will adjust her teaching strategies to support the full participation of
Poe (Australian Institute for Teaching & School Leadership, 2015). Poe experiences
difficulties initiating and responding appropriately to social situations. Social skills are
not only crucial to students throughout their school life but also life outside of school;
thus, improving social functionality is one of the crucial intervention measures for
individuals with ASD (Sani Bozkurt & Vuran, 2014). Students ability to understand
what is required in social situations is often intuitive and learnt implicitly through
observation; however, students with ASD often fail to make these connections. For this
reason, Poe needs explicit instruction regarding how to react to social cues and
situations. Miss Ridler will teach social skills to Poe by using peer mediation, explicit
teaching and Social stories (SS). Sani Bozkurt and Vuran (2014) argue SS play an
important role in teaching social skills to children with ASD, as they are written from the

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EMT603 Inclusive practices in education settings


Danielle Ridler 142977

Assessment Task 2

childs perspective, and explicitly describe social situations and the appropriate
behavioural response. Furthermore, SS are visual so they incorporate Poes strengths.
Poe experiences delays in processing others verbal language. Knight, Sartini and
Spriggs (2015) argue difficulties with auditory processing has significant educational
implications as the majority of information in the classroom is communicated verbally.
For this reason, Miss Ridler will make several adjustments including: providing extra
processing time, slowing down speech,

and supplementing verbal instruction and

directions with visual supports, as Poe processes information better when it can be seen
(Tissot & Evans, 2003).
8. Assessment
Assessment and reporting are crucial to the achievement of all students as they
provide evidence of students achievement and understanding. This evidence can be used
to: promote future learning and teaching practices, provide the student with feedback,
and let other stakeholders know the students progress and achievement against
curriculum goals (Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority, 2015). To
ensure Poe can participate in assessment activities, Miss Ridler will make reasonable
adjustments when necessary by:
a. comparing personal progress rather than against peers;
b. allowing Poe to demonstrate understanding in alternative ways eg written
as opposed to verbal;
c. specifically telling Poe what she needs to do, and how much is required;
d. Breaking assessments into smaller sections so Poe is not overwhelmed;
e. And providing additional time.

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EMT603 Inclusive practices in education settings


Danielle Ridler 142977

Assessment Task 2

Classroom teachers are also required to report on students progress in relation to


their IEPs; thus, it is Miss Ridlers responsibility to review and document Poes progress
(DoET, 2015b). This reporting will be done periodically throughout the year, and will be
used to inform decision-making about Poes future learning, and help Miss Ridler
provide useful and timely feedback to Poe, and the other stakeholders (DoET, 2015b).
9. Recommendations
This paper has provided a brief overview of how Miss Ridler would promote the
learning of Poe by making adjustments to the environment and her instruction. However,
the inclusion of students with ASD relies on the collaboration of all stakeholders and
should not be reduced to a set of strategies that will work for all.
10. Reference
Able, H., Sreckovic, M. A., Schultz, T. R., Garwood, J. D., & Sherman, J. (2015). Views
from the trenches: teacher and student supports needed for full inclusion of
students with ASD. Teacher Education & Special Education, 38(1), 44-57.
American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental
disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
American Psychiatric Association (2013) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders. (5th ed.) Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
Ashman, A. (2014). Embracing inclusion. In A. Ashman & J. Elkins (Eds.). Education
for inclusion and diversity (5th ed.) (pp. 2-35). Melbourne, VIC: Pearson
Australia.
Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority. (2015). The Australian
Curriculum v7.3. Retrieved From
http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/overview.

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EMT603 Inclusive practices in education settings


Danielle Ridler 142977

Assessment Task 2

Australian Institute for Teaching & School Leadership. (2015). Australian professional
standards for teachers. Retrieved From http://www.aitsl.edu.au/australianprofessional-standards-for-teachers/standards/list.
Brandwein, A. B., Foxe, J. J., Butler, J. S., Frey, H., Bates, J. C., Shulman, L. H., &
Molholm, S. (2015). Neurophysiological indices of atypical auditory processing
and multisensory integration are associated with symptom severity in Autism.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(1), 230-244.
Chin, H., & Bernard-Opitz, V. (2000). Teaching conversational skills to children with
autism: effect on the development of a theory of mind. Journal of Autism &
Developmental Disorders, 30(6), 569-583.
Commonwealth Government. (2005). Disability standards of education, 2005. Canberra:
Australia: Commonwealth of Australia.
Department of Education. (2015a). Register of Students with Severe Disabilities 2.0.
Retrieved From
https://www.education.tas.gov.au/documentcentre/Documents/Register-ofStudents-with-Severe-Disabilities.pdf
Department of Education, Tasmania. (2015b). Guidelines for Individual education
planning (Version 3.0.). Retrieved From
https://www.education.tas.gov.au/documentcentre/Documents/Guidelines-forIndividual-Education-Planning-Students-with-Disability.pdf.
Duff, C., & Flattery, J. (2014). Developing mirror self-awareness in students with
Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders,
44(5), 1027-1038.

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EMT603 Inclusive practices in education settings


Danielle Ridler 142977

Assessment Task 2

Knight, V., Sartini, E., & Spriggs, A. D. (2015). Evaluating Visual Activity Schedules as
evidence-based practice for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(1), 157-178.
Ledford, J., & Wehby, J. (2014). Teaching Children with Autism in Small Groups with
Students Who are At-Risk for Academic Problems: Effects on Academic and
Social Behaviors. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45, 14051415.
Low, H. M., & Lee, L. W. (2011). Teaching of speech, language and communication
skills for young children with severe Autism Spectrum Disorders: What do
educators need to know?. New Horizons in Education, 59(3), 16-27.
McCurdy, E. E., & Cole, C. L. (2014). Use of a peer support intervention for promoting
academic engagement of students with Autism in general education settings.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(4), 883-893.
Patten, E., & Watson, L. R. (2011). Interventions targeting attention in young children
with autism. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 20(1), 60-69.
Prunty, A. (2011). Implementation of children's rights: what is in 'the best interests of the
child' in relation to the Individual Education Plan (IEP) process for pupils with
autistic spectrum disorders (ASD)?. Irish Educational Studies, 30(1), 23-44.
Rhodes, C. (2014). Do Social Stories help to decrease disruptive behaviour in children
with autistic spectrum disorders? A review of the published literature. Journal of
Intellectual Disabilities, 18(1), 35-50.
Sani Bozkurt, S., & Vuran, S. (2014). An analysis of the use of social stories in teaching
social skills to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Educational Sciences:
Theory and Practice, 14(5), 1875-1892.

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EMT603 Inclusive practices in education settings


Danielle Ridler 142977

Assessment Task 2

Stevenson, R., Segers, M., Ferber, S., Barense, M., & Wallace, M. (2014). The impact of
multisensory integration deficits on speech perception in children with autism
spectrum disorders. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 379.
Symes, W., & Humphrey, N. (2011). School factors that facilitate or hinder the ability of
teaching assistants to effectively support pupils with autism spectrum disorders
in mainstream secondary schools. Journal of Research in Special Educational
Needs, 11(3), 153-161.
Tissot, C., & Evans, R. (2003). Visual teaching strategies for children with Autism.
Early Child Development & Care, 173(4), 425-433.
Vellonen, V., Krn, E., & Virnes, M. (2012). Communication of children with Autism in
a technology-enhanced learning environment. Procedia - Social and Behavioral
Sciences, 69, 1208-1217.

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EMT603 Inclusive practices in education settings


Danielle Ridler 142977

Assessment Task 2

EMT603 Inclusive Practices in Education Settings


Assessment Task 3 Feedback
Assessment Criteria

High Distinction (80-100)

Distinction (70-79)

Credit (60-69)

Pass (50-59)

Apply terms and principles of


the Disability Standards for
Education 2005

An expert level of understanding of


terms and principles of the
Disability Standards for Education
2005 was applied with great insight
into the context

A professional level of
understanding of key terms and
principles of the Disability
Standards for Education 2005
was applied in a way that was
highly relevant to the specific
context

A clear and accurate


understanding of key terms and
principles of the Disability
Standards for Education 2005
was applied in a way that was
appropriate to the specific
context

A sound working knowledge


of key terms and principles of
the Disability Standards for
Education 2005 was applied
with consideration of the
specific context

Analyse the educational needs


of a student with disability

A scholarly analysis of the


individual students educational
needs was provided, which was
realistic and insightful in terms of
informing learning and teaching
practices

A professional analysis of the


individual students educational
needs was provided, which was
realistic and formed a strong
basis for learning and teaching
practices

A well-informed analysis of the


individual students educational
needs was provided, which was
realistic and very useful in
terms of informing learning and
teaching practices

A sound analysis of the


individual students key
educational needs was
provided, which was realistic
and mostly useful in terms of
informing learning and
teaching practices

Explain and justify learning and


teaching practices for a student
with disability

A comprehensive and clear


explanation of innovative learning,
teaching, and assessment practices
for the student was provided, with a
scholarly justification of the
supporting evidence base

A comprehensive and clear


explanation of highly
appropriate learning, teaching,
and assessment practices for the
student was provided, with a
professional justification of the
supporting evidence base

A clear explanation of highly


appropriate learning, teaching,
and assessment practices for the
student was provided, with a
justification associated with
some supporting evidence base

A clear explanation of
appropriate learning, teaching,
and assessment practices for
the student was provided,
together with some relevant
justification

Manage and communicate


specialised knowledge, ideas
and complex concepts

The overall presentation was


exceptional: a wide range of
relevant literature, including cutting
edge publications, was synthesised
and critically analysed; referencing
and presentation was at a scholarly
standard

The overall presentation was of


a high standard: a wide range of
relevant literature, including
cutting edge publications, was
synthesised and accurately
referenced, with next to no
typographical errors, and
professionally communicated

The overall presentation was


very good: a wide range of
relevant literature, including
recently published material, was
synthesised and very well
referenced, with minimal
typographical errors, and very
well communicated

The overall presentation was


satisfactory: drew support
from a range of relevant
sources which were well
referenced, with few
typographical errors, and quite
well communicated

Comments:
Grade:

Assessor:

Date:

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