I think its true to say that you don’t get a huge amount of training in college to work as a resource teacher. We had a lecture once a week and learned a few bits and pieces about working with children with additional needs. It was an interesting class and gave a broad overview of different needs that you might come across in your career as a teacher.
I’m writing this blog post to give some links/ideas that you might find useful if you are going to be working as a resource teacher this year.
A child is first and foremost a child
I think this is the most important thing to remember. We often spend too much time focusing on all the things the child can’t do or define the child by their need ‘the autistic child’. The focus immediately is on the need rather than on the child and we end up working with the autism rather than the individual. (This phrase is probably the only thing that has stuck with me since I finished college and one I think about daily.)
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
‘Autism is not me. Autism is just an information processing problem that controls who I am’. – Donna Williams – author of Nobody, Nowhere and Somebody, Somewhere.
According to Autism Ireland; It is a lifelong neuro-development disability that affects the development of the brain in areas of social interaction and communication. People with autism have difficulties communicating and forming relationships with people, in developing language and in using abstract concepts. It also impacts on their ability to make sense of the world around them.
It is important to note that Autism is a spectrum disorder which means it can range from mild to severe.
Resource hours – granted under ‘Autism/ASD’
Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD)
A common disorder affecting fine and gross motor skills in children and adults. (Sometimes known as Dyspraxia)
OT MOM (Gross Motor Skills)
OT MOM (Fine Motor Skills)
The Imagination Tree (Fine Motor Skills)
These books from Prim Ed are really great too! Review here.
Resource hours granted under ‘Physical Disability’.
According to HADD; ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a medical/neurobiological condition in which the brain’s neurotransmitter chemicals, noradrenalin and dopamine do not work properly.
Symptoms; inattentiveness, impulsiveness, hyperactivity.
Resource hours granted under Emotional disturbance/behavioural problem.
Speech and Language
Children with specific speech and language difficulties may involve problems with one or more of the main components of communication through spoken language, receptive and/or expressive, such as patterning and production of speech sounds, the message content, the syntax and grammar, or the use of speech in interacting with other people.
Resource hours granted under ‘Specific Speech and Language Disorder’
Children who are deaf
Children who are deaf will usually also get support from a visiting teacher. This teacher will be able to advise you on how best to support the child.
Child Who Are Blind
Children who are blind will usually also get support from a visiting teacher. This teacher will be able to advise you on how best to support the child.