Protecting Children With Intellectual Disabilities From Battery And Other Abuse
In May 2018, an elementary school teacher working in the Anchorage school district was put on paid administrative leave following an incident during which she was accused of pushing a then, eight-year-old boy "back into a doorway when she intervened in a student dispute over art supplies." The boy has autism.
According to the superintendent, the accused teacher did not return the following school year and resigned.
Online court records indicate that criminal battery charges against the teacher were dismissed by the prosecution. However, the boy's family has filed a civil suit against the school district. Scott Gross "Ptarmigan teacher accused of pushing student resigns" www.ktva.com (Dec. 14, 2018).
- Learn about intellectual disabilities and the various ways they can manifest in students. Learn to recognize behaviors as a function of the disorder rather than as intentional or disrespectful conduct.
- Engage the parents in a partnership, working together toward the child's success. Establish communication methods early, and continue a regular exchange of information on classroom challenges and possible solutions.
- Promote positive interactions between students with intellectual disabilities and their classmates.
- Collaborate with other education professionals on an IEP or 504 learning plans that include short-term objectives and annual goals for the student with an intellectual disability. Regularly review the plan, and adjust it when needed.
- Develop a plan to manage behavioral challenges that can be common in children with intellectual disabilities. The key to success is using a consistent approach with positive behavioral reinforcement techniques.
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