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REACH - Reaching to educate all children for heaven

The REACH (Reaching to Educate All Children for Heaven) initiative provides teachers with resources, training, and ongoing support.

Inclusion in Elementary

Social Concerns

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SOCIAL
May demonstrate excellent memory skills
May seem like the “little professor” and have extraordinary skills in various areas—science, math, drawing, music, history, social studies, map knowledge, etc.
Frequently do not like surprise changes to the daily schedule or routine
May have difficulty maintaining eye contact
May become overly focused on a particular object, topic—obsessive interests
May have hard time transitions form one activity to another
Higher levels of anxiety compared to peers
May insist on sameness of activities or surroundings
May seem rigid in wanting things to go their way
May be content to be alone
May be very literal—generally don’t participate in “pretend” games
May have difficulty interacting with peers
COMMUNICATION
May have a hard time interpreting facial cues or body language
May have delayed speech and language skills
May repeat words, phrases, lines from a movie or story, etc.
Conversations can be one-sided or focused mainly on their interest area
Frequently have difficulty with reciprocity in communication—the give and take of conversation
SENSORY PROCESSING
May not respond to their name when called
Often have over sensitive or under-sensitive sensory processing systems
May have unusual reactions (over-/under-sensitivity) to the way things sound, taste, smell, look, and feel
May lack fine motor coordination which affects output on paper—poor handwriting, difficulty putting thoughts/ideas on paper
May lack physical coordination skills—awkward gait or physical movement
May have visual fascination with lights or movements
Frequently has difficulty regulating own emotions—gets unexpectedly angry or have emotional outbursts that seem extreme for the setting or situation
May flap hands, rock body, spin in circles, walk on toes
May avoid or resist physical contact

Social Concerns

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SOCIAL
Provide a written daily schedule or agenda for the day
Use a schedule with pictures for younger children
Create predictable classroom routines and procedures
Give advanced notice of changes to the daily schedule/routines/absence of teacher, etc.
Help student practice using eye contact— begin with short times and build up
COMMUNICATION
Model conversation skills
Model listening skills, body language
Teach peers to prompt specific skills—ask for turn, initiate verbal interaction, face your friend when talking, etc.
Model self-talk as often as possible
Use pictures of facial expressions to help recognize emotions and nonverbal cues of others
Role-play use of language to engage with others — how to greet someone, how to join in play, the back and forth of conversation
Get student’s attention before giving directions — call name, touch shoulder, tap desk, etc.
SENSORY
Provide a quiet place in the classroom for the student to de-stress
Try sensory soothing bins to lower stress — dried lentils, rice, water beads, play-dough
Use headphones for quiet
se a study carrel for seatwork to block out distractions as needed
Provide movement breaks — carry a box to the office, take a note, get a drink
Allow a wiggle cushion to sit on or a bouncy band for feet/legs

REACH (Reaching to Educate All Children for Heaven)

The REACH initiative provides teachers with resources, training, and ongoing support. Inclusive classrooms embrace students with disabilities in general education curricula and benefit students socially and academically without facing the stigma of segregation.