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Posted on March 10, 2015 2:40 am
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uPaVuT
uPaVuT
Reps: 102
Special Education, Depression, or Defiance?
I have a student who has an identified Specific Learning Disability (SLD). At the beginning of the year, the student would put a minimal amount of effort into their work. I always followed accommodations and worked one-on-one as often as the classroom dynamics permitted. During the middle of the year, I had a student intern who worked solely with this student but the student's performance began decreasing and they were becoming more detached. After the student intern left, we had the student re-evaluated and it was determined they have a visual processing disorder in addition to their SLD. I saw hope after this news because I thought this was the answer to this student's lack of motivation and involvement. I went through all the modifications (and extra) for the visual processing disorder-still nothing. I contacted the mother and she has yet to return my phone calls, emails, and the Special Education teachers phone calls. I am at a loss on how to help this student. I recently ask them if they were happy and they simply shrugged. I asked if they knew a way that I could help them and again shrugged. The student will not make eye contact with me or other students, will not accept assistance from myself or others, and will only put their head down during class. I've never experienced a student this withdrawn in sixth grade. I can't figure it out if the student is struggling because of their special education needs, if they are being defiant, or if they are depressed.
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted March 10, 2015 3:22 am

udapum
udapum
Reps: 102
Before reaching this student, you may need to build a relationship with him/her. Try to find out some of the student's interests that are not related at all to school and build from there. If the student has completely shut down and is not open to your efforts, you may want to involve the school counselor. The counselor may also be able to get a better idea of the student's possible depression. Students are typically more likely to open up and show effort when they feel that their teachers are interested in getting to know them, beyond just their instructional level.
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Solution 2
Posted October 4, 2015 6:14 pm

ubuXes
ubuXes
Reps: 107
I would firstly make sure to keep the accommodations you made in place in case they decide to try to work. I would also try buddying them up with another student during the day because they may respond better to another student. Maybe if the student sees how focused their partner is they might decide to give their work another try. Talking with the school counselor would also be a good idea, maybe see if they can observe the student in the classroom setting and try working one-on-one with the student in their office to see what's going on with the student. They might also be able to find a way to talk to the parents and see what's happening.
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Solution 3
Posted March 13, 2015 3:31 pm

aqeRyR
aqeRyR
Reps: 101
With the lack of response or concern from the guardians at home, this in fact might be where the problem may lay. I would speak with the school counselor to see if whether or not there is something going on at home that they are aware of or if they have any past history information on this student. I would then enlist the help of a young and caring student leader in your classroom to reach out to the student during partner and group activities.
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Solution 4
Posted October 11, 2015 7:17 pm

uzyHeJ
uzyHeJ
Reps: 100
I agree with the first solution of building a relationship with the student that is not based on school. There is no telling what this student is going through at home and he probably needs someone to simply take an interest in his life. Let the student in on your life; your family, pets, hobbies, favorites, etc. so he can begin to feel comfortable with you and hopefully will begin to open up. I would encourage him to try on his work, however, don't let that be the main reason you are trying to build a relationship with him. Even if you don't see an academic or behavioral breakthrough, keep trying. Even in the upcoming years, continue to show an interest and build that relationship with him and it will eventually break through to his academics.
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Solution 5
Posted October 9, 2016 1:22 am

uVupuz
uVupuz
Reps: 100
I would get your team together and do a manifestation determination.
Start documenting everything. Ask the counselor to talk to the student and see if they can use their professional opinion to determine if the student is depressed or defiant. Talk to other members on your team and learn about other resources you can use to figure out the student's needs.
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