Motivating Strategies and Promoting Good Behavior
- My research has shown that children with Down Syndrome do not always understand the concept of classroom boundaries. Susan is a child who does not always understand that during class time we stay in our seats, and she likes to wander off. It is important that I teach these boundaries within the first few weeks of the school year. I will do this by walking Susan around the classroom a couple of times a day and pointing out the boundaries we have set up in the classroom. Research has also shown that a child with Down Syndrome learns from repetition and visual cues so after a few weeks of this Susan will start to automatically respond to this strategy.
- Susan has a hard time focusing on tasks and assignments and needs a lot of direction. It is important that I repeat instructions and use short sentences when doing this so that Susan understands. I need to get down to Susan's eye level and speak to her face to face so she can read my lip patterns. I need to also only give one instruction at a time. If I don't do this it will be hard for Susan to process everything that I am saying and I will not be successful. Every time Susan follows through with my instruction I need to use encouraging words to let Susan know that she is doing a great job. For instance "Awesome listening ears Susan!" or "Thank you for listening to me."
- Susan is a visual learner who responds best to things she can see. I think setting up a "Cinderella Reward Chart" will help Susan to see her good behavior and encourage her to keep up with the good behavior. Each time Susan models good behavior she gets to put a Disney sticker on her chart and when she gets five she gets to wear a princess tiara for the afternoon.