A child with McDD needs an adapted environment that
offers emotional security and enough overview. The unpredictability
of the child needs to be restricted from the outside.
So, you need to be clear and limit the child if necessary.
When the emotions get control, the child needs help
to reorganise their thoughts.
It is very important that parents and teachers are savvy
about the difficult functioning of the child and that
they realise that this behaviour isn't there to make
their lifes difficult. The children themselves suffer
The activities are planned according to a fixed program
and have to be built fase-wise. First you start with
two persons (adult - child), whereafter they lead the
child through activities to occupation alone, followed
by activities together with another child under supervision
of an adult and next to activities together with other
There will always be some circumstances (parties, holidays,
...) that need an adaption of the program, which practically
means that you have to take a few steps backward.
It is important that educational programs are tailored
for children with some form of autism. Actually therefore
it would be better that children are being diagnosed
soon (about 4 year) so the educational program is adjusted
on their individual needs. They will have to find the
optimal didactical angle to get the education going.
Cognitive behaviour therapy can be very usefull here.
What the school can do for children with McDD (and of
course autism and other related disorders):
- a predictable study program
- a direct, steering educational environment
(do this, do it this way, etc.)
- a lot of structure:
- structure in time (dividing
of the day, order of tasks and lessons, occupations,
steering of the working tempo)
- structure in space (own place
to work, stimulus-free environment, every activity
its own place)
- structure in rules (rosters,
rules, walking routes, changes, reward, penalty)
- structure in tasks (use of material,
working to a result)
- structure in environment (attitude,
clear, predictable, consequent, neutral)
Also very important is to visualise what is asked. Always
use short clear and concrete sentences. If necessary,
repeat the message in the same way and give them time
and space to process the information. Point to the relevant
object (eg pictograms can be used as support).
Stay with the core of the task (no variations or extending).
Create smaller tasks, make them simple, decisively and
uniform. Make sure there are frequently moments for
entertainment and lower the tempo and the goals.
Because the children are quicker on their emotional
limits, it is the best thing to reduce impulses and
to accept that those children react different, quicker
and extremer than children without a developmental disorder.
A teacher will need the following skills to be able
to handle a child with a developmental disorder:
- individual treatment
- ensuring serenity and predictability
- understanding the specific behaviour
characteristics of the concerning child
- being able to apply visualisation
methods and adapting language
- creating structure in time, space
Also the school itself is responsible and has to take
care for a safe and predictable climate, inside and
also outside the classroom. Make agreements with the
child, so it knows what is suspected and suggest somebody
as a given contactpoint.
|© 2006 #McDD - realisation: