Tuesday, May 21, 2013

PWS Awareness Day #21: Education

Many people have asked and ask now what Dean's path will be for education. Really, it is quite varied for people with PWS. Some are in general education classes all day with no aide, some in general ed. with an aide, some in special ed. and general ed. for different classes/periods, and some in self-contained special ed. Some families also homeschool, either because they do that with their other children or because they realize the complexity involved in educating a student with PWS in a typical school setting.

Some go on to graduate high school and even a smaller few from college. Some get specific vocational training and others get a regular ed. diploma. Like I said, there is a range of outcomes.

Aside from educational paths, factors that teachers, parents, and therapists have to consider together to help *any* child with PWS be successful in school are:
-food safety and security (some require just advance notice for use of food in the classroom, others advocate for no food at all in the classroom because of the level of anxiety it produces for the student with PWS)
-sensory needs and possible sensory breaks throughout the day,
-activity/alertness level because of excessive daytime sleepiness that is common in PWS,
-accommodations for learning style (obviously this is for any student at all, but people with PWS *tend to be* visual learners)
-need for adaptive equipment (Dean has a special chair he sits in that supports him so he doesn't have to try to do work while expending so much energy just to stay in his chair. He also has a slant board to give his eyes a rest and be able to see his work at eye level)
-assistance managing transitions (logistically or emotionally)
-assistance in/therapy for speech, fine motor (OT), or gross motor (PT) skills
-teacher/other staff's knowledge of medical aspects of PWS to look for
-supervision needed for food security (so the student does not steal food) and for safety (if needed on playground equipment, etc.)
and much more.


Candice said...

This has been such an interesting series. You probably won't be surprised to hear that much of this sounds like you could be describing Graham, or his unique needs. Thanks for raising awareness for persons with special needs!!

Ali Foley Shenk said...

Glad you have enjoyed the posts! And yes, it seems that a lot of the issues overlap with other syndromes and conditions. Crazy! I'm amazed at how similar they all can be and yet so different. Sometimes I find that because of his particular constellation of symptoms, Dean might have more in common with others who don't have PWS than with some who do!
Ali :)

Toni said...

This is cool!