Suggested Strategies to Address Learning Weaknesses of Students with Spina Bifida, Sequencing -- SHNIC Educators Information

Students with spina bifida who have difficulty with attention, memory, or organization, may also have difficulty with sequencing, or keeping things in the correct order. They may have all of the parts of a procedure or activity, but not in the correct order. This can particularly impact their skills in the areas of math (i.e., completing a multi-step problem, making change, telling time, etc.) and written language (i.e., sequencing story events, writing a report, etc.). The following strategies are recommended for students with sequencing difficulties.

  • Provide specific activities that involve sequencing (i.e., cooking, dot-to-dot, ordering story events, ordering a comic strip) and work closely with the student to emphasize the importance of having the steps in the correct order.
  • Consistently emphasize the daily schedule and that each activity is done at a specific time and in a specific order.
  • Provide the student with a daily/weekly schedule and refer to it often. Have students check off each subject or activity as it is completed.
  • Start with simple multi-step instructions (2-3 steps) and gradually build up to lengthier instructions as the student's sequencing skills improve.
  • Instruct the student in the use of associative or mnemonic cues to help them recall the correct sequence.
  • Change the sequence of an everyday activity (i.e., sitting at the lunch table before getting their lunch) and have the student put the steps in the correct order. This can be done verbally and/or visually (using picture cards of the steps).

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