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Suggested Strategies to Address Learning Weaknesses of Students with Spina Bifida, Decision Making and Problem Solving -- SHNIC Educators Information

Students with spina bifida who have memory, attentional, organizational, and sequencing difficulties will mostly likely also have decision making and problem solving difficulties. Making a decision involves choosing from multiple options. Solving a problem involves applying previously learned information or experiences to a new situation to come up with a solution to a new problem. Some suggestions for improving skills in this area are listed below.

  • Give the student plenty of opportunities to practice decision making by offering them multiple options (i.e., Do you want to read a story, do seat work, or work at a station?" "Do you want juice, milk or water for a snack?").
  • Always pair actions with consequences or outcomes so that the student begins to realize that certain consequences are related to each decision that she makes.
  • Model appropriate decision making and problem solving skills within the classroom.
  • Help the student make a written list of steps involved in problem solving and encourage her to refer to it throughout the process.
  • Provide practice in problem solving using role playing activities.
  • Provide direct instruction in cause and effect relationships.
  • Have the student verbalize the reason for real life outcomes.

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