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

Keeping things organized is a common problem for students with spina bifida. This is a difficulty that will obviously impact a student's school performance, since she may continually lose or misplace materials, books, assignments, and homework. A lot of time is wasted searching through notebooks and backpacks that are not well organized and stuffed with papers and materials. Improved organizational skills can be facilitated with the following strategies.

  • Model organization for your student by keeping your own area and materials neat and well organized.
  • Provide direct instruction and physical assistance with organizing a notebook. Be vigilant in helping the student to maintain the order of her notebook and materials once it has been established.
  • Reduce verbal explanations and provide simple, concrete instructions.
  • Reduce the amount of materials used at one time.
  • Teach the student to think about the materials needed prior to an activity.
  • Provide the student with a written list of materials that will be needed for each activity throughout the day.
  • Provide times throughout the school day that students can use to organize their materials (i.e., before lunch, after recess).
  • Provide adequate transition time between activities.
  • Establish a routine.
  • Minimize materials kept in the student's desk.
  • Provide the student with an organizational checklist and instruction in how to use it.
  • Provide structure for all academic activities.
  • Assign only one task at a time.
  • Reinforce the student for being organized, prepared with appropriate materials and locating completed assignments and homework quickly.

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