Student Services

Case Study

Towards Inclusion: A Handbook for Individualized Programming Designation, Senior Years

Introduction

Case studies 1, 2 and 3 on the following pages demonstrate when the I programming designation is used, and provide examples of highly individualized learning experiences that are functionally appropriate and outlined in the ITP format.

All ITPs include a life skills performance profile and a vocational performance profile.

The life skills performance profile outlines the student's current level of performance, as well as goals in the basic areas in which development is essential for making a successful transition from school to adult living.

Programming areas noted in this profile include

  • communication skills
  • behaviour skills
  • social interaction skills
  • personal care skills
  • domestic skills
  • functional academic skills (reading and mathematics)
  • motor/mobility skills
  • community functioning skills
  • community access

The vocational performance profile outlines the student's current level of performance in specific areas related to vocational functioning in the community.

Programming areas noted in this profile include

  • vocational preferences
  • work history

From this information, the following two plans are created

  • vocational training plan
  • residential living plan

Case Study 1

Background

John is a 17-year-old student with cerebral palsy, a severe seizure disorder, and a significant cognitive disability. He attends the local Senior Years school, where he is registered as a Senior 3 student.

As with many students who have significant cognitive disabilities, John has a large programming team, which includes both in-school personnel and support team personnel. Members of John's team include his parents, the school principal, a resource teacher, teaching assistant(s), speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, administrator of special education, special education consultant, and family services worker.

The primary purpose of the programming team is to create individualized programming to meet John's unique learning requirements. This is outlined within his ITP.

Individual Transition Plan

John's ITP contains information about his life skills performance and vocational performance.

Life Skills Performance Profile

  • Communication skills: John currently communicates through behaviour. The goal is for John to communicate his needs through the use of an object-based system.
  • Behaviour skills: John currently is cooperative, although he sometimes drops to the floor when he is upset. The goal is to reduce John's opportunities to drop to the floor by teaching him to sit in a chair.
  • Social interaction skills: John has limited interaction skills. The goal is to increase John's awareness of the people around him, for example, through the use of a circle of friends.
  • Personal care skills: John demonstrates partial independence in personal care skills, such as feeding, dressing, grooming, and using the toilet. Goals in this area include increasing John's independence in using a spoon, his tolerance to face washing, and his ability to assist with undressing.
  • Domestic skills: John is totally dependent in the area of domestic skills.
  • Functional academic skills: John demonstrates understanding of object permanence and cause and effect. The goal in this area is to have John match objects to activities of daily living.
  • Motor/mobility skills: John is ambulatory, but unsteady on his feet. He uses a wheelchair for long distances. The goal is to maintain his ability to walk short distances.
  • Community functioning skills: John is involved in a community-based program, and participates in a number of environments both in and out of the school. The goal is to have John learn appropriate behaviour in a variety of community environments that his parents have identified.
  • Community access: John requires total supervision on all modes of transportation.

Vocational Performance Profile

  • Vocational preferences: John does not show any vocational preferences.
  • Work history: John has participated in pre-vocational activities within the school environment.
  • Vocational training plan: John will be attending the local adult day program, which provides a combination of vocational activities and recreation/leisure activities. His name was put on the entry list last year to ensure that a placement will be open upon his graduation.
  • Residential living plan: John will be living in a duplex, with the family occupying one half of the residence. Access to funds and support personnel are required to support this plan.
Implementation of Individualized Programming

John's in-school team has created an individualized schedule to ensure that his ITP goals are being worked on each day. An inclusive, functional approach is used in John's programming. He participates in both school and age-appropriate community environments. The targeted environments will meet his learning needs and provide inclusive opportunities for him. His parents and the programming team expect that John will graduate with his age-appropriate peers. This is the group of students with whom he has been included since the beginning of his school career, and who are actively involved as his circle of friends. John will graduate with an I programming designation on his diploma.


Case Study 2

Background

Susan is a 16-year-old student with Down syndrome and a significant cognitive disability. She attends the Senior Years school in her rural Manitoba community, where she is registered as a Senior 2 student.

Susan is a student within a life skills program. Her individualized programming was developed by a large and varied programming team, which includes both in-school and support team personnel. Members of Susan's programming team are her parents, the school vice-principal, a resource teacher, teaching assistant(s), guidance counsellor, industrial arts, social studies, computer, and physical education teachers, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, special education coordinator, and family services worker.

The primary purpose of the programming team is to create individualized programming to meet Susan's unique learning needs in both school and community environments. This is outlined within her ITP.

Individualized Transition Plan

Susan's ITP contains information about her life skills performance and vocational performance.

Life Skills Performance Profile

Communication skills: Susan currently communicates primarily through speech using a supplemental communication book with picture symbols when she requires it.

The long-term goals are to have Susan

  • continue to expand her receptive and expressive vocabulary to meet her functional needs
  • use socially appropriate conversation patterns in her daily school and work activities

Social interaction skills: Susan is generally cooperative, pleasant, and socially active with peers and adults in her environment. However, she has difficulty expressing frustration, at times displaying resistance to tasks and inappropriate familiarity with strangers.

The long-term goals are to have Susan

  • use appropriate problem-solving and choice-making strategies
  • handle meetings with strangers
  • increase her independence

Personal care skills: Susan demonstrates independence in basic personal care skills such as eating, dressing, grooming, and using the toilet. She is beginning to participate in a fitness program.

The long-term goals are to have Susan

  • extend independence in dressing to include considerations of comfort, appropriate fit, and dressing for the weather
  • achieve basic wardrobe maintenance skills
  • achieve basic facial and body skin care
  • follow through with a daily exercise program

Domestic skills: Susan is able to prepare lunches and snacks independently. She clearly states her food likes and dislikes.

The long-term goals are to have Susan

  • increase her meal preparation skills
  • increase her ability to make appropriate choices of nutritional foods
  • increase her meal planning and shopping skills
  • participate in the industrial arts class

Functional academic skills: Susan has a basic knowledge of coins and bills, addition and subtraction, and the use of a calculator. She has a Grade 2 reading level, and applies her reading skills through her daily activities. Susan is able to write her name cursively and use writing functionally for simple tasks.

The long-term goals are to have Susan

  • increase her calculator accuracy, speed, and ease of use
  • increase her functional reading vocabulary derived from current environments
  • increase opportunities to use her writing for functional tasks
  • develop her time management skills

Community functioning skills: Susan goes for walks independently around her family's farm. Her program is community-based, and she participates in a number of environments, both in and out of school. Some of the environments in which Susan participates with supervision are the grocery store(s), church, local restaurant(s), relatives' homes, and the community centre. The goal is to have Susan learn appropriate behaviour and skills to function in a variety of community environments that have been identified by her parents and in-school team.

Community access: Susan requires supervision in all modes of transportation.

Vocational Performance Profile

Vocational preferences: Susan has stated an interest in the areas of foods, gardening, and recycling.

Work history: Susan has participated in pre-vocational activities within the school environment. She has also participated in school work sites (cafeteria), recycling, and the community-sheltered workshop (one-half day a week).

Vocational training plan: Susan will continue her vocational training at the community workshop. She will also participate in a community work site (one-half day a week at a local gardening centre). Her performance will be monitored and evaluated. The in-school team will explore other possible community work sites upon evaluation.

Residential living plan: Susan's parents have stated that she will determine whether she wishes to live at home or in a group home. To enable Susan to make a knowledgeable choice, she will begin to participate in sleep-overs at camps and a group home for specified times. Her name has been put on the waiting list to ensure a placement upon graduation.

Implementation of Individualized Programming

Susan's in-school team has created an individualized schedule to ensure that her ITP goals are being worked on each day. Support personnel have been identified for assistance in implementation. Her parents would like Susan to continue in school until she is 20 or 21. Ongoing evaluation will determine Susan's progress and achievements. Evaluation procedures are based on observation, portfolio work, and teaching assistant logs. Susan's programming is an inclusive, functional approach. She will participate in a variety of school environments (social studies, physical education, industrial arts) and community environments. Susan will graduate with an I programming designation on her diploma.


Case Study 3

Background

Michael is a 16-year-old student with autism, a seizure disorder, and a significant cognitive disability. He attends a Senior Years school in a town approximately 35 kilometres from his home town.

Michael has a programming team that includes his in-school team and a support team. Members of Michael's programming team are his parents, the school principal, a resource teacher, paraprofessional, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, special education coordinator, special education consultant, and family services worker.

The primary purpose of the programming team is to create individualized programming to meet Michael's unique learning needs. This is outlined in his ITP.

Individual Transition Plan

Michael's ITP contains information about his life skills performance and vocational performance.

Life Skills Performance Profile

Communication skills: Michael can make choices by pointing to one of two colour photographs in a two-photo display. He uses a variety of non-symbolic communication modes (such as gestures, body movement, and vocalization) to express a narrow range of needs and wants.

The goals for developing Michael's communication program are to continue to develop his ability to make choices using a wider array of photographs, and to broaden the range of needs and wants he is capable of expressing using both symbolic and non-symbolic communication modes.

Behaviour skills: Michael does best when he understands the purpose and sequence of events in a task. Visual input in the form of objects or photographs is a useful supplement to spoken language when instructing him. Challenging behaviours typically occur at transition points in his day or when expectations are not clear. Prior to the onset of a seizure, he may wander aimlessly; after a seizure, he usually sleeps for two to three hours.

The goals regarding Michael's behaviour are to prepare him for transition points in his day and to sensitize people who come into contact with him about his behaviour before and after he experiences a seizure.

Social interaction skills: Michael has limited social interaction skills. He appears to enjoy being in the presence of familiar adults and peers but seldom initiates contact with them. He enjoys looking at farm implement catalogues with the paraprofessional; in this context, they take turns flipping pages and identifying pictures.

The goals for Michael's social interaction skills include increasing the number of social contacts he initiates and expanding his existing skills into new settings.

Personal care skills: Michael is able to participate in most tasks, with varying degrees of support.

The goals for Michael's personal care skills involve enabling him to perform more tasks with a greater degree of independence and to transfer the skills he has in one setting to other settings.

Domestic skills: Michael is able to participate in some domestic tasks. If a task is highly motivating, such as preparing a peanut butter sandwich, he is able to perform most steps with minimal assistance if the materials are laid out on the counter in front of him.

The goals for Michael's domestic skills focus on increasing the number of activities he can perform and increasing his level of independent functioning in tasks he can perform with assistance from others.

Functional academic skills:

  • In language arts, Michael looks at farm implement catalogues and journals depicting personal experiences represented by colour photographs. He listens to familiar stories and enjoys watching videos.
  • In mathematics, Michael is beginning to use money envelopes (envelopes with a colour photograph of the item to be purchased on the outside and the exact amount of money required to purchase it on the inside) to make single-item purchases. He uses a calendar box with real objects to manage his daily activities.

The goals for Michael's functional academic skills continue to focus on developing practical skills. In language arts, Michael will use experience books to help prepare him for transitions. In mathematics, he will continue to develop his ability to handle money and manage a daily schedule.

Motor/mobility skills: Michael walks with an awkward gait. His fine motor development is delayed significantly. With sufficient practice, however, he is usually able to perform most tasks with an acceptable degree of accuracy. Adaptation is necessary for some equipment (for example, he uses an adapted bicycle).

The goals for Michael's motor/mobility skills focus on improving his ability to perform daily tasks across a variety of domains.

Community functioning skills: Michael is familiar with his home town and is well-known in the community. He enjoys walking in the community and is learning to use his adapted bicycle. An adult or peer always accompanies him during his community outings. He does not have the same level of familiarity with the town in which his school is located.

The goals for Michael's community functioning skills focus on increasing his familiarity with the town in which his school is located.

Community access: Michael requires someone to accompany him at all times when out in the community.

Vocational Performance Profile

Vocational preferences: Michael has not indicated any specific vocational preference. Work experience in a recycling facility demonstrated his interest in such activities as crushing cans, sorting bottles, and separating papers.

Work history: Michael has carried out classroom and school jobs such as delivering milk and cleaning blackboards. He has had some pre-vocational work experience in the school. He enjoys helping his father in the machine shed.

Vocational training plan: Michael will attend the local recycling facility twice a week to perform tasks already within his repertoire and to learn new tasks. He will also perform vocational activities within the school setting.

Residential living plan: There are no group homes in the community in which Michael and his family live. Although Michael's parents believe that group home living is a potential option for him, they are uncertain about whether they want him to live far away from their community.

Implementation of Individualized Programming

Michael's in-school team has created an individualized schedule to ensure that his ITP goals are being worked on each day. Support staff, materials, and implementation strategies have been identified. Instruction occurs in a variety of settings in and out of the school, depending on Michael's learning requirements and goals.

Michael will likely stay in school until he turns 21. He will participate in the graduation ceremony with his peers and receive an I programming designation on his diploma.