Strategies for Learning and Teaching

  • Structure the environment to reduce excessive sensory stimulation to a level that the student can cope with. The student with fragile X will respond positively to a calm, quiet classroom environment.
  • Provide the student with some freedom to move about the room and have times off-task when necessary.
  • Avoid, if possible, placement in a class of students with behaviour difficulties or emotional disturbance and/or behavioural problems.
  • Seat the student away from others in his/her own personal space.
  • Establish and maintain a consistent routine and ensure that the student knows what to expect and what is required during the day.
  • Appropriate coping and self-regulation strategies may be directly taught for the student to use when he/she feels himself/herself becoming over-aroused.
  • Be aware of the particular antecedent events that trigger inappropriate behaviours and plan to avoid them or to offer special help to cope if upsets are unavoidable.
  • The student may need a high level of individual assistance to complete tasks. The adult assisting should be quiet, calm and as unobtrusive as possible, avoiding touch and eye contact to decrease distraction levels for the student.
  • Avoid direct pressures (e.g. time limits, questions in front of others, eye contact or insistence on collaboration) on the student as these can be counterproductive.
  • Utilise the student’s preference for practical tasks, physical activity and visual learning within the learning situation.
  • The student may find writing difficult, so alternative recording methods may need to be explored (e.g. computer/specifically differentiated worksheets where less writing is required).
  • Modelling and imitation should be utilised for both behavioural and communication skills.
  • Mathematics can be presented in a visual and tactile manner with manipulatives, and experiential learning contexts can be used that are related to real-life experiences.
  • Board games and computers may be utilised for turn taking, communication, social interaction and the development of fine-motor skills.
  • Where possible verbal instructions should be accompanied by visuals or a practical demonstration.

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