Children with severe and multiple disabilities have difficulty improving the motor function of their hands and fingers. Most likely this is due to delays in their motor, sensory and cognitive development. In the present study, teaching materials with different conditions of proprioceptive feedback were used repeatedly, and changes on the orientation and coordination of the participants' finger motions were examined. The participants were 4 boys between 8 and 11 years old, with severe and multiple disabilities, who were enrolled in a special school for students with physical disabilities. As a result of an analysis of the movements of their upper limbs and fingers when they did a task of pulling a cylinder or other object, the children were classified into several categories. The results were significantly different depending on the condition, suggesting that the type of feedback influenced the direction of upper limb movements and the coordination of finger motions. In the condition with proprioceptive feedback, the number of forceful movements increased, so this may be one of the most useful methods for teaching finger motions. The present results suggest a method for teaching children with severe and multiple disabilities. In the future, the findings of this study need to be confirmed with other children.
The present study investigated the possibilities and challenges of interactions in which a child in an elementary school special needs class participated in activities with children from a regular class. A 9-year-old girl who was the only child in a special needs class designated for children with intellectual disabilities invited children from a regular 4th grade class to join her for games and other activities during the lunch period. The girl chose the specific games and method of interaction, and selected 4 of the 22 students in the regular 4th grade to join her for the activities. The joint activities were conducted 6 times during a 6-month period, during the children's lunch breaks. The girl completed questionnaires before, during, and after playing with the pupils from the regular class, and a video record was made of her activities when she was interacting with them. The special class teacher also completed a questionnaire evaluating the results. It was observed that the girl's participation did not affect interactions with the children in the regular class. Furthermore, as the interactions continued, the children expressed their feelings. From analyses of ratings of the videotapes done by observers and the special class teacher, and of the questionnaires, it appeared that this was a fulfilling method of interaction for the girl. This result suggests that the content and method of interactions could be decided and implemented by a student with intellectual disabilities, and that the activities were effective. Furthermore, it appeared that, by providing pre-guidance and post- guidance for the joint activities, the child's goals and motivation for learning could be aroused.
The present study reports an intervention with a female student with mild intellectual disabilities who faced adolescent developmental tasks and had mental health problems. Special needs teachers and a school psychologist gave her support during a 3-year period from junior high to high school. The student initially complained of anxiety about harming others. The process of support, however, revealed that she had conflicts about adolescent developmental tasks such as peer relationships and self-identity. Therefore, her teachers and the school psychologist worked together to provide consultation and support; they encouraged self-expression, managed her relationships with her peers, and suggested methods for changing her mood. After that intervention, she said that she no longer had anxiety about harming others, and she also expressed herself more candidly and improved her relationships with her classmates. Based on the positive changes reported by the participant in this study, interprofessional collaboration should be employed when offering comprehensive support to students with mild intellectual disabilities experiencing psychological difficulties.
The present study implemented an on-the-job training program for teachers at a special needs education school for children with physical disabilities that was based on teacher collaboration. The purpose of the program was for the teachers to learn how to design individual teaching plans for Jiritsu Katsudo, a specialized field in the national curriculum of special needs schools in Japan. Effects of the program were examined. The participants were 8 teachers with 2 to 3 years of experience, and 6 teachers with 13 to 35 years of experience. The training program was conducted several times in the form of practical training for groups of homeroom teachers. Its effects were examined with questionnaires completed by the participating teachers and interviews with them. Analysis of these data revealed that (a) it was possible for the teachers to learn how to design individual teaching plans and, in turn, understand each child's actual condition by participating in this on-the-job training, (b) it was possible to deepen the teachers' understanding of target children by having them visualize and organize information based on the procedure provided, and (c) it was possible for the teachers to understand a child's circumstances from various perspectives. In the future, the time burden for participants should be reduced (the participants pointed this out as an issue), and various processes should be discussed, such as implementing the program in classes and continuing to evaluation and improvement.
The present study examined the effectiveness of interventions that corresponded to the types of social skill deficits shown by the participants, who were children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study used a multiple baseline design across settings. The settings were a special needs classroom and a regular classroom in an elementary school. The participants were 2 fourth-grade boys who had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. One of them had acquisition deficits; the other, performance deficits. The behavior measured was holding their head up, rather than looking down, when the teacher was speaking, and playing with items on the desk, such as pencils and erasers, when the teacher was explaining lessons. The interventions were, for both boys, social skills training (SST) in the special needs classroom and, for the participant who had performance defıcits, self-monitoring in the regular classroom. The results demonstrated that the social skills training in the special needs classroom resulted in improvement in the target behavior of the student with acquisition defıcits, whereas self-monitoring in the regular classroom resulted in improvement in the target behavior of the student with performance defıcits. It was suggested that interventions corresponding to the observed type of skill deficit may be effective for addressing social skills problems in children with autism spectrum disorder.
The present study reports creation of a case-analysis system based on a team-initiated problem solving (TIPS) framework for school-wide positive behavior support to assist students who had poor attendance at a junior high school for students with special needs, and analysis of effects of the system. To facilitate support planning based on positive behavior support, a process of sharing appropriate behavior was incorporated into the case-analysis process, in addition to the teaminitiated problem solving framework. The data used to evaluate the effects of the system were the students' attendance records and the content of the case-analysis sheets. Additionally, the 30 participating teachers completed a questionnaire. The results indicated that many of the support plans created during the case analyses had been implemented, many of the goals had been achieved, and the school attendance of 3 of the 5 target students had improved. The system was maintained in the subsequent academic year. In that year, the 3 students who had earlier shown improvement further increased their school attendance. In addition, many teachers evaluated the case-analysis system positively. These results suggest that this case-analysis system is effective as a support system for students with poor attendance at a school for students with special needs.