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Assisted Education: Lori’s Story, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 958

Essay

Lori has trouble sustaining concentration during lectures, which is why must be constantly that she needs to concentrate in order to maintain her focus. In order to overcome this barrier, Lori needs to develop the skill of being able to pay attention of what is happening in that very moment. One important support that could be used in this case would be to hire a note taker and making sure that Lori sits in a different seat every class for variety instead of the same monotonous routine. Worrying about of what will happen in the future causes her far too much stress, which is why she needs to be more cognizant and consciously attend to what she is doing and why as well as to feelings and emotions during class. This first barrier is referred to as hallucination, and Lori needs to develop her ability to manage her symptoms in a variety of ways. The first way is by having a study partner—engaging in peer tutoring whenever possible—in addition to using a Smart pen that has a built in recorder to ensure that she does not miss any important information in class. Smartpen devices are considered mid-tech devices that are useful at a minimal cost, unlike more high-tech devices. Smartpens are note-taking devices that can provide Lori with basic word-processing if she loses concentration in class or gets distracted.  Although smartpens are primarily useful for students with reading disabilities, they will also aid students like Lori who lose concentration quickly due to the fact that they use instruction strategies including audio feedback during lecture (Chmiliar, 2007). In addition, smartpens also retain the capacity to provide Lori with reminders such as “do not lose focus” or “remember to concentrate throughout” in order to keep Lori alert and engaged (Doughty et al., 2013). In order to promote on-task behavior, studies have shown that pairing Lori with an exemplary student as a learning partner will enhance her ability to concentrate in class. As a result of her inability to concentrate, it is feasible that Lori work with the school counselor in order to get extended due dates so that her anxiety levels are abated. Extant literature points to the need for students to promptly register to their school’s Office of Student Support Services and to give them comprehensive documentation of their learning disability in addition to concretely stating their necessities (Hadley, 2007). Informing counselors, peer tutors, and professors about Lori’s specific needs can enable pedagogues to teach her and manage her study skills, note-taking, and overall organization. Using smartpens as assistive technology for reading and note-taking will further enable Lori to focus, abate anxiety, and build stamina as she manages her academic load.

Lori has also noted that she has difficulty maintaining her stamina as a barrier, meaning she has very low energy while in class and the activities taking place therein. She  would thus benefit from learning and becoming self aware of when she grows increasingly restless.  Having a pre-arranged accommodation from the school’s student services office will help her enhance and maintain her stamina, as teaching Lori how to refocus in ways that are not disruptive will enable her to maintain stamina without disrupting the concentration of others (Hadlkey, 2007). In addition to breathing exercises that the teacher can lead the students in mid way through a class or lecture, a short walk or fresh breath of air will help Lori re-collect herself when feeling stressed or overwhelmed by what is going on around her. A natural support would be her teacher. Building relationship skills by establishing a positive, respectful and mutual relationship with her teacher will be beneficial. For example, letting her teacher know beforehand of the situation will help ease the anxiety feeling of disrupting the class. The teacher will understand and will allow Lori to step out of the classroom when necessary.  Because Lori has always wanted to be the best in the eyes of her parents, having the natural support of her loving family will enhance her performance within academic settings.

The third barrier is delusion, which causes Lori to focus on other peripheral matters rather than screening out environmental stimuli. Both friends and family can help her manage her symptoms and help her become more self-aware of when she gets distracted and tunes out the professor. In addition, the disability office and/or counselor can work with Lori develop her environmental control in various ways such as using voice-activated, computer-based systems. Doing so enables Lori to be able to identify what noises or environmental triggers cause her to lose focus and tune out her professor (Hadley, 2007). Once apprised of the situation, many professors give students like Lori extended due dates and/or allowing her to take exams in a quiet, more secluded area to ensure that external triggers do not detract from her ability to perform on an exam. While assistive technology does not provide a panacea for Lori’s struggles in the classroom, it enables her to compensate for her learning disability in order to demonstrate her intelligence and academic competency in the absence of various distractions. 

References

Blackhurst, A. (2005). Perspectives on applications of technology in the field of learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Quarterly, 28, 175-178

Chmiliar, L. (2007). Perspectives on assistive technology: What teachers, health professionals and speech language pathologists have to say. Developmental Disabilities Bulletin, 35(1), 1-17.

Doughty, T., Bouck, E., Bassette, L., Szwed, K. & Flanagan, S. (2013). Spelling on the fly: Investigating a pentop computer to improve the spelling skills of three elementary students with disabilities. Assistive Technology, 25, 166-175.

Hadley, W.M. (2007). The necessity of academic accommodations for first-year college stu-dents with learning disabilities. Journal of College Admissions, 195, 9-13.

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