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Special Needs Chart


From Montessori and the Special Child
by R.C. Orem

"Children may have special needs in one or more of these areas. A few types of problems are given under each area. Some Montessori-oriented approaches, methods and materials that have proved helpful.

Visual impairment, hear impairment, chronic health problems

Multisensory approach to learning, visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, ect., sensory education, use of concrete materials, “isolation of difficulty” in materials, stimuli of sufficient intensity; analysis of sounds, graded quantities and qualities of materials, prepared environment, development of child’s latent capacities, removal of obstacles to child’s development, elements of “science of child care”, education as “aid to life”, attention to child’s formative period and physical development, natural laws of development followed

Lack of perceptual proficiency Education for observation

Exercises to develop accuracy and speed in perception, exercises in isolation of the senses, practice in comparing and classifying, use of the three-period lesson, perceptual training linked with motor activity and language development, shild as explorer, making discoveries in his environment, Children’s House rich in sensory experience

Poor posture, coordination, dexterity, and motor skills Motor education; analysis of movements

Education of orderly movement, exercises to improve breathing, walking etc., development of positive body imagery, mastery of movement; precision in movement, liberty of pupil; work on floor, furniture adapted to child’s physique, outdoor activity, manual work, creative arts, manipulatable materials, "exercises of practical life”

Difficulty with abstractions, Limited powers of association, Reasoning, judgement Sensorimotor education as foundation

Language fostered systematically, concrete materials; bead math material, much inductive learning, brief, simple, clear lessons, verbal stimuli not overemphasized, simple-to-complex sequences, much practice in making discrimations, control of error in materials, didactic objects as “materialized abstraction”, reality-oriented education, children learn from each other (three-year age span in class), repeating of exercises as needed

Difficulties in speech, reading, and writing

Program of specific excersises of language development, guiding of growth in language during early, formative years, speech problems detected and worked with in preschool period, teaching of exact vocabulary, extensive preparation for writing and reading, sandpaper letters, movable alphabets, and other materials employed, child’s “absorbent mind” and “sensitive period” for language acquition exploited, grammar taught early and indirectly, children encouraged to communicate with each other and with teacher, careful attention given tot eacher’s speech, children stage little dramas

Negative attitudes, history of failure Teaching of success

Preparation and practice leading to achievement, cooperation, not competition, child proceeds at own pace, individuality respected, satisfaction in work, range of task difficulty, patient teacher, spontaneity encouraged, confidence stemming from competence, some mastery of environment gained, intrinsic motivation

Emotional and social, maladjuctment, aggression; withdrawal,

Ground rules in environment, liberty withing limits, discipline through activity, habits of work and order encouraged, normalization of child as goal, concern for child’s psychic life, “cohesion in the social unit”—children help each other,external organization aids internal order, lesson of silence, study of childhood mentality, observation of individual child, rational education to decrease pschic maladies, self-discipline

Limited grooming and self-care skills,distractability

Children helped to help themselves, exercises to promote self-reliance, independence encouraged, interesting materials furnish motives of activity, opportunity to complete cycles of activity, nonintervention by teacher, exercises in concentration, “love of work” promoted, self-direction

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