Organizational Strategies for Children with Special Needs

Visual Cues Labeling: Dishwasher
Situation: 

I’ve tried teaching my son how to empty dishwasher. He does a good job when I talk him through it, but if I’m not standing right there, he just piles everything on the counter or puts stuff in the wrong place. I’m not sure if he is just being lazy or if he really doesn’t understand the task. How can I help him be more independent and accurate?

Visual Cues Labeling: Laundry
Situation: 

Whenever I bring a basket full of clean clothes into my son’s room and ask him to put his clothes away, he begins to yell “I can’t do this.” How can I help my son to better understand the chore and do it independently?

High School Organization Binder
Situation: 

I have a student in my Algebra class who participates and can do the work but his organization and writing is so poor he has difficulty studying for tests. I’ve tried using the computer, getting him folders but to no avail, what can I do to help him?

Graphic Organizer to Build Vocabulary-Frayer Model
Situation: 

I am a middle school Learning Support teacher and have 2 very bright students (above average IQ) with Asperger’s Syndrome that surprisingly have a tough time understanding some of the words or concepts in our reading selections, even though their expressive vocabulary seems pretty “profession-like” at times.  Any ideas of how I can build their receptive vocabulary?

Peer Checker
Situation: 

I have a student who is pretty disorganized and I always have to spend time with him before and after each math class to make sure he has his assignment, materials or homework etc.  He is in 5th grade and I really think kids at this age should be able to do this on their own.  His special education teacher feels he needs additional support to get himself organized but it is hard to do this when I have 28 other students in my class.  Any ideas?

Locker Organization Skills
Situation: 

I have a student who frequently comes to class without her textbook. If she remembers her book, she’ll ask to go back to her locker for her folder. She always seems to be forgetting some necessary material which means she’s missing valuable class time by returning to her locker so much. How can I help her remember to bring everything she needs to class?

Green Dot to Red Dot: Visual Chunking Strategy to Teach Classwork Independence
Situation: 

One of the students in my Learning Support class requires prompting and reassurance for every problem on his math worksheet.  I want him to complete tasks more independently but he is constantly asking me for help or if his answer is correct.  I can’t work with other students who also need my help with all of these interruptions.  Do you have any suggestions?

Homework Bin: A Labeled Place to Turn In Assignments
Situation: 

I have a very bright student with Asperger Syndrome included in my general education math class who never turns in his homework.  When I talked with his mother about the situation, she insisted he always completes his homework and puts it in his backpack to bring to school the next day.  Sure enough, when I checked his bag, there was a bunch of homework assignments, completed but never turned in!  He wasn’t able to explain why he never gave me the homework and questioning him just upset him further.  The students know to drop their homework on my desk as they enter the class but I always remind them as they come in anyway.  What can I do to help him remember to give me his completed work?

Graphic Organizer Tools for Writing
Situation: 

My very bright 13 year old granddaughter has a great deal of trouble putting her thoughts down on paper. She has ADD and makes excellent grades but when it comes to answering a question that requires her to write down her thoughts, she has a very hard time. It can take her hours to write just a sentence or two. Once on a test at school, she simply wrote nothing. She did fine on the rest of the test but not on the writing requirement. This happens both at school and home. What can I do to help my granddaughter be more able to put her thoughts into writing?

Line Up List
Situation: 

I work with older students who always fight about who is first in line. Our transitions are difficult to begin with but this makes it even worse. Do you have any suggestions?