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Neurodiversity 2P

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Notes and reflections from Part 2. Working in partnerships with others

Introducing partnerships

Consider the different levels of partnership in the table below.

Informing     Partners (students, families, support staff) are informed of challenges and what the teacher is going to do about it. This information exchange is one-way and initiated and controlled by the teacher.  
Consultation  The opinions of partners (students, families, support staff) are invited but there is no assurance as to whether or not these opinions are being listened to.  
Placation     Partners (students, families, support staff) are apparently listened to and begin to share some degree of influence, though tokenism may be apparent at this level.    
Partnership – emerging  Partners (students, families, support staff)  are involved, consulted, and informed about classroom practices and plans to support the student’s learning. Decisions on these are negotiated as a result of discussion between all partners.  
Partnership – consolidated Negotiation leads to all partners (students, families, support staff) playing an equitable role in decision-making about the student’s learning plans and assessments .  
Adapted from Martin, S. (2006). Opportunities for parent partnership and advocacy in early years services in Ireland. New Zealand Research in Early Childhood Education, 9, 15-31
Partnering with students

Engaging with student voice

Partnering with families
Neurodiversity and cultural responsiveness
Responsiveness and flexibility

Think about a student in your classroom.

Partnering with teachers and other professionals  

Who are the other teachers and outside specialists involved in supporting the students in your classroom?

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Working alongside teacher aides

  

As you reflect on the following questions, estimate your answers in the form of a pie chart.   

  • How often are teacher aides working only with the neurodivergent student funded for teacher aide support?   
  • How often are they supporting that neurodivergent student in smaller groups?   
  • How often are they engaging with other students that need learning support instead of just the student funded for the teacher aide support?  
  • How often are they supporting neurotypical students so that you as the teacher can work with the neurodivergent student funded for teacher aide support?  
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Class profile activity

In the last part of the course, you began applying some of your understandings about neurodiversity to a consideration of the variation between students in your class. In this part, we want you to focus in on two or three students and create individual student profiles for them. This means looking in a bit more depth at particular learners and gives you the opportunity to gain the perspectives of students, their families, and the other professionals who work with them on their learning strengths and needs. A student profile should be holistic and extensive. While we provide a template below, feel free to add extra rows and columns so that you are able to collect the information that is important. These student profiles can include a student’s personal information, hobbies, family information, likes, dislikes, triggers, dreams, interests in and out of school, priorities, and so on.  

Start by sharing this template with the student, their whānau, and others that you think have knowledge of the student. It is possible that some people will be willing just to write on the form. For other people, you will have to think about how best to access their perspective – through a personal conversation, a student interview, emails, or phone calls. You might also have to describe the kinds of skills and difficulties you are interested in learning about – how does the student find listening to verbal instruction in the class, for example? How independent does the family feel they are at completing homework, or organising themselves for school? 

AreaStrengths Areas needing support 
Language and Literacy
Numeracy
Fine motor 
Gross motor 
Behaviour (attention, regulation, emotions, organisational skills etc)
Specific Interests 
Dreams and priorities
Others
Student A
AreaStrengths Areas needing support 
Language and Literacy
Numeracy
Fine motor 
Gross motor 
Behaviour (attention, regulation, emotions, organisational skills etc)
Specific Interests 
Dreams and priorities
Others
Student B
AreaStrengths Areas needing support 
Language and Literacy
Numeracy
Fine motor 
Gross motor 
Behaviour (attention, regulation, emotions, organisational skills etc)
Specific Interests 
Dreams and priorities
Others
Student C

When you have collected the perspectives of the student and one or two other people, review what you have learned.

You might like to return to the Class Profile that you created in Part 1 and add in any new insights that you have now. 

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