Helpful Techniques to Aid the Student with
Following are some suggestions given by Jacqueline Favish, M.Ed.,
TSA Chair for Patient/Family Services. Mrs. Favish, who has a
masters degree in Special Education, teaches learning disabled
and emotionally disturbed adolescents in a self-contained classroom.
in the Completion of Written Assignments in the Classroom and
For Standardized Tests
In multiple choice tests, where a word has to be written in, the student
may have great difficulty in writing out the words.
Assign numbers to each of the possible answers, so that the
student can simply write in a number for what he believes to
be the correct answer.
On maching-graded tests, where a student is to fill in boxes or color
in a slot, the student may have difficulty in staying on the line of the
question he is working on.
Have him use a ruler or a straight-edge to help carry his eye
across the page to whichever answer he chooses. He will then
color in that slot or box.
In tests where several lines or a paragraph must be read, the student
may have a problem in focusing visually on a question (this will vary a
great deal, depending on the extent of the student's disability).
Use an index card that has a "window" cut out, so that the
student will see only the one question he is dealing with at a
time. Then he can use the straight-edge as a guide for writing
in the answer. This technique eliminates the distraction created
by seeing other questions or reading material on the rest of the
page. As he works, he slides his "window" down the page
progressing from question to question.
For Non-Standardized Tests
Problems in Math Computations
Problems in dealing with space on the paper being used:
Each problem can be isolated on a section of the student's
workpaper. To promote this, fold an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet into
quarters or eighths. The student can then work on one problem
in each section. This allows him to attend to one specific problem
at a time and will help separate each unit of work so that
distractions are minimized.
Problems with use of space in working math problems:
For division and multiplication problems, use lined paper with the lines
turned vertically, so that each transaction can more easily be kept in
the appropriate columns. (Graph paper also works well for this. --
For the student who must have unrestricted time tests:
No matter what the standardized tests state, the student
with special problems (Tourette Syndrome is recognized as a
Developmental Disability and therefore qualifies for this
exception) is entitled by P1-94-142 to an
adjustment of time limits in the test-taking situation. When
unrestricted time has been allowed, this can be so noted on the
test paper by the teacher, perhaps in the following manner:
"Because of this student's confirmed diagnosis of a handicap, this test
was completed without time limitations."
When a student has a visual-motor problem, note-taking can
be very difficult. In addition, many Tourette Syndrome students
have arm and hand movements which interfere with writing, thus
creating additional problems.
The teacher can select one of the more capable, reliable
students in the class and supply carbon paper to enable that
student to make a simultaneous copy of his notes. (The
teacher could also make a quick photocopy herself. -- the
Webmaster) It is sometimes wise to tell this student
that the teacher needs a copy of the notes, rather than
identify the student with the visual-motor problems for whom
they are really intended.
This page based on a handout prepared and distributed by
TSA Greater Chicago Region, 5102 Oakton Street, Suite 117,
Skokie, IL 60077.