Using Natural Supports in the Classroom for Students with Disabilities
By: MaryAnn Demchak
- Use peers to provide support as a model, helper, tutor, friend, reader, etc.
- Develop a circle of friends for the student with severe disabilities so that his/her friends are providing support when and as needed.
- Use the special education aide/assistant to help all students in the classroom. Avoid having the aide/assistant focus all attention on the student with disabilities to avoid being viewed as only that student's aide/assistant. Having the aide/assistant help with all students and class activities also helps to facilitate ownership by the classroom teacher.
- Have the special education teacher provide support through consultation and team teaching.
- Use community support such as high school students, foster grandparents, community volunteers, and parent volunteers.