Special Education 665

EDSP 665: Positioning and Handling

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor

Credit Hours: (3)

Focuses on the educational, social, physical and health care needs of students with both cognitive and physical/sensory disabilities. Emphasis is given to specific strategies for positioning and handling, facilitating movement and developing self-care skills. Students are required to hold or obtain CPR and Airway Obstruction certification. Field-based activities are required to allow students to directly apply and demonstrate their learning.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course is designed for prospective teachers of students with severe disabilities (i.e., students requiring extensive or pervasive supports, including students with severe cognitive and physical or sensory disabilities). The course examines assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of adaptations and interventions to address students' educationally-relevant physical, health, and sensory needs. The course covers management of neurodevelopmental and motor disabilities, health care procedures, and the use of adaptive and assistive technology. The roles of teachers, paraprofessionals, and related service providers are examined. Collaboration with families and other professionals, culturally-sensitive education, and the use of research-based curriculum and pedagogy are integrated throughout the course. In order to complete the course, students must engage in fieldwork with students who have severe disabilities.

I. Neurodevelopmental and Motor Disabilities

        A. Typical and atypical motor and sensory development
        B. Educationally-Relevant Interventions for Neurodevelopmental and Motor Disabilities

                1. Lifting, transfer, carrying, and positioning
                2. Relaxation
                3. Range of motion
                4. Eating and drinking
                5. Dressing
                6. Toileting and bathing

        C. Use and maintenance of orthotic, prosthetic, and adaptive equipment

II. Adaptive and Assistive Technology for Educational Environments

        A. Definition, types
        B. Assessment and selection
        C. Use of adaptive and assistive technology in natural routines

III. Implementation of Adaptations and Interventions

        A. Roles of related service providers and of teachers
        B. Planning and scheduling instruction
        C. Integrating related service goals and objectives across the day
        D. Instructional strategies

                1. activity-based teaching
                2. prompting, shaping, chaining
                3. natural cues and corrections
                4. strategies for instruction/engagement of students in positioning equipment

        E. Progress monitoring and evaluation
        F. Preparing, scheduling, and supervising paraprofessionals

IV. Health Care Procedures in Educational Environments

        A. Roles of school and outside health care professionals
        B. General health and safety practices

                1. Infection control
                2. First aid
                3. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

        C. Common health care procedures

                1. Seizure care
                2. Medication
                3. Nutrition

        D. Common surgeries
        E. Low-incidence health care procedures

                1. Non-oral feeding
                2. Atypical elimination procedures
                3. Respiratory management

        V. Ethical and policy issues


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Instructional strategies include, but are not limited to: lecture, videos and other audiovisual materials, demonstrations, simulations, formal and informal writing, case studies, cooperative learning groups, field trips, and presentations by practitioners. Students will conduct observations and practice activities in field settings.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Upon successful completion of the course, students will...

1. Demonstrate understanding of the terminology used by therapeutic and medical professionals in educational settings.
2. Describe common motor, neurodevelopmental, and health care conditions and their implications for development and learning across the lifespan.
3. Demonstrate knowledge of the impact of neurodevelopmental and motor disorders on movement and posture within educational settings.
4. Identify roles of therapeutic and health care professionals in the education of students with severe disabilities and their families.
5. Demonstrate appropriate techniques for positioning, lifting/transferring, feeding, bathing, and dressing individuals with physical disabilities to facilitate learning.
6. Demonstrate knowledge of general health and safety practices in home, school, and community settings.
7. Demonstrate knowledge of low incidence health care procedures, the role of educators with regard to performing these procedures, and strategies to obtain student-specific training.
8. Identify elements of and strategies to develop educationally-relevant special health care plans for students with severe disabilities.
9. Demonstrate appropriate selection and use of technology, including adaptive and assistive technology that is incorporated into instruction and used across natural environments.
10. Demonstrate knowledge of specially designed instructional strategies, materials, and equipment to facilitate: (a) the development of skills for independent living, and (b) the participation of students with severe disabilities in age-appropriate activities with their peer without disabilities.
11. Demonstrate knowledge of strategies to develop staff and student schedules to maximize instructional time and the use of appropriate supports.
12. Demonstrate knowledge of the concept of engagement, and describe strategies to increase engagement in response to specific student behaviors within instructional environments.
13. Demonstrate professional behaviors, including sensitivity to cultural and individual differences, in all interactions with course instructor, classmates, students, families, and other professionals.
14. Identify ethical and policy issues related to educational, social, and related services.


Assessment Measures

Exams, applied projects involving case study students, interviews and observations.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

1/31/00        New Course Approved