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Alberta

Exceptiona Education
lity
Code &
Definition
Code: 53
Code: 58

Attention
deficit/hypera
ctive disorder
(AD/HD)

AD/HD is a
neurological
disorder that
causes
impulsivity,
hyperactivity
and/or
inattention
which can lead
to other
learning
difficulties.

Characteristics
& Observable
Behaviours
Hyperactivity AD/HD:
 Fidgets and squirms
in their seat
o Can’t sit still
 Has difficulty
participating in
leisure activities
 Runs or climbs
around the room
extensively
o Constantly
‘on the go’
Inattention AD/HD:
 No attention to
detail
o Appears
forgetful
o Loses things
often
 Struggles with
organizational
skills/tasks
 Has difficulty
sustaining attention
during tasks
 Appears to ‘ tune
out’ when directly
addressed
 Does not follow
through to
completion on tasks
Impulsive AD/HD:
 Blurts out answers

Teaching Strategies

Resources
& Links

Educational accommodations:
 Modify the environment, seat student in an area with
minimal distractions
 Simplify tasks into smaller steps
 Write start and stop times on tasks
 Give student breaks when needed
 Use visuals (graphic organizers, check-lists, etc.)
 Provide study corrals/headphones
 Pair students for assignments
 Let students use fidgets/manipulative tools
 Download ‘Remind’ app for older students to send home
useful reminders about projects, assignments, etc.
Promoting appropriate behaviour:
 Teach student coping skills, social skills & selfmonitoring skills
 Use non-verbal cues to get student started
 Praise student when they remain on task (Give
immediate and specific feedback)
 Proximity control
 Increase supervision of student
Modelling appropriate behaviour:
 Explain the skill and behaviour
 Discuss when to use the skill
 Motivate the child to use the skill
 Give opportunities to practice the skill
 Ignore inappropriate behaviour
 Scaffold Ex. Plan a schedule for the student, then with
the student, then have them model the planning process
Medication (Parental choice):
 Teachers do not diagnose

AD/HD
https://archive.ed
ucation.alberta.ca/
admin/supportings
tudent/diverselear
ning/adhd/
Instructional
Support
https://archive.ed
ucation.alberta.ca/
admin/supportings
tudent/instruction
alsupports/
Teaching students
with ADHD-Online
Resource Kit
http://onlineresour
cekitadhd.blogspot.ca/
p/differentiatingcurriculumteaching.html
Strategies for
Students with
ADHD
http://www.educat
ion.com/reference
/article/add-adhdstrategies-tips/

Alberta
Exceptiona Education
lity
Code &
Definition
Code: 42
Opposition
Defiance
Disorder (ODD)
is a condition
that is
characterized
by persistent
patterns of
defiant and
aggressive
behaviours.
Individuals with
ODD are further
characterized

Struggles to wait
their turn
o Interrupts
others
Appears to have ‘no
filter’

Characteristics
& Observable
Behaviours
Characteristic
behaviours include:
 Frequent temper
tantrums
 Arguing with
peers and adults
 Intentionally
annoying others
 Blame others for
their own
mistakes
 appear angry
 appear vindictive
*Number of symptoms

Teaching Strategies

*Create a behavioural support plan with input from counselor,
behaviour therapist, parents and student if appropriate

Outline an intervention plan

Replace undesirable behaviours with positive ones
Meet with the student and parents at the start of the school
year:

discuss how to support the student’s needs

learn about student’s specific symptoms

learn about student’s strengths

find out if student has additional disorders associated with
ODD

discuss strategies that have be successful at home/in the
community

inquire about medication (if applicable) and ask about
potential side effects

develop a communication system for sharing information with
relevant staff members

Resources
& Links
Learn Alberta
http://www.learnal
berta.ca/content/i
nmdict/html/pdf/O
ppostitionalDefian
tDisorder_E.pdf
Alberta Education.
Supporting
Positive Behaviour
in Alberta Schools.
http://education.
alberta.ca/media/
697934/behaviour
-complete%20for
%20posting.pdf

Opposition
Defiance
Disorder
(ODD)

as having a
need to annoy
or irritate
others.

increase with age if
undiagnosed

Students with
ODD may also
have other
difficulties
including:
ADHD, learning
disabilities or
depression.
Individuals with
ODD that
develop strong
behavioural
patterns may
be at risk for
developing
conduct
disorder.

Exceptiona
lity

Alberta
Education
Code &
Definition
Code: 42
Conduct disorder
(CD) is
characterized by
severe, chronic

Characteristi
cs &
Observable
Behaviours
Characteristic
behaviours
include:
 socially
unacceptable
behaviour

Get appropriate training and certification for relevant staff
members:

Crisis management

Non-violent crisis intervention
*Do NOT engage with student once they have peaked (Phase 5:
Acting-Out Behaviour); discuss student’s behaviour in a calm and quiet
voice, do NOT engage in a power struggle. Keep a safe distance and
do NOT touch the student
*Consider the function of the problem behaviour (what does the
student get from it?)
Be consistent regarding:

Follow through on rules (for all students)
o Set clear expectations
o Be fair
o Ensure academic expectations are not too easy or too
difficult

Classroom scheduling and structure (give students advance
warning of upcoming changes)
Teach student with ODD when they are calm how to:

self-regulate & self-monitor
o encourage student to remove themselves from the
situation when they begin to feel frustrated

develop coping strategies

develop their social skills
o Building positive peer relationships

develop their emotional skills
Support academic success through:

cues/prompts

coaching

break down tasks

provide positive incentives & choice when appropriate

allow for movement breaks

Teaching Strategies

Conduct disorder can be treated through:

counselling
o
developing appropriate behaviour
o developing coping skills

sometimes medications
Develop a behavioural support plan:

Help replace undesired behaviours with positive ones

Minnesota
Association for
Children’s Mental
Health. “Fact
Sheet for the
Classroom:
Oppositional
Defint Disorder.”
http://www.macm
h.org/publications/
fact_sheets/ODD.p
df
Conduct and
Behavior
Problems:
Intervention and
Resources for
School Aged
Youth.
http://smhp.psych.
ucla.edu/pdfdocs/
conduct/CONDUCT
.pdf

Resources
& Links
Learn Alberta
http://www.learn
alberta.ca/conte
nt/inmdict/html/c
onduct_disorder.
html

Conduct
Disorder

patterns of
behaviour which
ignore “the basic
rights of others.”
As they age,
individuals with
oppositional
defiant disorder
may develop
conduct disorder.
With intervention
mild forms of
conduct disorder
can improve with
age.
This disorder
may be the
result of:
 genetics
 chaotic home
life
 child's
temperament
 physical
causes
 neurological
factors
CD may occur in
combination with
other conditions
such as:
 ADHD
 depression



dangerous/
impulsive/
aggressive
conduct
property
damage/theft
lying
serious rule
violations

get input from counselor, behaviour therapist, parents and
student if appropriate

Outline an intervention plan
Meet with the student and parents at the start of the school
year:

discuss how to support the student’s needs

learn about student’s specific symptoms

learn about student’s strengths

find out if student has additional disorders associated with
ODD

discuss strategies that have be successful at home/in the
community

inquire about medication (if applicable) and ask about
potential side effects

develop a communication system for sharing information
with relevant staff members
Get appropriate training and certification for relevant staff
members:

Crisis management

Non-violent crisis intervention
*Do NOT engage with student once they have peaked (Phase 5:
Acting-Out Behaviour); discuss student’s behaviour in a calm and
quiet voice, do NOT engage in a power struggle. Keep a safe
distance and do NOT touch the student
*Consider the function of the problem behaviour (what does the
student get from it?)
Be consistent regarding:

Follow through on rules (for all students)
o Set clear expectations
o Be fair
o Ensure academic expectations are not too easy or
too difficult

Classroom scheduling and structure (give students advance
warning of upcoming changes)
Teach student with ODD when they are calm how to:

self-regulate & self-monitor
o encourage student to remove themselves from the
situation when they begin to feel frustrated
o make good decisions

develop coping strategies
o solve problems
o manage anger

develop their social skills
o Building positive peer relationships
o Read social cues

develop their emotional skills
Support academic success through:

Supporting
Positive
Behaviour in
Alberta Schools.
http://education.
alberta.ca/media/
697934/behaviou
r-complete
%20for
%20posting.pdf
Minnesota
Association for
Children's Mental
Health. "Fact
Sheet for the
Classroom:
Conduct
Disorder."
http://www.mac
mh.org/publicatio
ns/fact_sheets/C
onduct.pdf
Conduct and
Behavior
Problems:
Intervention and
Resources for
School Aged
Youth.
http://smhp.psyc
h.ucla.edu/pdfdo
cs/conduct/condu
ct.pdf




cues/prompts
coaching
break down tasks
provide positive incentives & choice when appropriate

allow for movement breaks

Exceptiona
lity

Alberta Education
Code & Definition

Code: 54
Learning disorder/disability is
an umbrella term which refers
to disorders that are lifelong
and may affect individuals in
the following areas to various
degrees:
 information acquisition
 organization
 retention
 understanding
 use of verbal or nonverbal
information

Learning
Disorder (LD)

These disorders affect
individuals who otherwise
demonstrate average abilities
and skills essential for
thinking or reasoning.
Various forms and severity of
learning disabilities may
affect the following:
 language processing
 phonological processing
 visual spatial processing

processing speed
 memory and attention
 executive functions
 written language
 mathematics
Learning disabilities may be

Characteri
stics &
Observabl
e
Behaviour
s

Teaching Strategies

Characteristics
and behaviours Provide explicit instructions:
may include:

Provide clear and detailed explanations
 Hyperactivity

demonstrate concepts and sequential steps
 Impulsivity
(break down into small steps)
 Perceptualo
provide feedback for each step
motor

scaffold instruction
impairments
o
prior knowledge
o
modelling
 Disorders of
o
assistance
memory and
o
collaboration
thinking
o
independent work (*make classroom
 Emotional
environment a safe place to make
labiality
mistakes)
o
review
 Academic
difficulties
Use graphic organizers and visuals:
 Written
language

helps student organize information
difficulties

helps student remember information
 Oral

use visual prompts
language
difficulties
Use multisensory presentations:
 Reading
difficulties
 Information
processing

pair written instructions with oral
issues
instructions
 Coordination

hands-on prompts
problems
 Disorders of
Teach strategies for:
attention
 Social skills

how to solve problems
deficits

how to use information

listening

Resources &
Links

Alberta Education
https://archive.education.a
lberta.ca/media/825847/sp
edcodingcriteria.pdf
Learning Disabilities and
Disorders
http://www.helpguide.org/a
rticles/learningdisabilities/learningdisabilities-anddisorders.htm
Learn Alberta
http://www.learnalberta.ca
/content/inmdict/html/lear
ning_disabilities.html
Alberta Education.
Unlocking Potential: Key
Components of
Programming for Students
with Learning Disabilities.
http://education.alberta.ca
/media/511999/unlocking.
pdf
National Center for
Learning Disabilities.
"Especially for Teachers."
http://www.ncld.org/atschool/especially-forteachers
Learning Disabilities
Association of America.
"For Teachers."

accompanied by various
conditions including
“attentional, behavioural and
emotional disorders, sensory
impairments or other medical
conditions.” (Alberta
Education, 2012)

Exception
ality

Alberta
Education
Code &
Definition

(Strategies
cont’d)
*Reduce workload

if necessary and
provide a variety of
opportunities for
the student to
demonstrate their
learning

Characteristics &
Observable
Behaviours

Code: 44

Autism
Spectrum
Disorder

Autism Spectrum
Disorder (ASD) is
defined as a lifelong
neurodevelopmental
disorder that
influences an
individual’s cognitive
and social abilities.
This disorder impacts
the way an
individual’s senses
and responds to their
environment. It may
be difficult for an
individual with ASD
to build relationships,
communicating
verbally or express
themselves in
socially appropriate
manner. ASD affects
individuals to varying
degrees and the
term ASD is an


organization

studying
memory
social skills
self-regulation
Allow extra time:

For processing

For assignments/tasks

Four general categories of
characteristics that apply to
individuals categorized
under the ASD include:


Teaching Strategies

Provide information in multiple
different visual forms
 Daily agenda in the form of words and
pictures

communication
characteristics
social interaction
characteristics
unusual/challenging
behaviour
characteristics
learning
characteristics

Other characteristics
exhibited by individuals with
ASD include:
 unusual patterns of
attention
 unusual responses to
sensory stimuli

Manipulatives for class work

Limit distracting stimuli
 Limit wall decorations
 Provide earplugs/head phones to limit
distracting sounds
 Have defined regions in the classroom
 Cover up or put away materials not in
use

Establish a calming area

Tent


Tipi
Cardboard folders

http://www.ldanatl.org/abo
utld/teachers/index.asp
Characteristics of Children
with Learning Disabilities
http://www.naset.org/filead
min/user_upload/LD_Repor
t/Issue__3_LD_Report_Char
acteristic_of_LD.pdf

Resources &
Links
Choice works
https://itunes.apple.com
/us/app/choiceworks/id4
86210964?mt=8
“The Choiceworks app is
an essential learning
tool for helping children
complete daily routines
(morning, day, & night),
understand & control
their feelings and
improve their waiting
skills (taking turns and
not interrupting).
First Then Visual
Schedule
https://itunes.apple.com
/ca/app/first-then-visualschedule/id355527801?
mt=8
“First-Then visual
schedule application is
designed for caregivers
to provide positive
behavior support

umbrella term which
encompasses a
multitude of
disorders including
Asperger’s,
childhood
disintegrative, and
pervasive
developmental
disorder (American
Psychiatric
Association, 2013, p.
1). With a broader
spectrum of
disorders included
under the term ASD,
incidence rates may
be as high as 1 in
500 births.

Alberta
Exceptiona Educati
lity
on
Code &
Definiti
on
Code: 53
(MildModerate)

Is a
congenital
disorder
that arises
from a

anxiety

Observable behaviours
during times of anxiety may
include:



hand flapping
rocking
pacing
may frequently ask
to go to the
bathroom, go for a
walk, or go for a
drink
student may
complain that their
shirt is too rough (tag
is bothering them)

Curtains

Weighted blanket

Provide warnings about upcoming
transitions and changes
 Daily agenda (keep scheduling as
consistent as possible to provide
student with classroom structure)
 Provide reminders for transitions
(“First…and then”)

Provide warning for any out of the
ordinary activities

Allowing for movement/ brain breaks
 Provide fidgets
 Heavy work breaks

Characteristics &
Observable
Behaviours

Some physical abnormalities
may include:
 A flat and broad facial profile
 upward slant to the eyes

small ears

a protruding tongue
 short stature (tend to grow at a
slower rate relative to their
peers)
 Low muscle tone (especially in
babies- appear to be “floppy”)
*Muscle tone can improve over

Do2Learn
http://do2learn.com/disa
bilities/CharacteristicsA
ndStrategies/AutismSpe
ctrumDisorder_Strategie
s.html
Do2Learn is a website
offering a list of
strategies that may help
students with a variety
of needs, including
students with ASD.

Teaching Strategies

Encourage participation by mainstream
students, as well as, in physical fitness and
school activities, especially extracurricular
programs.

Provide alternative roles when the
student is unable to participate due to
limitations.

Resources &
Links

Characteristics and
Health Concerns for
People with Down
syndrome.
http://www.cdss.ca/inf
ormation/generalinformation/characteri
stics-and-healthconcerns-for-peoplewith-downsyndrome.html
Teaching Students

Down
Syndrome

chromosom
e defect
called
Trisomy 21.
Individuals
with Down
Syndrome
are
conceived
and born
with extra
genetic
material
(an
additional
copy of
chromosom
e 21). This
additional
genetic
material
causes
intellectual
impairment
/developme
ntal delays
and
physical
abnormaliti
es to
varying
degrees.

time, but most developmental
milestones (sitting up, crawling,
and walking) occur later than with
other kids.
 Individuals with DS may display
poor fine motor skills to varying
degrees
Intellectual impairments:
 Down syndrome affects the
ability to learn in different ways
o slower processing
speed
o concrete learners

Many individuals with DS will
have difficulty transferring
information from their short
term to their long term memory

Behaviours in school:
 Most individuals with Down
syndrome can read and write,
live alone, cook, clean and have
a job in society to varying
degrees.
 They usually work with people
or in people rich settings
 Students with DS are
sometimes sensory oriented
(wanting to touch and feel
everything)

Provide opportunities for your students to
be successful in school through learning about
their interests

Help the student develop independence

Increase the use of visuals in the
classroom:

use images, symbols and introduce
sign language as a form of
communication

Alter class environment to best meet the
student’s
needs (i.e. may need to provide a lower desk
and chair if
the student with DS has a short stature)

Use a buddy system:

Pair the DS student with a classmate
who will help accommodate them in
their learning.

Use modeling, role-playing and physical
demonstrations
to help make certain tasks and activities more

with Down syndrome.
http://www.cdss.ca/im
ages/pdf/parent_Infor
mation/teaching_stude
nts_with_down_syndro
me.pdf
Medical Disability
Information for
Classroom Teachers.
http://www.learnalbert
a.ca/content/inmdict/h
tml/pdf/DownSyndrom
e_E.pdf
Down syndrome.
http://raisingchildren.n
et.au/articles/down_sy
ndrome.htmlAbout
Down Syndrome.
http://kidshealth.org/p
arent/medical/genetic/
down_syndrome.html
Why It’s Important to
Make Simple Changes
at Home.
https://www.understoo
d.org/en/learningattentionissues/understandingchildschallenges/simplechanges-at-home/whyitsimportantmake-simple-changesat-home

clear.

Allow extra time for students to complete
tasks and assignments

Break up tasks into small blocks and focus on
things in
small steps (Students with DS often need a
high amount
of repetition in order for information to transfer
into
their long term memory)

Incorporate games and play into the
student’s learning
Tasks, give concrete examples, and use
manipulatives

Encourage student to elaborate on their
responses to
develop their communication skills beyond yes,
no

Exceptiona
lity

Alberta
Education Code
& Definition

Code: 42
Code: 44 (Severe)

Fetal Alcohol
Spectrum
Disorder
(FASD)

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum
Disorder (FASD) is a birth
defect caused by alcohol
consumption during
pregnancy. Individuals
born with FASD often
have learning and
behavioural deficits that
affect their
developmental skills.
They may exhibit
physical characteristics
including: smaller head
size, a smooth ridge
under the nose, and
below average height
and weight.
Individuals with FASD
may have difficulty with:
impulse control, making
good judgements,
memory, basic learning
skills, organization,
language, speech, and
gross or fine motor skills.
Individuals with FASD
may also have other
exceptionalities such as
ADHD, or health factors
such as seizures or

Characteri
stics &
Observabl
e
Behaviour
s
Children with
FASD often
experience:

Trouble with
learning basic
facts (such as
multiplication
)
Difficulty with
memory and
organizationa
l skills
Strengths in
visual arts
and music
Success with
repetitive
work and
structured
situations
Enjoyment in
physical
activities
More
responsivene
ss to smaller
teaching
groups

Teaching Strategies

Provide the student with the lecture notes
during class and in advance:


so students can focus on following along
provide fill-in-the-blank notes to keep them on
task
If parents are receptive, send the student home
with additional notes or the next day’s lesson
material
o allows students to see the material
multiple times and ask questions in
advance

Give clear and concise instructions:


break assignments into smaller steps
o student with FASD may have a shorter
attention span (may have difficulty
staying on task)
give extra time to complete tasks as needed
allow access to assistive technology as needed

Be consistent:
 Students with FASD can have attachment
issues
 Try to keep the same EA if possible
o These students especially need to form
trust bonds which will benefit their
Build student’s organizational skills:

colour code each subject to help student
organize and manage their materials
have a separate area of the room where they
can keep their personal belongings if the desk
is too disorganized for them.

Resources &
Links

http://www.cdc.gov/Features/
FASD/
https://archive.education.alb
erta.ca/media/414085/fasd1f
.pdf
http://www.learnalberta.ca/c
ontent/inmdict/html/fasd.ht
ml
https://education.alberta.ca/
diverse-learners/specialeducation-statistics/
http://www.ave.ee/download
/Alcohol_and_Pregnancy_pre
vention_and_legal_issues_of
_FASD.pdf
http://bccewh.bc.ca/wpcontent/uploads/2014/09/Ca
nadian.Policy-on.Subst-Use+-Preg.Sept-2-2014web.pdf
http://canadiancrc.com/news
paper_articles/Issue_Fetal
_Rights_Canada_Winterm
ans_25NOV05.aspx
http://fasd.alberta.ca/assess
ment-and-diagnosis.aspx
http://www.usd.edu/~/media
/files/medicine/center-fordisabilities/fasd-educationalstrategies-handbook.ashx?
la=en
http://www.interprofessional.
ubc.ca/AdultsWithFASD2014/
G4Whitford.pdf
Edmonds ,K., & Crichton, S.
(2008). Finding ways to
teach to students with FASD:
A research study.
International Journal of
Special Education, 23(1), 5473.
http://fasd.alberta.ca/
http://fasd.alberta.ca/docum

difficulty hearing and
seeing.
Four main indicators of
FASD include: “alcohol
exposure, growth
deficiency, facial
features, and brain
damage.”
FASD is a spectrum
disorder because
individual cases vary in
their severity depending
on prenatal alcohol
exposure. A small
percentage of individuals
display all pattern of FAS.

Exception
ality

Alberta
Education
Code &
Definition
Code: 30 (Mild)
Code: 56
(Moderate)
Code: 46
(Blind)

Low Vision/
Blindness

“Inclusive term
that covers
people who are
blind or
partially
sighted,
including
people who
have no sight
from birth,
people who are
legally blind, as
well as people
with vision loss

Teach the student self-regulation strategies:
 Removing students with FASD from the room
and making them sit in the hallway after
defiant behaviour is not always the best option.
o Individuals with FASD often do not
understand that their behaviour was
unacceptable
o may feel they are being punished for no
reason
 Try to help the student figure out what upset
them and find ways acceptable coping
strategies (do not treat them as if they have
ODD)

Characteristics &
Observable
Behaviours

Teaching Strategies

The degree and cause of visual
impairment in a student will
result in different characteristics
and observable behaviours in
students with low vision or
blindness.

Use larger fonts and
contrasting colors:
 Makes it easier for low vision
student to see the material

Observable behaviours may
include:
 less interactions with their
environments with their
peers
 difficulty moving about their
environment (they may
bump into objects or people)

appear less interested in
exploring objects around
them, resulting in missed
opportunities to learn
 may not understand

Alter the classroom
environment:
 Seat the student near the
front
 Provide ample lighting
 Reduce visual
clutter/distractions
Make resources and
software available:
 Braille books
 Manipulatives
Use collaborative

ents/Strategies_Not_Solution
s_Handbook.pdf
http://www.lfsfamily.ca/daca
po_disability/fasd_clinic.php

Resources & Links

Alberta Education (2004) Essential
Components of Educational Programming for
Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired.
Standards for Special Education. Pg 1-14.
Adaptive Software and Technology Program.
(n.d.). Retrieved January 17, 2016, from
http://www.asvicalgary.com
A New Model of Education for Blind and Low
Vision Students. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16,
2016, from
https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/fr/fr28/
fr2/fr280203.htm
Bent, B. & N. Nicolajsen. (2005). Tips and
Tricks: Improving accessibility to electronic
board notes for students with visual
impairments. Vision Resource Centre North.
Pg 1-31.
Council for Exceptional Children. (2016). Who
Are Exceptional Learners. Retrieved January
16, 2016, from
http://www.cec.sped.org/Special-Ed-

below 20
degrees in the
better eye
(20/70)” - CNIB
“Visual
impairments
including
blindness
means an
impairment in
vision that,
even with
correction,
adversely
affects a child’s
educational
performance.
The term
includes both
partial sight
and blindness.”
- Council of
Exceptional
Children

Alberta
Exceptiona Educatio
lity
n Code &
Definitio
n

nonverbal cues and nuances
of social behaviour (due to
the fact that social
behaviours are largely
learned through observation)
o may lead to displays
of social immaturity,
isolation, and lesser
assertiveness than
their peers
have difficulty reading and
writing
o low reading level
o messy writing
o difficulty performing
reading and writing
tasks
may have difficulties being
independent due to low
vision/blindness
appear to lack of motivation
for learning (may be due to
difficulty interacting with
physical and social
environment)

Characteristics
& Observable
Behaviours

groups/class discussions:
 Helps student contribute in a
meaningful way
 Allows student to hear peers
ideas and learn their voices
Verbalize class materials:
 Upcoming events
 Board notes
 Allow student with low vision
options for oral assessment
 Give student with low vision
oral feedback
Allow more time for tasks
Set up an ISP/IPP:
 To determine academic goals
 To determine specific
programming and supports
 Expanded Core Curriculum
(ECC)
-for teaching life
skills (if applicable)

Teaching Strategies

Topics/Who-Are-Exceptional-Learners
Adapting Environments for Individuals with
Vision Loss. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16,
2016, from
http://www.perkinselearning.org/videos/webca
st/adapting-environments-individuals-visionloss
Rao, E. (n.d.). Considerations For Low Vision
Students In A Classroom. Retrieved January
18, 2016, from http://www.tsbvi.edu/programand-administrative-resources/53resources/program-and-administrationresources/3277-considerations-for-low-visionstudents-in-a-classroom
Visual Impairment. (n.d.). Retrieved January
18, 2016, from
http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/inmdict/ht
ml/visual_impairment.html
Sample IPP Template
http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/ieptlibrary/
lib07.html

Resources & Links

Code: 301
(Foreign born)
Code: 303
(Canadian
born)

English
Language
Learner/Engli
sh Second
Language
(ELL/ESL)

English
Language
Learners are
individuals
whose
primary
language or
languages of
the home, is
different than
English. As a
result these
individuals
may require
additional
services in
order to
develop their
academic skill
and potential
within a
school
system.
ELL students
may be
immigrants
who have
recently
arrived in
Canada, or
may be
Canadian born
but do not
speak English
at home and
therefore will
require
additional
supports in
school.

Social implications:
 may have difficulty
fitting in with children
due to a language
barrier
 may be unable to
contribute to
conversation
 may lack basic
interpersonal
communication skills
Emotional
implications:
 may experience
separation anxiety
 feel uncomfortable in
a foreign school
environment
 may feel
understood/overwhel
med
Learning implications:
 slower processing
speed due to
transitioning between
languages/ translating

Modelling & Visual
Representations
 using physical
representations and visuals
to communicate
 simplify instructions and
break assignments into
smaller steps
Interaction/Play
 facilitating language and
vocabulary through play
and interaction
Family and Community
Development
 provide continual support in
both native and second
language (may do this
through a school liaison
worker)
Rate of Speech and Wait
Time
 giving students increased
wait time to process and
translate
Tracking Sheets
 a rubric-like document that
keeps track of student’s
progression
Visualization
 provides students with
images that contain words
from the language helps
students make connections

Early Learner ELL
https://archive.education.alberta.ca/media/10
93791/earlylearning.pdf
English Language Learners
https://archive.education.alberta.ca/media/12
34005/12_ch9%20esl.pdf
Supporting English as a Second Language
https://archive.education.alberta.ca/media/10
76318/support_esl.pdf
Alberta Education: English as a Second
Language
https://archive.education.alberta.ca/teachers/
program/esl/
Benchmark Summary
http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/eslapb/do
cuments/ESL%20Benchmarks%20Division
%20Levels%20Summary%20Gr%204-6.pdf
Assessment Tips for the ELL
http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/eslapb/as
sessment_tips.html

Exceptionalit
y

Alberta
Education Code
& Definition
Code: 58 (Mild)
Code: 44 (Severe)

Physical
Disability
Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP)
refers to a group of
disorders that result from
injury to the developing
brain. It is not
progressive, but it can
affect movement and
muscle coordination. For
most children with CP, the
cause is unknown.
However, the risk is
greater in babies born
preterm and with low
birthweight. Furthermore,
CP may occur as a result
of problems associated
with preterm birth or may
indicate an injury has
occurred during the
pregnancy resulting a
premature birth
There are 3 main types of
CP:
1. Spastic: stiff and
difficult movement, as
muscles are contracted all
the time and limbs feel
stiff.
2. Athetoid: involuntary
and uncontrolled
movement, as messages
from the brain to the
muscles are not

Characteristics &
Observable
Behaviours
Depending on which areas
of the brain are damaged,
CP can cause one or more of
the following: muscle
tightness or spasms,
involuntary movement,
difficulty with gross motor
skills such as walking or
running, difficulty with fine
motor skills such as writing
or doing up buttons, and
difficulty with perception
and sensation. Individuals
with CP may have cognitive,
speech and language
disorders, visual and
hearing impairments and/or
learning disabilities. The
parts of the body that are
affected and the severity of
impairment can vary widely.
Further characteristics
and observable
behaviors include:
• have learning disabilities,
visual impairments, hearing
problems, speech problems,
drooling issues, and
behavior problems
• need braces, crutches, or
a wheelchair to get around
• need assistive devices for
writing and speaking
• have difficulty sitting still

Teaching Strategies

Resources &
Links

Break tasks into short, easyto-manage steps
 Provide each step separately
and give feedback along the
way

Learn Alberta
http://www.learnalberta.c
a/content/inmdict/html/ce
rebral_palsy.html
Quick Guide: Supporting
Children and Youth from
Low-Incidence
Populations
https://archive.education.
alberta.ca/media/150459
46/lowincidence_digital_201504
29_high-res.pdf
10 tips for Teachers
http://cerebralpalsy.org/in
formation/acceptance/tip
s-for-teachers/
Infusing Assistive
Technology for Learning
into the IPP Process
https://archive.education.
alberta.ca/media/525549/
ipp9.pdf
Cerebral Palsy Special
Needs Factsheet
http://kidshealth.org/pare
nt/classroom/factsheet/cp
-factsheet.html
BC Ministry of Education Special Programs:
Awareness of Chronic
Health Conditions.
http://www.bced.gov.bc.c
a/specialed/awareness/31
.htm

Teach self-monitoring
strategies
 such as making daily lists
and personal checklists for
areas of difficulty
Use instructional strategies
that include memory
prompts
Consider ways to adapt play
activities
 structure opportunities for
play with peers
 Teach the entire class
modified versions of
common recess games
 assign a recess or break
buddy
Teach peers how to interact
with the student
 using a communication
device or book
Monitor for
 signs of anxiety
 depression
o visible tension/
withdrawal
o changes in grooming
habits

o
coordinated. These
movements occur all the
time and, in particular,
may interfere with
speech.
3. Ataxic: disturbed
sense of balance and
depth perception,
resulting in awkward and
unsteady movements of
the hands and feet.

Exceptiona
lity

Alberta
Education
Code &
Definition
Code: 30(Mild)
Code: 53
(Moderate)
Code: 42
(Severe)

Selective
Mutism

Selective
mutism is a
medically
diagnosed
disability in
which a person
who is capable of
normal speech
becomes
incapable of
speaking in
specific social
settings, usually
due to

and have uncontrolled
movements

o

• have difficulty with
bladder and bowel control
and may need to use a
bathroom frequently

missing or coming
late to class
fatigue or incomplete
assignments

Provide support during/for
transitioning
 place to place
 activity to activity

• have seizures
• need occupational therapy
(OT), physical therapy (PT),
and speech therapy during
the school day

Characteristics &
Observable Behaviours
Selective mutism characteristics include
excessive shyness, withdrawal,
dependence upon parents and students
may display oppositional behaviour such
as refusing to do tasks or freezing to the
spot.
Students who are selectively mute may
stand or sit with their head down and
hair covering their eyes to avoid
unwanted attention. They may also have
difficulty making direct eye contact.
Often individuals with selective mutism
are able to speak in controlled social
settings like their home, but may be
physically unable to speak in public, at
school or within the community.
Students who are selectively mute may

Teaching Strategies

Resources
& Links

Work with the child, parent and other
teachers
 implement appropriate communication
behaviours in other speaking situations

http://www.learnalber
ta.ca/content/ieptLibr
ary/documents/en/is/
developmental_consi
derations.pdf

Set up an ISP
 designed to reduce anxiety
 with input from psychologist, behaviour
therapist, speech-language pathologist,
parents and administrator

http://www.selective
mutism.org/resources
/library/School
%20Issues/Classroom
%20Strategies%20for
%20Teachers%20of
%20SM
%20Children.pdf

Develop self-regulation and
communication strategies
 for non-verbal communication with their
peers
 to promote positive self-talk and improve
confidence
Treat the student with selective mutism
like everyone else but do NOT

http://www.selective
mutism.org/resources
/new-memberpacket/20_Tips_for_Pa
rents_of_Children_wit
h_Selective_Mutism.p
df
http://www.acposb.on
.ca/LearnChall/MUTIS
M.html

underlying
chronic anxiety
patterns

Exceptiona
lity

Alberta
Education
Code &
Definition
Code: 80

Gifted

A person who is
gifted is
academically
diagnoses as
being talented
and displays
exceptional
potential or
performance in
one or more
academic areas.
These
exceptional
abilities may

exhibit behaviours such as perfectionism
or have parents that exhibit
perfectionism, but not always.

Characteristics &
Observable Behaviours
Students who are gifted may exhibit
behaviours such as perfectionism,
asynchronous development of abilities
and skills, underachievement or may
display learning difficulties.
Some students that are gifted have dual
exceptionalities and experience learning
difficulties in the form of Autism
spectrum disorder or attention
deficit/hyperactive disorder. While other
students that are gifted have learning
disabilities in areas like math and
reading. Some students who are gifted
may also have learning disabilities such
as ADHD or ASD.




over praise
demand a verbal response
single them out
make direct eye contact

http://www.ohioslha.o
rg/pdf/Covention/201
3%20Handouts/Speec
hDMS16F.pdf

Instead
 use small groups to reduce anxiety
 partner with someone they are
comfortable with
 Reduce unknowns
 give clear explanations
 allow time for processing
 familiarize the student with the classroom
before the school year begins
 make home visits if appropriate
 teach and practice soothing coping
strategies
 Educate all staff members on appropriate
protocols and expectations when
interacting with the student
 Have patience and be supportive

http://www.asha.org/
public/speech/disorde
r/SectiveMutism/

Teaching Strategies

Resources
& Links

Use tiered assessments:
Parallel tasks that have varied levels of
complexity, depth, abstractness and support.
Students in the class all focus on the same
learning outcome but work on different levels
of activities related to the outcome.

Journey Through
School Chapter 4:
Information for
parents, teachers
and administrators
of children who are
gifted.

Allow for flexible pacing:
Allow students to move through the graded
curriculum at a different rate. For example,
you can allow students to complete tasks
more quickly or to spend additional time on
things. You can also allow students to move
up a grade in one or more subject areas.

https://archive.edu
cation.alberta.ca /
media/448801/jour
ney4.pdf

Differentiated Instruction:

http://www.anxietybc.
com/parenting/selecti
ve-mutism
http://www.learnalber
ta.ca/content/inmdict
/html/selective_mutis
m.html
Woolfolk, A., Winnie,
P., & Perry, N. (2013).
Educational
Psychology: Sixth
Canadian Edition.
New Jersey: Pearson
Education.

Info on Code 80
http://www.lss.ecsd
.net
/gifted/code80.htm

include: general
intellect, music,
social, specific
academics,
kinesthetic,
creative thinking
or the arts

General Characteristics of individuals
who are gifted:
 Remember things very quickly
 Work independently and quickly
 Show a high level of interest and
curiosity
 Are able to see abstract relationships
and patterns, and can provide ideas,
theories, solutions and explanations
 Give surprising and unusual
responses
 Relate more to adults than to children
of their own age
 Can be perfectionists

Highly perceptive to others feelings
and emotions

Students who are gifted may:
 be more complex or intense than
their peers
o feel out-of-sync with peers of
the same age group
o demonstrate different
maturity levels in different
situations (social and
emotional adjustments)

Manipulate the content through
differentiated instruction in order to develop
content that meets the learning needs of
gifted students. Consider how abstract
complex, interrelated and constrained the
material is, and adjust accordingly for the
gifted student so that they are challenged.
Adjust the Environment :
Gifted students tend to benefit from learning
environments where they have opportunities
to gain understanding of self and others,
explore their own learning strengths and
needs, learn and practice coping skills that
assist in their growth and development, and
take risks and see mistakes as learning
opportunities.
Curriculum Compacting:
This strategy either eliminates learning
activities for skills and information that has
been previously mastered or streamlines
work to match the student’s ability. The
advantage of this strategy is that students
can use the class time freed up by
compacting to pursue enrichment activities
that align with their individual learning needs
and interests.

l
Special Education
Coding Criteria
https://open.albert
a.ca/dataset/ee2cc
ea8-97fe-41a1aa11ed9f21421364/reso
urce/99dcf34f9800-43c3-9138a0dcb23f5e51/dow
nload/36560412014-SpecialEducation-CodingCriteria-20142015.pdf
Planning For
Students Who are
Gifted
https://archive.edu
cation.alberta.ca/m
edia/525558/ipp92.
pdf