Organizing & Special Needs
A Backpack Plan of Attack: Organizational Skills Are in the Bag
by Donna Goldberg, Jennifer Zwiebel and the Staff of the NYU Child Study Center
"While any child can struggle with organization, children with learning issues face an additional set of challenges. Students with attention difficulties tend to have trouble focusing on the details involved in an organizational system; kids with auditory processing issues often often don't take in all of the information as it's being taught in school; and children with non-verbal learning disabilities or executive functioning issues may have trouble sequencing, prioritizing, and understanding consequences, which are all significant components of organization."
For 10 years, I taught Special Education and served as a WKU CEC Program Manager (Elementary, High School and Adult) and had the opportunity to serve many amazing children and families. In both public school environments, organization was utilized and taught daily in my classroom, it was absolutely essential in order for my students and myself to make the most of each school day. While working with my high school students, I specially designed and taught organizational strategies and a daily Study Skills class for students experiencing attention and/or learning difficulties. As an elementary teacher, I wore many different hats throughout the day and organization was simply a part of everything I did to help my students succeed. Serving as Program Manager for after school and vocational services, everyday consist of designing visual and organizational supports and detailed schedules for students and staff, creating individualized learning strategies and materials for students and keeping an appropriate sensory filled and organized physical classroom environments. I have experience working with challenges and learning differences associated with ADHD, Autism, Functional Mental Disability, Down Syndrome, Emotional Behavior Disorder, Visual Impairment, learning and physical disabilities, and various social, communication and academic developmental delays. It is my belief that organizational strategies and routines can serve as powerful tools to both accommodate, educate and empower students to become more independent and confident.
Your child can find his or her path, and with patience, commitment, and an open mind you can provide your child with organizational tools that last a lifetime.