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Observation Activity 1

Observation and Identification

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Visit a classroom where there are children with severe disabilities. Do not ask anyone there if a child sees or hears. OBSERVE the children in the classroom to see if there may be sensory issues with some children - previously undetected or undocumented. In fact, NOT reading other documentation (the child’s file) ahead of time helps to practice the art of observation. You can always go back and read the child’s file later.

Examples of children you might focus on:

  1. A child who has a very wooden expression - shows no "affect" and does not participate very much with peers
  2. A child who participates a lot, but doesn’t seem to get it "right"
  3. A child who demonstrates "behaviors" that no one can explain or who consistently does something "bad" instead of saying "No"
  4. The child who is the last to join a line - or avoids contact with peers
  5. A child who navigates the furniture okay, but bumps into the wall or a door
  6. A child who picks up a tiny object from the floor, but seems unable to sort larger objects
  7. A child who looks at you directly when you walk through the door, but averts his/her eyes as you get closer and closer
  8. A child who turns her back on you each time you sit directly in front of her
  9. A child who is "klutzy"
  10. A child who startles to no apparent sound that you detected
  11. A child who "tunes out" to your voice, music, or sounds when everyone else is paying attention
  12. A child whose balance is "off" even though she is not orthopedically impaired
  13. A child who appears to be paying attention to what is going on around him, but who does not pick up on the "incidental" learning that his peers did
  14. A child who does not speak, but can hum a tune or make sounds
  15. A child who a parent or teacher reports that he said, "Hello" or a name - as clear as a bell! But does not repeat these words again.
  16. A child who puts his hands over his eyes or ears and "tunes" things out
  17. A child who reaches for something before looking at it
  18. A child who is exceedingly "clingy"

Western Oregon University | The Research Institute | The Oregon Deafblind Project

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The Oregon Deafblind Project is funded through grant award # H326T130008, OSEP CFDA 84.326T, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education (OSEP), OSEP Project Officer: Susan Weigert.

However, the contents of this site does not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and no assumption of endorsement by the Federal government should be made.

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