So, let’s have a look over, and address, some of the issues raised in my previous blog “To be (useful) or not to be (useful)?’ Here we go…
‘… it might still be difficult to implement because if the kids are so impaired that they require additional program support, they’ll more than likely need some kind of supervision.’
Yes, an excellent point here. No child, special needs or not, can be left in a room alone at school without supervision, plain and simple. There are all kinds of safety and potential issues surrounding such a situation, not to mention all the rules and regulations that accompany it. As the program itself contains a specialist teacher aide (granted a digital version of them) all the content, learning and pedagogy provided by this course are done through this online connection. Due to the nature of this program and the actual learning being achieved, supervising adults could be in the form of a parent or guardian and volunteers or teaching assistants that are not specifically HPE trained. All that is minimally required is the adult presence in the room –potentially (depending on the type and severity of disability), unrelated work or marking could be completed at the same time.
‘Also, how do you choose who can get involved in the program?’
In terms of school, anyone who wants to get on board! Student-wise, kids who express an interest in the program or who are recommended by their teachers or school community would be perfect candidates. This program is not exclusive to one disability or another, however students must undergo proper diagnostic procedures, in particular possess limitations surrounding coordination and physical movement. The program will be a whole lot of fun and will attract a whole lot of attention, making these parameters essential to ensure the program is used by and assists students who need it most.
‘Is it an intervention or a last resort type of thing? ’
Due to the flexible nature and ability to manipulate all key elements of the program, it can be used at any stage. However, it must be noted that it is not therapy focused therefore is not intended to replace any external therapy/work the child requires. Instead, it is ideally meant as an extra support to work alongside HPE – again it’s not intended to replace the entire subject.
‘Having that competitive aspect or connection might work as a good goal?’
I think this will come down to the specific requirements, ability and objectives of each students and their paired buddy (tutor). In some situations it may be an excellent incentive to link up with other students and compete, however in other situations it may be detrimental to the student’s movement journey.
It will also depend on the ability of the tutor/s to link two students of similar ability levels. It may simply not be an appropriate match between students who can get online (or have classes) at the same time.