Support Role of Special Education Teachers in Natural Disasters

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					Support Role of Special
Education Teachers in
  Natural Disasters
   Elizabeth McAdams Ducy, M.Ed.
        Laura M. Stough, Ph.D.
        Texas A&M University
NOAA - 11:45 p.m. EDT Friday Sept. 12, 2008 shows Hurricane Ike
approaching the coast of Texas.
Impact of Hurricane Ike
                             Storm surge of 17 feet
                             74 deaths in Texas
                             1.9 million evacuees
                             Over 2 million
                              without power
                             40,614 in public
                              shelters
                             Over 160 school
(FEMA, 2010; TEA, 2010)       districts in Texas were
                              affected
           Children and Disaster
   It is estimated that 175 million children
    worldwide will be impacted by disaster over the
    next decade (Save the Children, 2008).


   Studies have rarely examined the affects of
    disaster on any children with disabilities,
    regardless of diagnosis of disability (Peek &
    Stough, 2010).
   Think about one of your students with a
    diagnosis of ID.

   What do you think would be one of his/her
    support needs during any phase of a natural
    disaster?
Individuals with ID and Disaster
   Kailes and Enders (2007) identified functional
    needs that individuals might have in a disaster
    situation
    C-MIST framework
     Communication Needs
     Medical needs

     Independence needs

     Supervision needs

     Transportation needs

                  http://www.jik.com
    Individuals with ID and Disaster

   Individuals with ID in Japan had difficulty with
    adapting to refuge settings after the Hanshin
    earthquake

   This study recommended the establishment of a
    widespread support network to assist individuals
    with ID in order to assist with functioning post
    disaster
       (Takahashi, Watanabe, Oshima, Shimada, & Ozawa,1997)
               Teachers as Supports

   Research has documented teachers as valuable
    sources of supports to their students before and
    after a disaster . (Peek, 2008; Barrett, Barron Ausbrooks, &
    Martinez-Cosio, 2008; Wolmer et al, 2005)


   Special education teachers were instrumental to
    their students who had lost parents during the
    9/11 Twin Tower attacks (Christ & Christ, 2006).
      Purpose of Pilot Study

Studies on the valuable support role of
teachers following disaster led us to question
how special education teachers might
similarly have assisted students with
disabilities during Hurricane Ike.
(Photo by: Ellis Lucia, Associated Press)
Photo by: Earl Nottingham, Texas Parks & Wildlife
Department, Earl Nottingham
Photo by: Sarah Moore Kishell, Killeen Daily
Herald, Associated Press
Photo by: Mario Jose Sanchez, Associated Press
                    Pilot Study
   Our focus was on teachers from one school
    district that was closed for three weeks after
    Hurricane Ike.

   We interviewed a small group of special
    education teachers to explore their role in
    supporting their students with disabilities
               Data Collection
   The four special education teachers were initially
    interviewed 6 months after Hurricane Ike

   Follow up interviews were conducted 1 year
    after the storm

   All interviews were recorded digitally and
    transcribed verbatim
                   Participants
According to the teachers; their students were
diagnosed with
 intellectual disability
 autism

 sensory disabilities

 multiple disabilities

 physical disabilities

 health impairments
                Participants
Teacher   Sex     Race/       Grade    Years of
                  Ethnicity   Taught   Experience
Denise    F       White       K-5      12

Anne      F       White       K-5      27

Teresa    F       Hispanic    6-8      8

LaShonna F        African     9-12     34
                  American
                       Denise
   She had a total of seven students all with a
    diagnosis on the autism spectrum

   She evacuated with her family to another town

   Denise and her students were able to return to
    the same classroom three weeks after the storm
                        Anne
   Taught children with disabilities for her entire 27
    years of teaching

   Taught students with significant disabilities

   Had to relocate with her students to another
    school
                       Teresa
   Bilingual and special education certification

   Taught children with health needs that were
    undergoing medical treatment

   Reassigned to a different classroom after the
    storm
                   LaShonna
   Veteran teacher with 34 years of experience, 10
    with students with disabilities

   Her students rotated amongst four classrooms
    throughout the day

   She and her students and to use another
    classroom for a month before returning to their
    previous rooms
                      Analysis
   Our aim was not to build theory but instead
    identify and describe categories

   Line-by-line coding was the first step in coding
    process

    “I touched base with my parents the next day
    after the storm,” was coded as “talked to
    parents.”
                     Analysis
   Focused coding

   Axial coding

   Constant comparative method
                Analysis

Four thematic categories emerged
   Losses

   Resources

   Communication from teachers

   Reestablishing routines
                    Losses
   Resources and services for students

   Students personal items

   Instructional time

   Teachers professional functioning
                        Losses
Students personal items-

  “He looked in his front yard and all of his belongings
  were there. All of the things he pretty much likes. He
  likes art and all of his art was destroyed and he was
  really devastated with pain; with his pottery on the front
  lawn broken and his bed broken. “(LaShonna)
        Resources-Support Category
   Teachers to families and students
       Informational
       More Personal in nature
       Classroom resources


   Community and school to families and students
     Supplies/Equipment
     Teachers appreciative of the supports
 Personal Nature of Resources
“In a Life skills setting, you have some of the
students for four to five years so you become very
close with your parents because you go through a lot
with your parents you go through hospitalizations
with them. You go through ups and downs.”
(Anne)
        Communication-Support
             Category
   Before the storm

   Immediately after the storm

   Recovery
                Communication
Before the storm-

“I would have talked more about what would happen if you
  were homeless so they could be aware there is a possibility
  that something that drastic could interrupt their
  livelihood.” (LaShonna)
Re-establishing Routines-Support
            Category
   During School Closures

   Once School Reopened

   Teachers own routine
         Re-establishing Routines
   During School Closures
    “When I would talk to my parents and ask how the kids
    were, they said they are very upset and confused. They [the
    kids] think they need to be going to school. It was very rough
    on them. I tried to tell the parents to do as much as you can,
    even if you have to draw a picture, let the students know
    what is going on.“ (Denise)
Supports Provided in the Context
          of Disaster
What are some examples of
disasters that can impact your
students, your children and/or
yourself in the area you live?
              Types of Disasters
   Floods
   Tornados
   Fires
   Hurricanes
   Ice Storms
   Flu outbreak
   Terrorist attacks
            Suggested Supports-Before
   Send home useful disaster related information

   Include instruction on natural disasters in lesson planning

   Involve students actively in preparedness discussions and
    planning

   Provide families with disaster specific picture cards to assist with
    maintaining routines in evacuation and sheltering situation

   Encourage students and families to consider their own
    emergency plan (Peek, 2008; National Council on Disability, 2009).
Would anyone like to share any
supports they have provided to
their students, children or families
to prepare before a disaster?
               Suggested Supports-
                Immediately After
   The teachers in this study did not wait until their school
    district reopened to make contact with students and
    begin providing supports

   Be aware of your possible role as a source of information

   Be familiar with agencies that provide specific disability
    and disaster related services
Would anyone like to share any
supports they provided to their
students, children or families
immediately after a disaster?
          Suggested Supports-Recovery
   Be aware of how psychological responses from disaster might
    manifest in students with disabilities (Administration for Children and
    Families; National Association of School Psychologists, 2002)


   Be familiar with school mental health referral plans

   Maintain family communication on recovery needs

   Be familiar with agencies available to assist with long term
    recovery needs

   Strive to maintain classroom routine as much as possible when
    school resumes
                    Suggested Supports
   Teachers should be aware of strategies to assist
    students with ID coping with exposure to disasters

       Limit further exposure to trauma
       Address concerns about safety
       Use language the child understands
       Expect misunderstandings
       Use pictures to talk together
       Relaxation training

    (Administration for Children and Families)
Would anyone like to share any
supports they provided to their
students, children or families during
the recovery phase of disaster?
       Teachers Dually Impacted
   The teachers in this study were dually impacted
    alongside with their students

   Teachers should also be aware of the importance
    of monitoring and nurturing their own mental
    health when impacted by disaster (Buchanan,
    2010).
         Resources for Individuals,
          Teachers, and Parents
   Administration for Children and Families
      www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/add/Sept11/addcoping.html

   American Academy of Pediatrics
      http://www.aap.org/disasters/index.cfm

   American Association on Health and Disability
      http://aahd.us/page.php

   Bridge Multimedia
      www.emergencyinfoonline.org

   FEMA
      www.fema.gov/about/odic/

      www.fema.gov/kids/index.htm
          Resources for Individuals,

               Teachers, and Parents
    National Association of School Psychologists
      http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/specpop_general.asp
       x
   National Organization on Disability
      www.nod.org/emergency

   Ready America
      www.ready.gov/america/getakit/disabled.html

      www.ready.gov/kids/index.html

   The American Red Cross
      www.redcross.org

      http://www.prepare.org

   The Center for Children with Special Needs
      http://cshcn.org/planning-record-keeping/emergency-preparedness-
       children-special-needs
Resources for Individuals,
 Teachers, and Parents




AAC-RERC-Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center
  http://aac-rerc.psu.edu/index.php/pages/show/id/4
    Laura M. Stough, Ph.D.
      lstough@tamu.edu

Elizabeth McAdams Ducy, M.Ed.
     elizhope@neo.tamu.edu

     http://redd.tamu.edu
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