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Experience Preschool
Adaptations for special needs
Adaptations for special needs
Updated over a week ago

All children deserve to grow and learn to their fullest potential. Quality programs are inclusive of
all learning styles and offer adaptations for children with special needs. Experience Preschool is a
flexible curriculum model that exposes children to rich experiences where children can learn in their
own way within the context of play and everyday interactions.

Use the suggested adaptations to support children according to their needs while implementing the Experience Preschool lesson plans:

For children who are nonverbal or are uncomfortable speakingin front of other children

  • Offer visuals for the child to point at in response to the discussion prompt.

  • Invite the child to whisper his idea to an adult or to a friend.

  • Offer other ways to communicate responses, such as giving a thumbs up or clapping their hands.

For children who have limited attention spans or difficultiessitting still

  • Offer something for the child to hold.

  • Offer a textured cushion to sit on during seated activities.

  • Encourage the child to visit an open area, such as the library, when finished with a task.

For children with sensory processing challenges

  • Model and participate with them during a task.

  • Invite the child to make a quick attempt to participate.

  • Create a “peaceful” area in the room. This is a designated space that may include pillows, books and a blanket.

For children who have difficulty with transitions

  • Use picture cards for the daily schedule to look at and review throughout the day.

  • Offer a transitional toy/item to carry to the next activity.

  • Have a friend invite him to the next activity.

  • Use a visual timer.

For children with restricted motor skills or physical abilities

  • Encourage the child to move in any way their body is able.

  • Offer an instrument to play instead of moving.

  • For children with tactile challenges:

  • Offer alternatives, such as using only a finger to paint instead of a hand.

  • Offer other materials that are similar in texture.

For children who avoid their peers or are withdrawn

  • Have the child play within a small group of his peers or one-on-one.

  • Invite the child to bring a special item from home to play with friends.

  • Invite the child to bring in a family photo to put in the “peaceful” area of the room.

For children with restricted fine motor skills

  • Offer loop scissors for the child to squeeze with his hands.

  • Offer short and wide writing utensils (e.g. break crayons to make them easier to grip).

  • Offer a slanted work surface to write and draw.

For children with separation anxiety

  • Encourage parents to give a quick hug and say goodbye.

  • Offer the child a quiet space to sit as he calms himself.

  • Invite the child to bring in family pictures to look at during the day.

  • Refer to the visual schedule.

For children with hearing impairment

  • Teachers can wear a sound amplification device.

  • Break down steps with picture cards/visuals. Check for understanding.

  • Implement suggestions from a hearing impairment specialist.

For children with visual impairment

  • Create a space with open pathways and allow easy access to the room before the program starts.

  • Keep the same room arrangement.

  • Preferential seating closer to the teacher.

  • Enlarged pictures or tactile labels.

  • Include braille books in the book corner.

  • Implement suggestions from a visual impairment specialist.

For children with anger/aggression

  • Offer a quiet, safe place for the child. Allow the child to join the group when ready.

  • Offer an object (such as a stress ball) to squeeze.

  • When speaking to the child, kneel down to his level and give some space. Use a soft voice.

  • Ask the child, “What can we do to make this better?”

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