Secondary PDPP teacher candidate at UVic

Category: Free Inquiry


I wanted to write about ADHD because it is so prevalent in a classroom. As a future educator it is important to realize that you will most likely have a student who has ADHD. So you have to be prepared to have these students in your classroom, and have different strategies that can help you.

ADHD Is known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD is a condition in which a person has trouble paying attention and focusing on tasks, tends to act without thinking, and has trouble sitting still. It may begin in early childhood and can continue into adulthood. Without treatment, ADHD can cause problems at home, at school, at work, and with relationships. In the past, ADHD was called attention deficit disorder (ADD).

Symptoms include:

  • Trouble paying attention
  • Trouble sitting still for even a short time
  • Acting before thinking

This link also shows how ADHD is diagnosed, how it is treated, and how does it affect adults.


Learning Disabilities

A learning disability is not an intellectual disability. A learning disability is a disability that affects a person’s ability to process information. People with learning disabilities possess an average to above-average IQ. Learning disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math.

Learning Disabilities are quite common now a day. An estimated 5-10% of Canadians have Learning Disabilities, and 50% of students receiving special education have LD’s. LD’s are on of the fastest growing type of disabilities in Canada.

Learning Disabilities often interfere with the following acquisitions:

Oral Language


Written Language



Social Skills

This link is an article that provides strategies for teaching advice for students who have learning disabilities.




Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

What is Autism? 

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. For a designation such as autism, “it is estimated that 1 in 59” (Autism Speaks, 2018) will be classified with this learning challenge.

Below are some questions and answers that hopefully will provide you with some more clarity!

How do you diagnose autism?

  • Autism is diagnosed in BC by a diagnostic psychologist
  • Typically the whole process starts with a parent or teacher who has some concerns about the student and they will take them to their family paediatrician who will make a referral to the autism assessment network
  • Diagnosed by a set of behaviours that are observed by parents and doctors
  • Not a blood test or neurological exam

What are the characteristics of autism?

  • Social communication impairments (probably the main one)
  • Stereotypic behaviour, which is a child that engages in repetitive ritualistic kind of behaviours. Examples include flapping hands, tiptoe walking, any kind of repetitive speech
  • Sensory issues, anxiety, and other characteristics

What do students with autism struggle on a day-to-day business?

  • A whole list of social demands including: social interaction, understanding social content, reading non-verbal cues, sharing, co-operating with others
  • Difficulty with organization, mental planning, prioritizing transitions

What are some strategies that support their challenges?

  • Not over talking!
  • Use pictures and diagrams
  • Allowing kids to have breaks
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Having set routines and predictability in your classroom (super important)!!!!!

What are the resources you can use to help these kids?

  • POPARD (Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders
  • POPARD website:

How do you create a good environment for the students in a PHE setting or even just in a normal classroom setting?

  • Learn as much as you can about autism. Read research, do in-service professional development
  • Have predictability and set routines in your class
  • Provide visual information
  • Be a good role model for the students

I received all of this information from Kari Bennett who is a Special Education Teacher




Introduction and Reasoning for Blog Topic

For my Free Inquiry I have chosen to focus on students that have special educational needs in Physical Education.  By special education I am referring to students with some type of learning difficulty which calls for a special educational provision. I am very interested and passionate about this topic. My goal for this blog is to provide my peers, and other colleagues, with different strategies and resources that they could use when teaching games in PHE with students who have a special education designation.

As a future educator I believe it’s imperative that more teachers should be educated on how to effectively  teach students who have some sort of a disability. When teaching any class, teachers will always have a wide spectrum of students who learn differently, have different abilities, and disabilities. Teachers must firstly assess each student and then alter their teaching style to cater to each students learning needs. It is the teachers responsibility to work with their students to create more inclusive learning environments, regardless of different students disabilities.

An average school day for student’s who have some sort of disability can be extremely challenging. For typical students who find school relatively easy, it maybe hard for them to fully understand what special ed students go through in a school day, and also on a day to day basis. Social interaction, understanding instruction, not fully being able to read non-verbal cues, sharing and co-operating with other students, and organization and mental planning are just some struggles that these students go through.



Please have a listen to this video!!! It is only two minutes. Before any teacher starts their career they should listen to these videos because it will help teachers realize and appreciate what students who have a disability go through on a day to day basis. The Dear Teacher video illustrates how teachers MUST listen to the voices of their students, and realize that every student learns a different way. It’s not the students responsibility to change, it’s the teachers responsibility to create a more inclusive learning and working environment, regardless of the disability.


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