Educating Children with Fragile X: A Multi-Professional View

Educating Children with Fragile X: A Multi-Professional View

Educating Children with Fragile X: A Multi-Professional View

Educating Children with Fragile X: A Multi-Professional View


What is Fragile X? The most common inherited cause of learning difficulties, affecting a child's ability to tackle key areas such as literacy and numeracy, and causing behaviour problems and social anxiety. What can teachers do to help children with Fragile X become more effective learners? This definitive text will provide essential support and information for teachers withnbsp;the expertise of an international field of researchers, whose variety of perspectives contribute to anbsp;unique, multi-professional approach. Each chapter of the book suggests practical intervention strategies, based on sound educational principles expressed innbsp;clear non-specific terms. A range of important topics are considered, including: * the physical and behavioural characteristics of Fragile X * the effects of Fragile X on learning * medication and therapy * related conditions such as autism and attention deficit disorders. Breaking down the barriers of professional practice, this book establishes the groundwork for successful and valuable multi-professional teamwork. By providing immediate access to a body of empirical knowledge and advice from other disciplines, it will encourage teachers to incorporate this approach into their own practice.nbsp;Everyone responsible for the education of a child with Fragile X syndrome should read this book.


Denise Dew-Hughes

Educating a child with fragile X syndrome, or any child with complex learning difficulties, challenges the professional knowledge and practice of teachers. Each child is unique in its needs and skills and all good teachers differentiate their practice accordingly, but the child with exceptional needs requires something exceptional from the teacher.

Pupils with pervasive developmental disorders, such as fragile X syndrome, present with complex, diffuse and global educational needs. Their learning difficulties are compounded with behavioural, physical and medical problems, and influenced by complex personal and environmental factors. Teachers confident in meeting a wide range of learning needs might well consider their skills insufficient when these needs are combined within a single pupil.

This dilemma affects all teachers as the boundaries between mainstream and special education become less clear cut. More children with learning difficulties are educated alongside normally developing peers, and classroom teachers have statutory responsibility for identifying and meeting special needs. Mainstream schools have become more inclusive, delivering a broader education, while special schools have assumed additional roles as advisory and support centres. Conditions such as fragile X present a wide range of learning difficulties and cross boundaries of school placement, but still require special expertise and understanding from teachers.

The transition of pupils with special needs between specialist provision and mainstream schools has coincided with an increased perception of human rights within a non-segregated society. Pre-judgements, stereotyping and reduced expectations of ability of people with learning difficulties are rightly resisted from a human rights standpoint. At the same time, increased scientific diagnosis of learning difficulties, endorsing medical and genetic causation, has reawakened the spectre of the 'pupil deficit' model of special educational needs. Diagnosed disorders giving rise to complex learning difficulties retain strong links with pathology and genetic causation. This presents a risk of pre-judgement of ability or provision according to diagnosis, even though such pre-determination would rightly be rejected on grounds of human rights. Education requires a firm foundation of professional knowledge and ideology to incorporate these two seemingly oppositional concepts.

Teachers responsible for pupils with pervasive developmental disorders and complex learning difficulties face professional challenges as well as ideological issues. Although initially trained to meet special needs, teachers may consider themselves under-qualified to deliver the specialist education to which these exceptional pupils are legally entitled. Initially, teachers might do well to reacquaint themselves with the basic elements from which they construct their professional practice. Faced with the exceptional child, they might construct

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