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Training Special Children

By Ashraf Al Shafaki

When teaching children with Down syndrome, use the same principles for teaching regular kids and adults, namely: provide them with self confidence, arouse interest in them for the subject and try to encourage them to explore on their own. Do not try to treat them as robots in which you are pouring your information nor overreact to their mistakes or failures in understanding or memorizing what you have tried to teach them. Just act as if they are doing well, give higher priority to making them feel self confident about their skill than to making them do exactly what you told them in the exact way you showed them at a perfect skill level. Self confidence will make them better able learn more on their own later on.

SketchUp for Down Syndrome

The above were general guidelines for teaching kids with Down syndrome and even all kinds of kids and adults. As for specific instructions for teaching SketchUp to children with Down syndrome, here are some tips:

Kids with Down syndrome usually have better memories than the average person. They also tend to get bored less easily and are good at repetition. Their inductive processes however might be lower than average. Therefore, when teaching children with Down syndrome how to use SketchUp try to avoid providing them with a lot of explanations and the logic behind how things work. Instead, show them how you draw complete things. Show them step by step how to do things. They can memorize long lists of instructions as they see them done in front of them. After showing them, let them practice doing the same by themselves. Next time you see them, you might be surprised by how well they remember all the processes you have showed them during the previous time and how well they perform.

Remember to encourage them and to provide them with self confidence through not making a fuss about any mistakes they might do. If a student does something the wrong way, just approach him or her gently and show him or her how it is done without giving the impression that he or she should have known how to do it correctly.