Daniel is a Year 10 student with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. He has attended the same district high school since he started school. The school has adapted to Daniel’s changing needs as his physical condition has deteriorated. In 2013, Daniel was in a wheelchair but was still able to toilet himself with minimal support to transfer to the toilet. While he would become fatigued when writing and typing, he was able to keep up with the mainstream curriculum. In the 2013 census, the school rated Daniel as having supplementary needs.
During 2014, Daniel has experienced a rapid deterioration in his physical condition. He now experiences significant weakness in his arms and can no longer transfer to the toilet as before, and will require a hoist and change table. The school has recognised that Daniel will now require further support with his self-care, as well as more significant changes to the way he accesses the curriculum.
The school has held case conferences each term with Daniel, his parents, his occupational therapist, school psychologist, learning support coordinator and year coordinator for several years, as well as using email to communicate between all parties when necessary. To ensure Daniel’s needs are being met given his recent deterioration, the school discussed and implemented the following:
- contacted the consulting teacher from the School of Special Education Needs Disability (SSEND) and occupational therapist to access the required equipment such as hoists and change tables
- accessed training for staff and implemented Daniel’s new toileting/manual handling plan provided by the therapists
- accessed technology and training in the utilisation of software and hardware such as onscreen keyboards, adapted trackpads and electronic textbooks/books to enable Daniel to access the curriculum
- modified class notes, worksheets, timetables so Daniel can access classroom resources on his laptop
- teachers, where appropriate, allow alternate assignment or assessment formats such as oral assessments
- the school psychologist liaises with school staff and parents to discuss what school supports and strategies staff can put in place to assist in addressing Daniel’s social–emotional needs.
The school has updated Daniel’s personalised learning plan and health care plan to reflect these changes, and will continue case conference meetings each term to review Daniel’s progress, as well as the usual communication through emails between key parties.