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CASE STUDY Marigold, Supplementary, Social/emotional

Year level
Educational setting
Mainstream school

Level of adjustment
Category of disability
Included in data collection

Marigold's story

Marigold is a Year 10 student who lives with her family in a city. During the last term, Marigold has complained several times about abdominal cramps and feeling nauseous, and has requested to go to the sick bay. She has also been absent a number of days. Marigold has mentioned to her teachers that she is having difficulty falling asleep at night due to worries. Marigold’s parents told the school that her doctor has ruled out any physical medical issues and further investigation has not been carried out yet.

In class, Marigold’s teachers have noticed that she often appears anxious or distracted, particularly when the class is completing an assessment task. Marigold seems to have difficulty making decisions and participating in class discussions. She often seeks clarification and reassurance when undertaking tasks.

Teachers have noted that Marigold’s moods can quickly change across the school day, moving from withdrawn and quiet, to having onset panic attacks where she will become breathless and agitated. She has also been socialising less with her peers during break times and often reads by herself in the library.

When engaged in learning, Marigold achieves well academically; however, there are numerous occasions when the work produced does not reflect her ability. Marigold’s attention and problem-solving ability can also fluctuate.

Marigold’s teachers believe the recent changes in her behaviour and the variable emotional states they have observed at school may reflect an underlying mental health challenge.

The Student Services team has met on several occasions with Marigold and her parents to discuss teacher observations and concerns. These consultations have resulted in strategies to support Marigolds mental health and wellbeing and a documented plan. The plan will be reviewed at the end of each term.

The school psychologist has recently started meeting weekly with Marigold to work on emotional regulation strategies to manage her anxious thoughts and feelings. With Marigold’s consent, the school psychologist has also met with Marigold’s teachers to provide strategies that will support Marigold’s learning and enable her to self-regulate. Marigold’s teachers will meet at the end of each term to review and evaluate the effectiveness of adjustments provided.

Marigold’s teachers provide her with adjustments that include ensuring she has a clear understanding of what a task requires, breaking it down into manageable chunks. They encourage her to ‘have a go’ rather than placing emphasis on always having to be right or having to complete assigned tasks within the lesson period. Marigold is also supported to complete assessments in alternate locations such as a quiet area in the library. Marigold may be given additional time or a reduced workload for homework and assessment tasks. Marigold takes this time to use the emotional regulation strategies she has learned to calm herself and regain focus.

Marigold also participates in a whole-school resilience program. She has a ‘chill-out’ card that allows her to access the alternate learning space when she feels overwhelmed. At the beginning of each day, Marigold is encouraged to check in with her homeroom teacher to discuss how she is feeling. If feeling overwhelmed she has the option to go to the alternate learning space.

Information that supports inclusion in the NCCD What's this?

  • Step 1. Is there an adjustment to address disability? Yes

    Yes, adjustments are provided to enable Marigold to access education on the same basis as other students.

    As defined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Marigold has an imputed disability. Based on teacher professional judgement, it is believed that Marigold has a disorder, illness or disease that is affecting her thought processes, emotions or judgement or that results in disturbed behaviour.  

  • Do you have evidence? Yes

    •    Teachers and support staff note when Marigold appears stressed or complains of abdominal cramps and headaches and record these incidents on the school record management system 
    •    Evidence of parent contact recorded on the school record management system 
    •    Session appointments held with the school psychologist are documented
    •    Documented plan for emotional regulation strategies and adjustments made by teachers
    •    Emails documenting feedback to parents in relation to Marigold’s progress in the resilience program
    •    Teachers’ notes showing when extra time or reduced load has been provided
    •    Records of special arrangements made for assessments
    •    Records of visits to the alternate learning space.

  • Step 2. What is the level of adjustment? Supplementary

    •    Adjustments made for particular activities at particular times
    •    Modified or tailored programs in some or many learning areas
    •    Separate supervision or extra time to complete assessment tasks
    •    Weekly sessions with the school psychologist
    •    Programs or interventions to address Marigold’s social/emotional needs.

  • Step 3. What is the category of disability? Social/emotional

    With no formal diagnosis, the school has identified that Marigold should be included in the NCCD under the social/emotional category. This is based on the adjustments that are being provided to support Marigold for an imputed disability.

  • Step 4. Record and submit the data Yes (Student is included)

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