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CASE STUDY Thomas, Cognitive, Supplementary

Year level
Educational setting
Mainstream school

Level of adjustment
Category of disability
Included in data collection

Thomas's story

Thomas is in Year 4 at a metropolitan all-boys school. He has a severe language disorder that impacts on his ability to comprehend oral information and express himself verbally. School-based and national assessment data indicate his level of achievement in literacy is approximately two years behind his peers. Thomas is given extra time to organise his thoughts and construct sentences.

Written expression is challenging for Thomas, as is generating ideas, retrieving memories, and applying spelling and grammar rules. He has been observed to find the act of writing challenging. Thomas’s teacher gives him extra time to complete classwork and tests, simplifies and models her instructions and regularly checks in with him to ensure he is on task.

Thomas receives private speech pathology, and his parents have consented for the school to consult regularly with the speech pathologist to ensure that supportive strategies are used in the classroom.

The learning support teacher at the school summarised recommended strategies from the speech pathologist in a learning profile. This document is stored in a shared drive accessible by staff who work with Thomas. To further support Thomas’s literacy development, the learning support teacher works with him in a small literacy support group up to four times a week in the classroom. The focus of the group is to scaffold classwork and simplify tasks to assist with his comprehension and written output. Thomas’s teacher and the learning support teacher meet with Thomas’s family at least twice per year to discuss his progress and to review the support available to him at the school.

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 a student with disability to access education on the same basis as other students.

    As defined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Thomas has a disorder or malfunction that results in him learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction.

  • Do you have evidence? Yes

    • Speech pathology diagnostic report and consultation notes
    • Learning profile document
    • School-based and national assessment data
    • Literacy support group plan
    • Work samples from literacy support group
    • Documented teacher work plan and notes
    • Minutes of meetings with parents and speech pathologist
  • Step 2. What is the level of adjustment? Supplementary

    Thomas requires adjustments for particular activities at specific times including:

    • adapted and additional instruction in some or many learning areas or specific activities
    •  personalised and explicit instruction to support one or more areas of communication
    • enabling access to learning through specialised technology.
  • Step 3. What is the category of disability? Cognitive

    The adjustments provided to support Thomas’s diagnosed severe language disorder place him in the cognitive category of disability.

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

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