One issue I have with some middle and high school students is their lack of motivation to participate in lessons. I can’t blame them though, I remember being their age. When I put myself in their shoes I can relate…I probably wouldn’t always be motivated to participate in a service that I am not getting graded on and sometimes have to miss class or stay after school for.
The solution? Have the student come up with their own reasons O&M is beneficial. Try to have them think of reasons learning O&M skills now will help them be safer independent travelers in their future.
How? Have your student come up with a minimum of TEN scenarios that could happen to a person traveling alone and a minimum of TWO solutions for them.
I have started making this an IEP goal for students when appropriate. When I started working the previous O&M for my caseload had written a goal similar to this one and I have modified it for my own use.
GOAL: When given ten different scenarios which could happen to a person traveling alone, *** will role-play and/or compile a written list with his instructor and come up with a minimum of two solutions for all ten by ***.
Some examples of scenarios are:
Traveling in the dark compared to day
Missing your bus stop
Getting on the wrong bus
Construction on your travel path
Your travel companion cancelled last minute and now you have to travel to a destination alone
When on the bus you become distracted and are not sure how far you’ve gone
Cannot find an item in a store, can’t find a store in the mall or shopping center
Cannot see a menu
Attempting to locate a destination when traveling there for the first time alone
Your phone runs out of battery
The possibilities are endless!
Of course these are some scenarios that will be taught as those skills are incorporated into lessons on public transportation or grocery store travel, BUT the student does not have to know that. If they think they came up with idea first, the goal is that they will be engaged participants and practice the skills with you their instructor so they already have that experience when they are adults.
PLEASE share your ways to motivate students to be active O&M participants in the comment section below.