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Using Ripple Effects to support students with special needs
Many students identified as having special needs have behavior problems. These maybe independent of, an explanation for, and/or a consequence of learning problems. These students don’t all have the same behavior problems and don’t have the same underlying reasons for their behavior. Ripple Effects can be a value-added component of a truly Individualized Education Plan for students with a range of behavioral challenges and a range of risk factors that propel them.
Supports students with emotional and behavioral disorders
By far the most common use of Ripple Effects is intensive training for students with emotional and behavioral disorders: students who have trouble with hyperactivity, impulsivity, defiance, and anger management.
Builds resilience, social-emotional competency, connection to the community
The interactive, peer narrated tutorials build core social and emotional competencies: self-understanding, empathy, impulse control, management of feelings, assertiveness, decision-making and connection to community. The result: students solve problems better, make healthier connections with diverse others — and do better in school.
Ensures fidelity to proven-effective cognitive, behavioral and affective strategies
The combination of having content expertise locked inside the system and expert judgment written into the data structure ensures that fidelity to evidence-based practice is preserved, even when the program is facilitated by non-professionals.
Matches instruction to each student’s learning strengths
Students learn what they need in whatever ways they learn best: seeing, hearing, watching, and/or kinesthetic involvement. Problem solving scenarios, direct behavioralinstruction, peer modeling, true stories, interactive games, skill rehearsal, journaling, transfer training, along with a reward system, are all built in.
Reduces the documentation burden
A Ripple Effects scope and sequence can be mapped directly to each student’s IEP. The software automatically tracks intervention dosage, easing the burden of documentation.
An Effective Intervention for Special Needs Students
Ripple Effects is rich with colorful illustrations and photos and provides parallel text for all audio and video. It includes a tutorial that directly addresses the challenges of deaf students.
Specific, repeatable training in basic social skills, such as making eye contact and starting and stopping conversations, makes Ripple Effects a good choice for students with mild autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. Students can have a personalized regimen of specific training, without requiring an individual instructor for each student.
Ripple Effects provides specific information on student rights to reasonable accommodation, as well as practical tips for reducing the impact of dyslexia on academic achievement, and techniques for dealing with the feelings and frustration that often come with dyslexia.
Besides the obvious advantage of being physically accessible for students with mobility impairments, Ripple Effects also offers: images of disabled students throughout, a specific tutorial on wheelchairs (for classmates as well as the disabled), and skill building to promote resilience and manage feelings that arise as a result of their disability.
Emotional and behavioral disorders
These may be rooted in family dynamics, or a variety of other risk factors, from racism to abuse. Hundreds of tutorials address both skill deficits and underlying risk factors. There are many reports of students disclosing their personal problems to counselors and nurses, after using Ripple Effects privately to explore personal concerns.
An interactive profiler provides broad screening to separate the medical condition of ADHD from other causes of attention deficit, such as learning style differences, preoccupation with personal problems, and substance use. The program provides impulse control training as well as information about Ritalin.
English language learners
Simple vocabulary, comic book style illustrations, narration by peers from diverse cultural groups, and topics that reflect immediate concerns, like making friends, and dealing with discrimination, have made this program a big hit among English language learners.