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Psychological Profile

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Problem Scenario
Jozef is not progressing academically. He is experiencing difficulty decoding words as the material is getting more difficult and he can’t handle it. He has been acting out and not doing his homework. He struggles with word families and blending words to read more lengthy and difficult passages. He still reverses letters because of his dyslexia, and he has started to shut down academically. He will not attempt anything he perceives to be too difficult and he is able to answer comprehension questions on material that is verbally read to him. His vocabulary skills are still weak; as he has a difficult time understanding figurative language, including idioms, similes, and metaphors. He struggles with comprehension of material that he reads: he is unable to identify story elements in more complex reading materials. He is able to solve word problems when problems are rephrased and visuals or manipulatives are given to assist him. He has difficulty copying directly from the board, and this adds to his frustration. Perhaps a misdiagnosis or non diagnosis of a visual processing disorder is to blame for some of the academic difficulties Jozep if experiencing.

A meeting has been held to discuss Jozef’s academic difficulties. Mr. and Mrs. Branovic were invited, as were his classroom teacher, his ESOL teacher, the School Guidance Counselor, his ESE teacher, and the Principal. Below you will find their perspectives on Jozef’s learning difficulties.

Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Branovic are upset because there has been no homework coming home with Jozef for quite some time. Jozef has been telling them that there is no homework and until now, they believed him. They are also upset at the lack of communication with the teacher and the fact that they are not being told anything. They are concerned about his academic progress and his safety. They want what is best for their son and they want answers to their questions.

Principal: Mrs. Administrator is concerned with the legal issues as well as the academic progress of Jozef. She is apprehensive about the repercussions of a possible retention and does not know how Mrs. and Mrs. Branovic will react to such news. She is also looking for the best possible solution to the problem. She wants to meet Jozef’s needs realistically and using the best available resources in the school. She wants Mr. and Mrs. Branovic to feel comfortable with Jozef attending school and she wants to try to fix the apparent lack of communication.

School Counselor: She is aware of Jozef’s behavior. She has been proactive in the situation and has included Jozef in her self esteem group, which meets once a week. She has been keeping an eye on Jozef, monitoring his behavior while she is doing lunch duty in the cafeteria. She has offered some suggestions to Jozef’s classroom teacher to help him deal with his frustration.

Classroom Teacher: The classroom teacher leaves the job of accommodations and modifications to the ESOL teacher because all of Jozef’s problems are because of his ESOL status. They are all ESOL or ESE related, and she doesn’t know what to do since this is not her area of certification. She also sometimes forgets that Jozef is an ESOL student because he speaks so fluently; he should be able to understand as fluently as he speaks. She doesn’t know what she is to do for ESOL modifications, as that is the ESOL teacher’s responsibility to provide her with the modifications for Jozef. She forgets about making accommodations for Jozef, and at times she is frustrated at the situation. She thinks that Jozef may be using the ESOL factor as a crutch, or a way to get out of working to his potential, which she feels he is able to do.

ESOL Teacher: Feels Jozef is well behaved in her room and this is the first of any trouble that she has heard about. She feels that the ESE teacher and the classroom teacher are not giving enough support and accommodations to Jozef to help him be successful in the classroom. She also that they are expecting too much for him and not taking into account the ESOL issues that Jozef is dealing with. They need to be more culturally aware and sensitive about Hozef’s needs and not think that she is the only one who can provide ESOL services for Jozef. She also gets frustrated at the fact that accommodations are provided for Jozef without the confines of her classroom and that the other teachers are not continuing whith those supports throughout the day for Jozef. She has provided them with ESOL strategies and she feels that they should be using them with Jozef.

ESE Teacher: She feels full time placement in an ESOL program is necessary for Jozef to be successful. She feels the ESOL teacher is not giving enough support to Jozef and she doesn’t have a problem with the ESOL teacher spending time with Jozef in her classroom. She is making ESE accommodations, modifying the curriculum and assisting with all academic tasks so that Jozef is somewhat successful. What is happening in effect is that she is watering down the curriculum and she knows that. She feels that Jozef is capable of more if he had appropriate accommodations and supports from the ESOL teacher.

Jozef doesn’t see what all the fuss over his academics is about. He is doing the best he can and getting used to a new environment, making new friends and learning to adjust. He doesn’t like all of the attention being focused on him and he wishes everyone would just stop bothering him about it and making such a big deal about nothing. He tries his best and is doing what he can. He gets help from the teachers and they like him. “Why is everyone bothering me” is all that he keeps thinking. He doesn’t want all of this attention on him. He wishes that sometimes everyone would just leave him alone and focus on the good things that he does, instead of what he can’t do. Jozef feels that he is going to make some mistakes as he learns the language and that this is “normal.” He doesn’t see anything wrong with his work, except for the mistakes he sometimes makes. But then again, don’t we all? is his way of thinking. He is trying to learn a bunch of different things at once: school, making friends, and fitting into new customs while trying to preserve old ones.


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