Case Study - The Benefit of Work Experience for Pupils with Learning Difficulties

Case Study 

We have been looking at a student with learning difficulties.
This student has mild mobility issues stemming from dyspraxia, he also has hypotonia (low muscle tone) and balance problems.

There are times when the student may have difficulty with attitude towards peers and the familiar adults he is in contact with.
His mobility issue can be the cause of him to lose confidence and opt out of some situations that require him to push himself physically.
He has very good social and communication skills, and has the ability to communicate in a mature manner.
Support has been provided by an Occupational therapist and a teaching assistant for his mobility issues and his confidence in his physical abilities.
The student has always helped out at home with gardening; it was something he enjoyed and was good at, this is where we focussed our search for a work experience placement in year 10.
A placement was found in a local parks department working for the local council.
He was interviewed and as a direct result of this was offered two weeks work experience instead of the usual one.
He had to push himself physically and mentally to be successful in the placement.
He needed to keep up with his colleagues and carry out the tasks required.
It involved a lot of physical strength digging etc and really challenged him physically.

As a result the student has improved in all areas of their development.
Increased confidence has helped him develop physically and mentally.
He is more able to access P.E and keep up with his peers during life skills trips that involve walking.
He is much more willing to get involved with things inside school and opting out has stopped.
He has improved his relationships with his peers displaying a much more mature attitude and more tolerance with others behaviour. This has enabled him to establish relationships outside school with his classmates. 
He has since started a horticulture course at a local college.
Overall it has been an extremely positive and worthwhile endeavour. 
It has enabled the student to grow into a well rounded and employable young man.

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