Developmental Disabilities Program (DDP)

Special Education Service Delivery Model in the OCDSB: A Guide for Parents Of Students with a Developmental Disability
The Ministry of Education defines a developmental disability as:
A severe learning disorder characterized by:
a) An inability to profit from a special education program for students with mild intellectual disabilities because slow intellectual development;
b) An ability to profit from a special education program that is designed to accommodate slow intellectual development;
c) A limited potential for academic learning, independent social adjustment, and economic self-support
The OCDSB supports students with a developmental disability in a variety of ways, including a regular class environment or a specialized program class environment. These students may have some of the following characteristics: limited communication skills; requires guidance and frequent redirection for self-regulation; requires close supervision; and requires assistance for personal care and safety awareness. The OCDSB Specialized Developmental Disability Program classes are for those students with a moderate to severe intellectual delay who, in addition to targeted Tier 1, 2, and 3 interventions, would still benefit from a specialized program class.
Here Is What We Do To Support Students with a Developmental Disability (Tiered Intervention Approach)
There is no specific time requirement for each intervention; the length of time an intervention should be tried is dependent on the individual strengths and needs of the learner. Which interventions are tried also depend on the individual strengths and needs of the learner; there is no one-size that fits all.
School Based Support (Tiered Intervention) MAY include but not limited to:
· Classroom Teacher
· Learning Support Teacher
· Learning Resource Teacher
· Principal/Vice Principal
· Educational Assistant
· Early Childhood Educator
· ESL Teacher
· Multi-Disciplinary Team (Psychologist, Speech/Language Pathologist, Social Worker, etc.)
· Parent(s)/guardian(s)
Classroom based supports (Tier One Interventions) for students with a Developmental Disability in the regular classroom MAY include but not limited to:
· Identification of strengths and needs
· Classroom observation and tracking
· Parent/guardian consultation/feedback
· Classroom assessments
· Differentiation of instruction, environment and/or assessment (e.g. ability grouping, visual supports, use of assistive technology)
School based supports (Tier Two Interventions) for students with a Developmental Disability MAY include but not limited to:
· In-School Team Meeting Referral
· Targeted, precise specific instruction to adhere to need
· Development of Individual Education Plan (IEP)
· Educational Assessment
· Specific differentiated supports in place for areas of strength and need (Example: modify tasks based on ability, communication skills building activities, use of assistive technology)
· Continued parent/guardian consultation
· Consultation with other departments (i.e. Curriculum Services, Business and Learning Technologies, Facilities and Planning)
Other school based supports (Tier Three Interventions) for students with a Developmental Disability MAY include but not limited to:
· Cognitive Assessment (e.g. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, edition four or five (WISC-IV/V), Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI), Wechsler Nonverbal Scale of Ability (WNV))
· Counseling (social emotional support as needed)
· Continued development of IEP
· Parent/guardian consultation/feedback
· Multi-Disciplinary Meeting/Updated action plan (e.g. type of assessments used; SEA application; further opportunities to work with other learners; intensive school based support strategies; student-centered project based learning opportunities; referral for community agency support; specialized program class referral)
Identification as a Student with an Exceptionality of Developmental Disability VS Eligibility for a Specialized Program Class:
Students may be Identified with an exceptionality of developmental disability and not placed into a Developmental Disability specialized program class. In these cases the student would receive in-class support in the regular class setting.
Criteria for Specialized Program Class: Developmental Disability
Specialized Program Classes Available
Grades K – 8 (age 4 – 21)
Class Sizes
Specialized school sites - 8 students per class
Semi-integrated sites – 10 students per class
Assessments, Documentation, and Student Profile for Referral
Cognitive Assessment
To ensure best practice, current psychological data (within the last 2 two years) or verification from a psychologist/psychological associate that an assessment completed more than two years ago continues to be valid is required. The OCDSB will prioritize assessment, for students being considered for a referral to specialized program classes for the following school year, based on need by the multi-disciplinary team and parent consultation. We support this process internally.
Criteria:1) diagnosis of an Intellectual Disability (moderate to severe), as specified in DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fifth edition). 2) an adaptive functioning (moderate to severe) assessment (e.g. Vineland 2) which indicates an impairment comparable to intellectual ability (e.g. coping with daily life demands, personal care, and independence)
Educational Assessment To ensure best practice, an Informal Educational Assessment and Behavioural Summary (within the last 12 months) is required. This form is completed by the child’s current school.
Academic Profile
The student requires a program emphasizing the development of functional academic skills (e.g. communication, socialization and daily living skills) and alternative programming expectations which develops daily living skills and persona care skills (e.g. hygiene, mobility). Intensive support is required in the learning environment. A current report card and current Individual Education Plan (IEP) are required in a referral, if available.
Social/Behavioural Profile
There may be social and/or behavioural factors that warrant being explained as part of a referral process, in an attempt to provide a fulsome picture of the learner. These may be observed within the classroom and/or at home. Due to the moderate to severe intellectual disability, the student has delays in social-interactions skills and/or communication skills. Frequent redirection and guidance is required for self-regulation. Safety awareness in school and the community is limited. An Observation Assessment or Intake Assessment by the developmental disability support team is also required.
Additional Supporting Information
Additional information may be helpful to support a referral to the Developmental Disability specialized program class. This information may be relevant to the student’s needs and programming requirements. If available, additional supporting information may include an Occupational Therapy or Physiotherapy Assessment, a Social Work Assessment, Medial Report, Developmental Profile III, Speech/Language/Augmentative Communication Assessment, and/or any other evidence supporting a referral.
Note: The progress of a student in a specialized program class will be monitored regularly and reviewed through the Individual, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) process to ensure appropriate placement to support student learning needs.
Specialized Program Class Referral Process
Referral Process for the Developmental Disability Specialized Program Class for OCDSB students:
· Deadline for a referral to a Specialized Developmental Disability Program Class is determined by Learning Support Services. (usually the beginning of April)
· OCDSB referrals are coordinated through the multi-disciplinary team at your child’s school.
· All questions relating to this process can be directed to your home school
· Referrals will be considered throughout the year (not only April) on a case by case basis. Once the Developmental Disability program committee has confirmed that the student meets criteria, if space is available an offer for placement may be made at that time.
Referral Process for the Developmental Disability Specialized Program Class for non-OCDSB students:
· Parent(s)/guardian(s) should discuss a possible referral with the principal at their OCDSB community school.
· Deadline for a referral to a Developmental Disability specialized program class is determined by Learning Support Services, as above
· Please review OCDSB current criteria for our programs on the OCDSB website prior to requests for referral forms
· The referral documentation must be completed as a joint effort between parent(s)/guardian(s), OCDSB community school, and child’s current school
· Preference for placement is given to OCDSB students who meet criteria
· Referrals will be considered throughout the year (not only April) on a case by case basis. Once the developmental disability committee has confirmed that the student meets criteria, if space is available, an offer for placement may be made at that time.
Other Information Regarding Referral Process
· The committee begins reviewing referrals in April for placement in the following academic year. Referrals are not considered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Parent(s)/guardian(s) participate in this process, their input is required as part of a referral form.
· Those students who meet criteria will be placed dependent on availability and home address. All those who have met criteria and who have not been placed will remain on a wait list and will be placed throughout the year as spaces become available (wait lists do not carry over to the next academic year)
· Referrals may be submitted at any time throughout the year and will be reviewed by the Developmental Disability committee upon their next meeting. At that time, if the student has met criteria, a placement may be offered, depending on availability
· Please note: further information about referrals can be provided through Learning Support Services (LSS) upon request.
Final Note:
We support learners in a variety of ways within the OCDSB. We recognize that each learner has their individual strengths and needs and that what works for one may not work for another within a similar profile. We allow external referrals to the specialized program classes and welcome students within the Ottawa area to consider any OCDSB school as we endeavor to support our learners, both within the regular class program and within a specialized program setting.
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