Case Study #2 – “John”

John, a 4th grader was referred to JCOS by his social worker, with whom he has worked for several years. Despite the modifications and accommodations provided in his previous school, this student continually struggled academically and socially. He was referred to the JCOS and its special education program so his needs would be more effectively met. In spite of the therapist’s support, John had a hard time in reading and understanding social situations that resulted in him being bullied and feeling tremendous anxiety in social settings. He struggles with feelings of social isolation and being looked at as “odd.” John had daily visits to the nurse with complaints of stomach aches and headaches. These complaints are seen frequently with students with learning disabilities (LD) who have great anxiety about their classroom performance and ability to succeed. Academically, John is a fluent reader who struggles with comprehension and inferencing and performs as developmentally immature for his age.


JCOS response:
Children with a learning disability (LD) need direct instruction of appropriate academic and social behaviors. The classroom instruction is developed based on some key elements of character development – respect, trustworthiness, honesty, integrity and social justice — core Catholic values that are integrated in all subject areas. These values, in conjunction with direct academic instruction, support our students academically and socially. Direct instruction occurs when teachers explicitly model the desired outcome. Direct instruction supports better organizational skills, understanding of instructions, identification of important information and comprehension of classroom tasks.


John stayed at JCOS for three years and then transferred back to one of the Catholic elementary schools where he is meeting with much success.