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K-12 CAMS for Students with Depression

Individuals with depression may experience any of the limitations discussed below.  The degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Not all students with depression will need CAMS (compensations accommodations, modifications, strategies) to perform in school and many others may only need a few CAMS. Regardless, each student’s case should be evaluated on an individual basis with an Independent Needs Assessment Protocol done by an Educational Strategist & Consultant or a Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN).  The following is a sample of possible CAMS for students with depression.  Other CAMS solutions may exist so check with an Educational Strategist & Consultant or Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN) for more information.          




1. What limitations the student with depression is experiencing?

2. How these limitations affect the student and the student's school performance?

3. What specific activities or tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?

4. What CAMS are available to reduce or eliminate these problems?

5. Are all possible resources being used to determine possible CAMS?

6. Has the student with depression been consulted regarding possible CAMS?  Does the student know how s/he learns best?

7. Once CAMS are in place, would it be useful to talk with the student and/or team to evaluate the effectiveness of the CAMS and to determine whether additional or different CAMS are needed?

8. Do parents and school staff need training regarding depression?

9.  Schedule time to meet with the Educational Strategist & Consultant or Special Educational Needs Consultant (SEN) to determine how to communicate needed CAMS with the school team and how to document.






Stamina during the Workday:


        Flexible scheduling

        Allow longer or more frequent breaks

        Allow student to work from home during part of the day or week

        Part time school schedule




        Reduce distractions in the work space area

        Provide space enclosures or a quiet work space area



        Allow for use of white noise or environmental sound machines

        Allow the student to play soothing music using a handheld player and headset

        Increase natural lighting or provide full spectrum lighting

        Plan for uninterrupted work time and allow for frequent breaks

        Divide large assignments into smaller tasks and goals

        Restructure task or activity to include mastery of only essential functions


Memory Deficits:


        Allow the student to record lectures and provide written checklists or notes

        Provide type written notes of each lecture or classroom discussion 2-3 days in advance

        Provide written instructions and allow additional teaching and learning time


Difficulty Staying Organized and Meeting Deadlines:


        Make daily to-do lists and check items off as they are completed

        Use several calendars to mark activities, tasks, and deadlines

        Remind student of important deadlines

        Use electronic organizers

        Divide large assignments into smaller tasks and goals


Difficulty Handling Stress and Emotions:


        Provide praise and positive reinforcement

        Refer to counseling and student assistance programs

        Allow telephone calls during school hours to doctors and others for needed support

        Allow the presence of a support animal

        Allow the student to take breaks as needed


Attendance Issues:


        Provide flexible leave for health problems

        Provide self-paced work completion and flexible hours

        Allow student to work from home and provide part-time school schedule

        Allow student to make up time


2006 Claudia Lowe, SENC  ......  adapted from www.jan.wvu.edu