Special Education in the Schools
Nov 14, To see the DoD Special Needs Parent Toolkit and more, go here. 3. with rare disabilities find health resources, information, and services. Parental views on how students with special educational needs are supported in Irish Link between assessment of disability and allocation of resources . .. outcomes for children; State services work together to achieve this. The aspiration of special educators is to see every child as a unique Children with special educational needs should be served in regular classes to receive education and related services in residential schools, hospitals, or training centers. . Such a program must contain the objectives to be attained, resources to be.
Consequently, the system for the delivery of special education must enable the incorporation of special help and opportunities in regular educational settings. Children should spend only as much time outside regular class settings as is necessary to control learning variables that are critical to the achievement of specified learning goals.
Special education is a cross-disciplinary, problem-oriented field of services which is directed toward mobilizing and improving a variety of resources to meet the educational needs of children and youth with exceptionalities. Indeed, special education developed as a highly specialized area of education in order to provide children with exceptionalities with the same opportunities as other children for a meaningful, purposeful, and fulfilling life.
Perhaps the most important concept that has been developed in special education as the result of experiences with children with exceptionalities is that of the fundamental individualism of every child.
The aspiration of special educators is to see every child as a unique composite of potentials, abilities, and learning needs for whom an educational program must be designed to meet his or her particular needs. From its beginnings, special education had championed the cause of children with learning problems.
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It is as the advocates of such children and of the concept of individualization that special education can come to play a major creative role in the mainstream of education. The special competencies of special educators are more than a collection of techniques and skills.
They comprise a body of knowledge, methods, and philosophical tenets that are the hallmark of the profession. As professionals, special educators are dedicated to the optimal education of children with exceptionalities and they reject the misconception of schooling that is nothing but custodial care. The focus of all education should be the unique learning needs of the individual child as a total functioning organism. All educators should recognize and accept that special and regular education share the same fundamental goals.
Special education expands the capacity of schools to respond to the educational needs of all students. As advocates of the right of all children to an appropriate education, special educators affirm their professionalism. Children with special educational needs should be served in regular classes and neighborhood schools insofar as these arrangements are conducive to good educational progress.
The Council believes that the goal of educating exceptional children with nonexceptional children is desirable if the individual program is such that it will enhance the exceptional child's educational, social, emotional, and vocational development. It is sometimes necessary, however, to provide special supplementary services for children with exceptionalities or to remove them from parts or all of the regular educational program. It may even be necessary to remove some children from their homes and communities in order for them to receive education and related services in residential schools, hospitals, or training centers.
The Council believes that careful study and compelling reasons are necessary to justify such removal. The Council charges each public agency to ensure that a continuum of alternative placements, ranging from regular class programs to residential settings, is available to meet the needs of children with exceptionalities.Students with Disabilities: Special Education Categories
Children with exceptionalities enrolled in special school programs should be given every appropriate opportunity to participate in educational, nonacademic, and extracurricular programs and services with children who are not disabled or whose disabilities are less severe. While special schools for children with exceptionalities and other separate educational facilities may function as part of an effective special educational delivery system, it is indefensible to confine groups of exceptional pupils inappropriately in such settings as a result of the failure to develop a full continuum of less restrictive programs.
The Council condemns as educationally and morally indefensible the practice of categorical isolation by exceptionality without full consideration of the unique needs of each student, and the rejection of children who are difficult to teach from regular school situations. When insufficient program options exist and when decisions are poorly made, children with exceptionalities are denied their fundamental rights to free public education.
In so acting, education authorities violate the basic tenets of our democratic societies. Like all children, children with exceptionalities need environmental stability, emotional nurturance, and social acceptance. Decisions about the delivery of special education to children with exceptionalities should be made after careful consideration of their home, school, and community relationships, their personal preferences, and effects on self-concept, in addition to other sound educational considerations.
To achieve such outcomes, there must exist for all children, youth, and young adults a rich variety of early intervention, educational, and vocational program options and experiences. Access to these programs and experiences should be based on individual educational need and desired outcomes.
Furthermore, students and their families or guardians, as members of the planning team, may recommend the placement, curriculum option, and the exit document to be pursued. CEC believes that a continuum of services must be available for all children, youth, and young adults. CEC also believes that the concept of inclusion is a meaningful goal to be pursued in our schools and communities. In addition, CEC believes children, youth, and young adults with disabilities should be served whenever possible in general education classrooms in inclusive neighborhood schools and community settings.
Such settings should be strengthened and supported by an infusion of specially trained personnel and other appropriate supportive practices according to the individual needs of the child. Policy Implications Schools In inclusive schools, the building administrator and staff with assistance from the special education administration should be primarily responsible for the education of children, youth, and young adults with disabilities.
The administrator s and other school personnel must have available to them appropriate support and technical assistance to enable them to fulfill their responsibilities. In return for greater autonomy, the school administrator and staff should establish high standards for each child, youth, and young adult, and should be held accountable for his or her progress toward outcomes.
Communities Inclusive schools must be located in inclusive communities; therefore, CEC invites all educators, other professionals, and family members to work together to create early intervention, educational, and vocational programs and experiences that are collegial, inclusive, and responsive to the diversity of children, youth, and young adults.
Further, the policy makers should fund programs in nutrition, early intervention, health care, parent education, and other social support programs that prepare all children, youth, and young adults to do well in school.
There can be no meaningful school reform, nor inclusive schools, without funding of these key prerequisites. As important, there must be interagency agreements and collaboration with local governments and business to help prepare students to assume a constructive role in an inclusive community.
Moreover, special educators should be trained with an emphasis on their roles in inclusive schools and community settings. They also must learn the importance of establishing ambitious goals for their students and of using appropriate means of monitoring the progress of children, youth, and young adults. Teacher training institutions are challenged to instruct all teacher candidates about current trends in the education of exceptional children.
State and provincial departments of education are charged with the responsibility to promote inservice activities that will update all professional educators and provide ongoing, meaningful staff development programs. Administrators can have a significant positive influence upon the professional lives of teaching staff and, therefore, upon the educational lives of children. Administrative personnel of school districts are, therefore, charged with the responsibility to promote inservice education and interprofessional exchanges which openly confront contemporary issues in the education of all children.
The Council believes that the central element for the delivery of all the services required by a person with an exceptionality must be an individually designed program.
Special Education in the Schools
Such a program must contain the objectives to be attained, resources to be allocated, evaluation procedures and time schedule to be employed, and a termination date for ending the program and procedure for developing a new one.
The process for developing an individualized program must adhere to all the procedural safeguards of due process of law and must involve the individual person and his or her family, surrogate, advocate, or legal representative. Most significant is our position that all individuals are entitled to adequate representation when such decisions are being made. We support the increasing efforts on the part of governments to officially require the assignment of a surrogate when a family member is not available for purposes of adequately representing the interests of the person with an exceptionality.
Ultimately, however, whenever possible, a member of the individual's family provides the most desirable representation.
It is also our position that the individual consumer must be given every opportunity to make his or her own decisions, that this is a right provided to all citizens, and that any abridgement of that individual right can only occur upon the proper exercise of law.
For this reason, all programs should contain plans to evaluate their effectiveness, and the results of such evaluations should be presented for public review. The Council believes that all legislation to fund existing programs or create new programs should contain mechanisms for effective evaluation and that governmental advisory bodies should review the findings of evaluations on a regular basis. External as well as internal systems of evaluation should be developed to aid in the evaluation of programs for children and youth with exceptionalities.
As the result of early attitudes and programs that stressed assistance for children with severe disabilities, the field developed a vocabulary and practices based on the labeling and categorizing of children. In recent decades, labeling and categorizing were extended to children with milder degrees of exceptionality.
Unfortunately, the continued use of labels tends to rigidify the thinking of all educators concerning the significance and purpose of special education and thus to be dysfunctional and even harmful for children. Words such as "defective," "disabled," "retarded," "impaired," "disturbed," and "disordered," when attached to children with special needs, are stigmatic labels that produce unfortunate results in both the children and in the community's attitudes toward the children.
These problems are magnified when the field organizes and regulates its programs on the basis of classification systems that define categories of children according to such terms. Many of these classifications are oriented to etiology, prognosis, or necessary medical treatment rather than to educational classifications. They are thus of little value to the schools. Simple psychometric thresholds, which have sometimes been allowed to become pivotal considerations in educational decision making, present another set of labeling problems.
Special education's most valuable contribution to education is its specialized knowledge, competencies, values, and procedures for individualizing educational programs for individual children, whatever their special needs.
Indeed, special educators at their most creative are the advocates of children who are not well served by schools except through special arrangements. To further the understanding of and programming for such children, special educators as well as other educational personnel should eliminate the use of simplistic categorizing.
No one can deny the importance of some of the variables of traditional significance in special education such as intelligence, hearing, and vision. However, these variables in all their complex forms and degrees must be assessed in terms of educational relevance for a particular child.
Turning them into typologies that may contribute to excesses in labeling and categorizing children is indefensible and should be eliminated.
In the past, many legislative and regulatory systems have specified criteria for including children in an approved category as the starting point for specialized programming and funding. This practice places high incentives on the labeling of children and undoubtedly results in the erroneous placement of many children.
It is desirable that financial aids be tied to educational programs rather than to children and that systems for allocating children to specialized programs be much more open than in the past. Special educators should enhance the accommodative capacity of schools and other educational agencies to serve children with special needs more effectively.
In identifying such children, special educators should be concerned with the identification of their educational needs, not with generalized labeling or categorizing of children. Decisions about the education of children should be made in terms of carefully individualized procedures that are explicitly oriented to children's developmental needs.
Top 10 Resources for Special Education Teachers | SJU
To further discourage the labeling and categorizing of children, programs should be created on the basis of educational functions served rather than on the basis of categories of children served. Regulatory systems that enforce the rigid categorization of pupils as a way of allocating them to specialized programs are indefensible. Financial aid for special education should be tied to specialized programs rather than to finding and placing children in those categories and programs.
Psychological tests of many kinds saturate our society and their use can result in the irreversible deprivation of opportunity to many children, especially those already burdened by poverty and prejudice. Most group intelligence tests are multileveled and standardized on grade samples, thus necessitating the use of interpolated and extrapolated norms and scores. Most group intelligence tests, standardized on LEAs rather than individual students, are not standardized on representative populations.
In spite of the use of nonrepresentative group standardization procedures, the norms are expressed in individual scores. Most group intelligence tests, standardized on districts which volunteer, may have a bias in the standardization. Many of the more severely handicapped and those expelled or suspended have no opportunity to influence the norms. Group intelligence tests are heavily weighted with language and will often yield spurious estimates of the intelligence of non-English speaking or language different children.
A group intelligence test score, although spurious, may still be a good predictor of school performance for some children. School achievement predicts future school performance as well as group intelligence tests, thus leaving little justification for relying on group intelligence tests.
One of the most frequent abuses of group intelligence tests is the use of such tests with populations for which they are inappropriate. The Council goes on record in full support of the recommendations of the "Classification Project" Hobbs, The Futures of Children,pp. That there be established "minimum guidelines with respect to the utilization of psychological tests for the classification of children. There exist considerable variations and inconsistencies within and among the states and provinces regarding graduation requirements for pupils with exceptional needs and the procedures for their receiving, or not receiving, a diploma.
An emerging issue which compounds these variations and inconsistencies is the minimal competency testing movement, which uses established test results as standards for the granting of diplomas or for the determination of grade placement.
Unless educational policies in this area are formulated so as to resolve these inconsistencies, eliminate potentially discriminatory practices, and assure that graduation and grade placement requirements are equitably applied to all students, many of the educational gains made by pupils with exceptional needs could be threatened or delayed. These policies should incorporate the following principles: Every pupil with exceptional needs should have available the opportunity to demonstrate minimal competency.
Alternative methods of minimal competency testing and the demonstration of minimal competency should be available to pupils with exceptional needs to assure that the competency level is being tested rather than the exceptionality. The application of minimal competency testing programs to pupils with exceptional needs should provide for adequate phase-in periods and educational preparation time.
A minimal competency testing program for students with exceptional needs should provide successive opportunities to demonstrate competency as well as adequate and appropriate remedial programs to address areas in which competency is not sufficiently demonstrated.
The successful implementation of a minimal competency testing program, including its application to pupils with exceptional needs, requires the cooperative efforts of regular educators, special educators, and parents in its planning, application, and evaluation.
Although these procedures often simplify care and maintenance, the integrity of the individual must transcend any institution's desire for administrative convenience. Ways to adapt and supplement your classroom materials with printed materials, activities, books, and charts.
Tips to create an inclusive classroom with behavior modification and educational technology. Tips and tools you can use with students to help them learn subjects such as science, mathematics, social studies, and reading and language. Teaching methodology articles on how to better manage and teach students with special needs. Higher Education The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 17 percent increase in special education teachers from to Although competition in the field may rise, the U.
Labor Statistics Bureau also reports that many school districts are having trouble finding an adequate number of licensed special education teachers. To put yourself in the best possible position and receive the teaching position you desire, consider seeking additional education with a Master of Science in Special Education to get advanced training along with professional certification.
Videos and articles contain valuable information and strategies to help you effectively teach your students. You can also read tips on assistive technology, improving parent-teacher relationships, and using the Individualized Education Program IEP or Plan.
Special Education Resources and Links for Parents and Teachers
Some of the resources on this website include: A list of forms, tables, checklists, and procedures you can view and print to help organize and manage all the activities you need to do on a daily basis. News alerts to help you stay on top of the newest research discoveries. Articles you can read on how to assess students for placement in special education. Monthly publications of The Practical Teacher, which includes tools, strategies, and information you can use to better manage your classroom.
Handouts you can give to parents after a parent teacher conference that will help them understand how they can help their child at home. Free online editions of the Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals, which include studies from researchers in the special education field.
Many articles on autism, assessments, behavior modification, and classroom management you can read and print for sharing with other teachers and parents. Research and State Laws The Education Commission of the States provides news, the latest research findings, and special education laws by state. The site lists special education workshops and other events focusing on the special needs of students. Resource Guides The National Education Association provides special education news and guides on common issues found in the special education school system.
Some of the guides include: Social Media Social networking sites provide you with a large community of special education teachers to consult with on what strategies they find effective. The following are some of the social networking sites where you can connect with other educators: