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Special Education - Essay Example

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Efforts to educate severely and profoundly handicapped students continue to be a problem for school districts throughout the United States. In the acts passed by the Congress, such as the 'Individual's with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 1997)', definitions of severe disabilities were not included in the amendments…
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Special Education
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Download file to see previous pages The term low-incidence disability is used to refer to these individuals, because the occurrence of such disabilities is less than 1% of the general population (Horner, Albin, Todd & Sprague, 2006). The numbers of students with such disabilities are accordingly less. But the important consideration for these students is the support that is required to help them participate in the community and to live a decent life similar to that of other citizens. Such students will need support for mobility, communication, self-care and learning (Horner, et al., 2006). While these students may have the capacity to learn, they must have lifelong support as well. Because legislation provides for the education of all students, these individuals must be educated to the levels of their abilities (No Child Left Behind Act of 2001). There's a need for providing them an opportunity to function without the stereotypes that exist about their potential.
Students who can learn language acquisition skills can be taught the standards as required in the functional academics standards. There are three levels of language for students with severe disabilities: pre-symbolic, early symbolic and expanded symbolic (Horner, et al., 2006). Because some students are not able to respond to words and pictures, there is also a stage called non-symbolic. Non-symbolic communication can involve the use of technology to attract a student's attention. Daily routines can be established to interest students in books on tapes, artwork, writing and drawing centers. One way to teach students is with picture "reading." Picture communication boards are available to provide a means for students to indicate preferences of their needs and wants. Picture boards can be individualized so that specific students use their own boards to show the teachers what they want to do or what they need. This provides the teacher with direct information about the student's needs, rather than having to guess about the problem at hand.
Because of their exceptionalities, students with low-incidence disabilities are usually educated in a setting designed for their support. Without this special setting, these students may not receive the appropriate educational program required. Many school districts have created facilities to provide educational opportunities for students between the ages of 16 and 21. Certified teachers must serve this population. Without appropriate training, many special education teachers find it difficult to teach such students. Also, opportunities for mastery of objectives by the students are limited because of their disabilities. Sustained efforts on the part of the teachers results in good achievement for the students in the classroom. The problem for teachers is to find ways and means to modify their teaching techniques and students' behaviors to produce learning. There must be a strictly defined plan for all students who are included in this group through the required Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). Also, there must be some methodology for intervening to produce mastery of standards. Students in this group are often difficult to teach and to control. Sometimes their undesirable behavior prevents them from learning. The primary problem ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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