Monday, January 23, 2012

Special Education For Disabled Children

During the first years of a child's life, the brain is still malleable and able to form important connections so that the child can learn a wide variety of information and abilities. However, if the child suffers from an illness, injury, or condition that causes a disability, it can interfere with his or her ability absorb information in the same way as non-disabled children. Special education classes can help children with disabilities learn in a way tailored to their needs.

In 1975, the U.S. government first legally addressed special education in public schools with the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, or EHA. This included both physically and mentally handicapped children. The act stated that all schools receiving public funding must have programs specifically created for special needs children. These lesson plans were developed with the help of parents so that disabled children had as much of a normal education as possible. The EHA was renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1990.

Later, in 2004, the government recognized the need to amend IDEA so that it better met the needs of disabled children and their education. This was called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, or IDEIA. IDEIA was signed into being in late 2004, and it was adopted in all states by 2006.

To better address the education of disabled children, the federal governments' IDEIA changed the law so that states could apply for grants and other financial aid to help them develop special education programs in public schools. In addition, these funds can help with things like training special education teachers and buying technology necessary to help some students learn.

Under the IDEIA, the government also outlined potentially disabling problems more clearly. However, it is important to keep in mind that these disabilities affect children differently, meaning that a disabling case of Autism may prevent one child from learning in a regular classroom, while another child may be able to succeed in a regular classroom. Thus, it is up to parents as well as doctors and counselors to determine the best way to address a child's educational needs.

Monday, January 16, 2012

What Parents of Special Education Children Need To Know

Parents sometimes approach the special education system with hesitation. This may be due to other person's experiences which they heard about or they may have had to put up a good fight to get their child considered as meeting the requirements for special education. It is a scary thing to enter a situation of which you are unsure of especially when you know nothing of the teachers. Generally, there are a few things of which you should keep in mind when having to handle special education.

The first thing to remember is that the people who work with special education children only want the best for them. It can be difficult to accept; however, even though these people may seem to have other things on their plates, the truth is that many times they have lots of paper work and politics to cope with. This does not mean that they do not care about their job or your child; it just means that they are human and they have many elements of their jobs to think about. This is an important thing to remember when you have a disagreement with a teacher or administrator as it may help make your negotiations a lot easier.

Another important thing to remember is that while the school is required to give your child education, as long as it is adequate, they are doing their job. You may feel as if your child deserves one on one attention all the time but this may not be possible. When your child has the individualized attention of an aide, then this means this aide is unavailable for the use of another child. Remember that schools have limited resources which do include time and funding. As a result, you as the parent may have to devote your own time and money towards getting that extra assistance that may be needed. You may just have to accept what can be done such as having an aide available for part of the day or utilizing resource room help for challenging subjects.

You will want to document everything that the school provides. The purpose of this is to assist with understanding what was agreed upon. As a result, the relevant persons will be held accountable for their work. So, if your child receives an evaluation or a note from the school or home work samples, save it. This will be proof of what happened. Documentation can serve another purpose as well. It acts as a collective record of your child's schooling. This can be a big boost of encouragement to be able to review the skills that he or she has acquired.

Special Education Teachers

Special education can be defined as specially configured instructions and other education-related services to meet the educational, social, emotional, and vocational needs of students with disabilities. Special education teachers educate students who have various types of disabilities, including speech or language impairments, mental retardation, emotional distress, hearing impairments, orthopedic impairments, multiple disabilities, specific learning disabilities, visual impairments, autism, combined blindness and deafness, traumatic brain injury, and other health impairments. A special educator has to work with students of all ages from infants and toddlers, students in elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as youths. The special educator's job also involves working with a team of professionals, i.e., doctors, speech pathologists, social workers, orthopedists, psychiatrists, counselors, etc. The teaching methods and techniques in special education would vary based on the disability and it would also vary from individual to individual.

The teaching methods include individual instructions, problem-solving techniques, group work, and special assignments depending upon the needs of the individual. They can also develop individual educational programs for each student to help with the child's activities of daily living. As technology plays an important role in special education, a teacher is expected to instruct the students and their parents on the latest instrumentations and its usage in disability, as the case maybe. For instance, interactive software and computers that talk are now available in the market, which would be of great help for students with speech impairments. It requires a lot of enthusiasm, optimism, patience, tolerance, and perseverance for one to be a special education teacher as the job involves a lot of interaction with students of all age groups and with other people.

In the United States, all states demand special education teachers to be licensed. The special education teacher has to complete of a teacher's training program and must have a Bachelor's degree or a Master's degree. As they deal with students with mild to profound disabilities, their job demands specialization in either one or other areas of disability, which would enable the teachers to develop their own curriculum materials and teaching techniques to meet the needs of the students.