Individuals with exceptional needs deserve equal rights like other humans, and assisting them academically should not be everyone’s affair . Such persons in the society need special services and individual attention to enable them succeed in the class room like other individuals, whether in specific special classrooms or inclusion classrooms .
When parents identify a disorder with their child, diagnosis of developmental abilities becomes the first step, which can normally be carried out at a remarkably early stage. Specialists assist in the diagnosis, and determine what the infant needs for survival in order for them to strive physically . Intellectual disability may be recognized as the child grows, and this can be characterized by substantial limitations in behavior and intellectual functioning expressed in practical skills . Intellectual abilities may include problem solving, planning, and thinking.
Programs for preschool children with disabilities have various components; a child find system can be used to locate preschool age children at risk in order to make necessary referrals to the education agency . The referrals can come from physician, family or social agencies, and tend to be based on a child’s situation. A child study team starts assessments following a referral to establish the child’s eligibility for preschool special education. In case the child is eligible, an individual education program (IEP) can be established, whereby different professionals participate, to assist the children in adapting to various environmental settings depending on individual need .
After a child’s diagnosis, a multidisciplinary intervention team comprising of professionals from different fields can be established to assist the child. These experts can include educators, therapists, parents or even health care providers who collaborate in the emotional, cognitive and physical needs of a special need child. With consideration for the youngest of children, an IEP can be designed. States have different agencies, which refer families to such services .
Head Start can be considered as one of the biggest federally funded childhood programs. Head start has beneficiaries from children who come from low socioeconomic areas who benefit significantly from experiences and opportunities within Head start.
Transition can be an extremely difficult procedure for any human. Transitioning to elementary school from preschool can be relevant based on a special need student or developmental changes . One of the greatest change areas can be the loss of adult support for any family with a preschooler in a special program, though laid out in an IEP, it can be vital for parents to collaborate with schools to ensure an easy transition for their children. Preschool to elementary transition need proper planning to make sure the kindergarten teacher gets involved and each of the students’ needs get addressed .
For educators, working with special need children requires a lot of willingness and patience, in order to understand and to perform. Issuing general instructions in class can become irrelevant when dealing with students in a wide classroom. Other methods to be used can depend on the severity of the students need and IEP . Most special needs children get mainstreamed allowing normal education. Students can only be separated from the normal classroom for special services required at the education level
Early intervention concentrates on identification and provision of health care, education and other necessary social services, in order to enhance learning and development . Timing can be crucial in delivery of early intervention services, and in most cases the earlier, the better which in most cases tends to be less costly and more effective than providing services to an individual’s life later. Early intervention should not only be directed to the young special need child, but to their families as well, and they must be designed and delivered within a certain framework .
Early intervention can be provided through various services, at home or center. Infants or toddlers, may be taken to a center based program, where they receive instruction and therapy, and receive family centered services to promote learning . Inclusive education supports a general education setting for both students and teachers; it may be defined by the student’s access, and participation in education classroom .
Transition from school to adulthood, should culminate with transfer of support to an adult agency, full access to postsecondary education, or life as an independent adult. In the planning process, a series of choices concerning the specific experiences in school years can prepare special need students in the adult world . An effective transition process include effective middle and high school programs, linking instructions to further education, an accommodative system of transition planning which involves adult services, public education and other natural supports. Lastly the availability of government funded programs following schools which meet the unique educational system .
Decision regarding the skill areas to teach need to be based on functional assessment of the child and of the environment where the child spends more time. The child’s skills tend to be determined by functional assessments, the families’ aspirations, resources and the environmental setting . Assessments should give the teacher a chance to evaluate student’s growth over time in order to assess the students’ progress academically. Other physical, emotional or cognitive needs might exist for the special needs student. Although, special needs students have to take standardized tests relating to their curriculum, which can be unfavorable. These can tend to be restrictive in defining what the students have captured from the teaching .
The portfolio assessment stands to be the best measure of a student’s progress. An educator’s observation can also be tremendously valuable compared to a test score from a document that measures whether the child can answer the test correctly . Personally I believe classroom tests tend to be an obstacle in learning since they make students lose focus on learning and concentrate on passing exams, thus; it can disadvantage students that have special needs. Therefore, I cannot consider exams as an appropriate measure of a student’s progress.
Understanding student’s style of learning and providing lessons which engage their interests in learning can be far more meaningful and practical. All students would share the passion for learning. Inclusive education incorporates an end to labeling of students and their shunting . It establishes a refashioned mainstream, a restructured, unified school, serving all students. Successful and positive experiences in school, including interacting with normal people put special needs children on a better trajectory towards successful transition into adulthood .
These networks enable disabled students to achieve success, these students bond with other students who support them in their coping with an inclusive setting. This implies that inclusive education gives such students opportunities to attend the same school they would attend if they were not disabled . But, one weakness can be the fact that no one teacher can be skillful in teaching several different students, without help from colleagues. Collaborative teaming can be highly advantageous in an inclusive setting, but it may be extremely difficult to enforce due to different philosophical orientations among team members .
In overcoming that weakness. The team should always focus on students’ needs first, view team members as collaborators instead of experts, openly communicate, and meet regularly to discuss students’ progress .
When a special need student reaches a specific point in high school, their IEP starts to reflect their goals in adulthood. This can be furthering education or working in the ‘real world’. The school holds that they aim to promote skills and help students in meeting their goals. If this can be translated to helping a student on personal marketable skills, this can be helpful to provide transition into adulthood .
Bruder, M. B. (2000). The Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP). ERIC Digest #E605. 1-4.
David Abbot, P. H. (2009). Out of Sight, Out of Mind? Transition for Young People With Learning Difficulties in Out -Of-Area Residential Special Schools and Colleges. British Journal of Special Education, 46-53.
Michael L. Hardman, C. J. (2011). Human Exceptionality : School, Community and Family. California: Cengage Learning.