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In the past, students with disabilities tended to be isolated from their peers by Special Education paradigms that obliged them to receive learning in a physically isolated setting. Far from helping these children to achieve their full potential, such setups tended to stigmatize them, making, making it even more difficult to look beyond their ability for their own identity and how this could be applied for the benefit of society both during their school careers and thereafter.
A collaborative environment, on the other hand, can lead to a greater understanding of the challenges these children face, as well as to provide them with the potential to make the most of their abilities rather than their disabilities. When parents collaborate with educators, for example, the latter can draw up strategies that specifically target the need of the students in question. Educators can then collaborate with students in the classroom to help with the integration process in order to discourage discrimination and isolation. The final aim can then be full integration in the mainstream classroom. In this way, Special Education students are presented with goals rather than a perpetual sense of marginalization.
Rather than therefore physically isolating such students in a single Special Education class, they would find greater benefit in an integrated classroom, where they can collaborate with other learners. Educators collaborate with Special Educators in order to implement specific strategies to help these students reach their full potential.
In this way teachers, students, parents, and the school system as a whole can collaborate for ultimate success.
7) a learning disability refers to problems experienced with education on a specific level. Dyslexia is an example of a learning disability. Learning disabilities vary in severity, but at all times interfere with the educational process and learning development, particularly in children. Particularly, this problem affects one or more of the following skills and their acquisition:
Response to Intervention (RTI) identifies and addresses student academic difficulties via a comprehensive assessment and intervention process. A problem-solving framework is used to identify and find strategies for mitigating potential problems that the student could face in his or her learning. Specifically, the process involves an increasingly intensive and individualized set of interventions applied to students who show signs of learning difficulties. When students do not show a response (or improvement) to the intervention, are considered disabled and referred for Special Education services.
In some cases, the RTI model would also involve individual comprehensive assessments for non-responsive students to ensure eligibility for special education. These assessments are useful in further identifying specific strengths and weaknesses, and also to ensure that there are no other possible causes for the non-responsive results.
Other RTI models do not involve these extensive assessments. Because it is a fairly recent approach in student assessment, there are no standardized models of RTI that are used throughout the education system. It is however a starting point for more effective assessments of learning disorders.
8) Attention Deficit Disorder - Hyperactivity is generally associated with two types of disorders: short attention span and hyperactivity to the degree that it interferes with normal development and learning. Indeed, at least six of the symptoms listed for the disorder has to persist for at least six months in a degree severe enough to be maladaptive in order for a person to be diagnosed with the disorder. Some of the symptoms for inattention include:
Failing to pay attention to details and making careless mistakes
Difficulty in sustaining attention in tasks
For hyperactivity, sufferers often display symptoms such as fidgeting, and leaving the classroom situation when it is required that they remain.
For treating the disorder, medication forms one component of three approaches. In concomitance, this integrated approach is often referred to as "biopsychosocial," with "bio" being medication, "psycho" psychotherapy, and "social" referring to self-management techniques and social skills.
The most effective medications used for the disorder have been found to be methylphenidate such as Ritalin or Methlyn, amphetamine such as Adderall, destroamphetamine such as Dexedrine, and pemoline such as Cylert. The latter is however associated with severe liver damage. Using drugs prescribed in the correct way helps both adult and children sufferers of the disorder to control their symptoms to an extent where they can focus on activities and act as contributing citizens in their societies. The ability to focus, work, and learn are often accompanied by benefits such as an improvement in physical coordination such as handwriting or sports activities.
It should be noted that not all children with the disorder benefit from the above medications, and each case should be approached on an individual level.
9) Because an inclusive approach is followed for providing opportunities to children with learning disabilities, particular attention should be paid to meeting their needs within the classroom. There are a variety of steps that can be followed in accomplishing this. The first step is assessment.
In assessment, the instructor assesses the needs of each student in the classroom setup. Observation is used along with interviews, assessments and standardized tests. Interviews can follow the collaborative approach, and include both learners and their parents. Parents can also be consulted without the presence of the student in order to determine specific needs. The findings of the assessment can then be used towards the second step; developing and Individual Education Program (IEP).
This step is also approached on a collaborative basis with the parent/caregiver, the teacher, the student, and any specialist necessary for the estimated needs of the students. This provides a supportive basis for the student's future development.
The school should also provide both students and parents with access to the Special Education resources and information from the government. These are a basis for meeting all the assessed needs of students. Possible issues that could be addressed in this sense include support for speech-language, severe behavior, and physical health problems associated with the specific disabilities.
The needs of Special Education students in New York City appear to be met quite adequately via entities such as District 75. The District provides schools with the resources and initiatives necessary to both assess and meet the needs of students in the city adequately, as well as making effective decisions in collaboration with the community, special education professionals, learners and their parents.
Cortiella, Candace. Response-to-Intervention - an Emerging Method for LD Identification. Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, 2006. http://www.schwablearning.org/articles.aspx?r=840
Giangreco, Michael E. Guidelines for Making Decisions about IEP Services. 2001. http://www.uvm.edu/~cdci/iepservices/pdfs/decision.pdf
Howard County. A Parent's guide to Due Process in Special Education. http://www.hcpss.org/files/brochure_dueprocess.pdf
NYC Department of Education. Special Education District 75. 2006 http://schools.nycenet.edu/d75/district/default.htm
Poplin, Mary S. & Wright, Pamela. The Concept of Cultural Pluralism: Issues in Special Educaiton. Learning Disability Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 4, Cultural Pluralism. (Autumn, 1983), pp. 367-371.
Scullion, Tim. Collaboration and Teaching Strategies for the Inclusion Classroom. http://www.wjcc.k12.va.us/jbms/FACULTY/ScullionTim/index-2.htm[continue]
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