Working with Special Needs Students “Everyone is Differently Abled” A song by Danny Deardorff
ADD !! English Language Learners! Autism !! ! Gifted! ! ADHDWE all have diﬀerent ways of learning, butsome of us are more challenged thanothers......physically, emotionally, cognitively.
Simply speaking, special needs students arethose students who require accommodations,modiﬁcations, and/or assistive technologydevices in the teaching and learning processin order to be successful. How?
The Individualized Education Plan Students with delayed skills or otherdisabilities might be eligible for special services that provide individualized educationprograms in public schools, free of charge to families. Students who have difficulty learning and functioning and have been identiﬁed as a special needs student is a candidate for an Individualized Education Plan or an IEP.
An IEP may identify support services which allow students tobe taught in a special way. The services and goals outlined in anIEP can be provided in a standard school environment like theregular classroom or in a special resource room. The resourceroom can serve a group of students with similar needs who arebrought together for help.
Students who need intense intervention may betaught in a special school environment. These classeshave fewer students per teacher which allows moretime for individualized attention. The teacher usuallyhas speciﬁc training. The students spend most of theirday in a special classroom and join the regular classesfor nonacademic activities or in academic activities inwhich they don’t need extra help.
Students who need intense intervention may be taught in aspecial environment with fewer students per teacher, allowingfor more individualized attention. The teacher usually hasspecific training. The students spend most of their day in aspecial classroom and join the regular classes for nonacademicactivities or in academic activities in which they don’t needextra help.
Because the goal of the Individuals withDisabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) is toensure that each child is educated in theleast restrictive environment possible, eﬀort ismade to help students in a regularclassroom.
Inclusion considers that all students are fullmembers of the school community and areentitled to the opportunities and responsibilitiesthat are available to all students in the school.In an inclusive school setting, special needsstudents are provided specially designedinstruction in their least restrictive environment.
When special needs students are being served in a regulareducation classroom, it is often the responsibility of the regulareducation teacher to make the necessary accommodations,modifications, and/or assistive technology devices to ensuresuccess for these students.It is the purpose of this presentation to provide you withexamples of how instruction is differentiated for the specialneeds students in Ms. Lee’s 3rd grade class.
The following special needs students are enrolled in Mrs. Lee’s class:1. Three students diagnosed as ADHD.2. One student with an auditory disability.3. Several students with mild learning disabilities.
When serving special needs students in a regulareducation setting, the regular education teacher mustbecome familiar with the speciﬁc needs of the studentsand identify resources and instructional practices to meetthose needs. The Technology-Related Assistance forIndividuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 was designed toenhance the availability and quality of assistivetechnology (AT) devices and services to all individualsand their families throughout the United States.
The Tech Act deﬁnes AT devices as any item, piece ofequipment, or product system (whether acquired oﬀ the shelf,modiﬁed, or customized) that is used to increase, maintain, orimprove functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.AT devices may be categorized as high technology and lowtechnology.Ms. Lee uses AT devices to aide the special education studentsin her classroom.
Let’s discuss how Ms. Lee meets the needs of her specialeducation students using accommodations, modiﬁcations, andAT devices.First, we’ll describe the students’ disabilities.Students with Attention Deﬁcit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) are characterized by a persistent pattern ofinattention and/or hyperactivity.
All of Ms. Lee’s third grade students with ADHD havebeneﬁted from the following modiﬁcations:* moving the desk to the front of the classroom* breaking assignments into smaller, more manageableparts* limiting lectures to short segments* allowing the students to get up and move before, duringand/or after a lesson is taught
Auditory Disabilitity Students who are deaf or who have hearing loss are at a great educational disadvantage.Ms. Lee’s students who have an auditory disability are assisted using the followingaccommodations, modiﬁcations or AT devices:* Preferential seating to enhance access to auditory information* Use of picture symbol using Boardmaker and Writing with Symbols (Mayer Johnson) toillustrate key points.* Use of written language to supplement spoken language.* Use of personal ampliﬁcation device to amplify speaker’s voice.* Manual sign language or oral interpreter to interpret speaker’s messages.* Headphones* Envision (using video camera on computer to communicate
Learning disabled (LD) students are those whodemonstrate a signiﬁcant discrepancy (which is not theresult of some other handicap) between academicachievement and intellectual abilities in one or more of theareas of oral expression, listening comprehension, writtenexpression, basic reading skills, reading comprehension,mathematical calculation, mathematics reasoning orspelling.
Ms. Lee has several students in her class with mild learning disabilities. The followingaccommodations or modiﬁcations have proven helpful:* Presenting tests and reading materials in an oral format.* Frequent progress checks to let them know how well they are progressing.* Immediate feedback so that they see quickly the relationship between what is taughtand what was learned.* Concise and short activities whenever possible.* Using concrete objects and events - items they can touch, hear, smell, etc - wheneverpossible.* Using speciﬁc praising comments that link the activity with the recognition.* Repeating instructions or oﬀering information in both written and verbal formats.* Using cooperative learning activities when possible. 18
Ms. Lee’s LD students have beneﬁted from the following ATdevices:* Word processing software for writing, grammar/spellcheckers,dictionaries, and thesaurus programs* Voice synthesizer to read teacher’s notes* Videotaping class sessions for review of material* Calculators for math problems* Application program software for instructing through tutorials* CD-based books for reading
In conclusion, regular education teachers must meet the needs of all of theirstudents. With the push to involve all students in the regular classroom, thedynamics of the classroom has changed. Regular education teachers willexperience more success with their special education students when they takethe time to explore and learn about their unique needs. By law, we mustprovide the accommodations, modiﬁcations and AT devices outlined in ourspecial needs students’ IEP.This presentation was meant to provide a basic overview of special educationand to share the accommodations, modiﬁcations and AT devices that have beensuccessful in Ms. Lee’s classroom. Hopefully, the audience will use thisinformation and build on this knowledge to be more successful with the specialneeds students in their own classrooms. Take a look at the resources on the lastslide and explore them in more depth to expand on your knowledge.
ReferencesAssistive Listening Deviceshttp://www.asha.org/public/hearing/treatment/assist_tech.htmAssistive-Technology: Enabling Dreamshttp://www.edutopia.org/assistive-technology-enabling-dreams-videoAssistive Technology for Mild Disabilitieshttp://www.ericdigests.org/2003-1/assistive.htmAssistive Technology for Students with Mild Disabilitieshttp://www.teachervision.fen.com/assistive-technology/teaching-methods/3791.htmlAssistive technology in the classroom for ADHD studentshttp://www.examiner.com/x-13056-West-Palm-Beach-K12-Education-
Examples of Productshttp://www.synapseadaptive.com/edmark/prod/tw/default.htmGeorgia Project for Assistive Technologyhttp://www.gpat.org/resources.aspx?PageReq=GPATImpGuidelines to choosing Assistive Technologyhttp://www.1donline.org/article/8088Inclusive Learning Environments for Students with Special Needshttp://www.newhorizons.org/spneeds/inclusion/front_inclusion.htmIndividualized Education Plans (IEPs)http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/learning/iep.html
Ramp Up to Access: Assistive Technologyhttp://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~wilbur/access/assistive.htmlStudents with Special Needshttp://www.newhorizons.org/spneeds/front_spneeds.htmlTrends in working with special needs studentshttp://www.allbusiness.com/agriculture-forestry-ﬁshing-hunting/944685-1.htmlWikipedia’s Deﬁnition of Assistive Technologyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assistive_technology