Characteristics of Learners with Exceptional Learning Needs
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Characteristics of Learners with Exceptional Learning Needs I. Introduction While students with disabilities add diversity to general education classrooms,they also represent a group with diverse instructional needs. Unfortunately, thesestudents are often assumed to have similar attributes and needs. They do share certainneeds with all students, but their individual needs vary greatly depending on the natureof their disability. Some disabilities are evident at or shortly after birth; some areacquired and appear later in life; some disabilities have no visible physicalcharacteristics; some children may have more than one disability. Definitions of disabilities have varied over the years. Changes in terminology canresult from new knowledge, wider social acceptance, evolving assessment instrumentsand procedures, and identification of new disabilities. During your career, you cananticipate continuous change in how disabilities are described. Understanding thecharacteristics of students with disabilities will help you increase your skills in
implementing research-based interventions. This instructional unit focuses on studentswith disabilities who are most prevalent in general education classrooms II. Who Are the Students with Disabilities You Will Likely Teach Each Day?No. 1 Learners with Learning Disabilities: No. 1 focuses on students with learning disabilities. The IDEA definition will be presented along with information on exclusionary and inclusionary criteria. You will examine the conditions contributing to the cause of learning disabilities, and explore the implications of learning and behavior attributes of students with learning disabilities in academic and developmental areas such as reading, mathematics, oral language, written language, and behavioral, social, and emotional development.No. 2 Learners with an Intellectual Disability: No. 2 focuses on students with an intellectual disability. The IDEA definition will be presented along with the AAMR definition and classification support schemes. You will discuss the learning and behavioral characteristics of individuals with mild mental retardation, along with
the educational implications of these attributes.No. 3 Learners with Emotional or Behavioral Disorders: Students with emotional/behavioral disorders are the focus of No. 3. The IDEA definition will be presented, and conditions contributing to emotional and behavioral disorders will be discussed. Particular attention will be given to learning characteristics of these students in the context of educational implications.No. 4 Learners with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Students with Attention- Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) are the focus of No. 4. The IDEA definition will be presented along with a discussion of the types of AD/HD. Factors related to the causes and prevalence of AD/HD will be emphasized, with particular attention will be given to learning and behavioral attributes of children with AD/HD. III. Who Are the Students with Disabilities You Might Teach Each Day?
Disabilities vary in severity as does the impact a disability might have on astudent’s ability to learn. The more severe the disability, the more significant thechallenge for the teacher to meet the child’s instructional needs. The level of incidencevaries, with fewer individuals diagnosed with more severe disabilities. In addition,incidence itself varies, with fewer children identified as needing special education withvision impairments or speech and language disorders and more with learningdisabilities. Learn more about the students you may encounter in your classroom in thisinstructional unit.No. 1 Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Receive an introduction to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in No. 1, a condition that is growing in number as more children are identified and served in special education. The IDEA definition will be presented along with a discussion of the types of AD/HD (Do you mean ASD?). Factors related to the causes and prevalence of autism will be emphasized, with particular attention given to learning and behavioral attributes of children with autism. You will also learn more about Asperger ’ s syndrome.No. 2 Learners with Hearing and Vision Impairments: No. 2 focuses on students who
have hearing or visual impairments. You will explore learner characteristics relative to academic achievement, language, and communication. Information about conditions and diseases that affect classroom performance will be specifically highlighted. Understanding the information in this lesson will help you to work more effectively with disabled children to ensure their safety and increase their academic success.No. 3 Learners with Physical and Health Disabilities: Students with physical disabilities are the focus of No. 3. The IDEA definition will be presented, with emphasis given to the factors related to causes and prevalence. The range of physical disabilities examined will include neuromotor impairments, degenerative diseases, and orthopedic and musculoskeletal disorders. The learning and behavioral attributes of children with hearing and vision impairments will also be highlighted. You will learn more about specific conditions and diseases such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, and diabetes, including their causes, prevention, and associated educational implications.No. 4 Learners with Multiple Disabilities: Learn more about students with multiple disabilities in No. 4. You will discuss the IDEA definition, along with the foundation for educational programming for students with multiple disabilities. A wide array of conditions that might result in a student being considered as having
multiple disabilities will be emphasized. Particular attention will be given to the educational implications of how those conditions impact learners. IV. Individuals with Disabilities: Learning and Instructional Implications The importance of defining or even describing disabilities should not focus onlabeling students who share learning attributes. Rather, the focus should be on whichparticular learning characteristics can result in instructional implications. The field hascurrently moved away from emphasizing medical conditions that might be associatedwith a disability and toward emphasizing the most effective instructional techniques forteaching a child with particular learning characteristics. This is largely due to the resultof research and improved teacher preparation. We are also seeing increased concernabout attributes most common among students in need of special education. Thisinstructional unit builds on the two prior units to focus on the classroom environment
and what teachers can expect to experience in meeting the instructional needs of allstudents in their classroom.No. 1 Learning Challenges: Classroom Implications: No. 1 emphasizes principles of learning and their applications to learners with disabilities. Curriculum areas such as spelling, handwriting, composition, language, and mathematics will be highlighted. In each case, you will receive examples of instructional solutions.No. 2 Social-Emotional Challenges: Classroom Implications: Examine the social and emotional challenges some students face and the instructional implications they create for teachers in No. 2. Case studies will show how teachers can best assist students with these challenges. You will discuss support systems and learn their applications for instructional purposes.No. 3 Language: Classroom Implications: Communication disorders are the focus of No. 3, with an emphasis on definitions, causes, and instructional implications. Specific attention is given to the relationship between communications disorders and language impairments.
V. Areas of Disabilities In order to receive Special Education services the student must be identified ashaving at least one of the 13 categories of disabilities. These categories are listedbelow.Autism is a developmental disability affecting verbal and nonverbal communication andsocial interaction. It is usually noticeable before the age of three.Deafness is a hearing impairment that a child can not process linguistic informationthrough hearing.Deafness-Blindness is hearing and visual impairments. It causes severecommunication and other developmental and education problems that a child cannot beaccommodated in special education programs solely for children who are deaf or forchildren who are blind.
Emotional Disturbance is having inability to learn, build relationships, inappropriatebehaviors, physical symptoms, or fears.Hearing Impairment is an impairment with hearing. Whether it is permanent orfluctuating, it affects the childs educational performance but is not included under thedefinition of "deafness."Mental Retardation is when the functioning is significantly below average and it affectsthe childs educational performance.Multiple Disabilities is a combination of two or more disabilities that severely affects thechilds educational performance.Orthopedic Impairment includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly,impairments caused by disease, and impairments from other causes.Other Health Impairment is having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, due to chronicor acute health problems.Specific Learning Disabilities is a disorder in one or more of the basic psychologicalprocesses reading, listening, thinking, speaking, writing, spelling, or doing math.Speech or Language Impairment is a communication disorder that affects theeducational performance.
Traumatic Brain Injury resulted from a external force.Visual Impairment, Including Blindness is a visual impairment even with correction thatwill affect educational performance. Partial vision and blindness Special educators know and demonstrate respect for their students first asunique human beings. Special educators understand the similarities anddifferences in human development and the characteristics between andamong individuals with and without exceptional learning needs (ELN).Moreover, special educators understand how exceptional conditions caninteract with the domains of human development and they use this knowledgeto respond to the varying abilities and behaviors of individuals with ELN. Specialeducators understand how the experiences of individuals with ELN can impactfamilies, as well as the individuals ability to learn, interact socially, and live asfulfilled contributing members of the community. VI. Conclusion
There are several different strategies that I will use in my classroom to ensurethat children with special needs have a chance to succeed. I want to be a motivatingand exciting factor in your childs education. I believe that students learn best in theLeast Restrictive Environment, which will allow them to utilize the classroom andresource room to maximize their success with their school work. When your child hasbeen placed in the Special Education room, an IEP has been developed. It will then bemy responsibility to work with your student regarding the goals and objectives that wehave established the student needs assistance with. I involve different teachingmethods in my classroom to meet the needs of individual students. Examples of thesedifferent options are: ~shortened assignments ~one-on-one environment ~additional practice with activities ~modifications with testing ~use of manipulatives
I will provide supportive feedback and lessons geared specifically toward the needs ofyour child. I am always open to new ideas so please feel free to contact me with helpfulideas, or if you have any questions, comments and/or concerns.