How Can Special Education Programs Serve Students with Special Needs?

The term “Special Needs” is a broad category which currently encompasses over 15% of all US students. A child may need to attend a special education program at school for a variety of reasons. Learners with developmental delays, such as dyspraxia or apraxia of speech, and/or youngsters who struggle with reading and numeracy due to a specific learning difference can benefit from special education.

It's also possible that a physical disability is interfering with a student's capacity to study in the same way as his or her peers, necessitating special accommodations and materials. The most basic condition for a program to be classified as special education is that it must address the requirements of the individual learner in a way that would be impossible in a regular classroom. However, just because a youngster gets additional assistance does not imply that he or she is less intellectual or skilled than their peers.

That's why focusing on helping a child in special education identify their strengths is one of the most important things a teacher or parent can do to help them. Learners with dyslexia, for example, may struggle with reading but can be incredibly creative artists. A child with autism, on the other hand, may struggle with social skills yet excel at computers.

Because each learner is different, it is important to provide targeted strategy training that can aid in skill development, as well as access to the appropriate accommodations, such as special pen and pencil grips for learners with motor skills issues who have trouble holding a writing utensil, or a calculator for a child with dyscalculia who has difficulty with arithmetic.

Finally, certain children may require a significant amount of physical and cognitive energy to overcome the challenges given by their difficulties/disabilities. If studying is emotionally and psychologically draining, a student will need a great deal of support and incentive to develop the appropriate framework and attitude concerning school and learning.

What Qualifies as A Special Education Program?

Many special education students spend most of their school days in standard classes. It could simply be that they attend their program in the morning or afternoon, or that they are aided in a class by a designated teaching assistant. Support provided outside of the usual classroom is referred to as "drawing out," whereas individual attention provided in the regular classroom is referred to as "pushing in."

Students with different disabilities may benefit from different kinds of support and, and it will be up to the child's educational psychologist at school to select the most appropriate type of instruction. This decision will be influenced by social considerations such as a child's potential embarrassment over needing extra help or whether or not a regular classroom may be too distracting for efficient and effective learning.

In some situations, a student and/or their parents may decide that attending a private school where all of the pupils have a specific learning impairment is preferable to enrolling in mainstream school's special education programs.

One of the advantages of making such a decision is that a student may feel more at ease among classmates if other students have the same or similar learning challenges. Instruction is also often given in a more flexible manner in a specialized school. In dyslexic schools, for example, much of the learning is multi-sensory across topic areas.

Special education varies from remedial education in that the latter is for students who have learning challenges, whereas remedial education is for any student who has fallen behind in the fundamental skills areas of the school curriculum, regardless of the cause. If a student is advanced in certain areas but needs assistance in others, he or she may attend both special education classes and a gifted education program.

How Teachers Can Assist Students with The Special Needs?

Teachers can focus on assisting their special needs students in identifying and developing their strengths. Understanding and accepting the student for who they are is particularly essential in inclusive special education programs. This entails not just assisting people in overcoming their challenges, but also in identifying and developing their strengths. Some people believe that special education needs are associated with inferior IQ, however, this is often not the case. No matter what learning issues a student has, he or she has strengths, even if they have yet to be discovered!

Provide Them with The Appropriate Teaching Method

No two people are alike, and this is especially true for students who have physical challenges or specific learning problems like dyslexia, ASD, or ADHD, which impact a broad range of abilities. The majority of diagnostic testing culminates in a report with recommendations for strategy training to help a student manage whatever challenges he or she is facing. It's possible that further adjustments are required, such as typing on a computer instead of writing or reading worksheets printed on paper of a specific color or one with a specific typeface.

What's vital is to evaluate a child's progress on a regular basis so that approach instruction and accommodations can be tweaked to maximize the learner's benefit.

Inspire And Encourage

To attain the same results, many students in special education programs must work harder than their peers. School can be physically, psychologically, and emotionally challenging. That is why it is critical to provide plenty of incentives and encouragement, particularly to young learners who suffer from a difficult-to-identify learning difference. The worst-case scenario is when a child finds school challenging and, as a result, avoids learning. You may help them to look for role models in successful people who have overcome comparable challenges, or you may use what you know about a child’s challenges and personality to figure out what motivates them to do their best.

Allow Them to Repeat Previously Learned Lesson

Increased opportunities for youngsters to repeat previously learned content will benefit many of them. This means that rather than working on a new problem set at home or doing some reading to prepare for the next day's session, it may be more beneficial to go over the old content. They could go over the same problem set they did in class or go through a worksheet once more, but this time on their own. Repetition is a great approach to reinforce what you've learned and helped new thoughts and facts stick in your mind. As the difficulty level of working through a problem diminishes with increased experience, it can also enhance confidence and self-esteem.

Allowing Students to Use Technology for Their Homework Help

Some special education children require the use of a computer for writing, text-to-speech technology for reading, or a calculator for basic mathematics to do their schoolwork. This could be due to dyslexia, dysgraphia, or dyscalculia in the learner. There is no stigma attached to using technology, and it should never be considered "cheating."

Don’t Overburden Them with Too Many Homework Assignments

Many special education students must work harder than their peers in order to attain the same academic accomplishments. The constant problems they experience may prove to be challenging. That's why, after a long day at school, kids sometimes need a break — a chance to unwind before diving back into more exercises and drills. This is especially true for those who struggle with dyslexia and attention issues. Homework should not take more than an extra hour or two at night, and the amount of work necessary should be determined by a learner's aptitude levels and agreed-upon learning objectives.