Understanding Special Education
Education is a birthright of every child. Special education involves the education of students with special needs in a way that addresses a students’ individual disabilities and requirements. These programs are designed so that special learners may learn skills which will assist them in coming closer in learning to children without disabilities.
The field of special education has moved from a perspective of protection and caretaking to an emphasis on learning and growth. The question is not whether students can learn but how much they can learn, and what type of support and instruction is required to achieve that end. While early intervention is a recommended practice, learning can occur at any age.
The primary purpose of special education is to prepare students for lifelong progressive improvement learning and self-development.
Definition of Disability
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines a "child with a disability" as a "child... with an intellectual disability, hearing impairments (including deafness), visual impairments (including blindness), speech or language impairments, serious emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairments, autism, any other health impairment leading to specific learning disabilities; AND, who... [because of the condition] needs special education and related services."
Categories of Children with Special Educational Needs
Children with special needs are broadly divided into five categories.
• Mentally challenged/ Intellectual Disability.
• Hearing Impairment.
• Visual impairment.
• Learning Disabilities.
• Multiple Disabilities.
These categories can be further divided into many sub categories.
Special Education Process
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...ce. The demanded tasks should be within the reach of the child and at the same time it should have elements that demand effort and stimulate thinking. The pace of learning in children with special needs is often very slow. The selected goal has to be broken down into many small objectives and carefully recorded in the IEP. Frequent experience of success maintains the motivation of the child in the learning activity.
Foregoing in view, the importance of detailed and accurate assessment at the beginning of the special education process cannot be underestimated. The success of the whole system depends upon this document.
Special Education System aims to maximize of the learning competencies of students with special needs; with the eventual aim of enabling these learners to become independently self-reliant, useful and effective members of the society.
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