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Special education – disability Essay

Special Education plays an important role in American Education. It is a very common thing in this world to have some sort of disability whether it is mental or physical. Parents also rely on the schools to include their disabled child into a normal life, surrounded by those who will teach them. Being a special education teacher involves a lot of stress. The working level is different verses a regular student level. Teachers also have to go through a special training to become a special education instructor. There are also different disabilities which qualify one to be in special education.

The level of disability in the children varies from a small learning disability to something as big as mentally handicapped. Whatever the disability is, there is always stress. “Although helping these students can be highly rewarding, the work also can be emotionally and physically draining. Many special education teachers are under considerable stress due to heavy workloads and administrative tasks” (U. S. Department of Labor, 2004). It takes a certain personality to be able to have this job, someone patient and who has teaching ability.

“A small number of special education teachers work with students with mental retardation or autism, primarily teaching them life skills and basic literacy. However, the majority of special education teachers work with children with mild to moderate disabilities, using the general education curriculum, or modifying it, to meet the child’s individual needs” (U. S. Department of Labor, 2004). My senior year in high school I was a teacher’s assistant at an elementary school for a special education class.

Until I had that experience, I didn’t know how difficult it was to teach disabled children. It is a very rewarding job but very stressful at the same time. Just teaching them how to read was very stressful at times, but when they finally read their first sentence it Special Education 3 is such a great accomplishment. Special Education includes the family of the child within their education. “Families will be involved in planning and scheduling the assessment activities and in making decisions on the information that is secured” ( Wolery, 1995 p. 94).

Parents are more interested in what their disabled child is doing in school, and what progress their child is making. Again, with my own experience, the parents are very involved. I remember receiving calls a lot of the time, with the concerned parents wondering how their child was doing in school. Parents are the ones who decide which programs they would like their child to be involved in, to approve their abilility to function normally. ” Families must become participants in decision making rather than recipients of information about decisions made by professionals”(Wolery, 1995 p.191).

Having the parents involved in such a way puts more pressure on the teacher. The level of education is different of those who are in general education. Special education works at a slower pace and teaches the basic curriculum, depending where the student needs the most attention. “Special education teachers design and teach appropriate curricula, assign work geared toward each student’s ability, and grade papers and homework assignments” (U. S. Department of Labor, 2004).

Not only do they teach them the correct curriculum, but they also teach them how to be socially acceptable. “They are involved in the students’ behavioral and academic development, helping the students develop emotionally, feel comfortable in social situations, and be aware of socially acceptable behavior”(U. S. Department of Labor, 2004). The setting for a special education teacher is also different. In most cases nowadays, the teacher is with the Special Education 4 student in a normal, general education classroom setting with other children.

Sometimes a special education teacher will have their own classroom, and the students will spend one on one time with the teacher there. Becoming a special education teacher differs from being a general education. The same amount of schooling is required, which is 4 years, and a teaching credential. After doing so, one must obtain a teaching license for special education; it is a separate license then teaching for general education. Before receiving the license they are to be trained in a specialty, whether it is behavioral disorders or learning disabilities.

(U. S. Department of Labor, 2004) Teachers in this field must also be creative and have the ability to teach in such a way to those with disabilities. “Special education teachers must be patient, able to motivate students, understanding of their students’ special needs, and accepting of differences in others. Teachers must be creative and apply different types of teaching methods to reach students who are having difficulty learning” (U. S. Department of Labor, 2004). There are many different disabilities that qualify one into the special education program.

In some cases, the disability is minor, such as a learning disability, and others are as severe as to being in a wheelchair. “The various types of disabilities that qualify individuals for special education programs include specific learning disabilities, speech or language impairments, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, multiple disabilities, hearing impairments, orthopedic impairments, visual impairments, autism, combined deafness and blindness, traumatic brain injury, and other health impairments”(U.S. Special Education 6 Department of Labor, 2004).

One of the most common disabilities today is autism. Teachers are teaching them the basic skills of life, and literacy. Special Education requires much of a teacher. Working with parents and their children, creating such activities in which a student will be able to comprehend, and going through specific training for this career.


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