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Special Education Needs Essay

An Intelligence Quotient, usually referred to as IQ, is a numerical score arrived at through testing. A student can have a Low, Average or High IQ. Intelligence is an inherited trait which, if low may make learning difficult unless facilitated by a highly skilled teacher. Additionally, a pupil who has inherited a high intelligence can be badly affected by bad teaching methods and enhanced through skilled teaching. A student with a Low IQ cannot change what he/she brings to the learning situation and are very likely to have parents who cannot help them.

Hence, teachers can change what they bring to the learning situation since they have responsibility for pupils’ learning. DOWNS SYNDROME Down’s Syndrome formally called Mongolism due to the similar appearance of the people of Mongolia, in some areas is said to be the most common form of intellectual slowness or retardation. Children with Down’s Syndrome are slower than others to learn to use their bodies and mind but they can learn. Specific physical signs and problems can help us identify Down’s Syndrome as early as birth by way of a test, which can also determine if the child is going to be born with Down’s Syndrome.

Down’s Syndrome is caused genetically by an extra chromosome and leads to: * Low intellect leading to slow learning * Possible hearing and/ or visual problem * Extra coughs and colds due to a defective immunw system * Possible thyroid disease causing over – weight and general debility * 40% – 50% have heart problems REMEDIATION TECNIQUES FOR TEACHERS * Always maintain visual contact when talking to the child so he/she can watch your face and mouth. * Be patient when the child is trying to say something as it may not be easy for them * Encourage the child to talk as much as possible since practice makes it perfect.

* Teach the child to keep his tongue in his mouth since this can help with appearance , self-esteem plus it reduces breathing and associated problems. * Remember the child will learn and develop like other students but at a slower and lower rate. * Use of structured signing systems can be useful for the young child to learn initial communication so that a two-way relationship can be built with the child. * Help the parents by drawing up a clear and simple list of ways that can help their child to develop: * Gross motor skills * Fine manipulation skills * Language.

* Cognitive development * Socialisation * Self help such as washing, dressing etc Additionally, parents need to socialise the child by taking them out frequently, regular stretching exercises, painting, cutting and allow the child to perform small household chores as well as make as many opportunities as possible for their child to play with other children. STUDENTS WITH LEARNING PROBLEMS Learning problems in general DYSLEXIA Dyslexia is not a disease. It is a learning disability characterised by problems with reading, spelling, writing, speaking or listening.

It is a condition in which a person’s brain learns in a different way from that of other people. The brain of a person with dyslexia is structured differently from a typical brain causing such children to use different parts of the brain when reading. Persons with dyslexia have a larger right- hemisphere in their brain than the non-dyslexic. It is the right hand side of the brain that controls artistic, athletic and mechanical skills therefore dyslexic people are often good at art, music and problem solving.

Dyslexia affects more boys than girls and the disability occurs in people of all ages, races and income level. The pupil with mild dyslexia is often termed a ‘hidden dyslexic’. This is because the teacher cannot readily spot the difficulties such a pupil is having. These pupils often ‘slip through the net’ especially the more intelligent one. They cultivate their own ways of hiding their problems. They copy, learn texts by heart, by listening and get help with their homework for example. However, although dyslexia is life long, individuals with this disability frequently respond successfully to timely appropriate intervention. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS Children with dyslexia will often:

General *process spoken or written language more slowly than others *finds it difficult to concentrate and pay attention *have difficulty following instructions *forget words *Find it hard to remember anything in a sequential order eg tables, days of the week, the alphabet Written work *produce messy work with alot of crossing out and erasing *reverse letters *persistently confuse letters which look similar, eg b/d, p/g, n/u *spell a word in several different ways in one piece or writing eg wipe, wype, wiep, wipe Reading.

*Find it difficult to blend letter sound together *read with no expression *miss out words when reading or add extra words *loose the point of a story being read or written Mathematics *confuses symbols such as + and x *has difficulty learning time tables *reverse numerals 2 and 5 Skills *has poor fine motor skills which leads to difficulty with speed and accuracy when writing *uses right and left hand indiscriminately *varies in abilities from day to day Behaviour *avoids settling down to work by fussing with unnecessary tasks *seems to be in a “dream” and does not listen to what is said *easily distracted

*becomes the class clown, disrupts the class or becomes withdrawn *becomes excessively tired due to the amount of concentration and effort required. Causes of Dyslexia Dyslexia is caused by constant changes in school or teaching methods, the style of Education. For example “open plan” education which suits normal students but not the dyslexic child. Additionally, a child with poor health can also become dyslexic. Research has also shown that about half of the dyslexic population has a family history of difficulty with written language.

REMEDIATION TECHNIQUE BY THE TEACHER * Always be patient, allow sufficient time for a task and accept fewer lines of writing from a dyslexic pupil * Always praise the dyslexic pupil for what they have done rather than reprimand them for what they have been unable to do. * Always judge the ability of a dyslexic pupil more on their oral ability rather than written ability. * Always sit a dyslexic pupil where he/she is accessible to the teacher so that you can observe, encourage and give extra help regularly. * Always write very clearly on the blackboard or on worksheets.

* Always mark written more for content and ideas rather than for spelling and sequence accuracy. * Always encourage a dyslexic pupil to ask you for accurate spellings of words he/she may wish to use in free writing. Failure to do this will result in him/her confining writing to words they feel sure about. The more words they ask for the more praise they should receive, never make a dyslexic pupil feel they are being nuisance for asking for help.

* Remember that as his/her improves spelling will not improve at the same rate since spelling is an entirely different skill and much more difficult to acquire. Although dyslexia is life long, individuals with dyslexia frequently respond successfully to timely intervention. Using Aids and Multisensory Techniques STUDENTS WITH COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS DEAFNESS Deafness is an impairment. Hearing impairment is a hidden disability since persons who are deaf looks exactly the same as people without hearing defects until they try to communicate. They do not, however, behave the same but often differences in behaviour are put down to personality differences and or low I.

Q. rather than communication difficulties. Persons who are deaf can learn in school once their defect is identified and steps are taken by the teacher to minimize the negative effect on socialising and learning. A deaf child is as intelligent as any child with normal hearing and once included in classroom activities can learn. However, if systems are not put in place for such students to be involved in such activities they resort to watching others and copying what they do. Congenital deafness is due to a small extent to genetics .

Children can also become deaf due to physical abuse. However, at least 90% of deafness is likely to be as a result of illness or drugs taken during pregnancy. Children between 0-3 years who lose their hearing when they are very young are likely to do so as a result of physical trauma to the skull and/or hearing mechanisms or as a result of ear infections. Children who are born deaf, or who become deaf when they are young, have great difficulty learning to speak. They cannot hear speech sounds, and so they are unable to copy the sounds. DEAFNESS SIGNS TO LOOK FOR AS A TEACHER.

* Is the child unresponsive when spoken to in a normal voice * Does the child have regular earaches or a runny ear discharge? * Does the child like to have the sound of the radio or television turned up? * Does the child tilt their head one way thus turning ‘good’ ear towards sound? * Does the child speak poorly (poor articulation), request to repeat what has just been said, ask a friend what was just said, become withdrawn, look at teacher’s lips or respond with something totally wrong? Apart from deafness signs the teacher can also conduct classroom testing formally or informally for hearing impairment.

These can include but are not limited to tapping or stirring a spoon, shaking a rattle close to both ears etc. REMEDIATION TECHNIQUES THAT CAN BE USED BY THE TEACHER * Make sure the child is sitting in the best possible position in the classroom. This is particularly important if the child is deaf in one ear. * Find out if the parents are aware that there is a problem. * Do not put your hand in front of your mouth when speaking; try to let the child see your face as much as possible. Additionally, avoid speaking when writing on the chalkboard.

* Try to reduce the noise level in the classroom since environmental noise is more distracting for a child with impaired hearing. * Try to improve lighting condition and have the light in front of you. * Gain the child’s attention before you speak and keep looking at him/her the whole time you are speaking. * It is helpful if you try to be at the child’s eye level when telling or reading stories. * Use short sentences rather than single words. * If the child has an hearing aid make sure it is turned on and is working. * Sensitively explain the situation to other pupils in the class.

Hearing impairment of even a moderate degree can present significant learning problems for a child. Hence, further assistance should be sought through whatever local facilities are available for assessing hearing. Help can be sought through the Guyana Based Rehabilitation Programme and the Ministry of Health Audiology Department. This department provides: * Screening at Georgetown Public Hospital for all newborns. * Development at private hospitals to off screening. * Screening in Georgetown schools by professional audiologists.

* The WHO manual Primary Ear Care and the PAHO Screening Kit are available to train non professionals to do early detection. * In the regions health care nurses and or CBR volunteers can be trained with these resources to do screening. * Parents can be given a simple protocol to follow to watch for signs of deafness. BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO SIGN LANGUAGE VISUAL IMPAIRMENT Visual impairment can be due to inherited factors, congenital factors or the result of illness or trauma to the eye or the part of the brain responsible for vision. The degree to which a pupils’ vision is impaired can vary from severe to mild impairment.

Children who have very little or no vision at all are usually educated in a special school or unit so that they can be kept safe from accidents whilst those children with some sight can and should be educated in a regular classroom. Unlike some disabilities, vision can often be satisfactorily corrected with spectacles. Some common disorders that lead to visual impairment are: Albinism, Amblyopic, Astigmatism, Buphthalmos, Cataracts, Conjunctivitis, Hypermetropia, Myopia, Keratisis, Nystagmus, Strabismus and Tunnel Vision. SIGNS TO LOOK FOR IN A VISUAL IMPAIRED CHILD * One eye turns in or out at a time.

* Dried mucus around the eye. * Child complains of light being too bright or not bright enough. * Blinks excessively, eyes seem to be trembling. * Always writes up or down on paper. * Bringing a book or object close to the eyes. * Looking at a neighbour’s book because the chalkboard cannot be seen clearly. * Confusing similar words * Complains that print is jumping around on the page. etc REMEDIATION TECHNIQUES THAT CAN BE USED BY THE TEACHER TO HELP STUDENTS Once the teacher suspects there may be a problem he/she should: * Find out if the parents are aware there is a problem and encourage them to take their child to be tested.

* Seat the child close to the chalkboard and keep checking with them that they can, in fact, see what you have asked them to copy. * Let them copy from another child who has clear handwriting. * Make individual word cards with large prints. * If a child has with close work a magnifying lens can help. * Try as much as possible to use yellow chalk on a green board since research has shown this is the best colour to use. * Encourage at least one sensible child to befriend and keep an eye on the visually impaired child at break times so that the child does not become withdrawn and isolate. VISUAL SUPPORT IN THE CLASSROOM

* Symbols – showing activities for the day —- displayed * Written lists of expectations – displayed * Steps – photos or pictures showing steps in a task * Task Analysis – a task broken down into very small steps * Labeling – shelves and materials labelled in the classroom * A Choice board – display of options with pictures or words * Clue Cards – like STOP, LUNCH, TIDY UP or other behavioural problems. Help can also be sought from the Guyana Based Rehabilitation Programme and the Ministry of Health through Eye Care Guyana. Services include: * Testing by professionals * Pre – school vision screening.

* The Vision Kit, developed by PAHO, is a resource available for this screening etc. STUDENTS WITH EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIOURIAL PROBLEMS Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a tendency to discharge energy through action rather than cognition resulting in non – goal directed activity that is situational and socially inappropriate. The behaviour is often misunderstood and put down as very bad behaviour when individuals themselves, without help, cannot control their actions. The behaviour associated with ADHD become apparent during early childhood, before the age of 5.

In recent years, research has proved that some bad or challenging behaviour is not the fault of either the child or the parents, it is caused by the inactivity of the areas of the brain that control concentration and impulse behaviour. Research conducted by The National Institute of Health and Clinical Evidence UK shows that ADHD is considered a lifelong condition but the autobiographies of adults who had ADHD as children tend to agree that although the symptoms never go away, increasing maturity enables the individual to develop effective strategies to keep their behaviour in check.

These strategies can be significantly developed in school with clever SEN teacher support. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ADHD IN PUPILS * Some parts of the body is always moving e. g. wiggling, rocking, tapping or humming * Talks continually; to teacher, friends, to himself/herself, make funny noises etc. * Walks around room for no obvious reason * Fusses with other children and things around him/her * Can give correct answers when the teacher reads a test or asks specific questions but cannot sit still and stay on task long enough to put answers on paper * Accident prone; may have bumps and bruises.

REMEDIATION TECHNIQUES The teacher can create the right atmosphere for pupils by: * Reducing all distractions, auditory and visual * Give short blocks of work with activity between * Allow as much movement as possible * Channel annoying behaviour into more acceptable behaviour * Be patient, do not expect rapid improvement instead work toward gradual improvement * Set S. M. A. R. T targets and give praise every time the pupil meets on of the targets. SMART targets: This simply means activities must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timed.

Additionally the teacher can make use of interpersonal strategies such as positive social movements as well as peer and cross-age tutoring. Behavioural strategies such as time out as well as other strategies such as expressive arts, positive role models and holding a positive image. AUTISM Autism is a lifelong neurological condition or developmental disorder that affects the pathways in the brain. This condition varies in severity from one individual to another and exists separate from and regardless of IQ level.

Autism affects the part of the brain, which controls, interprets and responds to the sensory messages from the outside world. Symptoms of autism usually appear during the first 3 years of childhood but are frequently not recognised by parents hence, identification by teachers is of paramount importance. The most severe cases of autism are marked by extremely repetitive, unusual, self injurious and at times and aggressive. Autism is distinguished from other conditions by three inter-related impairments and their behavioural consequences: -SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF AUTISM Imagination.

A lack of understanding of other people’s thoughts, feelings and needs; narrow and inflexible patterns of repetitive behaviour, problems adapting knowledge and experiences with different situations in everyday life and problems fitting these experiences into a coherent and broad mental picture of the world outside. Communication Problems using and understanding both verbal and non verbal communication appropriately, such as incessantly talking about one subject; being echolalic i.e copying/ repeating words spoken to him/her, frustration and disturbed behaviour because the autistic persons are not able to understand anyone or anything.

Social Skills Lack of interest or inability to interact with other people; relating to others in a socially unacceptable way. Giggling, laughing at inappropriate moments, interrupting conversations in order to demand something for themselves, ignoring what is being said to them; due to the inability to empathise and are unable to respond appropriately to people. REMEDIATION TECHNIQUES THAT CAN BE USED BY THE TEACHER

* Encourage the child to cooperate in an activity for short periods * Gently encourage the child to look at you when you speak by having your face in front of the child and very gently turn their face to yours for no more than a few seconds (autistic children are very uncomfortable if made to look directly at someone * Use family objects to play with the child so that he/she can see you using your imagination * Make only small changes to routine that the child has been told about beforehand * Emphasise using personal pronouns such as I and me by pointing to yourself and putting strong emphasis on the words * Be the child’s eyes and ears as it relates to danger and always ensure the environment is safe * Obsessions should be seen as strengths.

* Inappropriate activities should be ignored and sometimes discouraged. Using visual aids to deal with Autistic children STUDENTS WITH PHYSICAL PROBLEMS ASTHMA A person with asthma has attacks of difficulty breathing and usually makes a hissing or wheezing sound during such attacks. This occurs because the airways are narrowed and the effect is similarto stretching the neck of a balloon as you let air escape. If an asmatic person does not get air, his/her nails and lips may turn blue and neck veins may swell.

Asthma often begins in childhood and may be a problem for life. An attack may be triggered by eating or breathing in things to which a person is allergic such as plant pollen, animal feather, chemicals, dust etc. An inhaler allows medication to be taken directly into the lungs ads as such asthmatic pupils should carry one at all times in case of a attack. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS * Child is too breathless to talk or eat and is becoming very distressed * The child becomes pale and blue around the lips * Coughing and wheezing REMEDIATION TECHNIQUE BY THE TEACHER * Call for help or take the child to the nearest accident and emergency hospital * Give the child the inhaler right away

* Hold or sit the child in a comfortable upright position * Do not put an arm around the child since this may restrict breathing * Loosen tight clothing especially around the neck * Sips of normal room temperature water * Contact the parent or caregiver EPILEPSY Epilepsy is a serious neurological condition since there is a short interruption in the chemical activity in the nerve cells and a fit or seizure is the result. Fits can vary in duration, frequency and intensity from one pupil to another but never lasts longer than 3 minutes. Very mild seizure is called ‘petit mal’ while more serious seizures are known as ‘grand mal’. SIGNS OF EPILIPSY * Child may stop talking in mid-sentences

* Child may stop walking, miss something he/she was just told or may appear to be a day dreamer SYMPTOMS OF EPILIPSY Grand mal refers to the more serious seizures and has two stages; tonic stage and clonic stage. Tonic stage The body becomes stiff, loss of consciousness with the face becoming pale. The back and neck may become arched, arms stiffen and hands clenched. The child may also froth, bite the inside of the cheek and may also loose muscular control of the bladder. Clonic stage Twitching may affect the face or the whole body during this stage Post convulsive stage During this stage the child may feel sleep, have a headache and may be dazed with memory loss.

REMEDIATION TECHNIQUES BY THE TEACHER * Stay calm, speak quietly and keep onlookers away * Move harmful things away from the child * Put something soft under his/her head * Do not move the child whilst still fitting * Never try to force anything between the teeth * Always seek medical help if the first seizure lasts for more than 5 minutes DIABETES Diabetes is a condition that results when a person has too much Sugar in their blood. It is controlled by medication but nevertheless causes pupils to be tired or unwell in class. Altering the diet, especially cutting out sugars, can sometimes control diabetes but some diabetic persons need special medicine called insulin.

Persons suspected of having diabetes can have a simple sugar test done to confirm same. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES * Continual thirst * Urinating (peeing) often and alot * Unexplained tiredness * Itching and long term skin problems * Weight loss * Numbness or pains in the hands or feet * Sores on the feet that do not heal * Loss of consciousness REMEDIATION TECHNIQUES BY THE TEACHER Once the teacher finds out the child is diabetic he/she needs to find out as much as possible about the child from the parent, as it relates to what treatment the child is having as well as what to do in case of a coma. JUVENILE ARTHRITIS Juvenile arthritis is caused by the immune system attacking the germs and also healthy parts of the body.

It usually begins to manifest itself between the ages of 5 and 10 years but can begin earlier or later. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS * Pains in the joints and may complain when asked to do extra movements * Joint pains usually begins in the knees, joints and wrist * Later the neck, toes, shoulders and elbows may be affected * Tendons may tighten causing contracture and the bones may eventually become dislocated. HOW THE TEACHER CAN HELP THE CHILD SUFFERING FROM JUVENILE ARTHRITIS The teacher should never physically make a pupil move a joint as they may cause severe damage and pain. The must remember that only the trained therapist should prescribe Treatment for the child with this type of condition.

Additionally, the teacher needs to be sensitive, caring, professional and creative. SPINA BIFIDA Spina bifida is a condition that arises due to abnormal development of the unborn child when some of the backbones do not close over the spinal cord. Spina bifida occurs in the very early development of the unborn child. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF SPINAL BIFIDA * Without early surgery to cover the spinal cord infection the child with this condition might die or get meningitis. * Muscle weakness and loss of feeling. The legs or feet may become paralysed or have little or no feeling at all * Poor urine and bladder control * Big Head also called hydrocephalus meaning water in the brain.

The liquid that forms inside the head does not drain in the normal way and thus collects and puts pressure on the brain and skull bones. Teachers can help with this condition by being supportive to the child but treat them equally and allow them to be independent as possible even if it means giving them extra time to complete tasks. MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder in which all the muscles in the body begin to wither and die. Regrettably, there is no known cure for this condition. The disorder begins to show itself when the child is about 4 years and in some cases older. Signs of the disorder usually appear around 3 to 5 years and steadily worsens rendering children unable to walk by the age of 10.

A person who has muscular dystrophy usually dies before age 20 due to heart failure or pneumonia. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY * Clumsiness or awkwardness around the classroom * Walk or tiptoe because heels cannot go flat * Run strangely and fall often * Muscle weakness which affects feet, front of thighs, hips , belly, shoulders and elbow and later on affects hands face and neck muscles * Visible physical changes example, knee may bend back, back becomes extra arched, thighs and thin, belly sticks out as well as shoulders and arms held backward when walking. * Heart and breathing muscles becomes weak HOW THE TEACHER CAN HELP THE CHILD WITH MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY

The teacher should help the child experience fulfilment, enjoyment, creativity and an exploration of his/her strengths within the framework of the curriculum and his own physical limitations. CEREBRAL PALSY Cerebral palsy comes from damage to the brain that has happened before the baby was born or up to 3 years. For some babies it is an inherited factor while for others it is as a result of the mother having an infection whilst pregnant. It can also result from Rhesus or incompatible blood from both parents, lack of oxygen to the foetus, injury to the foetus, head injuries affecting the brain, damage to the baby’s head, meningitis, brain tumours and lack of oxygen supply to the brain SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF CEREBRAL PALSY

Due to damage to the brain all body function can be affected mildly or severely or any way in between. * Varying degrees of physical disability * Hearing impairment * Visual impairment * Convulsive (uncontrolled spasms) may occur * Learning difficulties HOW THE TEACHER CAN HELP A CHILD WITH CEREBRAL PALSY The teacher should help the child experience fulfilment, enjoyment, creativity and an exploration of his/her strengths. REFLECTIONS I am very thankful to Ms. John for giving us this portfolio to complete. The new knowledge i will take with me for a lifetime. While completing this portfolio, i have found out that a very good friend s’ daughter has ADHD and my sisters’ god daughter has down syndrome.

I was able to provide information about the condition to her mother who was very sad to find out but also thankful for the information since she now fully understands why the child always has cold and other ailments. I was also able to share lots of information about different disabilities with my 14 year old daughter and mom. I have learnt that some hidden disabilities are not easily recognisable or visually detected eg dyslexia and a deaf child and can only be known to the teacher through observation and task (performance). Hence, a student who is intellectually challenged cannot be readily identified because of the hidden disability and as such teachers need to be extra vigilant to spot and diagnose such students.

I am sure with this new know i can now make better decisions and incorporate inclusive education in my daily work activities and cater for all students. CONCLUSION Every child has special education needs. However, some have greater needs than others. Those pupils who have that greater need have some kind of learning difficulty and should be incorporated in mainstream classroom or special school depending on the need. We each possess a fundamental identity that separates us from others. These characteristics do not render us better or worse than others since we are simply different with a unique ability to offer excellence in some form to humanity.

As teachers, we need to encourage our children, family, friends, school and society to be non judgemental. Additionally, we should not discriminate, be prejudice or discriminate against anyone because of the way they look, talk, act, walk or their condition, story or what they are going through. Additionally, creative arts strategies should be incorporated in teaching students with special needs. These creative arts strategies can range from drama, dance, music, art and puppetry. Puppetry can vary in terms of being paper puppets, paper bag puppets, glove/hand puppets, moving mouths, rod puppets, shadow puppets, marionettes and outdoor puppets. Students with disability can learn once we as teachers put in the extra effort.


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