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Special Needs Essay

1. Pupils with learning difficulties and disorders ·Pupils in need of Remedial Teaching (Learning Support) ·Pupils with Specific Learning Disabilities ·Pupils with Specific Speech and Language disorders 2. Pupils with Physical and Sensory Disabilities ·Pupils with Physical Handicap ·Pupils with Hearing Impairment ·Pupils with Visual Impairment 3. Pupils with Mental Handicap and with Emotional and Behavioural Disorders ·Pupils with Mild Mental Handicap ·Pupils with Moderate Mental Handicap.

·Pupils with Severe / Profound Mental Handicap ·Pupils with Emotional and or Behavioural Disorders ·Pupils with Childhood Autism 4. Pupils with Other Special Needs ·Pupils who are Educationally and Socially Disadvantaged ·Children of the Travelling Community ·Pupils who are Exceptionally Able or Talented What are the seven principles of Special Education as detailed in the S. E. R. C. Report? ·All children, including those with special educational needs have a right to an appropriate education.

·The needs of the individual child should be the paramount consideration when decisions are being made concerning the provision of special education for that child. ·The parents of a child with special education needs are entitled and should be enabled to play an active part in the decision-making process: their wishes should be taken into consideration when recommendations on special educational provision are being made.

·A continuum of services should be provided for children with special educational needs ranging from full-time education in ordinary classes, with additional support as necessary, to full-time education in special schools. ·Except where individual circumstances make this impracticable, appropriate education for all children with special educational needs should be provided in ordinary schools ·Only in the most exceptional circumstances should it be necessary for a child to live away from home in order to avail of an appropriate education.

·The state should provide adequate resources to ensure that children with special educational needs can have an education appropriate to those needs. What are the stages in the continuum of services to meet the needs of children with Special Educational Needs? ·Full-time placement in mainstream class with additional support from the class teacher ·Full-time placement in mainstream class with additional support from learning-support teacher working within the class ·Full-time placement in mainstream class with withdrawal for short regular tutorial sessions in a small group format.

with the learning-support teacher For mainstream schools that have a special class this continuum might extend as follows: ·Part-time placement in a special class, spending more time in the mainstream class ·Part-time placement in a special class, spending less time in the mainstream class ·Full-time placement in the special class.

Mainstream schools may then work in conjunction with special schools to develop the continuum even further as follows: ·Part-time placement in a special school, spending more time in the mainstream school ·Part-time placement in a special school, spending less time in the ordinary school ·Full-time placement in mainstream class with withdrawal for short regular tutorial sessions on a one-to-one basis with the learning-support teacher What is Phonological Awareness? Phonological awareness is the awareness that speech is made up of individual sounds that can be manipulated to provide us with different words.

It comprises the ability to hear individual sounds in words and the ability to change sounds in words. Thus, it is both an aural and an oral skill, which is unrelated to intelligence as measured in IQ tests. Overall then, phonological awareness is sensitivity to the sounds of words and can be divided into the following levels: ·Syllabic awareness ·Onset-Rime awareness ·Phonemic awareness How does the Task Force on Dyslexia define Dyslexia? Dyslexia is a delayed development in literacy, which is unexpected in terms of the child’s overall development.

It may manifest itself in a variety of different ways, such as deficits in short-term memory, auditory processing etc. However central to an understanding of Dyslexia is a deficit in the area of phonological awareness. What are the three key-principles in providing an effective response to dyslexia? There are three key principles in providing an effective response to Dyslexia within the mainstream classroom. Provision for children with a learning-difficulty arising from Dyslexia should be: ·Learner-centred

·Highly-structured and sequential ·Active and multi-sensory What is Dyspraxia? Dyspraxia is a neurologically-based disorder of the processes involved in praxis (the idea to do something-ideation, knowing how to do it ? motor planning and actually performing the action – execution) or the planning of movement to achieve a predetermined idea of purpose, which may affect the acquisition of new skills and the execution of those already learned. Thus there are three main areas which may be affected by Dyspraxia: ·Ideation

·Motor Planning ·Execution How is Dyspraxia diagnosed? Dyspraxia can be difficult to diagnose. It can depend on the severity of the disorder and also on the demands of the environment, social acceptability, tolerance of errors and on the child’s ability to cope emotionally. Because it is a hidden and inconsistent condition, a problem may not become apparent until the ideation, planning or execution systems become overtaxed, and even then Dyspraxia is not immediately obvious unless the observer knows what to look for.

A multi-disciplinary team consisting of the family doctor, a paediatrician, a paediatric neurologist, an occupational therapist and an educational psychologist generally makes a diagnosis of Dyspraxia. What, briefly, is the prognosis for a child with Dyspraxia? A person will always have Dyspraxia however the impact on the person’s life will decrease as he / she gets older. This is because motor planning is required for learning new skills and actions that are learnt sufficiently well to become automatic no longer involve praxis. Thus, once a skill is learnt, Dyspraxia becomes less invasive.

There is a sense therefore whereby problems relating to Dyspraxia eventually resolve themselves, however this happens much more slowly and less efficiently than if the child were exposed to specific strategies to deal with problems designed to deal with Dyspraxia. Distinguish between language semantics and pragmatics Semantics refers to the meaning that the child can understand and express. It relates both to the ability to choose words and combine them in such a way as to express the intended meaning and to the ability to receive words and understand them in the correct way.

Pragmatics refers to the reason or purpose for communication. There are a number of possible reasons for people to communicate – these are referred to as functions of language. ·Requesting an object ·Requesting an action ·Sharing thoughts and feelings ·Expressing one’s personality ·Requesting information ·Using the imagination ·Relating information While using gestures or signs can complete many of the functions, it is important that children become competent in using spoken language to accomplish these functions.

Distinguish between a speech and language delay and a speech and language disorder. Speech and Language Delay refers to those children whose language, though delayed, is being acquired in accordance with the recognised developmental pathway. The delay may lie in any one or more of the speech and language areas, it may be associated with a general learning difficulty or may be an isolated feature of development. It may also be linked to physical conditions (hearing loss), environmental or emotional factors.

Speech and Language Disorder refers to children whose speech and language skills are not being acquired in accordance with the known developmental sequence, thus the pattern of language development is both delayed and deviant. Name the six separate types of speech and language disorders ·Disorder of language form ·Semantic or content disorders ·Pragmatic disorder ·Articulation disorders ·Voice disorders ·Rhythm or Fluency disorders What are the three core symptoms of A. D. H. D.? ·Hyperactivity ·Impulsiveness ·Inattention.

What are the critical questions that must be answered regarding a child’s behaviour before a diagnosis of A. D. H. D. can be made? ·Are these behaviours excessive, long-term, and pervasive? ·Are they a continuous problem, not just a response to a temporary situation? ·Do the behaviours occur in several settings or only in one specific place like the playground or the home? What are the five primary-process and two secondary deficits associated with A. D. H. D.? Primary-process deficits ·Impaired attention ·Impaired effort ·Inhibitory deficits

·Arousal-modulation deficits ·Inappropriate responses to rewards Secondary deficits ·Planning and Reasoning Deficits ·Social Processes Distinguish between selective encoding, selective combination and selective comparison. ·Selective encoding: the process of sorting relevant from irrelevant information ·Selective combination: integrating relevant information in meaningful ways ·Selective comparison: the meaningful comparison of new information with past information What are the four key principles for dealing with gifted pupils in the mainstream classroom?

The classroom environment must be stimulating and interactive. ·Individual differences and potential of all students must be readily accepted. ·There must be a willingness to provide appropriate teaching methods to match those differences. ·There must be flexibility of organisation within the classroom. What impairments are common to all forms of classic autism? Common to all forms of classic autism are impairments in three main areas: ·Social relationships ·Communication ·Social imagination and thought ? including restricted patterns of behaviour and interests

What are the defining characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome? The defining characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome are: ·Marked and sustained impairments in social interaction ·Speech and language peculiarities ·Restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour and activities and a strong preference for routines and avoidance of change What are the five key areas that need to be addressed when meeting the needs of children with Asperger’s Syndrome? ·Perspective taking ·Socio-communicative understanding and expression ·Reading / language comprehension

·Executive dysfunction (problems in organisational skills / planning) ·Problem solving Section B A phased process of assessment for Dyslexia The Task Force on Dyslexia recommends that schools adopt a phased process of assessment. The model of assessment has 4 phases and is conceptualised as lying along a continuum. In Phase 1, the emphasis is on identifying learning differences, and Adjusting instruction for those children who exhibit such differences. This should take place between the ages of 3 and 5 years. The caregiver or class teacher who will ? notice’ and ?

adjust’ teaching according to the child’s emerging needs will provide intervention. If there is not progress with the adjusted lesson, phase two is initiated. The child should be between 5 and 7 years in Phase 2, by which time formal reading instruction has begun. Students who may be at risk of developing learning difficulties arising from dyslexia are identified, using a combination of teacher observation and diagnostic reading tests. Supplementary teaching from the class teacher or a learning-support teacher may be provided, depending on the severity of the difficulties.

The level of support should be linked to the response of the child to interventions provided. An Individual Educational Programme (IEP) is developed to meet that child’s educational needs and this is reviewed regularly. A formal identification of dyslexia may be made at phase 3, based on the student’s abilities and responses of interventions. The level of need will determine the support provided. Severe learning difficulties arising from dyslexia may warrant resource-teaching, enrolment in a special class in mainstream schooling or in a special school.

If the difficulties are not severe supplementary teaching may be provided in the mainstream class either on a one-to-one basis, in groups supported by the class teacher. In Phase 4, students will normally be attending a post-primary school. Student’s learning needs should be reviewed on an annual basis. The IEP is adjusted to meet the changing needs of the child on each review. I agree with the Task Force who state that teachers of very large classes might find it very difficult to adjust lessons and maintain relevant documentation.

The Task Force recommends that current Department of Education and Science policy, which favours relatively small classes, should be observed to ensure the success of this phased approach. In my experience however, the class size policy is not being observed. It would be very difficult to administer this approach in the assessment of dyslexia in my current classroom environment where the teacher has in excess of 30 children to teach in a multi-class situation. Overall I feel that the approach is valuable.

It means that a child is not diagnosed as dyslexic until the third phase and the inevitable branding of that child amongst peers does not take place unnecessarily. It is very important for the success of this approach that the teacher is both aware of the symptoms of dyslexia, and knowledgeable regarding the best way to alter tasks so as to help the child overcome the difficulty being experienced. Bibliography Primary References Hibernia College, Special Education Needs: Lesson 3 Task Force on Dyslexia. (Government of Ireland 2002) Effective classroom management for children with A.

D. H. D. Children with ADHD can exhibit to varying degrees the following behaviours: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. There are a number of strategies that can be employed for managing children with ADHD in the classroom. The teacher know the child, through collaboration with both the child and the care-giver. Plans such as IEP’s should be devised, regularly reviewed and adapted based on what has been achieved and the child’s developmental stage. Children with ADHD frequently find it difficult to understand instruction or to express their thoughts.

Shortened assignments or giving the child extra time to complete a task is one method of dealing with this. Also, it is better not to draw attention to incorrect work all of the time. Instructions should be specific and brief where possible. Writing instruction allows the child to review the instruction if forgotten. It is beneficial for the teacher to provide structured consistent work and close supervision for the child. Work should always be corrected and positive feedback given. Children with ADHD find it difficult to pay attention, and also to control what they pay attention to.

The child should always sit close to the teacher and away from doors and windows. Visual, auditory and kinaesthetic lessons have proven more successful when teaching children with ADHD. Keeping lessons short and varied (from physical to mental) also helps keep the child attentive. The use of non-verbal cues or using the child’s name within the lesson helps to redirect attention more effectively than verbal reprimands. In order to get attention children with ADHD will often behave inappropriately and can find it very difficult to control their impulses.

Positive reinforcement, especially in front of peers can limit the child’s urge to attention seek. Teeter (1995) as cited in Hibernia Lesson 3 recommends that reinforcements be frequent, consistent and administered promptly for appropriate behaviour. Punishment should be strategic, infrequent and only administered where reinforcements are also used. Where the problem is severe, the reinforcement target should be for small successes. Where punishment is by the withdrawal of privileges, the children should be able to earn back the privilege. Talking to the child individually and in small groups can help the child learn appropriate behaviour.

I agree that the employment of many of the strategies mentioned above can significantly help a child to participate fully in the classroom environment. Again, my experience is that many schools do not have the facilities to allow teachers to employ these teaching methods due to limited availability of space and resources for effective classroom management. Large class sizes leave very little time to implement such strategies. It is vital that the teacher work closely with parents of children with ADHD when implementing these strategies and that they are followed through at home.

We must try to deter situations like that experienced by of one of my Hibernia colleagues, where parents reassured the child that it was okay not to perform, as he had ADHD. Bibliography Primary References Hibernia College, Special Education Needs: Lesson 3 Websites http://cms. psychologytoday. com/conditions/addhd. html (accessed 19/10/2004) http://www. pueblo. gsa. gov/cic_text/health/attendef/adhd. htm (accessed 19/10/2004) www. adhd. com (accessed 18/10/2004) http://www. hmc. psu. edu/childrens/healthinfo/a/adhd. htm (accessed 18/10/2004) Curriculum Differentiation.

According to the introduction document, one of the general aims of the primary school curriculum in Ireland is that the child be enabled to live a full life as a child and to realise his or her potential as a unique individual. While it provides a structured framework, it affords flexibility to schools and teachers when planning the learning experiences suited to each child. Curriculum differentiation refers to a practice by which the curriculum is adapted to provide a diverse learning experience for children of differing abilities. The teacher provides multiple avenues to learning to suit varied learners, including those who are advanced.

Giving children more of the same work does not constitute differentiation according to Tomlinson, National Association for Gifted Children The rationale behind this is that, if a task is too difficult, it discourages children. If a task is too easy, it results in boredom. Both of these emotions will serve to negatively affect the motivation of a child to learn. It is argued that differentiation of the curriculum will serve to eliminate this type of problem. Gross (1999) discusses the negative effect of not differentiating the curriculum for gifted children who subsequently become frustrated and rebellious.

Keirouz (1993) made suggestions as to how the curriculum might be differentiated for gifted students. He suggested amendment to the curriculum including the deletion of material that had already been mastered, the addition of new content or extension of existing content. He also recommended the provision of course work at an earlier age for those children deemed able. The general aim is that gifted children be stretched beyond their comfort zones by the provision of more abstract, complex, open-ended and multi-faceted activities and tasks.

Maker (1982a, 1982b, 1986) as cited in Hibernia Lesson 3 argues that the curriculum needs to be differentiated in terms of learning environment, content, process and product. The learning environment should be student centred, open, accepting, and complex highly mobile and should encourage independence. The content should include abstractness, complexity, variety and the study of people and methods of inquiry. The process should encourage high levels of thinking, creative thinking, open-endedness, group interaction, variable pacing, a variety of leaning processes to suit learning styles, debriefing and freedom of choice.

The student should be enabled to produce a product that incorporates real problems, real audiences, real deadlines, transformations and appropriate evaluation. In my experience, it is very important to allow for a differentiation in the curriculum. Very often, teachers regard gifted children as a nuisance, always finished their work first and often disruptive in class as a result of boredom. These children have a right to be challenged at a level suited to their abilities. Differentiation limits the failure cycle for children with learning difficulties and allows all children reach their full potential.

Thorough planning should go a long way towards achieving a curriculum that can be implemented in the classroom to meet the needs of each child. If the teacher is not adequately prepared, they are not fulfilling the aims of the curriculum. Bibliography Primary References: Hibernia College, Special Education Needs: Lesson 3 Miraca U M Gross; Roeper Review; Small poppies: Highly gifted children in the early years; Feb/Mar 1999 Department of Education and Science. 1999. Primary School Curriculum ? Introduction. Dublin: Stationary Office.

United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. 2004. Changing Teaching Practices: using curriculum differentiation to respond to students’ diversity. Paris: UNESCO Printing Workshops Websites: Carol Ann Tomlinson; National Association for Gifted Children. How Can Gifted Students Needs be Met in Mixed-Ability Classrooms:Frequently Asked Questions http://www. bctf. bc. ca/PSAs/AEGTCCBC/IRN/brochure. html (accessed 15/10/2004) James R Delisle; Gifted Child Today. Oh!

The places we’ve been! “; Winter 2003 http://www. findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m0HRV/is_1_26/ai_97755651 (accessed 15/10/2004) Secondary References Keirouz, KS (1993) Gifted curriculum: The state of the art GCT January/February 1993, 36-39. Maker CJ (1982a) Curriculum development for the gifted Austin: Pro-Ed. Maker CJ (1982b) Teaching models in the education of the gifted Austin: Pro-Ed. Maker CJ (Ed. ) (1986) Critical issues in gifted education: Defensible programs for the gifted Austin: Pro-Ed. 1993, 36-39. Supporting the child with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder in the mainstream classroom.

Dawson and Osterling (1997) as cited in The Task Force on Autism reviewed intervention methods for children with autism. They concluded that there were a number of common elements across those approaches that have a proven record of increased learning and decreased autistic behaviour. It was these common elements that they used to devise their principles for effectively meeting the educational needs of children with ASD in the mainstream classroom. The Task Force on Autism (2001) supports the implementation of these principles for teaching children with ASD in mainstream schools.

These principles state that the curriculum content should be conducive to the development of skills such as complying with teaching demands; the ability to imitate others; the ability to comprehend and use language; the ability to play appropriately with toys and the ability to socially interact with others and the ability to attend to elements of the environment that are essential to learning. The principles advocate the need for predictability and routine in the classroom as well as a functional approach to behavioural problems.

Classroom planning should make provision for the teaching of skills such as complying with requests from adults, turn taking, listening to directions from near and far, sitting quietly during activities, volunteering, raising hand to gain attention, walking in line, using appropriate toilets, tidying up after toy play, and communicating basic needs. Williams (2001) stresses that not all children with ASD are the same. Each child has his or her own personality and their ASD symptoms will manifest themselves in different ways, unique to each child.

This inevitably means that there is no single approach to dealing with a child with ASD in the classroom. In order to implement a successful classroom strategy for addressing the symptoms of ASD, it must be tailored to suit the unique needs of the particular child. Bearing in mind the guiding principles and the awareness that the teaching approach must be tailored to the needs of the individual child, I believe that teachers can support a child with ASD in the mainstream classroom. However, a strong support network needs to exist, so that a teacher can meet the educational needs of an autistic child.

In my own experience, and from talking to experienced teachers, the general consensus is a fear that if faced with an autistic child in their classroom, they would not have the expertise, support or guidance available to them to best teach, reach and understand the needs of that child. This opinion stems from a local situation where state funding and support was inadequate; therefore, the parents of two autistic children funded the provision of the resources for these children in the mainstream school so that they could reach their maximum potential. Bibliography Primary References:

Hibernia College, Special Education Needs: Lesson 3 Task Force on Autism. (Government of Ireland 2002) Secondary References: Dawson, G. , & Osterling, P. (1997). Early intervention in autism. In M. J. Guralnick (Ed. ), The effectiveness of early intervention. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes. Websites: Karen Williams. Intervention in School and Clinic; Understanding the student with Asperger Syndrome: Guidelines for teachers; May 2001 http://static. highbeam. com/i/interventioninschoolampclinic/may012001/understandingthestudentwithaspergersyndromeguideli/ (accessed 20/10/2004).

Autism Society of America www. autism-society. org (accessed 20/10/2004) Marcy Fox; Research Paper on Inclusion of Children with Autism http://tiger. towson. edu/users/mfox3/research%20paper. htm (accessed 20/10/2004) New York State Department of Health, Early Intervention Program; Report of the Guideline Recommendations; Autism / Pervasive Developmental Disorders; Assessment and Intervention for Young Children (Age 0-3 Years) http://www. health. state. ny. us/nysdoh/eip/autism/ (accessed 20/10/2004).


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