Being in a public school, I was around many types of people, but my first encounter with a special needs kid took me by surprise. I never truly understood why these kids talked the way they did or why they always got help. As I grew older, I also grew curious about these kids. I wanted to know why they had these disabilities and how it affects them with trying to learn. But in order to answer those questions I had to figure out what exactly special education was.
Special Education is a program in schools that are designed to benefit kids with special needs, whether it is helping kids who have dyslexia who need help reading, or kids who have a form of a mental disability who might need an adjustment to their curriculum. Having this program gives these students, who can’t learn in a typical classroom, a place to go so that they can concentrate on their work and to also get the one on one help they need.
I’ve observed kids with special needs and I found that there are different ways they teach kids with learning disabilities, I observed Inclusion, Mainstreaming, and Segregation (Anonymous). Inclusion is where the students, who have a disability such as dyslexia, can stay in a classroom most of the day with students who don’t have a disability. These students may only need to leave the classroom and go to another class where they can receive the help they need with their work that they can’t get in the regular classroom setting.
The kids who take regular and special education classes use the second form called mainstreaming, which allows the disabled and non-disabled to interact socially. Experiencing this form first handily, I can say that it really makes a difference in the way the disabled kids act (Anonymous). By allowing them to be around the “normal” students instead of in one room during the day, it makes them more sociable, and makes them feel better about themselves. Mainstreaming also allows the non-disabled students to get a better understanding about people with disabilities.
They learn that just because they have some disorder, it doesn’t make them completely different. The third form is Segregation, which usually is a classroom where the kids who can’t sit in normal classroom settings and need more hands on from the teachers. With the students I observed, the students were allowed to eat with the non-disabled and also were allowed to participate in extracurricular activities, such as gym or agricultural classes (Anonymous). Special Education programs are not offered in every school.
In some cases students that have a learning disability, and their school doesn’t have program specified for them, would have to enroll in a special school. When these students are completely excluded from others who don’t have a disability, they tend to be more shy and aren’t comfortable being around other people who aren’t like them, besides their family members. There are many things the teacher can do to best suite the need of the student, such as changing the way the information is presented to the student. Such as, a student who has trouble seeing may get a text bigger that has a larger print so they can read.
Another way that I’ve observed is that if the student is incapable of probably writing an assignment, the school will give them a computer to type their assignments instead (Anonymous). Audio books are a way to help the students who cannot read very well, and the visually impaired to gather their information. The audio books make it easier and faster for these students to learn. One more way is if the student has trouble concentrating for long periods of time on one paper, they will be given breaks so that they won’t become frustrated.
Sometimes the school feels it necessary to make certain adjustments to the curriculum of the students in the Special Education program. An adjustment typically made is that the students will have shorter assignments. For example, if the non-disabled students have to take a fifty question test, special needs students will either half of that or less on their tests. Another way I observed is, also on some tests the teachers will have give the disabled students the same test they give everyone else, but have some of the wrong answer choices marked off, so that it makes it easier for them to choose the correct one (Anonymous).
Teachers who specialize in Special Education get taught the techniques that they will need to use to help their future students. One main technique is to have patience with their students. Some students may get frustrated easily which in return can make the teachers also frustrated. By working with a special needs girl myself, I’ve learned that patience is the key to success. When she can’t comprehend the questions on her on or it’s taking her a while to get her work done, she starts to get upset with herself and me (Anonymous).
Another technique that is used is changing the lesson plans for each student, to ensure each one gets the right presentation of the information needed for them to learn. Now being older and knowing what I do now, I’ve realized that the students who needed help from the Special Education teachers weren’t just being lazy, that they had a disability that kept them from learning the way we do. Even though these students do have these disabilities it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be allowed to get the same quality education as the others. Works Cited “Anonymous. ” Personal Observation. March 3, 2011.