Special Education Implementation For Native American Girls

1827 words - 7 pages

Special Education Implementation For Native American Girls

Quality education for children has been an ongoing issue for today's society. There has also been an increasing concern for the education of students with special needs. The effect of these concerns has been noted in many communities, such as the Native American community. The population of special education students in the Native American communities is not necessarily higher than others, however, their community is effected, therefore also in need of quality special education programs. The need for quality special education is strongly felt by the women and girls within the Native American culture because of the pressures of their cultures and societies.

Woman and girls have always held distinctive roles within the Native American community. These role have withstood the test of time. In a discussion with Juan Zuniga, a bilingual educator with an emphasis on Hispanic and American Indian cultures, I found that women in the Native American society are very much so, encouraged to stay at home and be homemakers. They are far less likely to pursue further education and often find it hard to gain the support to complete high school. The importance of education among females in their society is not as predominant as in others (J.Zuniga). In some cases it is necessary for young Indian people to leave their homes and families to obtain an adequate education for the preparation of today's society (National Indian Child Conference 1979). They are also faced with being torn between modern American ways and their tribal customs and beliefs. Because of this it is often instilled in them that they are incapable of achieving. This sense of self worthlessness is handled in many ways, but one of the most common is alcohol abuse.

Native American girls (because of their pressures) are effected greatly by the large spread abuse of alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse is one of the greatest killers of Native American youth (1979). One of the major birth defects among Indian children is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (B.Zuniga). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, (FAS), is caused by consuming alcohol during pregnancy. It causes retardation, attention deficit disorder, facial deformities, or even death. Because of the high consumption rate of alcohol among the Native American culture and poor prenatal care, there are a number of children born in need of special care and special education. Increasingly, second and third generations of special needs children are being born, causing an alarming concern among the medical and educational societies (B. Zuniga). This need for is not higher than other ethnic backgrounds, but it is a reality.

The study of women and the treatment and causes of special education has been ongoing for sometime, however, it has not been until recently that ethic considerations have taken place. It has been found that some defects are caused genetically, such as muscular...

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