Teaching Techniques in Special Education
In the past two decades many changes have been made in education. Many of these changes have occurred in the special education area. There has been an increase in the number of students who need services in many different areas. Due to the vast array of ability levels and disabilities among students with special needs the teaching techniques and methods used in the classroom must also vary greatly. This is important to effectively facilitate a child’s needs and learning style.
Many things have to occur in order to correctly place a child in their class. The child may not be progressing as expected for some reason. This would trigger a teacher or parent to raise his or her concerns. Once this is addressed then an Individual Education Program (IEP) meeting would be set up. Prior to the meeting assessments on the child might be done and that will help decided if they qualify for services. If it is decided that services should be provided then an IEP meeting is set up. In this meeting, problems would be addressed and solutions for them would be established. Attainable goals for the child to meet are also established. Within this meeting modifications or adjustments for the child are put into the IEP. These modifications can be a variety of things and are all provided within the school. It is guaranteed that the needs will be met because “it is a federally mandated “contract” between the school and family…the IEP is tied to additional federal funding that helps pay the costs of educating the child.” (Hayes, Nikki, 2002)
The IEP drives the placement of what classroom setting the child will be in. Depending on the child’s needs and the extent of services needed factors into the placement. The goal is to keep the child in his or her Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). The first step is that any child with an IEP will be “included” or “mainstreamed” in a regular classroom. “Inclusion considers that all students are full members of the school community and are entitled to the opportunities and responsibilities that are available to all students in the school.” (Newhorizons.org, 2002) In an inclusion classroom the child is in a “regular” classroom and has their individual needs met there. The next type of classroom is where a child will spend half a day in a regular classroom and the other half in a resource room or special education class. The next would be that the child is in a full special education class or an adaptive classroom or functional classroom. The most restrictive environment a child can be placed in is a level five school, which is where full special education services are provided.
An IEP also includes services to be provided to the student. Each child may or may not need all or any of the options. One service that a child may need is a Physical Therapist, to work on his or her individual needs to strengthen muscles or physical activity capabilities. Access to an Occupational...