All children display differences from one another in terms of their physical characteristics and learning disabilities. The differences among most children are quite minor, allowing them to benefit from the general education program. Heward (2014) stated that the physical characteristics and/or learning characteristics of exceptional children differ from the norm, either above or below, to such an extent that they require an individualized program of special education and related services to get full value from education. The term exceptional children include children who have difficulties in understanding and learning as well as those whose academic levels are so advanced that changes in academic curriculum and instruction are necessary to help them fulfill their potential said Heward (2014)
Exceptional children refers to children with physical disabilities or sensory impairments, learning and/or behavior problems, and children with superior intellectual abilities and/or special talents (Heward, 2014). Learning the terms of several related terms will help you better understand the concept of exceptionality.
Heward (2014) stated that there are thirteen disability categories such as learning disabilities, speech or language impairment, intellectual disability, emotional disturbance, autism, multiple disabilities, developmental delay, hearing impairment, orthopedic impairment, visual impairment, traumatic brain injury, and deaf-blindness.
Prior to 1975, many states had laws that denied children with disabilities access to a public education. After the first public law (PL 94-142) for special education was passed in 1975 and called the All Handicapped Children Act, children with disabilities were allowed to attend a public school like the students without disabilities could (Heward, 2014). Since the law was passed, it has been revised five times and is now called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) of 2004. The main purpose of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) of 1990 was to ensure that all children with disabilities have a free appropriate public education available that emphasizes a designed service to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities and prepare them for further learning, work, and independent living in their future (Heward, 2014). There are six major principles of IDEA, which have primarily stayed the same since 1975.
The first principle of IDEA is Zero Reject which means that schools must educate all children with disabilities. No child with a disability may be left out from a free appropriate education regardless of the nature or severity of the disability (Heward, 2014).
The second principle is called Nondiscriminatory Evaluation which must use unbiased, multifactor methods of evaluation to determine whether a child has a disability and, if so, whether the child needs specially designed instruction to benefit from education (Heward, 2014). Testing and evaluation procedures...