Special Education

Special Education

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Special Education by Mind Map: Special Education

1. IEP Development Process

1.1. Recognition: The student demonstrates needs greater than those of a typical peer

1.2. RTI: Parents and a school based team work together to provide interventions.

1.2.1. RTI (Response to Intervention) is a three-tiered approach to dealing with students who struggle more than their typical peers.

1.2.1.1. If interventions are successful, the IEP process stops.

1.2.1.2. If interventions are not successful, the student is referred to be evaluated for special education services.

1.3. Referral: If RTI has not produced adequate results, the student is referred for evaluation to see if s/he qualifies for special education services by a member of the school based intervention team.

1.4. Evaluation: After parent consent is received, the student is evaluated with a variety of assessments and strategies to determine the needs of the student.

1.4.1. If parents do not consent to testing, regardless of the student's struggles, the team cannot move forward.

1.4.2. During an initial evaluation, usually done by a school psychologist, students are given a battery of assessments that test their physical abilities, cognitive abilities, academic skills (in reading, writing, math), vision, hearing, speech, and behavior.

1.4.3. During this evaluation process, information is collected from members of the intervention team, including general education teachers, medical professionals, social workers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists, etc.

1.5. Eligibility: The team meets to review the evidence that has been collected and to determine if the student has demonstrated a disability that adversely impacts his/her education, thus requiring special education services to benefit from his/her education.

1.5.1. If the team determines that the student has a disability that negatively impacts his/her education, they move forward to create an IEP.

1.5.2. If it is determined that the student does not have a disability that prevents him/her from learning, the student does not qualify for special education services and is referred to receive further interventions.

1.5.3. There are 14 categories in which students can qualify to receive special education services under IDEA.

1.5.3.1. Specific Learning Disability (SLD)

1.5.3.2. Autism

1.5.3.3. Developmental Delay (DD)

1.5.3.4. Deaf-Blindness

1.5.3.5. Deafness

1.5.3.6. Emotional Disturbance (ED)

1.5.3.7. Hearing Impairment

1.5.3.8. Intellectual Disability

1.5.3.9. Multiple Disabilities (MDS)

1.5.3.10. Orthopedic Impairment

1.5.3.11. Other Health Impairment (OHI)

1.5.3.12. Speech or Language Impairment

1.5.3.13. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

1.5.3.14. Visual Impairment, including Blindness

1.6. IEP & LRE Determination: The IEP team meets to develop the Individualized Education Program, which guides the instruction and sets the Least Restrictive Environment for the student.

1.6.1. An IEP is good for one calendar year; however, any member of the IEP team may call a meeting to amend it at any point during the year.

1.6.2. The IEP team consists of the student (optional), parent(s) or guardian(s), school administrator(s), intervention specialist(s), general education teacher(s), and any other relevant supporting team members.

1.6.2.1. Students are not required to attend their own IEP meetings, unless they are assuming legal responsibility for themselves (usually during the IEP meeting when they are 17); however, students are invited and encouraged to attend their IEP meetings beginning at age 13.

1.6.3. The law requires that students receiving special education services spend as much of their time at school in the LRE (Least Restrictive Environment).

1.6.3.1. LRE options can include general education classes, inclusion classes, resource room, alternative facilities, etc.

1.7. Implementation: The entire IEP team is responsible to ensure that the IEP is being implemented and that the student is receiving the appropriate services.

1.7.1. Intervention specialists often act as advocates for the students on their caseloads and work to assist general education teachers in ensuring compliance.

1.8. Reevaluation: The IEP team is required to meet annually to review the previous year's IEP and to develop the IEP for the upcoming year.

1.8.1. Draft copies of IEPs are frequently written by intervention specialists prior to the IEP meeting and adjusted based upon the input of other team members during the meeting.

1.8.2. Every three years, students receiving special education services are required to be reevaluated to determine if they continue to qualify to receive services.

1.8.2.1. This reevaluation may be waived if it is doubtless to members of the IEP team that the student continues to qualify for special education services, based upon data collected over the course of the previous three years.

2. Collaboration & Co-Teaching

2.1. Benefits

2.1.1. Additional support within the classroom for students who are struggling

2.1.2. Content area expertise of the general education teacher combines with the pedagogical expertise of the intervention specialist

2.1.3. Shared workload

2.1.3.1. Ability to problem solve when faced with struggling students

2.1.3.2. Shared grading

2.1.3.3. Shared parent contact

2.1.3.4. Shared planning duties and responsibilities

2.1.4. Complementary teaching styles can reach a broader range of students, and one teacher can assist to "fill in the gaps" or clarify the other teacher's instruction

2.1.5. Students have access to more (rapid) feedback

2.2. Challenges

2.2.1. Successful co-teaching and collaboration is heavily dependent on the relationship between the teachers

2.2.2. Lack of time to plan, analyze data, and plan for remediation

2.2.3. Lack of support for students receiving special education services and intervention specialists within general education classrooms

2.2.3.1. At times, general education teachers may be resentful of the extra time and attention identified students require, and s/he may try to relegate the intervention specialist to acting as an aide

2.2.4. The intervention specialist may be forced to spend a significant amount of time dealing with the needs of students on his/her caseload, thus not acting as an equal partner in teaching

2.2.5. General education students may not accept the intervention specialist as their teacher

2.2.6. Students receiving special education services may not wish to be singled out, and they might, as a result, refuse to avail themselves of their accommodations (i.e. small group testing, reader, etc.)

3. Pedagogical Practices for an Inclusive Classroom

3.1. Effective Planning

3.1.1. Collaborate with special education professionals regularly

3.1.1.1. Include intervention specialists, related service providers (speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy), and paraprofessionals

3.1.2. Commit to meeting once a week to plan with your co-teacher

3.1.2.1. Determine each of your responsibilities as a teacher in that specific classroom

3.1.2.2. Write down your plans

3.1.2.3. Share the workload

3.1.3. Use a variety of co-teaching methods

3.1.3.1. Supportive teaching: one teacher leads the lesson and the other circulates around the room to ensure students are engaged in the instruction and provide assistance when necessary.

3.1.3.2. Parallel teaching: both co-teachers are instructing separate groups.

3.1.3.3. Complementary teaching: one teacher acts as the expert and the other teacher adds to the instruction when appropriate.

3.1.3.4. Team teaching: both teachers are equally engaged in and responsible for the instruction.

3.2. Structuring the Lesson

3.2.1. Differentiate instruction

3.2.1.1. Use flexible grouping

3.2.1.2. Provide students with choices

3.2.1.3. Create alternative assignments and assessments

3.2.1.4. Provide activities that appeal to different learning modalities (visual, auditory, kinesthetic).

3.2.2. Universal design

3.2.2.1. Create lessons that are accessible to all students, regardless of their abilities

3.2.2.1.1. Present content in multiple ways (audio, visual)

3.2.2.1.2. Provide multiple ways for students to provide their work (orally, written, drawing)

3.2.2.1.3. Use a variety of resources for student engagement (videos, software, role-playing)

3.2.3. Allow students to work in small groups or pairs

3.2.3.1. The tasks should be worthwhile and appropriate

3.2.3.2. Cooperative behavior needs to be taught and practiced by all students

3.2.3.3. Set up the work so that members of the group need to rely on each other

3.2.3.4. The goal needs to be based around small-group learning

3.2.3.5. Each student must be held responsible for his/her contribution(s)

3.2.4. Assist students with organization

3.2.4.1. Use graphic organizers to help plan

3.2.4.2. Provide guided notes for lectures

3.2.4.3. Provide copies of notes for (or digital access to) presentations

3.2.5. Scaffold the instruction

3.2.5.1. Begin with "I do" where the teacher models a new concept application or skill

3.2.5.2. Lead students through "We do" where the teacher solicits answers from the group

3.2.5.3. Release students to practice independently with "You do" once they have demonstrated the ability to complete the task independently

3.2.6. Teach strategies in addition to content

3.2.6.1. Teach students how to handle tasks they find challenging

3.2.6.2. Use "think aloud" to model problem solving skills for students

3.2.6.3. Teach organization to assist students in completing things on time

3.2.7. Constantly assess

3.2.7.1. Be actively involved or observe student activities to conduct informal assessments in order to provide meaningful feedback

3.2.7.2. Use the backward planning model to create formal assessments to ensure that you are addressing the required content