Special Education Categories and Accommodations

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Special Education Categories and Accommodations by Mind Map: Special Education Categories and Accommodations

1. Autism

1.1. Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) affect a child's social skills, behavior, and communication. Children with an ASD may experience developmental delays, be unable to read cues like body language and tone of voice, and be abnormally preoccupied with a specific interest or interests. Language skills vary, and in severe cases there may be an absence of language.

1.1.1. Teachers should give instruction in small steps, using multiple methods, for example by using verbal instruction and props. Instruction should be concrete and explicit, since children with ASD may be unable to read social cues.

1.1.2. Keep routines and advise students with ASD well in advance of any changes, like field trips. Tell them specifically what will happen and what they are expected to do.

1.2. Early diagnosis and intervention can make huge differences in the life of a child with ASD.

2. Orthopedic Impairment

2.1. Any orthopedic impairment severe enough to affect a student's educational performance qualifies for special education. Causes vary and may be congenital or from a variety of other sources, including disease (like bone tuberculosis) or injury (like amputation).

2.1.1. Educational concerns often include mobility (like moving around a school or classroom) but vary for each individual child, so teachers should always be aware of a student's specific IEP and familiarize themselves with issues relevant to a particular student with an orthopedic impairment.

2.1.2. To help with mobility issues, plan seating carefully, considering mobility devices (like walkers and wheelchairs). IEPs may include provisions like limiting the amount of walking a student has to do between classes.

2.1.3. Some students with orthopedic impairments will have difficulty with communication; speech therapy and AT like text-to-speech apps can help.

3. Other Health Impairment

3.1. Other Health Impairments cover a lot of ground; any chronic or acute health problems that affect a child's educational performance can be found here. This can mean anything from leukemia to ADHD.

3.1.1. Because OHI are so varied, it is especially important for teachers to be aware of and familiar with the specific conditions affecting their students.

3.1.1.1. Case Study: Ellie (ADD)

3.1.2. Some medical concerns may need to be addressed at school, for example moving a student regularly to prevent the development of bedsores.

3.2. Children with OHI may find themselves frequently out of school, including hospitalization. The school's obligations towards a student with OHI do not end when the student is absent or hospitalized; there is still an obligation to educate them.

3.2.1. Student IEPs should include transition plans, if necessary, to take them from home to school, school to home, or hospital to school - to name a few possible situations.

3.2.2. When hospitalization occurs, schools may arrange to bring materials to students outside of school and should partner with the hospital to work on the student's IEP.

4. Specific Learning Disability

4.1. Specific learning disabilities mean that children have difficulties with a particular subject or facet of learning. For instance, a child may have difficulties with reading or math but perform at grade level in other areas. Difficulties arising from other disabilities (like blindness) or from outside influences like economic or cultural factors are not included.

4.1.1. Teachers should learn as much as possible about each child's individual learning disability - individual learning disabilities can vary a lot.

4.1.2. Accommodations that are useful to students with a variety of different specific learning disorders include breaking tasks into small steps and delivering instruction in more than one way (for example, including visual and verbal instruction).

4.1.2.1. Case Study: Nick

4.1.3. Some assistive technologies that can help are speech-to-text (for writing difficulties) and tape recorders. Accessible educational materials (AEM) should be used when needed.

4.2. Some specific learning disorders include dyscalculia (difficulty with numbers and math), dyslexia (difficulty with letters and reading), and dysgraphia (difficulty with writing)

5. Traumatic Brain Injury

5.1. A traumatic brain injury is caused by the head being hit or shaken violently and can cause a wide variety of changes, including physical difficulties, problems with thinking, social problems, behavioral problems, and emotional problems. Does not include injuries acquired during childbirth or before birth.

5.1.1. Teachers should learn as much as possible about a child's specific TBI, since each one is different, and should become familiar with the child's IEP.

5.1.2. Depending on the child's specific needs, teachers should consider: allowing more time for exams and assignments; planning for the child to become tired quickly and easily compared to peers; breaking directions and new tasks down into small steps, including written instructions when needed, providing examples and demonstrations for new tasks and checking the child's acquisition of new skills and concepts frequently.

5.1.3. All children can benefit from being taught planning skills, study skills, and how to use schedules, but children with TBI can particularly benefit from this.

5.2. Symptoms of a TBI may not become apparent until long after the initial injury, sometimes even years later; because of this, parents and teachers may not make the connection right away.

5.2.1. Schools and families should work together to support the child's return to school after a TBI. Teachers should not expect them to be exactly the same as they may have been before their TBI.

6. Visual Impairment Including Blindness

6.1. Visual impairments significant enough to affect a child's education even with correction. Includes partial sight and blindness; there may be varying levels of residual sight.

6.1.1. Text-to-speech, speech-to-text, magnifiers, talking calculators, and tactile maps can all be useful educational tools for children with visual impairments.

6.1.2. Teachers should consider seating carefully for students with visual impairments, making use of their residual vision, if possible. Good lighting can make a big difference, and students with residual vision may be able to read text with magnification, so it is useful to keep AT accessible.

6.1.3. Sensorial learning is an important tool for children with visual impairments. When possible, incorporate ways to use touch. If appropriate, students can learn how to use Braille.

7. Speech or Language Impairment

7.1. A speech or language impairment is one that affects a child's ability to communicate. This can happen in different ways, including articulation, fluency, language, and voice impairments.

7.1.1. An important intervention for speech or language impairments is access to a speech-language pathologist (SLP). SLP can help children with a wide range of issues, including strengthening and improving coordination of muscles used in speech.

7.1.2. Useful AT for speech or language impairments  include augmentative or alternative communication (AAC) - for example, communication boards that students can use to indicate simple choices - and text-to-speech.

7.2. Hearing difficulties are easily confused with speech or language impairments, so specific testing is important.

7.2.1. Although speech or language impairments are not linked to hearing difficulties in this case, it can still be helpful for teachers to reduce unnecessary classroom noise in order to better facilitate communication.

8. Deaf-Blindness

8.1. Deaf-blindness consists of simultaneous hearing and visual impediments significant enough that programs aimed only at blindness or deafness are not enough to address a child's educational needs. Deaf-blindness can severely impact communication.

8.1.1. Assistive Technology (AT) includes items like Assistive Listening Devices (worn by instructor to magnify volume), reading machines, and magnification on computer monitors.

8.1.2. Carefully consider seating arrangements and setup of the classroom; make sure to allow space for aides and service animals if necessary, and try to reduce glare and unnecessary noise. Establish rules for group discussions so that students don't talk over each other. It may be helpful to require people to state their names before speaking for the benefit of the child with deaf-blindness.

8.1.2.1. Discuss arrangements for activities like field trips and labs ahead of time; lab chemicals can disturb service animals, and field trips should have plans in place for accommodating deaf-blind students.

8.1.3. Aides like readers, interpreters, and notetakers can help a deaf-blind student in the classroom, and if they are available, teachers should work closely with them. Print materials such as handouts should be made available to them ahead of time for adaptation to the specific student's needs (for example, Braille or large text format).

8.2. Children in this category will have varying levels of vision and hearing, so interventions and adaptations should be appropriate for their individual needs.

9. Deafness

9.1. Deafness is a hearing impairment severe enough to cause impairment in processing verbal input, even with amplification. These may be acquired or congenital.

9.1.1. In the classroom, carefully chosen seating can facilitate lip-reading, while closed captions on videos can go a long way towards helping deaf students' engagement.

9.1.2. Teachers and peers should learn about the child's methods of communication, including lip-reading, ASL, or AAC. Teachers in particular should pay attention to possible means of communication, like body language and the use of pictures and symbols.

9.1.3. If an interpreter is necessary, teachers should work with them to ensure that instruction moves at an appropriate speed for interpretation.

10. Developmental Delay

10.1. Developmental delays are disabilities that affect children ages 3-9 - on the state level, this age range may be restricted further (for example, ages 3-5).

10.1.1. Children over age 3 can be assessed by schools for developmental delays. Schools then prepare early intervention plans and recommend treatment if necessary.

10.1.2. Developmental delays can fall over a wide range of categories, so it's important to be familiar with the specific child's assessment and needs.

10.2. Delays may affect physical, cognitive, communication, social/emotional, or adaptive development.

11. Emotional Disturbance

11.1. Emotional disturbance is a broad category, encompassing conditions like anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and eating disorders, to name a few. This does not include children who are just socially maladjusted unless they also have significant emotional problems.

11.1.1. For most students with Emotional Disturbances, the most important intervention is done by psychologists and medical professionals. This may include counseling and medication.

11.1.1.1. Case Study: Megan

11.1.2. For teachers, it's important to be familiar with a child's specific condition and IEP, which should include measures that can be taken to address disruptive behaviors that might affect other students' learning.

11.1.3. Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support can be implemented school-wide or in a classroom to support children with emotional disturbances. PBIS means choosing 3-5 positive behaviors to emphasize and teach as curriculum, while moving away from just telling students not to do a certain behavior.

11.1.3.1. An example of this can be seen in the case of Jonesboro Middle School.

12. Hearing Impairment

12.1. Impairments in hearing that affect a child's ability to learn and communicate fall under this category. Hearing impairments may be consistent, or they may fluctuate.

12.2. Hearing loss is different from deafness in that children still may be able to respond to speech; amplification can be very useful.

12.2.1. Most accommodations and AT that suit deaf children will also help children who are hard of hearing. However, teachers should also make efforts to make use of their residual hearing as much as possible.

12.2.2. Amplification devices and tape recorders are just a few devices that can help in the learning process of students who are hard of hearing.

12.2.3. Although they have some hearing, students with hearing impairments may still use interpreters or visual languages, and they may still need to lip read.

13. Intellectual Disability

13.1. Intellectual disability is the combination of low adaptive skills with lower than average intellectual ability. The two must exist together to qualify.

13.1.1. As always, teachers should learn as much as possible about the specific conditions facing their students with disabilities and familiarize themselves with students' IEPs.

13.1.2. Children with intellectual disabilities may need particular help with adaptive skills, like looking after personal needs and social skills.

13.2. IQ scores below 70 or 75 are generally thought to indicate intellectual disability.

13.3. Students with intellectual disabilities cannot be removed from regular classrooms as long as modifications can be made to accommodate them.

13.3.1. Adaptations include breaking new tasks into smaller steps and delivering instruction in clear and concrete ways, including hands-on materials and pictures. Feedback for students with intellectual disabilities should be immediate.

13.3.2. Include children with intellectual disabilities in social groups and clubs as much as possible.

14. Multiple Disabilities

14.1. Multiple disabilities include any combination of impairments that affect a student's education strongly enough that accommodations for only one of the given disabilities are not enough.

14.1.1. Support services like speech and language therapy should be provided in the classroom whenever possible, rather than pulling children out of class. Teachers should work with paraprofessionals, when available, and become familiar with the child's IEP. Accommodations should be relevant to their specific impairments.

14.1.2. It's important to support transitional planning, and to help affected children to be independent. Although they struggle with certain tasks, in some cases it is preferable to let them struggle and complete work on their own rather than providing too much assistance.

14.2. This is a very broad umbrella - it's essential to be familiar with each student's specific impairments. The needs of individual children falling under this category will vary a great deal.