Special Education Categories and Accommodations

Get Started. It's Free
or sign up with your email address
Rocket clouds
Special Education Categories and Accommodations by Mind Map: Special Education Categories and Accommodations

1. Emotional disturbance

1.1. Some of the characteristics and behaviors seen in children who have an emotional disturbance include: Hyperactivity (short attention span, impulsiveness); Aggression or self-injurious behavior (acting out, fighting); Withdrawal (not interacting socially with others, excessive fear or anxiety); Immaturity (inappropriate crying, temper tantrums, poor coping skills); and Learning difficulties (academically performing below grade level). Children with the most serious emotional disturbances may exhibit distorted thinking, excessive anxiety, bizarre motor acts, and abnormal mood swings. Many children who do not have emotional disturbance may display some of these same behaviors at various times during their development. However, when children have an emotional disturbance, these behaviors continue over long periods of time. Their behavior signals that they are not coping with their environment or peers.

1.2. Subcategories: anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, conduct disorders, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, psychotic disorders

2. Visual impairment, including blindness

2.1. Julian’s Story When Julian was almost two years old, he developed this adorable habit of closing one eye when he looked at you. It almost seemed as if he were winking. The possibility that Julian had a visual impairment didn’t initially occur to his parents, but when Julian’s right eye started crossing inward toward his nose… Off they went to the eye doctor, who confirmed that, yes, Julian had a visual impairment—amblyopia, often called “lazy eye.” As the most common cause of vision problems in children, amblyopia is the medical term used when vision in one eye is reduced because that eye and the brain are not working together properly. (1)  Julian was also very farsighted, especially in the eye he’d taken to closing. Soon Julian had a brand-new pair of durable glasses suited to his active two-year-old self. The eye doctor also put an eyepatch over Julian’s better eye, so that he would have to use the weaker eye and strengthen its communication with the brain. Otherwise, the eye doctor said, the brain would begin to ignore the images sent by the weaker eye, resulting in permanent vision problems in that eye. Julian took good care of his glasses, but he didn’t take well to the patch, unfortunately. He ripped it off every time his parents put it on…and back on… and back on again. So today his eye still turns inward if he doesn’t wear his glasses.

2.2. The Note-Taker: A Product for Students with Low Vision

3. Autism

3.1. Tommy's case study

3.2. Ryan is a healthy, active two-year-old, but his parents are concerned because he doesn’t seem to be doing the same things that his older sister did at this age. He’s not really talking, yet; although sometimes, he repeats, over and over, words that he hears others say. He doesn’t use words to communicate, though. It seems he just enjoys the sounds of them. Ryan spends a lot of time playing by himself. He has a few favorite toys, mostly cars, or anything with wheels on it! And sometimes, he spins himself around as fast as he does the wheels on his cars. Ryan’s parents are really concerned, as he’s started throwing a tantrum whenever his routine has the smallest change. More and more, his parents feel stressed, not knowing what might trigger Ryan’s next upset. Often, it seems Ryan doesn’t notice or care if his family or anyone else is around. His parents just don’t know how to reach their little boy, who seems so rigid and far too set in his ways for his tender young age. After talking with their family doctor, Ryan’s parents call the Early Intervention office in their community and make an appointment to have Ryan evaluated. When the time comes, Ryan is seen by several professionals who play with him, watch him, and ask his parents a lot of questions. When they’re all done, Ryan is diagnosed with autism, one of the five disorders listed under an umbrella category of “Pervasive Developmental Disorders”—a category that’s often referred to as simply the “autism spectrum.” As painful as this is for his parents to learn, the early intervention staff encourage them to learn more about the autism spectrum. By getting an early diagnosis and beginning treatment, Ryan has the best chance to grow and develop. Of course, there’s a long road ahead, but his parents take comfort in knowing that they aren’t alone and they’re getting Ryan the help he needs.

3.3. Good apps for children with autism

4. Deaf-blindness

4.1. About Deaf-Blindness There are approximately roughly 45,000 to 50,000 individuals in the U.S who are deaf-blind. [1] According to the 2007 National Deaf-Blind Child Count, over 10,000 are children under the age of 21. [2] The word “deaf-blindness” may seem as if a person cannot hear or see at all. The term actually describes a person who has some degree of loss in both vision and hearing. The amount of loss in either vision or hearing will vary from person to person.

5. Deafness

5.1. New assistive technology for deaf students

5.2. Subcategories: conductive hearing loss, sensorneural hearing loss, mixed hearing loss, central hearing loss

6. Developmental delay

6.1. The Developing Child Think of all the skills that children have to learn when they come into the world: smiling, turning over, responding to people, communicating, eating solid food, crawling, standing, and on and on. We expect these skills to emerge naturally over time and know more or less when they should. At 3 months, Susana will probably be doing this, at 4 months, she’ll be doing that. By a year, well, she’ll be tottering around, getting into everything. The time-table for skills to emerge is commonly called the developmental milestones. What’s considered normal development is described rather broadly. That’s because we know that children don’t learn skills at the same pace. Two different children born on the same day may learn the same skill months apart, and both can be considered “on schedule.” It’s when skills don’t emerge as expected, more or less on that broad schedule, that parents and caregivers may become concerned.

7. Hearing impairment

7.1. Caroline’s Story Caroline is six years old, with bright brown eyes and, at the moment, no front teeth, like so many other first graders. She also wears a hearing aid in each ear—and has done so since she was three, when she was diagnosed with a moderate hearing loss. For Caroline’s parents, there were many clues along the way. Caroline often didn’t respond to her name if her back was turned. She didn’t startle at noises that made other people jump. She liked the TV on loud. But it was the preschool she started attending when she was three that first put the clues together and suggested to Caroline’s parents that they have her hearing checked. The most significant clue to the preschool was Caroline’s unclear speech, especially the lack of consonants like “d” and “t” at the end of words. So Caroline’s parents took her to an audiologist, who collected a full medical history, examined the little girl’s ears inside and out, ran a battery of hearing tests and other assessments, and eventually diagnosed that Caroline’s inner ear (the cochlea) was damaged. The audiologist said she had sensorineural hearing loss. Caroline was immediately fitted with hearing aids. She also began receiving special education and related services through the public school system. Now in the first grade, she regularly gets speech therapy and other services, and her speech has improved dramatically. So has her vocabulary and her attentiveness. She sits in the front row in class, an accommodation that helps her hear the teacher clearly. She’s back on track, soaking up new information like a sponge, and eager for more.

7.2. Subcategories: conductive hearing loss, sensorneural hearing loss, mixed hearing loss, central hearing loss

8. Intellectual disability

8.1. Matthew’s Story Matt is 15 years old. Because Matt has an intellectual disability, he has been receiving special education services since elementary school. These services have helped him tremendously, because they are designed to fit his special learning needs. Last year he started high school. He, his family, and the school took a good hard look at what he wants to do when secondary school is over. Does he want more education? A job? Does he have the skills he needs to live on his own? Answering these questions has helped Matt and the school plan for the future. He’s always been interested in the outdoors, in plants, and especially in trees. He knows all the tree names and can recognize them by their leaves and bark. So this year he’s learning about jobs like forestry, landscaping, and grounds maintenance. Next year he hopes to get a part-time job. He’s learning to use public transportation, so he’ll be able to get to and from the job. Having an intellectual disability makes it harder for Matt to learn new things. He needs things to be very concrete. But he’s determined. He wants to work outside, maybe in the park service or in a greenhouse, and he’s getting ready!

9. Multiple disabilities

9.1. Sharon’s Story Sharon is an active five year old who loves to spend time with her grandmother. She also loves to fingerpaint and play with the family dog. Sharon has multiple disabilities. When she was born, she didn’t get enough oxygen. As a result, she has an intellectual disability, problems with mobility, and a speech impairment that makes it hard to understand what she’s saying. That doesn’t stop Sharon from chattering, though. She has a lot to say. For Sharon’s parents, it’s been a long road from Sharon’s birth to today. When she was just a baby, she began receiving special services called early intervention. These services help children with disabilities from birth to their third birthday. In early intervention, Sharon learned to crawl and to stand and—finally!—to walk with braces. Now in preschool, Sharon receives special education services. Like early intervention, these services are meant to address her special learning needs. Her parents are very involved. They sit down often with the preschool staff and talk about Sharon’s progress. The team also talks about Sharon’s challenges and how to address them. Last week, for example, Sharon got a picture board to help her communicate. She’s busy learning to use it. Sharon’s parents know that Sharon will always need some support because of her multiple disabilities. But her parents also know how determined Sharon can be when she’s learning something new. She’s going to learn it, by golly, there’s no stopping her.

9.2. David's case study

10. Orthopedic impairment

10.1. Jennifer’s Story Jen was born 11 weeks early and weighed only 2½ pounds. The doctors were surprised to see what a strong, wiggly girl she was. But when Jen was just a few days old, she stopped breathing and was put on a ventilator. After 24 hours she was able to breathe on her own again. The doctors did a lot of tests to find out what had happened, but they couldn’t find anything wrong. The rest of Jen’s time in the hospital was quiet, and after two months she was able to go home. Everyone thought she would be just fine. At home, Jen’s mom noticed that Jen was really sloppy when she drank from her bottle. As the months went by, Jen’s mom noticed other things she didn’t remember seeing with Jen’s older brother. At six months, Jen didn’t hold her head up straight. She cried a lot and would go stiff with rage. When Jen went back for her six-month checkup, the doctor was concerned by what he saw and what Jen’s mom told him. He suggested that Jen’s mom take the little girl to a doctor who could look closely at Jen’s development. Jen’s mom took her to a developmental specialist who finally put a name to all the little things that hadn’t seemed right with Jen–cerebral palsy.

10.2. Camera mouse

10.2.1. Soundbeam

11. Other health impairment (including AD/HD)

11.1. Mario’s Story Mario is 10 years old. When he was 7, his family learned he had AD/HD. At the time, he was driving everyone crazy. At school, he couldn’t stay in his seat or keep quiet. At home, he didn’t finish his homework or his chores. He did scary things, too, like climb out of his window onto the roof and run across the street without looking. Things are much better now. Mario was tested by a trained professional to find out what he does well and what gives him trouble. His parents and teachers came up with ways to help him at school. Mario has trouble sitting still, so now he does some of his work standing up. He’s also the student who tidies up the room and washes the chalkboard. His teachers break down his lessons into several parts. Then they have him do each part one at a time. This helps Mario keep his attention on his work. At home, things have changed, too. Now his parents know why he’s so active. They are careful to praise him when he does something well. They even have a reward program to encourage good behavior. He earns “good job points” that they post on a wall chart. After earning 10 points he gets to choose something fun he’d like to do. Having a child with AD/HD is still a challenge, but things are looking better.

11.2. Subcategories: ADD and AD/HD, diabetes, epilepsy, heart conditions, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, Tourette's syndrome

12. Specific learning disability

12.1. Sara’s Story When Sara was in the first grade, her teacher started teaching the students how to read. Sara’s parents were really surprised when Sara had a lot of trouble. She was bright and eager, so they thought that reading would come easily to her. It didn’t. She couldn’t match the letters to their sounds or combine the letters to create words. Sara’s problems continued into second grade. She still wasn’t reading, and she was having trouble with writing, too. The school asked Sara’s mom for permission to evaluate Sara to find out what was causing her problems. Sara’s mom gave permission for the evaluation. The school conducted an evaluation and learned that Sara has a learning disability. She started getting special help in school right away. Sara’s still getting that special help. She works with a reading specialist and a resource room teacher every day. She’s in the fourth grade now, and she’s made real progress! She is working hard to bring her reading and writing up to grade level. With help from the school, she’ll keep learning and doing well.

12.1.1. Text to speech software

12.2. Ellie's case study

12.3. Nick's case study

12.4. Subcategories: dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia

12.5. See n solve calculator

13. Speech or language impairment

13.1. A Day in the Life of an SLP Christina is a speech-language pathologist. She works with children and adults who have impairments in their speech, voice, or language skills. These impairments can take many forms, as her schedule today shows. First comes Robbie. He’s a cutie pie in the first grade and has recently been diagnosed with childhood apraxia of speech—or CAS. CAS is a speech disorder marked by choppy speech. Robbie also talks in a monotone, making odd pauses as he tries to form words. Sometimes she can see him struggle. It’s not that the muscles of his tongue, lips, and jaw are weak. The difficulty lies in the brain and how it communicates to the muscles involved in producing speech. The muscles need to move in precise ways for speech to be intelligible. And that’s what she and Robbie are working on. Next, Christina goes down the hall and meets with Pearl in her third grade classroom. While the other students are reading in small groups, she works with Pearl one on one, using the same storybook. Pearl has a speech disorder, too, but hers is called dysarthria. It causes Pearl’s speech to be slurred, very soft, breathy, and slow. Here, the cause is weak muscles of the tongue, lips, palate, and jaw. So that’s what Christina and Pearl work on—strengthening the muscles used to form sounds, words, and sentences, and improving Pearl’s articulation. One more student to see—4th grader Mario, who has a stutter. She’s helping Mario learn to slow down his speech and control his breathing as he talks. Christina already sees improvement in his fluency. Tomorrow she’ll go to a different school, and meet with different students. But for today, her day is…Robbie, Pearl, and Mario.

13.2. Subcategories: fluency disorder, impaired articulation, language impairment, voice impairment

14. Traumatic brain injury

14.1. Susan’s Story Susan was 7 years old when she was hit by a car while riding her bike. She broke her arm and leg. She also hit her head very hard. The doctors say she sustained a traumatic brain injury. When she came home from the hospital, she needed lots of help, but now she looks fine. In fact, that’s part of the problem, especially at school. Her friends and teachers think her brain has healed because her broken bones have. But there are changes in Susan that are hard to understand. It takes Susan longer to do things. She has trouble remembering things. She can’t always find the words she wants to use. Reading is hard for her now. It’s going to take time before people really understand the changes they see in her.