Type: Research Essays
Sample donated: Georgia Hamilton
Last updated: September 20, 2019
SpecialEducation for Exceptional Students: Transforming our ProspectiveMyraMunroeSPED408WesternNew Mexico university Teaching children with exceptionalities can be extremelychallenging, but also very rewarding. No two children are alike, and it is upto us as instructors to create programs that will help these students to liveand learn to their fullest potential. When we started this semester, we lackedthe knowledge to complete this task, but as we progressed our eyes were openedallowing us to see these special students in a new light. This reflects that transformationfrom student to teacher.Integratingand applying theoretical evidence to your practice Mental and behavioral issues areunique and based on the individual. Gargiulo (2015) defines emotional andbehavioral disorder as, “A chroniccondition characterized by behaviors that significantly differ from age normsand community standards to such a degree that educational performance isadversely affected.
” The first step that I would take to develop acurricular guideline for the student is to research their medical, educationaland psychological history to learn as much as possible about the student. Thestudent should be placed in an area by my desk so that I can not only visuallysupervise the student, but also give one on one guidance without disturbing therest of my classroom as recommended by Gargiulo (2015)According to Conroy and Sutherland (2012) Studentswith problematic behaviors respond better to praise and positive reinforcement.Negative reinforcement will only serve to complicate or worsen the behavior causingthe student act out more because they get more attention. The use of positivereinforcement of appropriate behaviors will eventually lead to longer and morepositive teacher and student interactions.
Conroy and Sutherland (2012) alsoadvises that consequences must be handed down instantly to reinforce theconnection between the wrong behavior and what is expected. Teachers can dothis by reinforcing classroom rules and expectations for all students.For students starting at an elementary level whohave emotional and behavioral disorders, group play sessions may help themlearn proper ways to communicate and respond to their peers and authorityfigures. Children with ADHD, have characteristic inabilities to socializeand to display behavioral problems. An article that I have read several timesnow, “Integrated Play Groups: Promoting Symbolic Play and Social Engagementwith Typical Peers in Children with ASD Across Settings” Wolfberg,Dewitt, Young and Nguyen (2015) discusses the idea that typical or normalstudents can be a great asset in helping teach special needs childrensocialization skills. Such play groups were shown to support significant gainsin symbolic and social play that further passed to unrelated groups of studentswho are unknown to the students with special needs. These play groups can beoverseen by the teacher physically and visually to gage the effectiveness andreinforced by positive feedback creating a deeper teacher/ studentrelationship. Wolfberg, Dewitt, Young and Nguyen (2015) use a model for groupplay, including:Nurturing play initiations involves recognizing, interpreting andresponding to the subtle and idiosyncratic ways in which novice players expresstheir interests and intentions to play in the company of peers.
Scaffolding play involvessystematically adjusting the amount and type of support based on the degree towhich novice and expert players can coordinate their own play interactions. Guiding social communication supportsnovice and expert players in using verbal and nonverbal social communicationcues to elicit another’s attention, initiate and respond to each other’sinitiations, and sustain reciprocal engagement in play.Guiding play within the”ZPD” encompasses a continuum ofstrategies that support novice players in peer play experiences that areslightly beyond the child’s capacity while fully immersed in the whole playexperience at his or her present level, even if participation is minimal.
DisciplineRelated Perspectives on Issues of Exceptionality When working with a multi-disciplinaryteam to create an IEP for a student with cerebral palsy, it is important toreview and listen to recommendations from all team members. If appropriate tothe student, person-centered planning may be an appropriate course of action.This allows the students ideas and aspirations to be considered when creatingtheir IEP. (Gargiulo, 2015) If the student is not capable of assisting in theirown educational plan a parent should be involved to give the team another angleto consider. Gargiulo (2015) defines cerebral palsy as “Any one of several nonprogressive disorders of voluntary movement orposture that are caused by damage to the developing brain that occurs before orduring birth or the first few years of life.” Depending on which type ofcerebral palsy the student has I would work towards the implementation ofappropriate assistive technology. Assistive technology has several levels fromlow tech items such as special pencils or utensils to much more elaboratesystems such as those used for text to speech and PDAs.
Gargiulo (2015) remarksthat repurposing equipment for special needs students typically occur because manyof the items are not solely created for use in special education applications. Seok, DaCosta and Bryant (2016)defines an AT device as “any item, pieceof equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially, off the shelf,modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve thefunctional capabilities of children with disabilities (Assistive Technology Actof 2004)” I would seek the teams’ guidance in selecting appropriate AT forthe student to maximize their educational experience while enhancing their wayof life. This type of AT does not include equipment such as Cochlear implantswhich require surgical assistance. It was not until 1997 IDEA that thereimplementation allowed the use of assistive technologies to be considered forall students with disabilities. (Gargiulo, 2015)Another aspect of creating an IEP for the studentwould involve their level of ability for possible placement in inclusionclassrooms. I do not feel that simply having cerebral palsy or being in awheelchair should negate the chance of social interaction and development.
Thisis essential to the growth and transition for the student throughout theirschool years and adult life. Self-contained classrooms which used to be knownas special education rooms are appropriate only for students who are notcapable of inclusion and should only be considered after assessment of thestudent. It is our job as educators to give the students every chance possibleof social interactions and engaging learning environments while considering thebest interests of the student.Seok, DaCosta and Bryant (2016) concluded that theirresearch was original as there is a lack of research to compare their findingto. Their finding offers a guideline or model for successful implementation ofAT for children with disabilities and as such a hope for future educatorsstriving to improve the quality of education for their special educationstudents.
LookingBack and Looking Forward Having a niece with ASD and severalchildren with ADHD and behavioral problems, this class has given me a betteridea of what I was doing wrong so that I can help them learn to control theirproblems through cueing and interactive activities. I have gained a better ideaof how to correct a problem through taking away a favorite thing whilereinforcing good behaviors that they are developing. I learned that I must notonly watch to see these changes, but to praise their efforts.
This will be veryhelpful in my future classrooms as I strive to keep a positive environmentinstead of one based on negative reinforcements that can cause my otherstudents to falter. Textbook has given me newinformation on many disabilities, allowing me to expand my knowledge base tomake appropriate decisions for my children and my future students. I havelearned that the environmental atmosphere of my classroom will affect thestudents and that taking away temptations I can limit the amount ofdistractions and improve the chances of engaging the students in a positivemanner.
I will go into the future with afirmer grasp of the issues surrounding special education, such as testing andAssistive technologies and want to continue to stress the importance of changesso that all students will have equal and fair opportunities regardless of theirlevel of disability. I feel that I am in a better place to implement changes sothat my students have proper assessments and to limit the mislabeling ofstudents that we are seeing today. Racial and cultural backgrounds should beconsidered as they affect the students in different ways. Above all I want toteach children and society that disability is not a disease that you can catchand that these wonderful people deserve a chance. I have recommitted myself toproviding more positive feedback and reinforcements to help students change forthe better by learning to manage and control their disabilities.ReferencesConroy,M.
A., & Sutherland, K. S. (2012).
Effective Teachers for Students withEmotional/Behavioral Disorders: Active Ingredients Leading to Positive Teacherand Student Outcomes. Beyond Behavior, 22(1), 1-9.Gargiulo, Richard M. (2015).
Special Educationin Contemporary Society, An Introduction to Exceptionality, 5th ed.,Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications, Inc., (5th Edition), 131, 283,302, 305Seok, S., DaCosta, B., & Bryant, B.(2016). Dimensions Underlying Assistive Technology (AT) Practices and Qualityof AT Outcomes from the Perspective of Special Education Professors.
Journalof Educational Technology Development & Exchange, 8(2),23-38.Wolfberg, P., DeWitt, M., Young, G., &Nguyen, T. (2015).
Integrated Play Groups: Promoting Symbolic Play and SocialEngagement with Typical Peers in Children with ASD Across Settings. Journalof Autism & Developmental Disorders, 45(3), 830-845.doi:10.1007/s10803-014-2245-0