How Should Educators Be Trained to Teach Special Needs Children?

Educating special needs students can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. Educators who work with children with learning disabilities need to be specially trained to know how to handle particular situations and personalities. People who work with or are responsible for teaching special needs children need to first understand the different learning disabilities, attention deficits, developmental delays, behavior problems, and other distinctive disorders that each child may suffer from. The degree of disability of each student varies but could include severe difficulties such as dyslexia, autism, and multiple disabilities.

It’s helpful for educators to develop a clinical eye towards all students and learn how to apply special teaching techniques to reach each student. Each student has different symptoms and needs and therefore teaching special needs should be customized and developed to meet each student’s needs. The first step to ensuring this approach is to develop an educational plan that is designed and modified to fit the individual based on their weaknesses.

Educating special needs students requires patience, an understanding of the medical conditions that have an effect on learning disabled children, as well as an understanding of the federal laws of education. This is all vital to being a positive influence and great help in teaching special needs children. You need a solid foundation of knowledge relating to students with learning disabilities first in order to effectively help teach them. Beyond this, an understanding of the federal laws that apply to education such as IDEA, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitations Act of 1973, along with other classroom and curriculum accommodations to manage learning.

When working with special needs children, it’s helpful if teachers know how to diagnose different learning disabilities. Teachers should learn about all of the different types of learning disabilities and know how to recognize symptoms. Beyond learning disabilities, behavior problems can be very disruptive in the classroom. Behavior problems need to be approached in the same way as learning disabilities. It’s important for educators to completely understand all of the different types of behavior problems. There are ways to help improve behavior problems once you understand the difference in each type.

One of the more serious learning disabilities is autism. This disorder is different from many of the other developmental disorders that some students may have. Once educators understand the disorders it’s necessary to know how the disorders are appropriately medicated. However, medication should not be the only method used to solve any problems with special needs children. In order to properly help and handle special needs students, an educator needs the help of parents, school administrators, special care providers and support staff, other teachers, and aides and paraprofessionals. Partnerships and collaborations are really key to effectively supporting and improving the lives of special needs students. To go beyond just educating special needs children, you need to create an environment where the student will feel comfortable and cared for. A lot of work and care goes into teaching special needs but the results of truly being able to help improve and educate special needs children can be extremely rewarding.

Climb the Safe Way with PASMA Training

Advent of urbanization marked the beginning of high structures like mobile towers and bridging units. Working at such heights is as dangerous as exciting it sounds. Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association (PASMA) brings to this industry training courses which equip and update individuals working in these areas. As a budding professional in this arena, you get to train and learn under subject matter experts who give you a larger perspective apart from the course curriculum. Read on to know more about PASMA training and its different aspects.

How Does PASMA Equip You?

One of the primary subjects of learning from this course is the best practices to be followed at heights. This is vital to guarantee your safety as a technician and boosts your comfort level on high towers which improves your productivity manifolds. Regulations regarding working at heights and discerning unsafe situations are a part of this training. Apart from this they also impart tips on safety equipments and right storage practices.

Teaching fall protection principles and equipping you for potential risks are among the important modules of these courses. Risks or hazards may come along due to a number of reasons like high speed irregular winds or falling objects. Presence of mind and knowing what to do next are two factors which are essential to save your life and protect you against crippling injuries. This is what PASMA does for you. It trains you to be productive and safe however high you are standing.

Benefits of PASMA Training

PASMA is a pre-requisite for most of the jobs in this arena. With this certificate along with IPAF training you get a free pass to apply and begin work with reputed companies in this segment. It proves your competency and potential to serve a firm in the best manner. Apart from this, with PASMA you are now knowledgeable to test the safety equipment used and understand the different requirements of your on-site profile. At this point you are ready to work as an operator or supervisor who is equipped to work the safe way.

Steady career progression is another key benefit that this training provides you. Once done with the training, there will be nothing that inhibits you or your firm from promoting you to more responsible roles. In-depth understanding of the subject makes you a perfect fit to be an employee in command. From operator to supervisor and then to manager, you will be able to glide through these phases hassle free.

Scope for Specialization Courses

PASMA brings to you a range of courses suited for different requirements like low-level access and towers. The courses contain theory and practical lessons which makes the learning more literal and close to real work. Most of these courses are completed in a day, which makes it convenient and easy to be planned for working individuals as well. You can choose to take the specialist training depending on your area of work.

The world is full of limitless opportunities; make the best use of them with the right set of trainings and qualifications. Stay updated with PASMA training and be sure to stay safe on higher planes.

A Sample Letter for Appealing an Identification or Placement Decision

School Boards are required to establish committees for the purpose of Identification and appropriate Placement of students with special needs. These committees are called IPRCs (Identification, Placement and Review Committee). Any student has a right to an IPRC, even if the student is in Kindergarten. Once the child is enrolled, an initial IPRC meeting or a Review can be requested by either the parent or the principal of the school.

What does Identification mean?

Special needs students can be formally identified under one or more of the Categories of Exceptionality. There are 5 categories under the Education Act: Behaviour, Communication, Intellectual, Physical, and Multiple. Specific diagnoses are included under these categories. For example Autism, Learning Disability, Deaf, and Speech Impairment fall under the Communication category. Under the Intellectual category, falls Gifted, Mild Intellectual Disability, and Developmental Disability.

What are the Placement options?

School boards must provide a range of placement options to meet the needs of all their students. Examples are: Regular class, Regular class with indirect support, Regular class with Resource assistance, Regular class with withdrawal assistance, Special Education Class with partial integration, Special Education Class full-time, Provincial and Demonstration schools, Care and Treatment facilities.

What’s the next step if the Parent Agrees or Disagrees?

Parents have the right to participate in the meeting and must state their agreement or disagreement of the decision within 30 days following the meeting. If the parent agrees with the IPRCs decision, he/she should sign the form indicating agreement. The Identification and/or Placement will then be implemented or continued as the case may be. But what if the parent disagrees with either the Identification or the Placement decision or both? He/she must file a Notice of Appeal with the Director of Education stating which decision they disagree with and why.

Below is a sample of such a letter.

Mr. John Brown, Director of Education

My District School Board

1 First Avenue

Your Town, Ontario

X7Y 8Z9

Dear Mr. Brown;

Re: Adam Jones; Date of Birth: 2008/08/08

IPRC DECISION – NOTICE OF APPEAL

I would like to appeal the decision of the Identification, Placement and Review Committee regarding my son, Adam. The committee originally met on April 5, 2013 at ABC Public School, and at my request, was reconvened on April 16, 2013. The meeting notes for both meetings are attached for your review.

  • I disagree with the IPRC’s recommendation for placement which is “Regular Class with indirect support”. This placement is inadequate to meet Adam’s educational needs as set out in the Statement of Needs document (attached).
  • I agree that Adam’s identification is Exceptional Communication – Autism

My representative for the Special Education Appeal Board is Mary Smith. She can be reached at 905-555-6789. For Adam’s benefit, I expect that this appeal will proceed within the timelines as set out in Ontario Regulation 181/98.

Sincerely,

Janet Jones

100 Main Street

My Town, Ontario

A1B 2C3

Phone: 905-555-1234

Encl.

  • My School Board, IPRC Decision/Parental Consent Form, April 5, 2013
  • Adam Jones – Statement of Needs, IPRC Meeting, April 5, 2013
  • Adam Jones – IPRC Meeting Notes, April 5, 2013 & April 16, 2013

Resume Writing – 12 Tips

A resume is like a short story that grabs the reader and keeps him or her engaged. This article presents 12 sure-fire tips that have benefited hundreds (college students, clients, colleagues, family, and friends) regardless of the career field or level. They’re certain to help you too.

12 Tips

· (Tip – 1) Prepare a brief profile

Start strong with a brief profile not an objective. Listing an objective is a thing of the past. What should your profile contain? Two or three short snappy phrases that summarize your experience, skills, and personality traits. Regarding the latter, avoid writing a laundry list.

So, what three words best describe you? Your dominant personality traits surface in your professional and personal life. In other words, wherever you go you’re there.

· (Tip – 2) Don’t sound like your job description.

Do not turn your resume into a document that reads like a boring job description. Instead, discuss accomplishments. How did you make a difference? What skills or unique abilities were utilized to make things better. Pick one or two accomplishments from your current position. Provide a brief summary.

· (Tip – 3) Select the right format.

All in all, two types of resume formats exist- chronological and functional. While the former begins with your most current position and works backward, the latter builds the resume around your dominant skills.

· (Tip – 4) Include special training/professional development.

For more than a few years, I advised a friend to include a professional development section on her resume. Why? Employers like to see what you’ve been doing since graduating from college. As a result of working in the corporate arena, she racked up a lot of training. Well, to make a long story short, it made her standout and receive even better offers.

· (Tip – 5) List education and credentials last.

You are not selling your education; degrees are a dime a dozen. You are promoting your unique skills that help potential employers solve problems. Hence, list your credentials last, not first.

· (Tip – 6) Determine the appropriate length.

A recent college graduate, high school student, or person entering the workforce for the first time will not have as nearly much to say as someone more experienced.

· (Tip – 7) Omit references.

Create a special file for references. By the way, your references should be people who know you in a professional capacity. And, make sure each person has good written and verbal communication skills.

· (Tip – 8) Create a tagline.

Imagine this. You work in human resources as a recruiter. Every day you receive tons of resumes when you open your email; no one stands out because the subject lines say things like Resume or the resume of. Be creative! Use a tagline. When you save the document, use the tagline not your name.

· (Tip – 9) Always send a cover letter.

The letter should state what you’re applying for, how you can contribute, and most important, it should refer the reader to the resume. Cut and paste or copy the letter into the body of your email.

· (Tip – 10) Use present tense.

Instead of writing in the past tense, use the present. It adds punch and lets a potential employer know that you still make a positive impact.

· (Tip – 11) Be creative.

Why not include a testimonial? Select a comment or two from a performance review.

· (Tip – 12) Develop a resume website.

If you really want to standout, develop a professional resume website. It’s free and a template is provided. Checkout Wix.

How to Ensure That an Effective IEP Is Developed and Implemented

What frustrates parents the most about dealing with the school in relation to their special needs child?

When parents call me to say that they need help to advocate at a school meeting, it is because their child’s educational needs aren’t being met at school and they don’t know what they can do to change things. When I ask the obvious question; does your child have an Individual Education Plan in place? They say ‘Yes, but it is not being followed’. And THAT is what frustrates parents. They’ve followed the process of requesting an IPRC meeting to identify their child as exceptional and to determine the correct classroom placement, which finally led to the development of the IEP. The IEP is a document… a plan that should guide teachers on the steps to take in order to meet the educational needs of the student. So why is the student still having so much difficulty at school? You can’t MAKE a teacher teach a certain way, or provide the modifications and accommodations that are in the IEP. So what is a parent supposed to do?

Perhaps the reason that the IEP is not being followed is that it is too general – it is not specific to the individual student. Perhaps it was processed in isolation as part of a procedure rather than being developed with input from a multidisciplinary team of professionals with each of the student’s needs as the focus of the IEP.

I suggest that the parent request an IEP meeting to include all the key players, which is anyone who can provide input and suggest teaching strategies and accommodations to meet the needs of the child. The principal, because ultimately the principal is responsible for ensuring the implementation of the IEP; the classroom teacher and the educational assistant, because they will be the ones providing the teaching and the accommodations that are in the IEP; the special education resource teacher because he or she is the lead person in the development of the IEP; if the child has motor skills difficulties make sure an occupational therapist attends; if the child has language difficulties make sure a speech and language pathologist attends; if the child has behaviour difficulties make sure a behavioural consultant attends, if the child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) make sure someone from the ASD support team attends, and so on…

At the meeting, the first step will be to clearly define the strength and needs of the student. Then go through the IEP step by step to make sure each need is thoroughly addressed, and that the goals and expectations are specific and measurable. Make sure that any equipment accommodations are readily available and can be provided immediately. Identify who is responsible for what service and how often. And finally, request that all school staff who have dealings with the student, are aware of the accommodations in the IEP.

At the end of the meeting, schedule a follow-up meeting in one month to evaluate what is working in the IEP and what is not working. This is not to evaluate the student per se, but rather the effectiveness of the IEP and whether or not it is being implemented successfully. Make the necessary changes to the IEP, and schedule another follow- up meeting in one month. Do this as many times as is necessary.

This is the best strategy to ensure that the IEP is effective and it is being implemented as written.