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.

Easy and Practical Tips to Help Your Children With Their Math Homework

It doesn’t matter what level of school your child is currently enrolled in, it’s always a good idea to get them thinking about math. The reality is that if they want to go on to further education and a great career, a solid background in math is going to be absolutely crucial. You can help them get there by really taking the time to help them with their math homework. You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to pull this off, as they are likely to already have some sort of grasp of what they are doing in class. Here are a few tips that you can use to help tutor your child with their math homework:

  1. Teach the basics first – you have to be able to walk before you can run, so make sure that your child understands the basics of math, as this will help them when they progress to more complex subjects. Flash cards are a great way to achieve this goal.
  2. Neat numbers – mathematical equations can be confusing enough without making them impossible to read. Try to make sure that your child writes down numbers and equations neatly, as this often makes them a little easier to see and understand.
  3. Master before moving on – make sure that your child fully grasps the problem they are working on before moving on to the next math problem.
  4. Get interactive – having your face stuck in a text book can be more than a little dull, so try to make learning fun by using object around the house that can be used to help solve math problems.
  5. Ask for a little more – ask your child to answer a few extra questions when they are doing their homework assignments. Going that extra mile will help ensure that they really do understand the mathematical concepts they are being taught.
  6. Test them regularly – when you are out and about with your child, pose them some questions to see how quickly they answer. For example, if you are grocery shopping and see a price has been marked down, ask them to quickly tell you how much the difference is between the old price and the new.
  7. Make time to study – try to get in the habit of studying at the same time every day, making sure it is at a time when you have no other commitments and can commit all the time to your child.
  8. Maintain a steady pace – don’t try to rush your child ahead, even if you are sure they are ready to move to the next level. Maintain a steady pace and always take time to recap what they have already learned.
  9. Keep at it – if your child is having a particularly difficult time with a particular concept, stick with it until they finally get it.
  10. Encourage – always be sure to praise your child for a job well done. Math can be tough for a young mind, so encourage them every step of the way.

If you have tried to really get involved with your child’s math homework, but still find that they are struggling, it might be time to consider a math tutor. You might just be surprised at how affordable math tutoring is, and you may be even more surprised at the great results your child will be able to achieve.

Over-Identification of Minority Children in Special Education – What Can Be Done?

Are you concerned about the amount of minority children that are being diagnosed with disabilities in your school district? Are you worried about the large numbers of African American boys receiving special education services? Are you concerned about your child who is in a minority group and being found eligible for special education! Much has been written in the past several years about the increased numbers of poor African-American children receiving special education services. This article will discuss this issue, and also underlying causes of this.

In 1975 when the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was passed Congress found that poor African-American children were being placed in special education much more often than other children. These difficulties continue today. In the Findings section of IDEA 2004 Congress stated about the ongoing problems with the over-identification of minority children including mislabeling the children and high drop out rates.

About 9% of all school age children are diagnosed with a disability and receive special education services. But African-American children receive special education services at a rate about 40% higher than the national average across racial and ethnic groups at about 12.4%. Studies have shown that schools that have mostly white students and teachers, place a disproportionately high number of minority children in special education.

Also, rates of mental retardation and emotional / behavioral disturbance are extremely elevated within the African-American population, roughly twice the national average. Within the African-American population the incidence of mental retardation is approximately 220% higher than other ethnic groups. For emotional / behavioral disturbance the incidence is approximately 175% higher than other ethnic groups.

Factors that may contribute to disabilities include:

1. Health issues like prenatal care, access to medical care, child nutrition, and possible exposure to lead and other pollutants.
2. Lack of access to good quality medical care as well as services for any mental health disorders.
3. Cultural issues and values ​​or stigma attached to disability
4. Discrimination along the lines of class and race!
5. Misdiagnosis of the child's behavioral and academic difficulty.

A few ideas that could help decrease the over identification:

1. Better keeping of data to include increased information about race, gender, and race by gender categories. More detailed, systematic, and comprehensive data collections would provide a better sense of demographic representation in special education that could better help understand this issue.

2. More analytic research is needed to improve our understanding of the numerous factors that independently or in combination contribute to a disability diagnosis.

3. More people that are willing to help advocate for children in this situation. I believe that some of this issue, is related to the inability of some special education personnel to understand cultural differences.

4. Better and clearer guidelines for diagnosing disabilities that could reduce the potential for subjective judgments that are often cited for certain diagnosis.

5. More improvements are needed in general education to help children learn to read and keep up with their grade and age appropriate peers.

I hope over time this issue will get resolved so that all children receive an appropriate education.