Learn Your Special Education Laws, Special Education Rights, and Share IEP Goal Ideas

You are browsing the archive for Inclusion.

The flexible classroom: Helping students with mental health challenges to thrive

September 15, 2013 in Special Education Articles by Dennise Goldberg

About 10% of the school population — 9 to 13 million children — struggle with mental health challenges, some of the most challenging students that educators face. In our inclusive classrooms, teachers are becoming skilled at working with children who exhibit learning, physical, and cognitive disabilities, as well as those on the autism spectrum while students with mental health challenges continue to mystify and frustrate. Read the rest of this entry →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.0/5 (2 votes cast)
Avatar of Jess

by Jess

The Importance of Inclusive Programming

March 19, 2013 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Inclusive Programming Is Beneficial For All Students

The compulsory education system aims at providing children with the tools they need to succeed in the academic school environment as well as life beyond the classroom. For the purposes of ensuring that every student receives an appropriate education, sometimes schools are required to divide students based on ability. In such a system, children with special needs are often separated from their mainstream peers for a portion, if not all, of the school day. While this division may be ideal from an academic perspective, it creates an artificial separation between children which might be mistaken for a natural division. In order to ensure that children internalize the inherent value of every individual, schools need to find a way to demonstrate the value of students, no matter what their ability levels are. Inclusive programming both during the school day and in extracurricular activities has the power to show all children the value of every individual. Read the rest of this entry →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Avatar of Jess

by Jess

Top Ten Things the Classroom Teacher Needs to Know About Your Child with Special Needs

February 11, 2013 in Special Education Articles by Jess

If your child with special needs has been mainstreamed or fully included in a general education classroom, it is important that you communicate openly and honestly with the teacher about your child’s needs.

While special education teachers and outside agencies will meet with your child’s classroom teacher to share information, these meetings can often be brief, delayed, or worse yet, cancelled until further notice.

Therefore, It is necessary for you to monitor the information that is shared between your child’s teacher(s) and the support personnel, and then fill in any gaps. Between you and your child’s school, here are the top ten things that the classroom teacher needs to know about your child’s special needs: Read the rest of this entry →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)
Avatar of Jess

by Jess

What Do You Teach?

February 5, 2013 in Special Education Articles by Jess

I’ve been reading Jan Valle and David Conner’s Rethinking disability, a disability studies approach to inclusive practices.  Thus far, I’ve found it to be a really concise, entertaining and easy to maneuver text about inclusive educational practices.  It’s a nice departure from the repetitious/outdated/seemingly inapplicable tomes I’ve encountered in grad. school.  I definitely recommend picking it up.

Valle & Conner (2010), open chapter three with a description of how special education teachers are perceived by the general public: Read the rest of this entry →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Looking Back at the First Autism Diagnosis

October 28, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

 

In October 2010, The Atlantic Published an article entitled, “Autism’s First Child.”  This article chronicled the first documented case of Autism in medical literature dating back to 1943.  However, this article was really more about the man, Donald Triplett, a 77-year-old Mississippian, and his enviable life.  The author of the article, Caren Zucker, explains it best when she said:

We wanted readers to come away with a critical lesson — that in real and material ways, the quality of life achievable by a person with autism (or with any disability for that matter) depends significantly on how successfully and spontaneously any society recognizes the humanity of that person in its midst. In short, pity isn’t much help. But community is, when community implies connectedness, inclusiveness, caring, and, quite simply, good old-fashioned friendship.  Read the rest of this entry →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Your Child Doesn’t Belong in My Classroom

September 30, 2012 in Special Education Advisor Blog by Doug Goldberg

To belong, to fit in, to be suitable, to be appropriate or to be a member of a club, organization, or set; this is what we all want for our children.  So nothing hurts worse than when your child’s Teacher tells you, “Your child doesn’t belong in my classroom.”  What you hear as a parent is a statement of your child’s failings.  What I hear is an admission of a denial of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for your child.  Let me give you a few examples of what you are not hearing but is implied in this statement:

  1. Your child doesn’t belong in my classroom because the school will not provide the appropriate aides and supports necessary to educate your child;
  2. Your child doesn’t belong in my classroom because I am not capable of educating your child;
  3. Your child doesn’t belong in my classroom because I don’t want to take the time to differentiate my instruction and find the method that your child learns;
  4. Your child doesn’t belong in my classroom because the District has increased my class size to 45 students and has not provided me with a paraprofessional to help lessen my load;
  5. Your child doesn’t belong in my classroom because I don’t want to follow his IEP because it takes too much time and energy;
  6. Your child doesn’t belong in my classroom because the School District refuses to spend money on children with special needs; and
  7. Your child doesn’t belong in my classroom because I am a bad teacher.

The last example I want to explain, because I realize that I may have angered many educators.  Just like every profession there are a few who are great at what they do, a few that are awful at what they do and many that are somewhere in between.  Teaching is no exception and if you have uttered the phrase, “Your child doesn’t belong in my class,” you land solidly on the far left of the bell curve in the well below average category of Teaching.  Even if you made this statement due to constraints caused by the School District, this statement is not acceptable.  We all have the right to belong, and we also all have the right to be educated.  This doesn’t mean I believe every child should be educated in a mainstream class; inevitably, many school districts will not provide the necessary supports needed for inclusion to be successful.  I do however feel that every child deserves to be respected and to tell them or their parents they “don’t belong” is not appropriate.

About a month ago I went to my son’s back to school night.  This is his first year in Middle School so we spent about 5 to 10 minutes in each class.  The second class I went into was his social studies room and the Teacher started her discussion by stating, “I am going to set the bar really high this year for every student.  I don’t care that this isn’t my honors class I am going to set the bar high and every single student WILL move higher than they thought they could.  They might not all make it to the top but I will take them ALL as high as they can go.”  She then read this poem:

She then walked us through the various methods she uses to teach including visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic.  To determine how each of her students learn she conducted a learning style assessment on the first day of school and used those results to modify her teaching style.  If you haven’t realized it yet this Teacher lands on the far right of the bell curve in the well above average category for Teaching.

The morale of this little exercise is that there are good teachers and bad teachers, good school districts and bad school districts.  So, if your child’s Teacher tells you, “Your child doesn’t belong in my class,” it’s time to find a new placement.  It’s time to find a new placement not because your child doesn’t belong but because your child deserves better.  Your child deserves a Teacher like my son’s social studies Teacher who is going to push them and help them fly.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (7 votes cast)

The Inspirational Teacher Series – Tim Villegas

July 18, 2012 in Inspirational Teacher Series by Dennise Goldberg

Today in the Inspirational Teacher Series we profile Tim Villegas. Tim is one of my twitter friends and has written a guest post for Special Education in the Past entitled, “Fear Factor: Getting over the biggest obstacle to inclusion.”  He is a huge advocate for inclusion and was one of the first people I thought about when we started this series.

1. What is your name?

Tim Villegas

2. What is your education level and credentials?

I graduated with a BA in Psychology from Azusa Pacific University and did my credential work at Cal State University Fullerton in Moderate/Severe Disabilities

3. What would you like a one-sentence description of yourself to say?

Tim loves his family, his job and his obsessions (sports/music/cooking/gardening) and does his best to love people the way God loves us. Read the rest of this entry →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.7/5 (3 votes cast)

The Inspirational Teacher Series – Sarah Stine

July 12, 2012 in Inspirational Teacher Series by Dennise Goldberg

Today in the Inspirational Teacher Series we profile Sarah Stine.  Sarah has been teaching since 2008 in a private independent special needs school.  I hope you enjoy her profile.

1. What is your name?

Sarah Stine

2. What is your education level and credentials?

Masters level teacher with a Degree in Early Childhood Education, Reading Specialist Endorsement

3. What would you like a one-sentence description of yourself to say?

Children should have access to an education that is tailored to their individual needs- No Matter What! Read the rest of this entry →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes cast)
Avatar of Jess

by Jess

Autism Inclusion

July 11, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Many children with autism struggle with social skills, intellectual focus, sensory deficits, communication and cognition, Diana says. “Their diagnosis should ideally be private, a detail that’s kept confidential between parents and school personnel; but that doesn’t mean that peers can’t be informed as to the challenges a fellow student faces.

“You don’t want to make it too complicated,” she explains. “Children can see casts and crutches; but it can be difficult to understand that ‘John’ (for instance) is uncomfortable with intrusion into his personal space, or can’t stand to eat round foods, or is easily frightened by loud noises, etc.  Children, when told of these exceptions, will often be extra sensitive to them.” Read the rest of this entry →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

The Inspirational Teacher Series – Amanda Thompson

July 4, 2012 in Inspirational Teacher Series by Dennise Goldberg

Today in the Inspirational Teacher Series we profile Amanda Thompson.  Amanda has been teaching for 3 years and specializes in working with children who are blind or vision impaired.  I hope you enjoy her profile.

1. What is your name?

Amanda Thompson 

2. What is your education level and credentials?

I have my Master’s of Education in Special Education, focusing on visual impairments and students who access the general education curriculum.  Read the rest of this entry →

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.7/5 (3 votes cast)