The newsLINK Group - Working with Special Education Students

Editorial Library Category: Education Topics: Special Education Students Title: Working with Special Education Students, in a Not-So Special Environment Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: According to a recent 2013 study conducted by the CDC, 1 in 50 US children will be diagnosed with Autism this year, which is up from the last CDC survey conducted in 2008, which represented numbers of 1 child in 88. Editorial: Working with Special Education Students, in a Not-So Special Environment 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 According to a recent 2013 study conducted by the CDC, 1 in 50 US children will be diagnosed with Autism this year, which is up from the last CDC survey conducted in 2008, which represented numbers of 1 child in 88. While many feel that the CDC surveys are a bit controversial (The possible problem with the most recent statistics is the fact that many parents who were asked to take the survey declined to participate, and those who did take the survey may have done so because their own children had already been diagnosed with ASD.), the truth is, Autism is a growing concern, and it is so prevalent, that it is not a question of “if” you will have a student with Autism in your classroom, but, “when.” First, you may be thinking is what is Autism? According the Autism Speaks (autismspeaks.org ) Autism is a complex disorder of brain development. These disorders range from varying degrees, which is why the term “Spectrum” is appropriate when talking about Autism. With the updated terminology in the DSM-5 Diagnostic Manual, the Autism diagnosis includes all subtype diagnoses (Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Pervasive Development Disorder, and Asperger Syndrome). Autism is an intellectual disability and can affect motor coordination, speech, attention and physical health concerns (sleeping patterns, and gastrointestinal disturbances). (autismspeaks.org ) Research has proven that early detection and intervention can make huge differences in a child diagnosed with Autism. Early intervention includes speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavior support, and possibly mental health counseling. While healthcare providers are increasing their understanding, and encouraging families to seek community supports to assist their child, what is education doing? Autism in Schools With the rise in Autism, public schools have funded programs and cluster classrooms to meet the needs of these students to ensure academic and emotional success. Students with Autism are able to receive services such as speech, behavior support, and occupational therapy throughout their academic careers. Many schools have collaborated with community programs, to ensure students are given necessary support to be on the path for independent living. But unfortunately, not all schools have a Special Education department, classroom or cluster. Public schools receive funding to support these programs, leaving private institutions to establish their own departments or plan of action. So how do you incorporate the needs of a child requiring Special Education services in your school that does not have Special Education services? Special Education in the Classroom: In an ideal educational setting, students with the Autism diagnosis would be placed in a learning environment that would have smaller class sizes to encourage less distraction, and a structured environment. Students would also have a predictable schedule with clear and precise expectations. They would have immediate access to supports such as speech, occupational therapy, and behavior supports when they were experiencing struggle. But as we step back, wouldn’t all students benefit from such a learning environment? Establishing Special Education practices within your classroom will not only serve the student needing the additional support, but it can benefit every child in your classroom. I have provided some ideas on how to transform your classroom into an environment that meets the needs of Special Education students and will benefit all the students in your classroom. Academic Needs: Small class sizes. A student with Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, or just your neuro-typical wild child would benefit from small class sizes. Typically, private schools pride themselves on

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy NjAyOTE=