Exceptional Children: Introduction to Special Education

Justin is a second grade student who is struggling in the regular classroom. His classroom teacher met with the Child Study Team to brainstorm for appropriate regular education interventions. The interventions were not successful over a nine-week period. What is the next step for Justin?

Following the failure of the teacher’s intervention, the teacher should report Justin’s disability to the school administration. The administration should then undertake the necessary measures to make sure that Justin undergoes evaluation to find his specific needs. Once the evaluation team reaches a final agreement that Justin requires special educational attention, the next step is establishing an IEP (Individualized Education Program) team that will be responsible for tailoring an educational program that best suits him.

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The team will formulate Justin’s learning goals besides coming up with some specialized instructions that will act as a guideline throughout his education. The IEP team will also find Justin’s teachers as well as other professional service providers who will help him with his education program.

Once the IEP team is certain that Justin has all he requires for his education program, it will name the least restrictive environment suitable for his education. Throughout his education, the IEP will constantly evaluate Justin’s performance. Depending on his performance, the team may make some changes in the education program to make sure that he meets the IEP goals as well as performs well according to the general curriculum.

What components need to be included in an IEP?

An IEP has several components. It should provide information about the child’s current level of academic achievement as well as functional performance. This includes the effect that the child’s disability has on his/her performance. For pre-school children it should show how the disability affects the child’s participation in different activities. It should also include the program’s measurable annual academic and functional goals.

These consist of the goals designed to meet the child’s needs resulting from his/her disability as well as those designed to meet his or her educational needs. The third factor that forms part of an IEP is a statement of the services and the supplementary aids necessary for the success of the program. This should include a statement of any changes made on the program as well as the staff that the school may offer to enhance the success of the child’s education.

The changes made by the IEP team help in enabling the child to advance appropriately towards achieving the IEP’s annual goals. Another important aspect that forms part of an IEP is the mode of measuring the child’s progress in meeting the set annual goals as well as the periodic reports on his/her progress. An IEP should also explain the extent to which the student should take part in activities involving non-disabled as well as disabled children during regular class activities and in other circumstances.

An IEP should also outline any particular traits of the disabled child necessary for the proper measurement of the child’s academic and personal performance in the state and district assessments. The IEP should show the projected dates for commencing the services and changes besides showing the anticipated duration and frequency of the services and changes. For older students, an IEP should also provide information showing how the team plans to support the child’s transition from school to adult life.

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What is a PLEP (PLAAFP)? Identify the relationship between PLEPs and goals

A PLEP (Present Level of Educational Performance) is a summary of the current achievement or rather performance of a disabled student in the areas of need as determined by an evaluation. It addresses a student’s strengths, effective teaching approaches as well as the interventions that are necessary in enhancing his/her success. It also gives an explanation of how the student’s disability affects his/her performance not only academically but also in the general curriculum.

For older students, it gives an account of the student’s transition needs in the area of special instructions, post-school lifestyle, employment as well as the student’s participation in community services and other forms of services. About the relationship between PLEP and goals, PLEP links evaluation results and the goals set for the student. It also describes the student’s strengths relevant in achieving IEP’S annual goals as well as the long-term expectations of the student in question.

Compare and contrast “mainstreaming” and “inclusion.”

Both mainstreaming and inclusion contribute in providing education to students with disabilities. However, they differ in several aspects. Mainstreaming involves the selective placement of students with disabilities in regular education classes. The selection occurs based on the student’s ability to meet most academic requirements, as is the case with students that do not have disabilities. In addition, in mainstreaming disabled students lack special education teachers as well as special facilities to enhance their understanding of various academic instructions. On the other hand, inclusion besides students being educated in regular classrooms, they have access to special services that aid their education.

Additionally, the school’s administration expects the disabled students to keep up with the pace of the other non-disabled students in the class. Inclusion involves not only bringing support services to the disabled students but also providing special education teachers to address the student’s special needs. In such cases, students have two teachers-a regular teacher and a special education teacher to ensure the success of all the students.

Who would you expect to see in an IEP meeting?

In an IEP meeting, I expect to see the parents of the disabled child, at least a regular education teacher as well as a special education teacher for the child. I also expect to see a representative of the local agency with qualifications to offer and supervise special instructions to disabled students. Additionally, an IEP committee should have someone capable of interpreting the instructional implications of the evaluation results as well as people who have certain special abilities or rather expertise in dealing with the disabled student. Finally, the child with a disability should be present in an IEP meeting.

The benefits of collaboration between home and school

The collaboration between home and school has several benefits. It helps in the delivery of proper services to the disabled child. For instance, the information that the child’s family provides is fundamental in increasing the teacher’s knowledge of the disabled child. This enables the teacher(s) to know how to handle the child increasing the efficiency of the education program. In addition, the collaboration helps in developing support groups in the special education program.

The groups help other families who have children with disabilities in facing with the circumstances as well as challenges associated with disabled children. It also enhances the educators’ desire to increase their effectiveness in providing their services to the advantage of the disabled children. Moreover, the collaboration helps in ensuring that the parents meet their responsibilities to their children.

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These responsibilities include providing their children’s needs, continual counseling and showing other forms of support to the students. In doing so, they help in boosting the educators’ support for the disabled children. Parents also help in brainstorming research questions. Some parents work as research partners and their findings can be very useful in formulating better education programs for the disabled children. Finally, being part of families the disabled children not only enjoy the support of their educators but also from their families.

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