We all remember how it felt to be a child and how, as a child, we sometimes felt like school is too difficult to handle. Most of us managed to finish it and, as grown-ups we don’t understand what made it seem so complicated then. But for some children, school is indeed too tricky and learning practically impossible. The real problem is the fact that there are more than 6 million children and young persons estimated to be suffering from disabilities and each and every one of them needs to go through a special education process. This term, special education” refers to unconventional education services and special education aids designed to cater for the needs of children suffering from physical and mental challenges. This includes particular learning techniques, particular education products and particular lesson plans.
What can be more disturbing for a parent than knowing that his or her child doesn’t have the same chances for a normal life as everyone else? (And all because they suffer from a disability of some sort.) Sometimes, these children and their parents are dealing with physical and mental drawbacks such as physical handicaps, sensory (visual and hearing) impairments, intellectual capacity (mental retardation and autism), learning disabilities (reading and writing skills), speech impairment or even behavior disorders. All of these children have few chances to be integrated in society without special attention and a lot of effort from parents who often feel powerless.
The special education process has to begin with a request for evaluation from a parent or a teacher of the child. This is the first step and perhaps the most important, because it means that there could be a problem with the child and knowing about it makes it easier to deal with. The next step is finding out the results of the test and either way, it can only help the child, because if he has a problem, then a team of professionals will decide which special education aids are best suited to be used. If the child doesn’t have a problem, the evaluation can still provide important information about the child and the ways he learns best. If the result of the evaluation is that the child suffers from a learning disability, then the team of experts will make up an Individualized Education Program (IEP) which will contain all the special education aids, learning techniques and special education products best suited for that child. From case to case, the child may be taken to a special education centre where he can receive the special education aids he needs.
For a child suffering from a learning disorder, dyslexia or ADD, the traditional school system can prove itself to be quite powerless and ineffective. This is why children with special needs must be provided with special education aids and special teachers. Only trained professionals are able to design teaching methods and educational techniques for students of all ages, with mild to profound disabilities and that may vary depending upon the child’s nature, age, and the extremeness and type of disability. It is very important that the special education aids include learning techniques and lesson plans in order to prepare students to function independently and to master skills, to build and support social competence, and to help children and their families lead a problem free life.
It is important that the special lesson plans are made for each child separately in order to suit individuals. The plans are to be made in consultation with physical therapists, counselors, doctors, occupational therapists, psychiatrists, and social workers, all professionals that can have the wider perspective on the child’s situation. Also very important are the education products chosen to be used in the special education process. There are a lot of special education products that can really simplify the teacher’s work: materials designed to improve reading and writing, or certain subjects, such as math, materials designed to improve life skills. Books, videos, special needs software and teacher resources are other special education products.
It must be remembered the fact that a child suffering from a learning disability is not lost for society and he can lead a normal happy life just like all the individuals of his age. With the proper care and attention from his family, with the proper instructors and doctors that use the best special education products, almost any child suffering from a learning disability can grow up to have a successful life.