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Special Education. Secondary Undergraduate Program 2 nd term, ED 391 Fall, 2008 Dr. Yvonne Goddard [email protected] www.sitemaker.umich.edu/special.education. Key Terms in Special Education.

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special education

Special Education

Secondary Undergraduate Program

2nd term, ED 391

Fall, 2008

Dr. Yvonne Goddard

[email protected]


key terms in special education
Key Terms in Special Education

Exceptional Children: physical attributes and/or learning abilities differ from the norm (either below or above); individualized program of adapted, specialized education required to meet needs

At-Risk: not currently identified as having a disability, but considered to have a greater-than-usual chance of developing a disability

Disability (impairment): reduced function or loss of a particular body part or organ which limits ability to perform certain tasks

Handicap: problem a person with a disability may have when interacting with the environment (a disability may be a handicap in one environment, but not another)

six major principles of idea
Six Major Principles of IDEA
  • Zero reject: schools must educate all children with disabilities
  • Nondiscriminatory identification and evaluation: schools must use nonbiased, multifactored methods of evaluation to determine disability and whether special education services are needed
  • Free, appropriate public education (FAPE): all children with disabilities must be provided an appropriate education at public expense. IEP (individualized education program) must be developed and implemented for each child who qualifies.
six major principles of idea continued
Six Major Principles of IDEA (continued)
  • Least restrictive environment (LRE): students with disabilities must be educated with peers without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate to meet their individual needs.
  • Due process safeguards: schools must provide safeguards to protect the rights of children with disabilities and their parents.
  • Parent and student participation and shared decision making: schools must collaborate with parents and students in the design and implementation of special education services.
the iep
  • It is a legal document
  • You are responsible for obtaining and reading IEP for the students in your classes
  • If an accommodation is in the IEP, you are required to use it
  • You can ask for a meeting to discuss the IEP and changes you suggest
  • You should go to IEP meetings; you are an equal participant in these meetings
working with parents aides special education teachers
Working with Parents, Aides, Special Education Teachers
  • Document, document, document
    • Strengths and needs
    • Behaviors
    • Academic work
  • Be tactful, kind, polite, respectful
  • Parents have the final say
  • Aides are not licensed teachers
  • Special education teachers are licensed teachers, not aides
students rights
Students’ rights
  • To be treated humanely, respectfully, fairly
  • To feel safe, physically and psychologically
  • To have opportunities to learn, to socialize, to grow
  • To be appreciated for strengths and supported in needs
  • To be self-aware and to self-advocate
think about this
Think About This…

YOU may be the ONE teacher who makes a difference in the life of THAT child!

disability categories at federal level with mi terminology in
Disability Categories at Federal Level with MI terminology in ( )
  • Specific Learning Disabilities (LD) = SLD
  • Speech or Language (Communication) Impairments = SLI
  • Mental Retardation (MR) = Cognitive Impairments (CI)
  • Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) = Emotionally Impaired (EI)
  • Multiple Handicapped (MH)
  • Orthopedic Impairments
  • Other Health Impairments (OHI) = POHI (May include OI)
  • Hearing Impairment (HI)
  • Visual Impairments (VI)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) = Not separate in MI
  • Autism = Autistically Impaired (AI)
  • Early Childhood Intervention (ages 3-5 mandatory; infant-3 optional) = Pre-Primary Impaired
  • Talented and Gifted – not governed by IDEA

SXI – Severely Multiply Impaired

learning disabilities defined
Learning Disabilities Defined
  • Severe discrepancy between ability and achievement (different from state to state)
    • Definition may change to “Response to Intervention (RTI)”.
  • Need for special education services
  • 7 Areas:
    • basic reading, reading comp, writing (spelling)
      • dyslexia, dysgraphia
    • math calculation, math problem solving
      • dyscalculia
    • *** listening comp, oral expression ***
  • Exclusion criterion: learning problems not explained by other disabilities or lack of opportunity to learn
ld case
LD Case

Ben has an identified learning disability in reading and listening comprehension. He is reading well below grade level and cannot read the text you use in your classroom. What are some ways that you can help Ben be successful while simultaneously meeting the needs of your other students?

attention problems and hyperactivity
Attention Problems and Hyperactivity
  • Physician determines
    • Can be subjective
    • ADHD Evaluation Scales
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV)
  • Dimensions: inattention, impulsivity, hyperactivity
  • Six or more symptoms for at least 6 months
  • May co-occur with LD, but not the same
adhd case

Sasha is on a 504 plan because she was diagnosed with ADHD by her pediatrician. Currently, she is taking medication but you have been told that this is a trial period and that it may take several months to get the medicine and/or dosages right. You’ve heard from her other teachers that she seems to be getting along fine in their classes, but you have her for 4th hour, just before lunch, and she seems to be struggling to focus during your class. Further, she becomes quite fidgety and jumps out of her chair frequently to sharpen pencils or wander around the room. What are some approaches you might take to help her be successful and to feel welcome in your classroom?

cognitive impairments
Cognitive Impairments
  • Intellectual & cognitive deficits
  • Deficits in adaptive behavior
  • Manifested during developmental period (birth to 18 yrs)
  • Some characteristics:
    • Slower pace of learning
    • Lack of age-appropriate adaptive behavior
    • Lack age-appropriate social skills
    • Receptive & expressive language deficits
    • Difficulties learning basic academic skills
    • Poor motor coordination
ci case
CI Case

During Amy’s Kindergarten year, her teacher grew concerned about the lags in development that Amy demonstrated. She could not put her coat on or fasten her clothing. Once, when the teacher sent Amy to deliver a note to the office, she got lost trying to find her way back to the classroom. Academic delays were also quite apparent. By 1st grade, Amy was diagnosed with a mild cognitive impairment.

Amy is in your classroom this year and you wonder what you can expect from her after reading her file. She reads and writes well below grade level. All of her previous teachers indicate that she is a joy to have in class. What are some ways that you can help Amy succeed in your classroom? How can you be proactive about how Amy’s peers treat her?

emotional and behavioral disorders
Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
  • Three criteria
    • Severity – behavior must differ markedly from norm
    • Difficulty in school – adverse effect on educational performance
    • Chronicity – problems have existed over long period of time; likely to be unresponsive to direct intervention in general education
  • Some characteristics
    • Deficits in social skills and maturity
    • Aggressive with peers or adults
    • Responds inappropriately to discipline
    • Appears oblivious to class/school rules
    • Higher risk for substance abuse
    • Acts socially withdrawn or isolated; has few friends
    • Affective disorders
    • Exhibits negative attributions
ebd case
EBD Case

Sean has an IEP with a behavior plan that requires certain steps be carried out in order if he has a verbal or physical outburst. The first step is to identify when he’s about to have problems and try to intervene early. The next step is to call the office. At that point, the office staff will contact an administrator and call the parents. In looking over his IEP, you discover that Sean is easily frustrated when he does not understand what he is supposed to do or when he is unable to complete a task. What are some things that you can do in setting up your classroom and thinking about how to help Sean be successful academically and behaviorally?

  • Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically
    • appears during the first three years of life and
    • is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain
  • Autism impacts development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills.
  • Both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities.

From: http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=WhatisAutism

pervasive developmental disorder pdd
Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)
  • Autism is one of five disorders that falls under the umbrella of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), a category of neurological disorders characterized by “severe and pervasive impairment in several areas of development.” The five disorders under PDD are:
  • Autistic Disorder
  • Asperger's Disorder
  • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD)
  • Rett's Disorder
  • PDD-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

Each of these disorders has specific diagnostic criteria which been outlined in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR).

autism case
Autism Case

You have an aide (parapro) in your room who has been assigned to Ruth. Ruth has one friend in your class with whom she feels comfortable working; her other peers tend to ignore her or laugh covertly at her. She often bursts out loudly in song or with a string of sentences that are usually off topic. She is able, however, to complete the academic work in your classroom. What are some strategies that you can use to help Ruth be accepted in your classroom? What are some ways that you might work with the special education teacher and the aide to help Ruth be successful?

gifted talented
  • Not covered by IDEA
  • Renzulli’s Three-Component Definition:
    • above-average ability
    • creativity
    • task commitment
  • New definition: outstanding talent; exceptional talent
    • Reduced focus on IQ
    • Includes persons from all cultural and socioeconomic groups
advanced learner case
Advanced Learner Case

Tyrell is reading well above grade level and his contributions to class discussions are quite thoughtful and insightful. There are times, though, that you wonder whether he is being challenged enough in your classroom. He sometimes clowns around and seems to enjoy the attention he gets from his peers when he does this. This behavior is often disruptive to your class. How can you provide instructional challenges for Tyrell in ways that help him be comfortable in not appearing too “different” from his peers?

outcomes of special education in the u s
Outcomes of Special Education in the U.S.
  • Age 14, IEP team must consider post-school goals
  • Age 16, Individualized Transition Plan must be developed


  • The unemployment rate for young adults with disabilities
    • out of school < 2 years = 46%
    • out of school 3-5 years = 37%
  • 4 out of 5 former special education students had still not achieved independent adulthood after being out of high school for up to 5 years.

Adults with disabilities continue to face lack of acceptance as full members of society.

Source: 24th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of IDEA.