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Rosa M. Vela Edu 203 College of Southern Nevada. Chapter 13 Very Low-Incidence Disabilities. Traumatic Brain Injury.

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Rosa m vela edu 203 college of southern nevada

Rosa M. Vela

Edu 203

College of Southern Nevada

Chapter 13 Very Low-Incidence Disabilities

Traumatic brain injury
Traumatic Brain Injury

Prior to the 1960’s, most children whose brains were seriously damaged died soon after the trauma. Changes in emergency treatment, imaging technology, and surgical and pharmaceutical treatments now help save children’s lives. However, it often takes intensive special education services and accommodations for the problems resulting from the accident to be resolved.

Click on the link below to see a short video of a child who recovered from traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Traumatic brain injury1
Traumatic Brain Injury

The IDEA ‘04 definition for TBI was introduced in 1990 when TBI became a separate special education category.

TBI is not

* a condition present at birth or

* caused by a stroke, brain tumor, or

other internally caused brain damage.

TBI is

* due to a concussion or head injury, possibly from an accident or child


* not always apparent or visible, and

* may or may not result in loss of consciousness

Characteristics of tbi
Characteristics of TBI

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke TBI ranges in severity from mild to severe. They can last for a very short time or years. In some cases the effects disappear, but in some other cases it will result in lifelong problems.

These symptoms are:

dizziness, headache, selective attention problems, irritability, anxiety, blurred vision, insomnia, fatigue, motor difficulties, language problems, behavior problems, or cognitive and memory problems.


According to the federal government, 23,864 students, ages 6 through 21, receive special education services because of TBI (OSEP, 2008a).

Almost two-thirds of these students learn alongside classmates without disabilities, some with support from resource programs, for most of the school day (OSEP, 2008a).


Half are caused by transportation accidents such as car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and bicycle accidents.

20% percent are due to violence such as child abuse or firearms.

Small percentage is due to sports injuries.

TBI is common among older children, teenage boys who are engaged in high risk behaviors.

For young children TBI is usually caused by child abuse, shaken baby syndrome where an infant is shaken so hard that it causes brain injury.


Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Can be prevented or injuries minimized. Wearing helmets when riding a bike or skateboarding, not driving moving vehicles while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs and avoiding high-risk behaviors can prevent tragic accidents.

Quick and immediate medical attention is important to prevent further damage.

Educational considerations for students with low incidence disabilities
Educational Considerations for Students with Low-Incidence Disabilities

There is no single answer to how best to educate these

students. Many students have complex coexisting conditions

that result in unique, and highly individualized educational



Because of universal infant screenings, better medical technology,

and more informed pediatricians, more and more instances of

disabilities are identified when these individuals are infants or

toddlers. Their delays in development become obvious when they

do not walk or talk on time, toddlers are identified so they can

receive important intervention services during early childhood.

Unless the disability occurs later for example a head injury after


Educational considerations for students with low incidence disabilities1
Educational Considerations for Students with Low-Incidence Disabilities

Early Identification

Many infants are identified and receive critical early

intervention services in their first few years of life. Families

benefit from these services because they learn how to interact

in special ways with their baby with severe disabilities.


Sometimes it is educators who must confirm families worst

fears: (The bicycle accident several weeks ago caused more

than a broken leg; it may have also caused brain injury) School

personnel play a critical role in bringing important services to

students with TBI.

Educational considerations for students with low incidence disabilities2
Educational Considerations for Students with Low-Incidence Disabilities


Students with multiple and coexisting disabilities many of them are identified at birth.

Universal Infant screening procedures bring babies with hearing and vision problems to the

attention of service providers during the critical months after birth. The situation for

students with TBI is different because sometimes they don’t get identified right after their

injury because they show no visible signs (cuts, bruises) of brain injury. This often creates

challenges for the injured person because the outside world cannot see the wounds from a

TBI and have difficulty understanding the nature of the injury. Many cases go undiagnosed

this is often called the silent epidemic.

Evaluation: Alternate Assessments—The “1% Kids”

IDEA ‘04 and the No Child Left Behind Act require all students—those with and without

disabilities—be included in the national accountability system. Students not participating

fully in the general education curriculum, the government allows each state to use

alternate assessments—another form of testing and evaluation of learning gains. Such

students are given these alternate assessments on alternate achievement standards. These

standards might reflect achievement expectations of those participating in the general

education curriculum but with fewer objectives or different expectations.

Early intervention
Early Intervention Disabilities

Parents and extended family members are often at the heart of

early intervention services, making a difference in the lives of their

children. It is important that infants and toddlers with extensive

needs because of their disabilities receive extra help learning,

growing, and getting prepared for life and their school years. The

early intervention services is possible through IDEA ‘04. It’s

important for professionals , families, and policymakers to agree

about what to expect from these services. Below are five outcomes

for families participating in services supported by IDEA ’04 agreed


  • understand their child’s strengths, abilities, and special needs

  • know their rights and advocate effectively for their children

  • help their child develop and learn

  • have support systems

  • access desired services, programs, and activities in their community.

Teaching students with low incidence disabilities
Teaching Students with Low-Incidence Disabilities Disabilities

Students with low-incidence disabilities should

be considered a unique member of a diverse

group of learners, all of whom exhibit

different learning styles and characteristics.

Access to the General Education Curriculum

Students with low-incidence disabilities do not

have access to the general education as their

primary objective, they will be striving to

meet a curriculum such as independent living.

TBI students have the highest participation

rate in general education. Students with deaf-

blindness has a low participation rate. The

lowest however is students with multiple


Teaching students with low incidence disabilities1
Teaching Students with Low-Incidence Disabilities Disabilities

Instructional Accommodations

Modifications to the instructional program/classroom

routine can make such a difference and help achieve

maximum benefits for students with low-incidence


Example: A student with TBI who spends only half a day at school benefits greatly when the classroom schedule is adjusted so instruction on important academic tasks happens during the morning.

Data-Based Practices

Functional curriculum is instruction in natural settings

relating to life (person’s daily needs) and vocational skills.

This type of practice is not appropriate for every student

with low incidence disabilities, the IEP team decides. TBI

students find that organizing strategies, such as graphic

organizers and story maps help them focus, visualize

information, and put structure to their learning efforts.

Teaching students with low incidence disabilities2
Teaching Students with Low-Incidence Disabilities Disabilities

Data-Based Practices (continued)

After the age of 14, the labor laws allow

students to work in the community.

Important skills needed in daily life must

be taught in natural or real settings to

become useful, this is community-based

Instruction (CBI). This practice improves

these individuals’ inclusion in daily life

and employment when they are adults.

Teaching students with low incidence disabilities3
Teaching Students with Low-Incidence Disabilities Disabilities


Has helped individuals with


  • communicate more effectively

  • increase their levels of independence

  • control their environments

  • have greater mobility

  • gain access to information

    Augmentative and alternative

    communication devices (ACC) allows for

    communication and participation not

    otherwise possible for many individuals with

    multiple-severe disabilities. Also this type of

    device has helped students who are unable to

    communicate with others through oral


References Disabilities

Health writings. (2007-2010). Retrieved from

Preparing for Thanksgiving Travel: 3. (October 29, 2009). Retrieved from

1st in Unique Gifts. (2011).Retrieved from

Smith, E. E., & Tyler, N. C. (2009). Introduction to special education,

making a difference. Pearson College