Articles for Teachers
Educating special needs students can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. Educators who work with children with learning disabilities need to be specially trained to know how to handle particular situations and personalities. People who work with or are responsible for teaching special needs children need to first understand the different learning disabilities, attention deficits, developmental delays, behavior problems, and other distinctive disorders that each child may suffer from. The degree of disability of each student varies but could include severe difficulties such as dyslexia, autism, and multiple disabilities.
It's helpful for educators to develop a clinical eye towards all students and learn how to apply special teaching techniques to reach each student. Each student has different symptoms and needs and therefore teaching special needs should be customized and developed to meet each student's needs. The first step to ensuring this approach is to develop an educational plan that is designed and modified to fit the individual based on their weaknesses.
Educating special needs students requires patience, an understanding of the medical conditions that have an effect on learning disabled children, as well as an understanding of the federal laws of education. This is all vital to being a positive influence and great help in teaching special needs children. You need a solid foundation of knowledge relating to students with learning disabilities first in order to effectively help teach them. Beyond this, an understanding of the federal laws that apply to education such as IDEA, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitations Act of 1973, along with other classroom and curriculum accommodations to manage learning.
When working with special needs children, it's helpful if teachers know how to diagnose different learning disabilities. Teachers should learn about all of the different types of learning disabilities and know how to recognize symptoms. Beyond learning disabilities, behavior problems can be very disruptive in the classroom. Behavior problems need to be approached in the same way as learning disabilities. It's important for educators to completely understand all of the different types of behavior problems. There are ways to help improve behavior problems once you understand the difference in each type.
One of the more serious learning disabilities is autism. This disorder is different from many of the other developmental disorders that some students may have. Once educators understand the disorders it's necessary to know how the disorders are appropriately medicated. However, medication should not be the only method used to solve any problems with special needs children. In order to properly help and handle special needs students, an educator needs the help of parents, school administrators, special care providers and support staff, other teachers, and aides and paraprofessionals. Partnerships and collaborations are really key to effectively supporting and improving the lives of special needs students. To go beyond just educating special needs children, you need to create an environment where the student will feel comfortable and cared for. A lot of work and care goes into teaching special needs but the results of truly being able to help improve and educate special needs children can be extremely rewarding.
Teacher Education Institute (TEI) offers rigorous, graduate-level professional development courses for K-12 classroom teachers. For more about TEI, educating special needs students, or teaching special needs, visit http://www.teachereducation.com.