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Special Education Resource File
Transcript of Special Education Resource File
Overview Special Education
Overview of Special Education
Summary of Eligibility Requirements in SC
Overview of Special Education
The process of special Education
Areas of Disabilities
Cooperative Special Educational Agency. (n.d.). Strategies for teachers working with students with autism spectrum disorder.
Retrieved from http://www.specialed.us/autism/05/strategies.htm
John Hopkins University, Office of Student Disability Services. (n.d.)
Kansas State Department of Education. (n.d.) Multiple disabilities.
Retrieved from http://www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=pkNAIrabm9E=
National Center for Learning Disabilities. (2013). Retrieved from
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. (n.d.). Retreived from
Office of Exceptional Children at the South Carolina Department of Education. (2012).
The parent guide to special education services in SC. Retrieved from
PACER Center LD online. (2007) Understanding the special education process. Retrieved from http://www.ldonline.org/article/20494/
Pulsifer, L. (2012, August 2). Teaching tips for students with developmental delays. Bright Hub Education. Retrieved from
Schreiner, E. (n.d.). Effective teaching strategies for students with emotional and behavioral disorders. e-How for Educators. Retrieved from
Sence International. (n.d.). Teaching strategies and management of deaf-blind children.
Retrieved from http://www.perkins.org/resources/scout/resources-outside-us/teachers-children-deafblind.html
Tenenbaum, I. M. (2003, March). Parents’ guide to special education services in South Carolina.
Retrieved from http://www.statelibrary.sc.gov/scedocs/Ed8332/000144.pdf
Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities Project IDEAL -Informing and Designing Education for All Learners. (2008).
Intellectual disabilities. Retrieved from http://www.projectidealonline.org/intellectualDisabilities.php
Thompson Reuters Find Law. (2013). An overview of special education laws.
Retrieved from http://education.findlaw.com/special-education-and-disabilities/
University of Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, Assistive Technology Training
Online Project. (2005). Retrieved from http://atto.buffalo.edu/registered/ATBasics/Foundation/Laws/specialed.php
Wright, P.W.D., & Wright, P.D. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/ferpa.index.htm
Zais, M. & South Carolina State Department of Education Office of Exceptional Children. (2011).
PhD standards for evaluation and eligibility determination. Retrieved from
This law guarantees that all school age children (5-21 years) with disabilities have the right to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). This law established the creation of the Individual Education Plan (IEP) that provides a statement of specific special education services that are designed to meet the child’s unique needs. This law also ensures that children with disabilities are taught in the least restrictive environment (LRE) that is appropriate. The law also gives parents the right to fully participate in any and all decisions regarding their child’s education (University of Buffalo, 2005).
This law expands EHA to prepare children with disabilities for life after school, giving them skills to further their education, find employment, and live independently. This law directs how schools provide for students with special needs. IDEA covers children from birth to age 26 and includes many diagnosis that were not included in EHA such as autism, brain injury, and ADHD (Find Law, 2013).
This law is intended to increase academic achievement in public schools and holds schools accountable for improvement in hopes of closing the achievement gap. This law is important for special education because it ensures that students with learning disabilities reach high levels of achievement and standards (National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2013).
This act ensures that students with disabilities have access to technologies and devices that will assist them in learning in school and in other environments. Technology can greatly improve the function of persons with disabilities and help provide equity in education for persons of disabilities. There have been many great improvements in devices that can aid and assist in the education of special needs students. This law helps provide access to these technologies for schools who serve students with special needs (National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities).
A team is formed of parents and qualified professionals. The team will assess whether or not a child meets the definition of one of the categories of disabilities listed below. If it is determined that the child has learning disabilities it is then decided whether or not the child needs special services (Zias, M., 2011).
Categories of Disabilities:
Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Other Health Impairment
Specific Learning Disability
Traumatic Brain Injury
Evaluation occurs and a team determines if a child is eligible for services.
An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed and placement is determined.
Services are provided and progress is measured and reported to parents.
Annual IEP meeting: The IEP is reviewed and the child is reevaluated
(LD online, 2007).
Key Steps in the Special Education Process
Referral – Parents,
school district, or others
request an evaluation and
parents agree in writing.
Deaf and Hard
Other Health Impairment
Strategies to use
Strategies to use
Strategies to use
According to IDEA
, visual impairment refers to an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.
Strategies to use
Important Laws Concerning Special Education
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) is the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965
The Technology Related Assistance Act of 1988 (The Assisstive Technology Act or (Tech Act)
According to IDEA:
A developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and non-verbal communication and social interaction that adversely affects educational performance.
It is generally evident before age three.
Education for All Handicapped Children’s Act of 1975 (EHA)
Public Law 94-142
Allow longer wait-time for responses. Don’t repeat the question, just wait. Average response time is 30-60 seconds.
Use If/Then and First/Then statements when giving directions. (i.e.: First finish your math test, then we will go outside for recess.)
Match visual supports with verbal directions. Try to limit the number of words in your verbal directions. Too much talking can create anxiety.
Use social stories, video-taping, or role-playing to make abstract concepts more concrete.
Introduce a new skill in a variety of places so that the student can understand the skill applies to more than one setting.
Use as many visual-aids and hands-on manipulatives as possible.
Offer students choices. (i.e.: If the student has two assignments, allow him to choose which he would like to complete first.)
Limit changes in routine as much as possible.
Pick one goal for each activity. (Academic content, socialization, or independence)
Do specific activities related to taking turns and sharing materials. Teach social skills as part of the curriculum.
Schedule breaks for the student during transition times.
Allow students to demonstrate their competence or mastery of a skill in alternate ways; don’t demand writing.
Hard of Hearing: Having some degree of hearing loss ranging from mild to profound. People who are hard of hearing may benefit from the use of hearing aids or other assistive listening devices. They depend primarily upon spoken English in communicating with others.
Deaf: Having a hearing loss of such severity that communication and learning is primarily by visual methods (i.e., manual communication, writing, speech-reading, and gestures).
May be skilled lip readers, but many are not
May have difficulties with speech, reading and writing skills
May use speech, lip reading, hearing aids and/or amplification systems to enhance oral communication
May be members of a distinct linguistic and cultural group; as a cultural group, they may have their own values, social norms and traditions
May use American Sign Language as their first language, with English as their second language
Look directly at the student during a conversation, even when an interpreter is present, and speak in natural tones.
Make sure you have the student’s attention before speaking. A light touch on the shoulder, wave or other visual signal will help.
Recognize the processing time the interpreter takes to translate a message from its original language into another language; the student may need more time to receive information, ask questions and/or offer comments.
Seating which allows a clear view of the instructor, the interpreter and the blackboard
Written supplement to oral instructions, assignments, and directions
Providing handouts in advance so the student can watch the interpreter rather than read or copy new material at the same time
Visual aids whenever possible, including captioned versions of videos and films
Repeating questions and comments from other students
Note taker for class lectures so the student can watch the interpreter
Test accommodations may include: access to word processor, use of interpreter for directions
Providing unfamiliar vocabulary in written form, on the blackboard, or in a handout
A real-time transcription requiring instructor to use a microphone The text transcript is visible on a computer screen for student.
According to IDEA:
Concomitant (simultaneous) hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness.
May show an unusual degree of clumsiness.
May have poor hand-eye coordination.
May be sensitive to bright lights.
Eyes may cross, turn out, flutter/dance in rapid movements, bulge, etc.
Repeated shutting or covering of eye.
Frequent squinting or blinking.
Hold objects, toys, books, etc., too close.
May avoid tasks or activities that require good vision.
Strategies to use with visually impaired
children will differ depending on the child and severity of the impairment.
Use a lot of voice and touch.
Provide many opportunities for hands-on activities or activities that involve several senses.
Provide text in larger, clearer print, or use listening devices (cassettes or cd's).
Orientation and mobility training- students should be able to move freely and somewhat independently. If necessary, use canes, guides, dogs, or electronic devices.
"Effective Classroom Adaptations for Students
with Visual Impairments"
The definition of "Traumatic Brain Injury" (TBI) under IDEA
, means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.
Injuries can impact one or more areas, such as: cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, perceptual, sensory, motor abilities, social behaviors, physical functions, speech, and information processing.
Traumatic brain injury does not apply, according to IDEA, to brain injuries induced by birth trauma, or that are
Brain injuries can range from mild to severe, so
the results vary from person to person.
Depending upon the severity of the injury, a person may display
or experience difficulties in one or some of the following areas:
speaking, slurred speech, comprehending others
seeing, hearing, & using other senses.
walking, balancing, gross/fine motor skills, seizures
short-term or long-term memory loss
processing and storing information
reading, writing, sequencing events or instructions
inappropriate social and emotional responses
struggle to perform on grade level academically
Repeat instructions and directions, keep simple
Provide written directions or instructions
Allow ample processing time, extend work time
Use pictures or visual cues, aids, and prompts
Break tasks down into smaller chunks
Provide many opportunities for practice
Have consistent routines and organized space
Keep distractions to a minimum
Explicitly teach coping and de-escalation strategies
Behavior plan if necessary
Rest breaks as needed
Strategies used will depend on the child and the severity of the injury. One, or several strategies may be appropriate.
Orthopedic impairments, or physical disabilities, are
by the IDEA
as a bodily impairment that is severe enough to negatively affect a child's educational performance.
Causes of orthopedic impairments can include genetic abnormalities, disease, injury, birth trauma, amputation, burns, and other causes.
Disabilities are classified as either congenital or acquired.
Examples of orthopedic/physical impairments include, but are not limited to: asthma, cleft palate, AIDS, Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Spina bifida, Muscular Dystrophy, Cystic Fibrosis, and Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Make all materials and items in classroom easily accessible (ex: lower items)
Arrange the room so students can move around easily (wide isles)
Avoid area rugs, provide sturdy furniture
Provide objects that can be used for grasping, holding, transferring, and releasing
Create a buddy system to assist students
Provide necessary services (OT, PT).
Access to assistive technology or devices
Plan activities that promote movement and exercise
Promote and encourage independence
Characteristics of physical impairments are unique to each child and each circumstance.
Poorly developed hand or finger coordination
Difficulty in picking up small objects
Difficulty in drawing or writing
Stumbles or trips frequently
Difficulty walking, running, jumping or climbing
Difficulty in bouncing, catching, or throwing balls
May be unable to release objects voluntarily
Inability to perform basic academic tasks
Difficulty in performing functional life skills
Difficulty with spoken language (nonverbal in some instances)
Exhibits low frustration tolerance
Difficulty in demonstrating age-appropriate behavior
Exhibits problems in adjusting to change
Exhibits self-stimulatory behaviors such as body rocking, an attraction to light and hyperactivity
Exhibits inappropriate behaviors in touching and smelling objects and/or people:
Difficulty with environmental mobility
Difficulty with vision
Difficulty with hearing
Difficulty with physical ambulation (motor problems/orthopedic problems/cerebral palsy)
Displays seizure activity
Difficulty with eating
Difficulty with bowel and/or bladder control
Difficulty in administering self-care
Always let the child know you are there, where you are, and who you are
Focus on developing a trusting relationship with the child
Create opportunities for ‘more’ responses, such as rhythm games, finger plays and songs
Create opportunities for turn – taking.
The hands become the eyes and ears. Hand – under – hand allows the child to observe with his hands.
When teaching a child how to form a sign, coactive signing can be used
Use routines to teach practical skills in natural settings. This helps the child anticipate events and actions
Emphasize the beginning, middle and end of activities and routines to provide structure.
Do things with the student, not for the student
Prepare the child for transitions
Use calendar boxes / schedules to organize time, develop anticipation, and understand that one thing must be completed before going on to the next thing.
Limit changes to the physical environment so the student can learn the layout of the room; this will help with daily navigation.
According to IDEA:
Child with a disability for children aged three through nine (or any subset of that age range, including ages three through five), may…include a child—
(1) Who is experiencing developmental delays as defined by the State and as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures in one or more of the following areas: Physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, or adaptive development; and
(2) Who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services.
For a student with distracting behaviors: seat him at a desk in his own space. Minimize distractions and the possibility for over-stimulation, such as seating him next to a window facing the playground.
Keep a consistent classroom routine.
Have a posted schedule.
Use a visual timer.
Use age-appropriate materials that are similar to those that his peers are using.
Inability to demonstrate age-appropriate skills similar to those of his peers in any of these areas:
• language or speech
• movement -- motor skills
• social and emotional skills
• thinking -- cognitive skills
According to IDEA:
Emotional disturbance means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child's educational performance:
An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
According to IDEA:
Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
According to IDEA:
Concomitant [simultaneous] impairments (such as intellectual disability-blindness, intellectual disability-orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in a special education program solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness.
According to IDEA:
Very little or no eye contact.
Resistance to being held or touched.
Tends to get too close when speaking to someone.
Difficulty understanding jokes, figures of speech or sarcasm.
Difficulty reading facial expressions and body language.
Difficulty understanding the rules of conversation.
Gives spontaneous comments which seem to have no connection to the conversation.
Makes honest, but inappropriate observations.
Seems unable to understand another’s feelings.
Prefers to be alone, or overly-friendly.
Unaware of/disinterested in what is going on around them.
Talks excessively about one or two topics (dinosaurs, movies, etc.).
Abnormal use of pitch, intonation, rhythm or stress while speaking.
Repeats last words or phrases several times. Makes verbal sounds while listening.
Often uses short, incomplete sentences.
May have a very high vocabulary.
Ritualistic or compulsive behavior patterns (sniffing, licking, watching objects fall, flapping arms, spinning, rocking, humming, tapping, sucking, rubbing clothes).
Quotes movies or video games.
Calmed by external stimulation - soothing sound, brushing, rotating object, constant pressure (hammock, rolled in a blanket).
Frustration is expressed in unusual ways.
Feels the need to fix or rearrange things.
Transitioning from one activity to another is difficult.
Gross and fine motor skills are developmentally behind peers.
Extreme fear (phobia) for no apparent reason.
Difficulty waiting for their turn (such as in a line).
Causes injury to self (biting, banging head).
Sensitivity or lack of sensitivity to sounds, textures, tastes, smells or light.
Unusually high or low pain tolerance.
Inappropriate touching of self in public situations.
Laughs, cries or throws a tantrum for no apparent reason.
Resists change in the environment (people, places, objects).
Becomes overwhelmed with too much verbal direction.
Tends to either tune out or break down when being reprimanded.
Exceptionally high skills in some areas and very low in others.
Walks on toes or has an unusual gait.
Disrupts classroom activities
Does not follow or appear to care about classroom rules
Resistance to change and transitions in routines
Often speaks out with irrelevant information or without regard to turn taking rules
Demonstrates aggressive behavior
Intimidates and bullies other students
Regularly absent from school
Consistently blames others for their dishonesty
Low self esteem
Difficulty working in groups
Demonstrates self-injurious behavior
Can not apply social rules related to other’s personal space and belongings
Often manipulative of situations
Set a "cool down" zone
Create a silent signal
Set short-term and long-term goals
Use behavior management checklists/graphs so they can monitor their progress
has trouble speaking
finds it hard to remember things
does not understand how things work
has trouble understanding social rules
has trouble seeing the consequences of his/her actions
has trouble solving problems
has trouble thinking logically
Teach one concept or activity component at a time
Teach one step at a time to help support memorization and sequencing
Teach students in small groups, or one-on-one, if possible
Always provide multiple opportunities to practice skills in a number of different settings
Use physical and verbal prompting to guide correct responses, and provide specific verbal praise to reinforce these responses
Limited speech or communication
Difficulty in basic physical mobility
Tendency to forget skills through disuse
Trouble generalizing skills from one situation to another
A need for support in major life activities (e.g. domestic, leisure, community use, vocational).
A variety of medical problems may accompany severe disabilities. Examples include seizures, sensory loss, hydrocephalus, and scoliosis.
Allow enough time for the student with multiple disabilities to respond.
Classroom arrangements must take into consideration students' needs for medications, special diets, or special equipment.
Use computers, augmentative/alternative communication systems, communication boards, head sticks, and adaptive switches
Curriculum should be grounded in preliminary sensory motor stimulation and subsequent stress on five major areas: motor, self-help, communication, social/interpersonal, and cognitive skills.
The teacher may need to learn how to read gestures, slight changes in muscle tone or posture and different types of body language.
Lessen the homework/classwork load and/or provide time in a resource room where a special education teacher can provide the additional structure the student with multiple disabilities needs to complete the work.
Seat student at the front of the class
Direct frequent questions to him/her to help maintain attention to the lesson
Have a nonverbal signal with the student with multiple disabilities for times when he/she is not paying attention.
The student with multiple disabilities needs great motivation, so learning must be rewarding and not anxiety-provoking.
Assignments should be broken down into small units, and frequent teacher feedback and redirection should be offered
Have timed work sessions.
Students with multiple disabilities can sometimes be stubborn; they need firm expectations and a structured program that teaches them that compliance with rules leads to positive reinforcement.
"other health impairments"
(OHI), means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment.
These limitations are due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, ADD, ADHD, diabetes, epilepsy, heart conditions, hemophilia, leukemia, etc.
These conditions adversely affect a child's educational performance.
SC State Department of Education - Exceptional Children
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
WrightsLaw 1998-2013, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright.
Education Week: The latest news about special education, including articles, Commentaries, and special features.
National Association of Special Education Teachers
Do2Learn- a resource for individuals with special needs
SC State Department of Education
The Parent Guide to Special Education Services In South Carolina
SC State Department of Education
Office of Special Education
Special Education Process Guide
Classroom-based research in the field of emotional and behavioral disorders: methodological issues and future research directions.
A wide variety of conditions fall under the umbrella of OHI, so the characteristics will vary depending on the condition.
Some common characteristics can include:
issues involving attention & concentration
behavior issues (impulsiveness)
frequent absences or lateness
Again, the strategies one would use when working with an OHI student would vary depending on the condition.
Strategies could include:
check for understanding
modify assignments and assessments
assistive technology if necessary
implement buddy system
organized classroom free of clutter and distraction
a speech or language impairment as a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child's performance in the classroom.
speech/language skills noticeably lower than those of same-aged peers
trouble forming sounds correctly
omits or substitutes sounds
difficulty with volume, pitch, or quality of voice
inability to express ideas clearly
inability to follow directions
asks questions and/or responds to questions inappropriately
difficulty breaking words into sounds & syllables
difficulty understanding and using complex sentences
hesitant to initiate conversation
slow to respond verbally or follow verbal cues
difficulty with retelling and sequencing
ensure student has a way to express needs and wants
reinforce communication attempts
present one concept at a time
use technology for language enhancement
use tactile and visual cues
speak directly to student
speak clearly and deliberately
model correct speech patterns, avoid correcting speech difficulties
allow more process and answer time
encourage reading and writing daily
According to IDEA ,
"Specific Learning Disability" means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.
Specific learning disabilities do not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic
Many disabilities fall under the umbrella of "specific learning disabilities". Therefore, there are a wide variety of characteristics that can be displayed depending on the disability.
difficulty learning to read by 1st grade
inability to decode single words quickly and accurately and/or recognize words quickly
difficulty with reading comprehension, summarizing, sequencing
difficulty connecting sounds to letters
reverses letters when writing
difficulty planning and organizing thoughts for writing
inability to discriminate between letters, numbers or sounds
difficulty with number concepts
doesn't make recognize/make connections to number relationships
struggles with multi-step problems & word problems
requires a lot of one-to-one support
Strategies will depend on the child and the specific disability.
break tasks into small steps
check for understanding, visual & written directions
model and provide many practice opportunities
teach organization and study skills
allow extra process time
modify assessments (written, oral, dictated, etc.)
use a variety of resources and learning styles
use graphic organizers or other visuals
make connections to self, world, and other subjects
use music, rhymes, and mnemonic devices to help memorize
opportunities for pre-teaching/re-teaching
TEACHING Exceptional Children
Young Exceptional Children
Teacher Education and Special Education: The Journal of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children
Database: Education Research Complete
Books and Movies
A movie featuring an intellectually disabled young man that shows the power one positive influence can make. Based on a true story—the real Radio still cheers his team on at football games.
The Other Sister
A movie featuring two high-functioning intellectually disabled young people who want to live a “normal” life despite smothering parents. The young woman has her own apartment and a romantic relationship develops with the young man. This movie illustrates that people with special needs have the same desire to experience human emotions as someone without.
Special People, Special Ways
Each page in the story illustrates someone with a different disability in a positive light. The book is designed to teach students (parents and teachers too) understanding and tolerance both at home and school.
Keep Your Ear on the Ball
The main character in this story is blind and very capable. He doesn’t need people to do things for him, and his classmates quickly learn that. However, they learn that this is not true in kickball. The students have to figure out a way to help him that still respects his abilities and desire for freedom. All characters learn that sometimes interdependence is just as important and rewarding as dependence.