Special education programs are designed for those students who are mentally, physically, socially and/or emotionally delayed. This aspect of delay places them behind their peers. Due to these special requirements, the needs of these students cannot be met within the traditional classroom environment. Special education programs and services adapt content, teaching methodology and delivery instruction to meet the appropriate needs of each child.
We prepare the students for the environment in which they will live and work. Reasonable learning goals are set for each student depending upon their needs. These students do not take standard exams, they are given alternative assessments. In our school we have students with the following conditions.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Autism Spectrum Disorder refers to a developmental disability that significantly affects communication (both verbal and nonverbal) and social interaction.
Intellectual Disability Intellectual disability is defined as a significantly below average functioning of overall intelligence causing adverse effects on the child’s educational performance.
Specific Learning Disability Specific learning disability refers to a range of disorders which cause an impairment in one’s ability to listen, think, read, write, spell and/or complete mathematical calculations.
The basic skills required for Special Needs students are reading, writing, math, and good behaviour.
Reading – Covers the English and regional alphabets, as well as their phonetic sounds. Colorful activities and games are used to reinforce these lessons. This is a truly multisensory approach where students learn through sight, sound, and touch. Workbooks which includes follow-the-dots, coloring pages, and tracing exercises that teach letter recognition are used for the students.
Writing – Similar to reading, tracing exercises are used to get the students familiarized with the alphabets. Multisensory instruction is a way of teaching that engages more than one sense at a time. For kids with learning disabilities, the use of sight, hearing, movement and touch can be helpful for learning. For example, writing an alphabet on a tray of sand helps the students to learn the alphabets.
Math – Mathematics for special education needs to focus on the foundational skills necessary first for functioning in the community. Understanding the way in which we quantify, measure, and divide up the material "stuff" of our world is fundamental to human success in the world. It used to be enough to master "Arithmetic," the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. With the help of flash cards, students will be able to understand and recognize ordinal numbers. Additions and other functions are taught using the abacus method.
Good Behaviour – This is the area where inclusion comes to play. Often students with Special Education Need (SEN) are clueless on how to interact with children their own age or with other individuals. They are separated from the mainstream students owing to their differences. Inclusion benefits both the SENs as well as their peers.
Spending the school day alongside classmates who do not have disabilities provides many opportunities for social interaction that would not be available in segregated settings.
Children with SEN have appropriate models of behaviour. They can observe and imitate the socially acceptable behaviour of the students without SEN.
Teachers often develop higher standards of performance for students with SEN.
Both general and special educators in inclusive settings expect appropriate conduct from all students.
Students with SEN are taught age-appropriate, functional components of academic content, which may never be part of the curriculum in segregated settings (for example, the sciences, social studies, etc.)
Attending inclusive schools increases the probability that students with SEN will continue to participate in a variety of integrated settings throughout their lives.
Students without SEN have a variety of opportunities for interacting with peers of their own age who experience SEN, in inclusive school settings.
They may serve as peer tutors during instructional activities. They may play the role of a special “buddy” for the children with SEN during lunch, in the bus, or on the playground.
Children without SEN can learn a good deal about tolerance, individual difference, and human exceptionality by interacting with those with SEN.
Children without SEN can learn that students with SEN have many positive characteristics and abilities.
Children without SEN have the chance to learn about many of the human service professions, such as, special education, speech therapy, physical therapy, recreational therapy, and vocational rehabilitation. For some, exposure to these areas may lead their making a career in any of these areas later on.
Inclusion offers the opportunity for students without SEN to learn to communicate, and deal effectively with a wide range of individuals. This also prepares them to fully participate in a pluralistic society when they are adults.
Inclusive education ensures that a school responds to the educational needs of children in the neighbourhood. It brings a school closer to the community.