Special Education News

Special education is a type of education that specializes in meeting the needs of physically or mentally handicapped children. Specialized education is provided in a classroom or private institution.

Image of an special education classroom
image by: vastateparksstaff cc by
Special techniques, materials, and subject matter are used and an individualized learning plan is designed for each student.

Although special education is a relatively new concept, students with disabilities have been present in every era and society. One of the earliest recordings of educating a child with behavioural difficulties is in the early 1800’s when physician Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard, tamed the “wild boy” of Aveyron, France. Another noted occurrence of special education is when Anne Sullivan Macy worked tirelessly to develop reading and communication skills in the child, Helen Keller, who was deaf, could not speak and blind. In the early 19th century children with severe disabilities such as mental retardation, autism, schizophrenia, and behavioral disorders were recorded. Milder forms, such as dyslexia, became more apparent with the advent of public education.

As early 19th century values began to change so did the treatment of those with special needs. There is documentation to support that up until this time, mentally and physically handicapped people were confined to jails where good food, clothing and hygiene was non-existent. However, as time passed, people who suffered from mental illnesses were now treated in mental hospitals and reform schools were available for children with aggression and behavioral problems. It is around this same time that schools were established for the deaf, dumb and blind and other institutions were created to treat those with severe mental retardation. Although certainly not ideal, the care and education of children with special needs had improved somewhat.

The contemporary history of special education as we know it today began after World War II.
It is at this time that advocacy groups formed such as The United Cerebral Palsy Association, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Civil Rights Movement. These groups began to advocate universal education of all children--even those with special needs. In the 1960’s, under President Kennedy, more schools granted access to children with handicaps. With advocacy and more children who had disabilities attending schools, the Education of all Handicapped Children Act was established. Also know as Public Law 94-142, it states that the federal government will support states in “protecting the rights of, meeting the individual needs of, and improving the results for infants, toddlers, children, and youths, with disabilities and their families. PL 94-142 requires schools to provide “free, appropriate public education to students with a wide range of physical and mental disabilities, and emotional and behavioral disorders.” Schools have to provide the most “least restrictive environment” possible. This is achieved through inclusion, mainstreaming, segregation, and exclusion.

The education of special needs individuals has evolved from a time where handicapped children were hidden away and even jailed to a time where individualized learning plans and specialized instruction is provided to meet their needs when they cannot be met in the regular classroom.

How to create an environment that fosters learning

von Erin Devine

How you behave at home or work may differ significantly from how you behave on the subway or in the grocery store or while you are driving. Singing out loud may be an acceptable ac...

to the story: How to create an environment that fosters learning

How to avoid a power struggle

von Erin Devine

What is a power struggle?Cambridge online dictionary defines a power struggle with a more graphic definition: “An unpleasant or violent competition for power.”  In any cas...

to the story: How to avoid a power struggle

Separating Fact from Myth about Dyslexia

von SEN Team

Children with dyslexia can suffer from lifelong academic struggles. They can also experience low self esteem, they might think that they are a failure and this can lead them to reb...

to the story: Separating Fact from Myth about Dyslexia

Using Humour as a Tool for Effective Learning of Children with Disabilities

von SEN Team

In the past, using lessons to make students laugh would not have been considered as something official or necessary, but today researchers and educators are being open with the ide...

to the story: Using Humour as a Tool for Effective Learning of Children with Disabilities

The Use of iPods by Students with Learning Disabilities

von SEN Team

Computers like laptops and desktops are a common sight in classrooms nowadays and children are being taught using various computer programs. However, special education schools are...

to the story: The Use of iPods by Students with Learning Disabilities

Facts About Epilepsy Teachers Should Know

von SEN Team

There is a high chance of this occurring and because of that, special education teachers need to know the basic facts of what epilepsy is and how to deal with seizure first aid ins...

to the story: Facts About Epilepsy Teachers Should Know
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saturday, november 28. 2020 - (week 48)