Monday, October 17, 2011


Find Fulfillment With A Career In Special Education

Unfortunately, children who have disabilities do exist, and they need teachers who have compassion, patience, and the knowledge to help them strive to reach their potential, no matter what it is! This is the field of special education, which has grown in its importance and demand, and makes a very fulfilling career choice.

You are such a person but you also have others depending upon you to put food on the table. No worries, this is not an impossible dream! You can enroll into an online degree program and do the work from home.

First of all, you will more than likely need a Master's degree to find employment, which is required by most states and is regulated by the National Teacher's Association. Upon your completion, there will be an exam for licensing, so don't forget to research the various institutions offering degrees to make sure of their accreditation. However, if you do not have an undergraduate degree in education, you can still enroll into the special education Master's degree.


Balancing General and Special Education Services

Historically, special education services delivery was on a pull-out model. This means that the child was removed from the general education classroom for separate instruction. It may be the child was in a self-contained classroom (all day placement) or in a resource classroom (maximum of half-day placement).

As a result of lawsuits, most districts have shifted from pull-out to inclusion models for everything except speech and language, occupational and/or physical therapy, and specialized assistance for the hearing or visually impaired students. These remain pull-out because the instruction is individualized and intense for short lengths of time, usually 1-3 times per week for 15-30 minutes a session.

In the inclusion model, students receive the same instruction as their general education peers. Sometimes the special education teacher or assistant is in the classroom with the child to assist instruction and/or task completion. Most of the time, the student remains in the general education classroom and is expected to behavior and work as all other students.


Three Types of Therapy to Motivate Students

Three Types of Therapy to Motivate Students are: Touch therapy, music therapy and visual therapy. In my experience, these tools have proved beneficial in the achievement of my students.

   1. Touch therapy can be used in the classroom with wisdom. Many teachers employ touch therapy as part of the morning routine. Shaking the hand or giving a high five to each student as they walk through the door proves very beneficial in building that necessary teacher/student relationship required for learning. We must be very careful in this day and age with hugs and light touches in the regular classroom. However, with the developmentally delayed students touches are a necessary part of their learning. Lightly touching a student's hand or arm or leg can give them the stimulation they need to respond to an instruction to move. Sometimes smoothing on lotion can calm a child to get them to perform the task required. When working in preschool and especially with developmentally delayed students touch is very important. Pulling a child close or holding a hand can calm the child and get them to do the necessary task required.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Special Education Language - 10 Acronyms You Should Know

The Special Education system in Ontario has a language of its own. If you are the parent of a child who has been recently identified as exceptional by the school board, you can get lost in the language during your first school meetings. There are many acronyms that are used by school administrators and school staff and most often they don't think about the fact that parents may not understand their "language". So it's up to the parents to become knowledgeable about the language of special education. In this article, I am going to explain the meanings of ten of the most important acronyms in special education.

IEP - Individual Education Plan.

The IEP is a document that lists the strengths and needs, and the programs, services, accommodations and supports that are required by a particular student. It lists the annual goals in each alternative or modified subject area, as well as the learning expectations for each term, which are determined by the student's strengths and needs. A student does not have to be formally identified as an exceptional student to receive an IEP. But if the student is formally identified by an IPRC, it is a requirement of the Regulation 181/98 of the Education Act that they receive an IEP.

IPRC - Identification, Placement and Review Committee.

The IPRC is composed of at least three persons, one of whom must be a principal or supervisory officer of the school board. At annual meetings, where the parents are invited to attend, the committee decides whether or not the student should be identified as exceptional and if so, which category of exceptionality. They also decide on an appropriate placement for the student. The parents can either agree to the decisions, or appeal the decisions.