SPE-226 Educating the Exceptional Learner
May 27, 2012
Michael L. Zinn, Ph.D.
Emotional, Behavioral, and Physical Disabilities
Exceptional children are those who experience difficulties in learning and whose performance requires modification in curriculum and instruction. These children experience difficulty in learning, socialization, vocational, and other life skills. The children will exhibit differences in learning abilities. Some will learn and be able to use what they have learned in different situations. Others will require a more structured and repetitive environment so they can remember and use the different skills throughout their life. This paper will explain and describe effective teaching strategies for exceptional students. And give examples of these strategies, for students with behavioral and emotional disorders, physical, and health impairments and also those who have traumatic brain injury. It will also show ways of helping these students learn to advocate for themselves with confidence and enhance their self esteem. Teaching Strategies
Emotional and Behavior Disorders
Some students struggle with their behavior and emotions and have not learned to control themselves or think before they act. Some may have medical conditions that contribute to the mood swings. Teachers can help the student by allowing the student to explain how the disability affects them and how they think how it should be handled in the classroom. This shows the student, that the teacher respects them, and will open the door to effective communication between the two.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Children with traumatic brain injury will require relearning what they have already learned in life such as coping skills, and social skills. Teachers will need to apply behavior modification Techniques to help the child cope with the things that used to come naturally before their accident. Those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury will need a behavior modification plan that is short term because of the changes going on with the child. It should also be very direct and to the point. The child will have to relearn most things depending on the severity of the brain injury (VanKuren, 2001).
Physical and health impairments
Students with physical disabilities include severe disabilities that can affect their educational performance. Some of the conditions are cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, Spinal bifida, or the absence of a limb. These handicaps could be temporary, or progressive and even terminal (Veen).
The IEP team should cover the basic goals for the child including academic growth, life skills training, self-awareness, and social maturation. They should also look at the therapy that will be of great importance to the child such as speech and language, occupational and physical therapy. The most important issue is for a teacher to meet the needs of these students all with different capabilities as well as limitations. It will be important for the teacher to become familiar with each student and understand their limitations. Modifying the physical environment to make the classroom assessable to all students would be the most important (Black, 2010). Developing Self- Esteem, and self- determination
Helping students with self-esteem and self-determination is paramount in their educational life. They should be apart of all the decision making with their IEP team this will give them the ability to make choices for themselves as they grow older. Teachers and school staff can help their students by teaching them to set goals, help them with problem solving, and decision making. To work with a student on goal setting allow them set small goals first then move to larger ones. They should also be allowed to work on solving problems this could be a behavior, or something else they want to improve in their life. This should start...