Sarina never had the opportunity to go preschool an didn’t begin her formal education in the public schools until the age of 6. She is now 15 years old and goes to Eastmont Junior High. Sarina does not verbally speak, walk, hear, or see.
Professionals have used several labels to describe her, including severely disabled, severely multiple handicapped, deaf-blind and profoundly mentally retarded. Sarina has a support team of administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, and peers who work together to meet the instructional, physical, and medical needs. She also needs some level of support in everything she does, ranging from eating and taking care of personal hygiene to communicating with others.
Sarina has a personal communicating board with picture symbols that keeps her in constant contact with teachers, friends, and family.
Through the use of electronic wheelchair. She is also learning to feed herself independently. Sarina lives at home with her family, including three brothers.
What she loves to do most is go shopping with her mom, at the local mall, eat with friends at a fast-food restaurant, relax on the lawn in the neighborhood park, and play miniatures golf.
Severe and Multiple Disabilities
* This refers to the presence of two or more different types of disability, at times at a profound level. The combination of disabilities makes it necessary to make specific adaptations and have more specialized educational programs. * The nature of their disabilities extends equally into the fields of education, medicine , psychology and social services. Because these individuals present such diverse characteristics and require the attention of several professionals.
Historical Descriptions of Severe Disabilities
* Terminology associated with severe disabilities has communicated a sense of hopelessness and despair. * the condition was described as “extremely debilitating,” “inflexibly incapacitating,” or “uncompromisingly crippling.” * unable “to attend to even the most pronounced social stimuli, including failure to respond to invitations from peers or adults, or loss of contact with reality” Abt Associated (1974) * the definition went on to use terms such as self-mutilation , ritualistic behaviors, and self-stimulation. * In 1976, Whereas Justen, proposed that “the severely handicapped” refers who are functioning at a general development level of half and less than the levels which would be expected on the basis of chronological age and who manifest learning and/or behavior problems of such magnitude and significance that they require extensive structures in learning situations” * In 1977 Sailor and Haring proposed that: A child should be assigned to a program for the severely/multiply handicapped according to whether the primary service needs of the child are basic or academic. * In 1991, Snell elaborated the importance of defining severe disabilities, suggesting that the emphasis be on supporting the individual in inclusive classroom settings. * The Association for Severe Handicaps, agreeing in principles with Snell, proposed a definition that focused on inclusion in all natural settings: family, community, and school. TASH (Formerly the Association for Severe Handicap)
* is an association of people with disabilities, their family members, other advocates and professionals who promote full inclusion in family, school, and community life. * A primary belief of this organization is that every individual has the right to direct her or his own life. TASH defines the individual:
* People with disabilities excluded from the mainstream of all ages, races, creeds, national origins, genders, and sexual orientation who require ongoing support in one or more major life activities in order to participate in an integrated community and enjoy a quality of life similar to that available to...