Special Education

Topics: Disability, Individualized Education Program, Special education Pages: 8 (2631 words) Published: July 22, 2013

Special Education as My Chosen Career

EDU 623 Introductions to Teaching and Learning

Ashford University
Deborah Naughton

April 14, 2013


“Education is important for all children, but even more so for children with disabilities, whose social and economic opportunities may be limited (Aron & Loprest, 2012.) Depending on the quality of education doors will open and the quality of life will all be determined by one’s education. Over the last decades children with disabilities have received many benefits under the education system. There is early identification of disabilities and greater inclusion. When educators intervene early, problems can be identified, and if a child is identified with a learning disability corrective measures can be taken. Although special education laws have come a long way, there are current and future challenges that have to be overcome. This area interests me because there are huge gaps educationally between disabled children and their non-disabled peers, and it is important that special education children achieve to their full potential. Historical Development and Current Legislation

Within the last four decades legal changes have resulted in many major policies in the way of educating children with disabilities. Before the 1970s the children with disabilities had few educational rights. Many children with a disability were denied a public education. However, two federal laws that were enacted in 1975 would bring about changes. These laws were, “The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). The EHA establishes a right to public education for all children regardless of disability, while the IDEA requires schools provide individualized or special education for children with qualifying disabilities (Correspondent, 2012). In 1990, Public Law 101-476 was enacted which renamed EHA to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This law expanded the eligibility categories to include autism and traumatic brain injuries as well as defining assistive technology devices and services. In 1997, Public Law 105-17 often called IDEA 97 was enacted. This brought the transition plan of the Individual Education Plan (IEP) into effect. An IEP had to set out goals and indicators to fit the needs of a disabled child. “The IDEA also requires that education occur in the least restrictive environment and requires schools to take a child’s disability into account when enforcing discipline” (Correspondent, 2012). In 2001 and 2004, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) came into being. This act held schools accountable for the quality of special education provided. This act also added technology assistance and loan programs to help schools acquire needed special education resources. According to Aron & Loprest, (2012), “by the 2004–05 school - year, more than 6.7 million children (13.8 percent of all students nationally) were receiving special education services through the law.” The number of children served reached the highest in the middle of the decade. Since then the number of special education students has been gradually declining, and as of the 2009–10, school year, stood at 6.5 million, or 13.1 percent, of all students educated in the USA. Current Best Practices in Special Education

Best practices in special education are linked to the child’s IEP. The No Child Left behind Act sets out guidelines for having each child achieve comparatively to other children without disabilities. Teachers need to follow through. Goals are set for each child and the curriculum is modified to meet each child’s individual needs. The teaching process is designed to be fluid, so lessons are adjusted, supplement materials are utilized and best practices that are supported by research are utilized. Students are taught in whole class, small group or on an individual basis as the need arises....
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