Special Educational Needs Comparative Models

Topics: Disability, Special education, Education Pages: 9 (3273 words) Published: April 1, 2013
Special Educational needs Formative assessment
What have been the main models of disability recognised since the Second World War? Discuss how these different attitudes to disability might affect the intervention and support offered to young children with SEN.

Disabled and special educational needs(SEN) children have been seen to go through a vast amount of change through the eyes of the government legislations and policies, society and schooling since the second world war. There have been a number of models of disability that have impacted and shaped attitudes about the term disability, which have then had an effect upon the intervention and support offered to young children with SEN. This essay will identify the different models of disability since and second world war and discuss how attitudes to disability might have affected the intervention and support offered. The medial model

The first disability model that have been identified in the literature is the 'medical model', which was the main approach to understanding disability post second world war( Johnston, 1944). . The main components of the medial model focused on the individual child's difficulties as the problem ( Skidmore, 1996) and that they were identified through medical terminology only. Which echoed the mindset that the child needed 'fixing' as they were faulty and that the child's disability was a tragedy, focusing on the pathology of difference (Clough and Corbett, 2000). Society would often refer to the children who had disabilities as 'mis-fits' within society(Barlett and Burton, 2007). As a result of this harsh medical recognition and identification of the children with disabilities they were institutionalised and placed within asylum as they were not seen to be capable of any input within the society. Furthering this, the negative outlook and segregation of a child who had a disability continued into schooling whereby many charities; often ran by the church, would be widely used to hide away the disabled child (Clough and Garner, 2003). It becomes apparent at this point that there is no surprise for the embarrassment and segregation of children who had disabilities within society, as the only identification of the child was based around negative language. Moreover, the industrial age was not creating an opportunity for a disabled child to fit in; as there was no societal exploration of adaption that was implemented in the main work force mind- set that see disabled children as beneficial to economy In 1944 the Butler Education Act was introduced within the schooling system which stated that all local educational authorities must give special educational provision (Barlett and Burton, 2007). However, what may seem like a positive outlook for children with disabilities and an attempt to change the attitudes that have been previously embedded in society it reinforced a more negative language surrounding children's abilities and identified them within 11 categories of handicap; it is all based upon medical diagnosis. This could be seen to give society specific reason to label children who have a disability further and give even more reason to exclude them with the 'us and 'them' impact. However, the 1960-1980's became the era of change for children who have disabilities whereby the child defect model became challenged and the 1970 Education Act symbolised a new attitude that all children are educable (Bartlett and Burton, 2007). The focus was about integration and moved away from the harsh identification of the medical model and the focus became on the education to fit all and deploying an enabling environment; creating the new model of disability known as the social model. The social model

The social model of disability focuses on society attitudes and the environments that the child is within that create the barriers for inclusion and learning from happening ( Skidmore, 1996). The social model of disability has been know as the...
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