Children with special needs are tested and then put into the appropriate group as to the disability that they have. There are several different types of special needs such as autism, behavior disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Alcohol related brain injuries, and brain injuries in general. With a degree in special education you would be able to cover the training for each of these disabilities and be able to handle the children that have these disabilities in your classroom. No matter what, when you are faced with a situation where you have a child in your classroom with one of these disabilities, you need to remember that they are still human and that they need to be treated with the same respect and patience that all the other children receive. As a teacher, the lessons will need to be tailored to fit what each individual will need and the child will most likely need to be placed in a group with other students that have relating disabilities. When it comes to autism a teacher may need to have training to handle the communication barrier that these students have because they have difficulties with verbal skills. Teachers who deal with children with cerebral palsy may need special train to help theses children with their fine motor skills and just basic living skills. These are just a few of the training that teachers will have to undergo to be well prepared for any of these disabilities.
At East Carolina they offer several different ways that you can get training for these disabilities. You can actually decide to go into the special education program which is 39 credit hours in which you will learn and master the ability to work with disabilities in general or a specific disability of your choice. Through the Partnership East program, students will be offered the same courses online that these students are offered at East Carolina. The students taking it through this program will actually just get a degree in Special Education if they decide to go this route. I actually plan on attending Wayne Community through the Partnership East Program to get my 4 year degree in Elementary Education, but I plan on attending East Carolina University to receive my masters in Special Education. I hope this will give me the training to work with any child that I may come in contact with in my classroom.
The schools offer different approaches to students with special needs. They have special education teachers who the students can go to during certain times of the day to get extra assistance in a subject that they may be behind in or even ahead in. This gives them the opportunity to work at their own pass and at their learning level. The school system also came up with the concept of inclusion in which they include the students in a regular school campus, the students are placed in age and grade appropriate classrooms, and they provide special education support within the regular classroom. Both regular education teachers and special education teachers have to be willing to work together to ensure that the students are receiving all the aid that they need to reach their full potential.
As a pre-service teacher I need to remember that I can and will be faced with each of these situations. I need to remember that I will not always succeed to perfection the first time trying to find the child's learning style. I also have to keep in mind that it is ok to do trail and error to make sure that I find the best learning style for the particular child I am working with. Teaching is more complex then just explaining and in most instances with special needs children, they will need more than just a lecture or me telling them this is what something means. I will need to learn patience along the way so when I get into my classroom I will know exactly how to handle certain situations.
Teachers are blessed with the ability to teach children about life and the things that will get them through life. This means that they will also be teaching children with special needs because they are a big part of the world today. Students who are in college now to become educators need to look at students will disabilities with open minds and open hearts, so that they will be able to offer them what they deserve. Always remember they are people too.