Teaching students with disabilities is a rewarding challenge, and this course gives you the tools you'll need to succeed. No matter what grade you teach—from preschool through high school—you'll learn powerful strategies you can put to work immediately in your classroom. In addition, you'll gain the knowledge you need to understand and cope with the most common disabilities you'll encounter.
You'll start by putting yourself in the shoes of students with special needs as you explore a wide variety of disabilities ranging from autism to cerebral palsy. Simulations and real-life stories will give you a firsthand look at what it's like to be a learner with special needs, and you'll see how common disabilities affect classroom behavior and learning.
Then comes the best part: solutions! In each lesson, you'll find dozens of tips for fostering the reading, writing, and math skills of students with special needs. In addition, you'll master techniques for helping these learners behave appropriately and make friends in your classroom. You'll also get the inside story on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and transition plans, and you'll learn the most effective ways to collaborate with parents and professionals.
By the end of this course, you'll feel confident in your ability to help any student who comes through your door. You'll also discover that while the challenges can be big when you're teaching students with disabilities, the victories are big as well.
Working with special needs students became a passion for Sara Hardin in seventh grade, when she volunteered at a summer camp for physically disabled children. Their willingness to keep trying new things despite serious obstacles impressed her and inspired her to become a special educator. She has taught special education for nine years, mostly at the elementary level. She completed her master’s degree in special education in 2000.