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Empowering Students With Disabilities (Self-Paced Tutorial)

What Are Special Needs?

Danny has a seeing-eye dog. Carmela needs extra help with math. Yoshi has autism. And they're all in your class this year! This first lesson will look at the growing numbers of children with special needs and talk about how you can welcome them to your classroom and set the stage for successful learning.

The Special Education Process and the IEP

How do children get placed in special education? As you will discover, it's not a snap decision. This lesson will trace a student's path through every stage of the placement process and look at the role a teacher plays from start to finish.

Meet Your Support Team

It takes a whole team to help a child with special needs succeed. This lesson will address the roles of the support team, with a focus on collaboration between special education teachers and support staff. You will explore the roles of paraprofessionals, guidance counselors, nurses, social workers, and the specialists who support you.

Learning Disabilities

This lesson addresses reading, writing, and math disabilities—the most common learning disabilities (LDs) you will see in the classroom. First, you will get a chance to see how it feels to have an LD. Then, you will learn about how memory problems affect students with LDs in the classroom.

Speech and Language Disorders

Imagine how frustrating it would be if you couldn't speak clearly, understand other people, or express your thoughts and feelings well. This is what life is like for children with speech or language disorders, the subject of this lesson.

ADHD and the Other Health Impaired Category

This lesson addresses conditions categorized as "Other Health Impaired" (OHI), with a special focus on ADHD. First, you will learn what daily life is like for children with ADHD. Then, you will explore ways to address the attention and organizational problems that these children struggle with.

Intellectual Disabilities

Students can shine in many ways, and this lesson will examine how students with intellectual disabilities can be stars in your classroom. You will learn what life is like for students with intellectual disabilities and discover ways to help these students focus on both academic and adaptive skills.

Behavior Disorders

Children with behavior disorders often present the biggest challenge to teachers. This lesson will examine the roots of behavioral problems. You will also learn three essential tools for handling behavior problems: behavior contracts, functional behavioral assessments, and behavior intervention plans.

Autism

Children with autism will give your teaching skills a workout with their unique combination of strengths and impairments. This lesson explores three areas in which these children need help: communication skills, social skills, and the ability to handle transitions.

Other Disabilities

This lesson will introduce you to children with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, hearing or vision impairments, developmental delays, and a host of other challenges. Then, you will take a closer look at the assistive technology—both high-tech and low-tech—that can help kids with these disabilities triumph academically.

Best Teaching Practices

This lesson addresses "best practices" for teaching children with special needs. And here's good news: Many of these ideas will work for your entire class! First, you will explore how to balance students' IEP requirements with your curriculum standards and investigate a great technique for helping students grasp difficult material: directed instruction.

Dealing with Transitions

While transitions can be scary for anybody, they're especially intimidating for students with disabilities. In this lesson you will look at ways to smooth three big transitions that students make: the moves from elementary to middle school, from middle school to high school, and from high school to real life.

 
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