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Introduction to Children with Special Needs


Title: Atypical Development Author: MJCSTAFF Last modified by: Deborah Laffranchini Created Date: 12/27/2004 3:20:41 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to Children with Special Needs

Introduction to Children with Special Needs
  • Philosophy of Early Education

Best Practices
  • The professional treats special education field
    with an attitude of science
  • Respect data-based information
  • Evaluate the effects of new procedures
  • Evaluate the effects of materials
  • Evaluate the effects of interventions
  • What is the impact on childrren and families

Best Practices
  • Early childhood professional values inclusion in
    the natural setting
  • Age appropriate activities
  • Peers of diverse backgrounds and abilities

Best Practices
  • Effective professional is culturally sensitive
  • Prepared to work with various populations and
  • Respectful and supportive

Best Practices
  • Professional in early childhood education
    recognizes that very young children are a part of
    their larger family support systems and the
    environments that surround them
  • Direct services (Physical therapy, occupational
    therapy, speech therapy) provided in context of
    family needs in ways that do not disempower

Best Practices
  • 5. Early childhood professional works
    collaboratively with experts from other
    disciplines to provide comprehensive services

Best Practices
  • Early childhood special educators must have the
    highest ethical standards
  • Serve as advocates for parents and children
  • Both politically and professionally
  • Through service to their communities

Attitude of Science
  • Parsimonious
  • Empirical

Attitude of Science
  • Parsimony look for the simple explanation
    before investigating more complicated
  • Example small infant wakes crying in the night,
    first see if they are hungry or wet instead of
    thinking they are experiencing separation anxiety
    or have an intestinal infection

Attitude of Science (cont)
  • Many methods of intervention evolved from
    complicated, unobserved, and untestable theories
  • Example patterning or neural training
  • Experts claimed if parents did rigorous exercises
    a specified number of times a day at specific
    intervals their children would be normal
  • Later found to be ineffective (not to say
    anything of the stress on families, especially
    when their children did not improve and it was
    their fault because they missed the exercises
    one day a year ago!)

Attitude of Science (cont)
  • Deal with facts rather than what someone says
    about the facts
  • Be willing to accept facts even when they are
    opposed to wishes or personal beliefs (Skinner,

Attitude of Science (cont)
  • Rely on empirical evidence
  • Something you can observe
  • Something you can experiment with
  • Based on the outcome of empirical evidence,
    decide to continue or discontinue a procedure

Attitude of Science (cont)
  • Empirical evidence attempts to discover order
  • Empirical evidence attempts to show the
    relatedness of events

Attitude of Science (cont)
  • Teachers and researchers attempt to replicate
  • Get the same result as others before

Attitude of Science (cont)
  • Theory or principle has predictive ability that
    is helpful in deciding what to do
  • If something is predictive, and replicatable, we
    have confidence in the theory
  • Then that theory becomes part of a conceptual
  • Historically somebodys collection of tricks
    are difficult to expand systematically,
    especially if the tricks are extensive, difficult
    to learn, and difficult to teach

Attitude of Science (cont)
  • Applied Behavior Analysis is a data-based
    conceptual system that is of great value to
  • They are parsimonious

Attitude of Science (cont)
  • For a behaviorist, all learning principles are
    defined on the basis of what is actually
    happening, not what we think is happening
  • Observation is critical

Attitude of Science (cont)
  • Scientific teacher builds on natural talent for
    working with children and families
  • Draw from a knowledge-base of concepts that work
  • Parsimonious
  • Empirical
  • Replicable

Attitude of Science (cont)
  • Science must never replace values
  • Values should not replace empiricism
  • Professionals must balance both
  • Professionals must embrace a philosophy of
    advocacy that determines, explains, and is

  • Least restrictive environment
  • 1975 legislation, Individuals with Disabilities
    Act (IDEA)
  • Prior to 1975, 1 million children were excluded
    from public schools
  • Children who did go to school received inadequate
    services in isolated settings

Inclusion (cont)
  • Goal of instruction is to move students closer to
    being successful in the regular classroom
  • Mildest disabilities have greatest success in
    inclusive settings
  • Learning disabilities
  • Health impairments
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Hearing impairment

Inclusion (cont)
  • Students with more difficult disabilities have
    had less progress toward moving to the regular
  • Mental retardation
  • Deaf-blindness
  • Only a small percentage are educated in the
    regular classroom

Inclusion (cont)
  • Multiply disabled have made least progress toward
    moving into less restrictive environments

Inclusion (cont)
  • New language Natural Setting, it is hoped
    that now educators and decision makers cannot
    misinterpret the intent of the law from 1975

Inclusion (cont)
  • Special education is a service
  • Special education is NOT a place

Inclusion (cont)
  • Controversy over inclusion
  • Preschools are easiest to include
  • Full inclusion general classroom teacher is
    primary interventionist
  • Frequent and regular consultation with
    educational specialists, administrators, parents
    to make decisions
  • Controversy teachers dont feel adequately
    trained and often have an attitude of resistance

Justification for Inclusion
  • Been justified with arguments in all of the
    following areas
  • Social reasons
  • Philosophical reasons
  • Ethical reasons
  • Legal reasons
  • Empirical arguments

Justification for Inclusion (cont)
  • Children who are educated together learn
    important lifelong lessons and skills, whether
    they have a disability or not
  • Children have to have opportunities to develop
    skills to get along and need appropriate social

Justification for Inclusion (cont)
  • 2. When people are segregated, labeled, or
    treated in any way that sets them further apart
    for their differences, their worth is devalued
  • The person begins to see themselves as less
  • Their behavior matches their devalued status

Justification for Inclusion (cont)
  • Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth
    Amendment to the Constitution provided the legal
    basis for the Civil Rights Act of 1965
  • 1973 Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation
    Act No person can be discriminated against
    solely on the basis of their disability

Justification for Inclusion (cont)
  • Identify strategies to improve the students
    success within natural settings
  • Children must not prove that they are ready for
    regular classrooms, we do not ask that of
    nondisabled children
  • Research indicates that children with and without
    disabilities perform at least as well in
    integrated settings

Justification for Inclusion (cont)
  • Personnel issues, segregated settings are the
    greatest challenge
  • Wide range of ages
  • Wide range of disabilities
  • Significant behavioral problems because all
    children are disabled, learning new behaviors
    from each other, most of which are not helpful
  • Limited language skills
  • High teacher resignations or burnout

Opposition to Inclusion
  • Lack of input or initiative from regular
  • Lack of empirical evidence
  • Currently only small or suggestive research due
    to programs not willing to try
  • Teacher resistance, therapist resistance
  • Educational reform
  • Protective feelings, want to protect the disabled
    from hurt feelings, ridicule
  • Impracticality

Opposition to Inclusion (cont)
  • 27 studies surveying 10,000 teachers found
  • Most generally favor inclusion
  • Fewer than 1/3 felt inclusion was best placement
  • 30 felt including children with disabilities
    would be too disruptive
  • Fewer than 25 felt they had sufficient time to
  • Not properly prepared
  • Would not be given sufficient training

Opposition to Inclusion (cont)
  • Some educators feel full inclusionists are too
    uncompromising and presumptive
  • Some educators feel full inclusionists are too
  • Some individuals with disabilities resent the
    idea that special education is immoral
  • Deaf community

Summary of Inclusion
  • Research demonstrates that regular and special
    education teachers who have sufficient training
    for inclusion felt more confident and had a
    positive attitude for inclusion, learned
    effective strategies

Summary of Inclusion (cont)
  • Effective strategies
  • Team teaching with regular and special education
  • All services delivered in the regular classroom
    with all children
  • Cooperative learning
  • Peer tutoring
  • Parallel curricula
  • Use of technology
  • Accompanied by paraprofessionals