At a time when budget cuts are commonplace, staff shortage, larger class size, and understanding the laws governing special education in the US, is imperative to build an inclusive learning environment for all students, from those with learning and physical disabilities, to the exceptionally gifted ones, as well as all children in between.
The National Center for Education Statistics’ numbers reveal that about 70 percent of students go to elementary and middle school. The number of children with special education needs is also on the rise.
With the focus on inclusive classrooms, both parents and teachers have to understand the legal requirements, as well as the costs involved towards special education in public schools.
What is special education?
Special education involves academic programs to help individuals who are mentally, emotionally, or physically impaired. The program may include children with severe disabilities, and those with moderate or mild language difficulties, emotional or cognitive disabilities, or other impairment that hinder learning. In some schools, educators use top educational apps for kindergartners to impart education to kids.
What is least-restrictive learning environment?
Least-restrictive environment means schools receiving public funding, must give students an opportunity to attend regular classrooms as much as possible. Schools must allow special students to participate in standard learning environment along with the neuro-typical students.
In some cases, special children with severe impairment may have to spend time in a special classroom designed to accommodate their particular disability, with the help of some top educational apps for kindergartners. But most of their time, as much as 80 percent, is usually spent in a regular classroom environment alongside the neuro-typical students.
Special education inclusion
Giving all students the opportunity to attend regular classrooms, instructions and learning, is what is known as inclusion. The term “inclusive classrooms” is rather new. It complies with the Rehabilitation Act (1973) and also the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (1975). The latter act was amended in 2012, to measure the success of special education programs.
Identification of special education students
Studies have revealed that after the age of seven, it’s usually difficult to bring up special children to a grade-level performance. Kids with mild to extreme mental and physical disabilities have wide-ranging special needs. It requires educators to focus on setting up a consistent classroom environment along with paced instructions, behavior management, and individualized lesson plans. Top educational apps for kindergartners can be much helpful in this regard. Research has suggested that the sooner special needs children are exposed to these apps, the faster they can adapt to regular classrooms.
Special needs children who receive no early intervention, often drop out of school at a much higher rate, which can be twice that of neuro-typical students. It ultimately costs the society far more than properly educating them.
The role doctors play
The family physician can play a major role to help identify kids with cognitive and physical disabilities. But it’s majorly the responsibility of teachers and parents to determine whether the child is suffering from learning disabilities and needs special education.