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Preparing special education students for a bright future

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

By Vira Patil Sept. 28, 2023


In an effort to serve students of all backgrounds, schools around the world have special education departments which support the unique needs of students with a range of learning disabilities so each can reach their academic and non-academic goals.

Caitlynn Sue art

Special educational opportunities are important in order to provide for children who deal with different levels of learning difficulties. According to Kids Health, students are eligible for special education if learning is affected by physical, cognitive, behavioral or emotional conditions like depressive disorders or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Furthermore, severity of learning difficulties lay on a spectrum and are generally categorized into mild, moderate or severe. Cognizant of the differing abilities of these students, the school’s special education system ensures that all who are eligible receive a free public education alongside their peers that fits their needs.


Special education teachers create daily routines, lesson plans and foster independence in a way that prepares students for inside and outside the classroom. There are unique qualifications for teaching special education students that can be earned in universities across the U.S., such as San Diego State University and Vanderbilt University. For example, researchers from the University of Virginia, which offers a range of degrees for prospective special education teachers, structure their educational programs to facilitate students’ understanding of their environment and how their experiences fit into society—allowing them to feel more comfortable in the world. Furthermore, students in the U.S. can apply for the Individualized Education Plan (IEP), which provides individualized help to public school students with special needs.


“There are two different programs here at the school, the IEP where students get specialized plans depending on the extent of their disability and the 504 plan which is for students who need some accommodations in class, such as medical assistance for children who are diabetic. Learning disabilities and the appropriate plan of action lie on a spectrum depending on the students’ specific needs.” Principal Harveen Bal said.

Special education classes at the school mainly focus on language and cognitive development. Stacy Fernandez, Special Education Department, emphasizes the importance of the IEP for her students. Some examples of topics covered in the IEP include fundamental math, building independence and maintaining eye contact. For example, if a student has autism, teachers may work with them to understand nonverbal social cues. Furthermore, Fernandez describes how the IEP allows the students to form deeper connections with their teachers on an academic and personal level, allowing for greater patience between the two while making students more trusting of their teachers.


 

About the contributor


Vira Patil

staff writer


Vira Patil is a junior at Leland high school, and this is her first year as a staff writer on The Charger Account. During her free time, she enjoys to binge TV shows.




Caitlynn Sue

artist


Caitlynn Sue is a sophmore at Leland High school and an artist for The Charger Account. During her free time, she enjoys drawing, playing violin, and dancing.

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