Special Education Needs and Disability

Kids with special education needs and disability or disability can have a range of problems that make it harder for them to learn than most other kids their age. Their disabilities might affect their mental, sensory or physical abilities. Kids might need different teaching approaches or extra help with speaking and moving around. They may need a specially-adapted classroom or resource room and special equipment. The goal of education for children with special needs is the same as for other kids — to help them live and work in their communities, reach their full potential and enjoy fulfilling lives.

Schools must provide special help to eligible kids with disabilities. This is called “special education” or “special needs”. There are lots of things to know about this process, including how kids get referred for an evaluation. The law requires a thorough, individual evaluation to determine whether a child has a disability and qualifies for special education.

Exploring the Intersection of Special Education Needs and Disabilities

The evaluation is done by a team of professionals, usually teachers, psychologists, and medical specialists. They use tests to find out if a kid has a disability and how severe it is. The team then decides if the kid can benefit from special education and related services.

Some kids with disabilities are segregated in classrooms or schools for all of their instructional time, away from non-disabled peers. The goals of educating disabled children are the same as for ordinary students, but the techniques are often quite different. For example, kids with learning and communication disorders need longer learning periods and more repetition of material in different forms. And kids with severe sensory impairments (e.g. deafness and blindness) must often learn through other sense modalities, such as touch or sound.

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