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Posts Tagged ‘Special Education’

Special Education Inclusion

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Special education inclusion signifies the participation of special education students in regular education classrooms and provision of support services to these students. The main objective of inclusion education is that all students in a school, regardless of their strengths and their weaknesses in any area, become part of the school community. Every student develops a feeling of belonging with other students, teachers, and support staff. In segregated special education, children will not learn how to function in a non-disabled world. For instance, children who are disabled in terms of communication and are emotionally distressed would not communicate and might remain in a more emotionally disturbed state in segregated settings. The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) holds it mandatory for schools to educate children with disabilities in general education classrooms.

The prime advantage of special education inclusion is that both disabled and non-disabled students are brought together in an environment of togetherness. Children learn to accept individual differences in inclusion education and this would lead to the development of new friendly relationships. Inclusion education also enables active participation of parents in their child’s education. The law also states that students with disabilities have a legal right to attend regular classes and receive an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Although the advantages are many, inclusion education creates an uncertainty regarding the roles and responsibilities of regular classroom teachers and special education teachers. However, researches show that inclusion education can be made effective by a healthy collaboration of special education teachers and regular teachers. With the assistance of services that would be available from the health department, physical education department, occupational therapists, speech therapists, etc.,

The Benefit of Art in Adolescent Special Education

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Art forms such as painting or music are powerful developmental tools, improving brain function and memory skills. Creative expression and appreciation are invaluable parts of any educational program but is especially beneficial as part of adolescent special education.

Art As Education

A number of studies have demonstrated that schools with strong art programs have higher academic performance records than schools with less or no emphasis on art classes. There are several theories as to why this is true.

Learning was once considered a logical, left-brain activity. However recent thought is that learning also involves the creative right half of our brains. As students participate in artistic endeavors, they strengthen the neural connections in the right brain. They are more open to new ideas, learn faster, and retain memories better. Art also helps thinking and problem solving, helping students to understand and relate to new subjects more easily. Finally, art engages students more than many traditional teaching methods.

Art As Communication

Many students in adolescent special education, particularly those with neurological disorders, have difficulty communicating through traditional means. Some of these kids don’t relate to the world in the same way as traditional students and are unable to grasp the concept of spoken language despite having normal hearing. Some of these students are able to communicate through music. They easily understand song lyrics even as they struggle to understand normal speech.

Other students can use art as a non-traditional communication medium. They can better express themselves through visual imagery than they can through the limits of traditional language. After all, art is at its core a form of communication and exposing these students to media outside written and spoken language may reveal new possibilities for interaction with their peers.

Art As Therapy

It is common for parents and even other therapists to assume that the activities described above are art therapy. However simply listening to music or painting a picture is no more art therapy than walking down the street is physical therapy. Art therapy is a directed exercise that uses the art as both a motivator and a therapeutic tool.

Traditionally art therapy has been used in the psychiatric field to allow patients get in touch with inner feelings they may be unable to express through other means. Today it is growing in popularity as a development tool, helping students in childhood or adolescent special education programs grow in ways that they might not be able to through other therapeutic means.