Special Needs Education – What Is Special Education?

Students with disabilities, i.e. special needs students require special education. Students with learning difficulties, mental and/or physical disabilities often require special attention for the purposes of education. Often this may involve tailoring education to suit individual requirements of the student. As special needs students may each have their own levels of learning, special needs education is designed to suit the pace and learning capacity of the student accordingly.

Special Education Resources

Special needs students receive their special education witht help of a variety of resources. This includes the use of special education resources such as assistive technology, specially adapted equipment, special needs materials, accessible settings and other educational interventions – all designed keeping in mind the needs of the special needs student.

Special education resources create an optimum performance environment for students by adapting the environment to suit their special education needs. Without the appropriate adaptation for special needs education, these students may not have been able to achieve the high levels of proficiency. Normal school and education settings do not offer a comfortable learning environment for students with special needs.

Government Special Education Provisions

Each country has its own laws and regulations regarding special education. While special needs education is an excellent concept on paper, for many special needs students this is not a reality as they are unable to gain access to educational resources, curriculums and other learning materials adapted specially for their needs.

In the United States, The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) works hard to ensure adults, youth and children with disabilities receive a proper education. The Office provides special education assistance to school and local districts both financially as well as in the form of leadership.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) of 2004 was enacted into law on December 3, 2004. Approximately 6.8 million children and youth with disabilities are served by IDEA.

As the nation’s special education law, IDEA authorizes formula grants to states, and discretionary grants to institutions of higher education and other non-profit organizations. These grants support special needs education research, demonstrations, technical assistance and dissemination, technology and personnel development and parent-training and information centers.

Special Education For Children

Parents often have a hard time withdrawing their children from regular school and enrolling them in a special needs education program. Many parents believe their child will eventually “Recover” by being surrounded by other “normal” kids. Unfortunately, special education does have a stigma attached to it.

Special education however is not designed to dumb down a special needs child. On the other hands, special education schools design specially fornulated curriculums and learning materials in order to help a disabled child learn better, according to their pace and abilities. Special education is designed to help bring out the best in a child rather than the worst, and this is something many parents refuse to understand.

Special needs education is a luxury many Americans take for granted. In many countries there is little or no provision for special needs education, leaving disabled children to suffer through the rigours of regular school when they actually need special attention.

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  1. Special Needs Education: Special Education Eligibility « arch-online.org - your guide to disability rights and disability truths.
  2. IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act « arch-online.org - your guide to disability rights and disability truths.

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