According to a census, one in five children in the United States faces some sort of learning or attention issues, such as ADHD. This may hinder a child’s academic progress and more. Nevertheless, every child has the right to different opportunities life has to offer, such as quality education. This is where the role of special education comes in. A child is said to have special educational needs when they have a learning disability that prevents them from learning at the same pace as other children their age. Some common disabilities include ADHD, dyslexia, and dyscalculia.
Consequently, special education includes a range of services that aim at fulfilling the requirements of children with special needs. Moreover, different techniques are utilized for each student according to their unique requirements. This helps them learn, gain knowledge and keep up with their peers. Although the methods used depend on the severity level of a child’s learning disability, certain effective practices can make learning even easier. So, let’s take a look at some of these practices.
- Provide Extra Time
Children with special needs already struggle with learning. Therefore, you cannot rush them. Such children often need extra time to learn and understand concepts properly. Moreover, the teacher may also need to repeat a concept several times. However, this is often mistaken as something else. For example, such students are sometimes assigned another or more than one teacher to cover the gap. Yet, the student needs extra instructional time most of the time. Thus, paying extra attention to struggling students can help eliminate this problem.
- Know That Each Student Has A Different Way Of Learning
One of the most important things to know about special education is that it is not a “one size fits all” approach. Each student is different from the other. Thus, teachers can use various modalities to teach the same lesson to each student. For instance, learning is easier for some students with the help of visual aids. On the other hand, some students find it easier with the help of hearing or direct modeling. Teachers can also make use of technology. They can show students videos, including hearing, modeling, and visual aids.
- Provide A Safe And Supportive Environment
It is important to create a structured classroom and provide guidelines that can help in shaping behavior. For instance, teachers can provide instructions to be followed in the classroom and make sure everyone is treated equally. Teachers can also inform students that good behaviors will be rewarded.
- Apply Appropriate Intervention Techniques
Certain events may trigger a child leading them to display behavioral problems such as throwing tantrums or violence as well. Triggers can include social activities or more. Teachers often experience such behaviors firsthand, which can also disrupt the class environment. Hence, it is important to assess the student’s behavior and identify what triggers them. Identification can help avoid the trigger and ultimately help eliminate a specific problematic behavior.
- Increase Motivation With Positive Reinforcement
Reinforcement is an important element of behavioral therapy. Moreover, it can be effectively applied in classroom settings as well. Reinforcing positive behaviors increases the chances of repetition of that specific behavior. Whereas ignoring unwanted behaviors reduces the chances of them occurring again. Reinforcement can be provided to students in many ways. For instance, teachers can praise students or maintain star charts.
- Read Each Student’s Individualized Education Program
An IEP plays an important part in understanding a child’s needs. It includes information such as the child’s progress, required services, accommodations, and goals. IEPs can help in developing an effective plan that aims to tackle difficulties the child faces. Moreover, it helps teachers understand a student better and work with them accordingly.
- Track Progress
In special education, even a little accomplishment means a lot. Therefore, it is necessary to document and track every student’s progress. Keeping a record helps teachers determine which techniques worked best and eliminate unsuccessful methods. Moreover, it allows them to create new goals and focus on problematic areas.
- Create A Structured Classroom Environment
Children with special needs may often struggle to keep up with daily life. Moreover, children with attention problems such as ADHD may also struggle to complete tasks. So, such children are often encouraged to follow a daily schedule of activities. This gives them a sense of control and makes their environment seem less chaotic. It also encourages time management and provides stability.
Similarly, it is also necessary to adopt this method in the classroom. A structured classroom allows teachers and students to focus on behavior management, social skills, learning, communication, and more. Furthermore, it reduces distractions and allows students to focus on learning. It also gives students an idea of what is expected from them, which often acts as a motivator.
- Offer Adequate Instructions
Children struggling with learning disabilities find it hard to understand and remember important points. So, it is vital to accommodate their needs by providing clear instructions. It is also advised to give instructions in verbal and written form to help students understand and remember them. This method is beneficial for assignments, tasks, and quizzes as well.
- Divide Tasks
Students can often be overwhelmed, especially while learning a new behavior, task or lesson. So, a good way to deal with this problem is to break up tasks into smaller parts. It is advised to teach each part individually and move on to the next once the previous step has been learned. Moreover, teachers can also use rewards to help students learn faster.
Almost 20% of children in the United States have some sort of learning disability. This can prevent children from getting a quality education if ignored. Therefore, such children require special education. This form of education utilizes certain developed methods, especially for children struggling with learning disabilities. Special education enables such children to gain education and keep up with their peers. For instance, teachers can increase motivation with the help of positive reinforcement. It is also necessary to provide a safe and supportive environment. Additionally, it is essential to read IEPs, track progress and create a structured classroom environment.