Some children are disabled, or they have learning difficulties. Special education is about teaching these children. Some of them can be educated with other children of the same age who are not disabled. Others must go to special schools. If the disability is too bad they can not get an education. Students who have emotional problems and act poorly are sometimes expelled from school. Inclusive education is afirmed by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to reduce such exclusion.
Special needs include speech or hearing difficulties, emotional and behavioral disorders, physical disabilities, and developmental disorders. Students with these special needs often get more educational services. This may mean different approaches to teaching, access to a resource room and use of technology.
Some students are very smart. These students are called gifted. They also have certain needs so they can succeed. These students do better with special teaching styles or different educational programs. The word 'special education' is used for students whose special needs stop them from learning the way normal people learn. Gifted education is handled separately.
Description of services[change]
Schools provide special education services to special students.
- Regular classroom This is when students with special educational needs is in the regular classes for the whole day. This may sometimes be used for individuals with mental retardation who are integrated in regular classes. A teacher's aide may be helpful in helping these special students function. Mostly this is for students who are able to function with the typical education in regular classroom but may need a few adjustments in their education.
- Regular classroom with assistance These students are in a regular classroom but simply require a bit more help from a teacher trained to deal with their special needs.
- Collaboration The classroom teacher and a teacher trained to deal with special needs work together to provide adequate services for students with special needs.
- Resource room These students require instruction to be modified or specialized. They are in regular classes for most of the day but spend time in a resource room.
- Separate classroom or Self-contained classroom These students need to be in a designated classroom designed to meet their special needs.
- Separate school or Special school These students are in another school for students with special needs.
- Residential school or Boarding school These students may live in a school to receive special services.
- Home or hospital Students may need services at home or hospital when the school is not an appropriate setting.
Most schools around the world use inclusion, which means children with special needs, need to earn their right to be in the regular classroom. Sometimes schools may use full inclusion for certain students such as those with mental retardation. In that case, this is where social tolerance is afforded rather than if these students actually do earn their right to be in regular classroom. Sometimes mainstreaming is used, this is when children with special needs are in regular classroom settings as much as possible and put in special classes for the rest of the day. Social integration is used for students with special needs who are in a resource room or other special class for the rest of the time.
Historically, most students with special needs have been excluded from school, and such exclusion may still occur where there is no legal mandate for special education services, such as in developing countries.
- New Zealand's Ministry of Education. "Types of Special needs". http://www.minedu.govt.nz/educationSectors/SpecialEducation/AboutSpecialEducation/WhatIsSpecialEducation/WhatIsSpecialEducation.aspx. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
- Bowe, Frank (2004). Making Inclusion Work. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-017603-6. OCLC 54374653.
- Karen Zittleman; Sadker, David Miller (2006). Teachers, Schools and Society: A Brief Introduction to Education with Bind-in Online Learning Center Card with free Student Reader CD-ROM. McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages. pp. 48, 49, 108, G–12. ISBN 0-07-323007-3.
- Warnock Report (1978). "Report of the Committee of Enquiry into the Education of Handicapped Children and Young People", London.
- Wolffe, Jerry. (20 December 2010) What the law requires for disabled students The Oakland Press.
- The European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education
- National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) (US)
- Council for Exceptional Children (US)
- Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services U.S. Department of Education
- When It's Your Own Child: A Report on Special Education from the Families Who Use It Public Agenda, 2002 (US)
- Inclusive Education in Scotland (UK)
- LD Online