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Accommodating students with special needs

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Although the term “inclusive classrooms” is relatively new, it complies with the original intention of laws passed by Congress, beginning with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1975.

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___ Allow time to let your special needs students repeat instructions and directions.___ Modify and/or shorten assignments to ensure success.___ Have methods in place so students can have text written to them and so they can dictate their answers.___ Provide opportunities for cooperative learning.However, not all students identified as having learning disabilities live in big cities. Census Bureau reports West Virginia leads the nation with the largest number of K-12 students enrolled in special education programs.Students with special education needs are as likely to live in rural areas as they are to reside in urban settings. According to 2010 Census Bureau statistics, other states with disproportionate numbers of students classified as having physical, cognitive or learning disabilities are: The best way to identify a child with special education needs is for parents, teachers, physicians and other professionals to collaborate.The sooner students with special needs are given these considerations, the quicker they can assimilate into regular classrooms and begin learning at their grade level.Students with special needs who do not receive early intervention drop out of high school at disproportionately higher rates than nondisabled students.Parents who suspect their child may have a learning disability should: Studies have found that after about age 7 it is difficult to bring children with disabilities that affect learning up to grade-level performance.

Students with mild to severe physical and mental disabilities have varying degrees of special needs that require teachers to focus on building consistent classroom environments with paced instruction, individualized lesson planning, and behavior management.

The praise should be a real reward, not something that happens over every small accomplishment but rather in response to a string of related accomplishments.___ Use behavior contracts to target specific behaviors.

___ Make sure students are familiar with and understand your curing and prompting system that helps them stay on task.___ Never begin instructions or directions until you have the undivided attention of your entire class.___ Allow additional 'wait' time for your special needs students.___ Provide special needs students with regular, ongoing feedback and always promote their self-esteem.

Modifications mean change while making accommodations means adapting to those things you can't change – existing circumstances.

Interventions involve skill-building strategies that are designed to move special students to more advanced academic levels. Here's a checklist of strategies to help you develop a classroom that should meet the needs of all your students.___ Special needs students should be within close proximity to the teacher or the teacher's assistant.___ Implement procedures that are well understood by all your students to keep noise levels at an acceptable level.

___ Needy students should have agendas which you give them regularly and that you refer to yourself.___ Communication between home and school should be in place for all students, but particularly for those students with special needs.