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Annual Editions: Educating Children with Exceptionalities 12/13
Unit 1: Inclusive Education
1. Why Can't We Say `Handicapped'?, Texas Child Care, Fall 2008
First person language helps students in inclusive settings feel more abled rather than disabled. "A child with an orthopedic impairment" is preferred over "a wheelchair child." This article gives other suggestions for empowering children who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, speech impaired, and intellectually disabled.
2. Common Core Standards: What Special Educators Need to Know, CEC Today, September 2010
This article presents standards for collaboration between inclusive education and special education. The mandates of IDEA for IEPs, assessment, accommodations, use of technology (e.g., Braille), language (e.g., sign language), and transition services are discussed.
3. The Issues of IDEA, Joetta Sack-Min, American School Board Journal, March 2007
This article is an excellent overview of how IDEA has impacted special education. It gives the history of legal requirements, family involvement, IEPs, and accountability. It explains the current dilemmas: more use of accommodations and technology, increased enrollments and decreased funding.
4. Use Authentic Assessment Techniques to Fulfill the Promise of No Child Left Behind, Carol A. Layton and Robin H. Lock, Intervention in School and Clinic, January 2007
This article gives 20 ways to make assessments and accommodations for students with disabilities more appropriate and precise. IEP teams struggle to fulfill the legal mandates of NCLB and IDEA for specific results to guide instructional practices. These suggestions meet the needs for authenticity and accountability.
5. Does This Child Have a Friend?, Mary M. Harrison, Teaching Tolerance, Fall 2007
Mary Harrison, a freelance writer, describes the advent of social inclusion programs in middle schools across the United States. With parents advocating for IDEA's principles, instructional methods which emphasize social skills (e.g., Gym Friends; Yes I Can) are experiencing unexpected successes, even for students with autistic spectrum disorders.
6. Collaborating with Parents to Implement Behavioral Interventions for Children with Challenging Behaviors, Ju Hee Park, Sheila R. Alber-Morgan, and Courtney Fleming, Teaching Exceptional Children, January/February 2011
This article describes "Nathan," a boy with a behavior disorder in an inclusive class, who gets special education in a resource room. A behavioral practitioner collaborates with his parents to have family involvement in changing "Nathan's" destructiveness. Behavioral concepts (e.g., antecedents, behavior, consequences), modeling, and positive reinforcement are taught and learned. These instructional methods steadily decrease destructiveness.
Unit 2: Learning Disabilities (LDs)
7. Learning-Disabled Enrollment Dips after Long Climb, Christina A. Samuels, Education Week, September 8, 2010
This article suggests that IDEA's mandate for early intervention may be reducing the numbers of students with LD assessments. The instructional method "response to intervention" has helped many elementary school children learn to read. Another reason for declining numbers may be the identification of more students as OHI or ASD for accountability purposes.
8. Dyslexia and the Brain: What Does Current Research Tell Us?, Roxanne F. Hudson, Leslie High, and Stephanie Al Otaiba, The Reading Teacher, March 2007
Imaging brain studies have revealed differences in hemisphere size, grey and white matter, and metabolism in persons with dyslexia. There is no cure. However, early intervention and family involvement can prevent fear of failure and low self-esteem. Instructional methods that work are described, as well as ways to assess progress and demonstrate accountability.
9. Build Organizational Skills in Students with Learning Disabilities, Rita F. Finstein, Fei Yao Yang, and Ráchele Jones, Intervention in School and Clinic, January 2007
Students with learning disabilities often earn disappointing grades due to poor organizational skills. This article suggests 20 instructional methods to support their learning in diverse ways. Among the hints: parental, mentor and peer participation, organization as an IEP goal, multiple types of reminders, and instruction in prioritizing and time management.
10. Inclusion by Design: Engineering Inclusive Practices in Secondary Schools, Charles Dukes and Pamela Lamar-Dukes, Teaching Exceptional Children, January/February 2009
Inclusive education in high school presents unique challenges. The authors use engineering as a metaphor for resolving them: identify needs, identify process, develop specifics, evaluate. Assessment of SPED needs, collaboration in the IEP design, conflict resolution, accommodations, and accountability are topics addressed by the authors.
Unit 3: Mental Retardation/Intellectual Disabilities (IDs)
11. Intellectual Disabilities, National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities, Disability Fact Sheet, No. 8, August 2009
Intellectual disabilities are defined and illustrated with a vignette. The causes, assessment, prevalence and signs of IDs are outlined. This selection gives tips to parents and teachers for helping children with IDs. Early intervention, special education, IEP goals such as communication and social skills, and transition plans are featured.
12. Music Therapy: Teachers Strike an Emotional Chord with Disabled Students, Lisa Black, Chicago Tribune, December 21, 2009
The author discusses the benefits of music therapy with students with both intellectual disabilities and ADHD. Brain development is stimulated by music. This instructional method can also strengthen breathing in students with health impairments (wind instruments).
13. What Can You Learn from Bombaloo?, Debby M. Zambo, Teaching Exceptional Children, January/February 2007
An important goal of early intervention for young children with disabilities is social skills training. Bibliotherapy helps. Pictures in books encourage communication, sharing, and cooperation. This article illustrates how inclusive preschools assist children to gain emotional regulation, regardless of disability (e.g., ADHD, EBD, MR), through reading appropriate books.
Unit 4: Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (EBDs)
14. Young Women in Jail Describe Their Educational Lives, Signe Nelson and Lynn Olcott, AmericanJails, January/February 2009
This article gives voice to a group of young at-risk women with emotional-behavior disorders who have been incarcerated. Most dropped out of high school or were expelled. When asked about education, most reported that they were "hands-on" learners. They wanted kinesthetic instructional methods (do) over reading or listening. This has important SPED implications.
15. Improving the Way We Think about Students with Emotional and/or Behavioral Disorders, Kelley S. Regan, Teaching Exceptional Children, May/June 2009
The author recommends four "R" considerations that can improve the instructional methods for students with EBDs. They are reflexion, relationships, roles, and resources. The IEPs should include positive behavioral interventions, ways to earn students' trust, and the kinds of resources which will help each student achieve success.
16. Teaching Children with Challenging Behavior, Caltha Crowe, Educational Leadership, February 2010
Caltha Crowe recommends getting to know elementary school students with EBDs as the most important first step in designing instructional methods. It is valuable to understand their developmental stage, their learning style, their social skills, what triggers their challenging behaviors, and what's likeable about each one. Families can provide much of this information.
17. Understanding and Accommodating Students with Depression in the Classroom, R. Marc Crundwell and Kim Killu, Teaching Exceptional Children, September/October 2007
The authors describe multiple symptoms of depression which teachers should note. This emotional behavioral disorder may lead to suicide attempts if untreated. Assessment and appropriate IEP planning with family involvement and professional collaboration (social work, psychologist) is essential. Two case studies illustrate strategies that help (peer tutors, lessons in social skills).
18. Rethinking How Schools Address Student Misbehavior and Disengagement, Howard S. Adelman and Linda Taylor, Addressing Barriers to Learning, Spring 2008
The authors, co-directors of the UCLA School Mental Health Project, based in the Center for Mental Health in Schools, believe that many discipline problems could be eliminated by whole school initiatives that create and sustain an environment that addresses positive social and emotional development as well as academics.
Unit 5: Speech and Language Impairments (S/L)
19. New Approaches to the Study of Childhood Language Disorders, Susan Nittrouer and Bruce Pennington, Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19(5), pgs. 308–313, 2010
The authors compare perception of phonetic structures in speech to catching a fish with bare hands for children with language deficits. This article describes speech perception, and explains why it contributes to both communication disorders and learning disorders. Research on how global and detailed structures in speech are integrated might lead to better instructional methods for language disorders.
20. Broadening Our View of Linguistic Diversity, Debra O'Neal and Marjorie Ringler, Phi Delta Kappan, April 2010
The target language for all American students is academic English. All people have some linguistic diversity, whether a cultural dialect or a different mother tongue. Differences are not language disorders, although they are often assessed as such. Learning academic English is required to be successful in school. We all need to code-switch from our social milieu dialect to academic English, or be bi-dialectual.
21. Assessment and Intervention for Bilingual Children with Phonological Disorders, Brian A. Goldstein and Leah Fabiano, The ASHA Leader, February 13, 2007
Over five million students with limited English proficiency attend U.S. elementary schools. Many have communication disorders, especially in articulation/phonology. Assessment is complicated. The authors suggest five essential elements. Developing an IEP and providing appropriate inclusive education requires speech language pathologist collaboration and family/cultural considerations.
22. "I Can" and "I Did"—Self-Advocacy for Young Students with Developmental Disabilities, Jane O'Regan Kleinert, et al., Teaching Exceptional Children, November/December 2010
Children with speech-language disabilities have better post-school outcomes when they utilize augmentative communication systems and are taught self-advocacy skills. Self-advocacy should be part of early intervention as well as elementary-, middle-, and high-school instruction. The success of the Kentucky Youth Advocacy Project is illustrated with case studies.
Unit 6: Hearing and Visual Impairments
23. The Debate over Deaf Education, Burton Bollag, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 12, 2006
This commentary about the education of children with hearing impairments reveals that the average 18-year-old with deafness reads below the 4th grade level. Debates about learning oral-English, versus American Sign Language (ASL), are raging as cochlear implants make oral-English practicable. Cognition is stunted without some language. Educators and IEPs should consider each individual's needs.
24. Braille Literacy Lags, Even as Technology Makes It More Urgent, Amy Brittain, The Christian Science Monitor, July 19, 2007
Technology for the education of children with blindness (e.g., audio and computer aids) has reduced the number of Braille readers to about 12%. This has serious consequences for future employment. Literacy can and should be taught to all students with blindness.
Unit 7: Orthopedic Impairments and Other Health Impairments (OIs and OHIs)
25. Writing Explicit, Unambiguous Accommodations: A Team Effort, MaryAnn Byrnes, Intervention in School and Clinic, September 2008
Accommodations level the playing field by removing barriers for students with disabilities, (e.g., orthopedic and health impairments). IDEA mandates accommodations for assessments (e.g., extended time) and classroom instruction (e.g., scribing, preferential seating). They are legal entities. The author gives guidelines for entering them into IEPs in explicit, unambiguous ways.
26. Engaging Families in the Fight against the Overweight Epidemic among Children, Mick Coleman, Charlotte Wallinga, and Diane Bales, Childhood Education, Spring 2010
About 15% of preschoolers and almost 20% of public school children in the United States are overweight. Health impairments associated with obesity include diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and sleep disorders. Causes include skipping breakfast, reliance on fast foods (high in fats and sugars) or vending machines (full of empty calorie choices), shortened recess, lack of exercise, and hours spent playing electronic games or watching TV.
27. ADHD and the SUD in Adolescents, Timothy E. Wilens, Paradigm, Fall 2006
In this article, the author explains the overlap between teens with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Substance Use Disorder (SUD).
28. Demography: Youth Depression and Suicide: Medical Advisory Warnings May Have Some Nasty Side Effects, Rick Docksai, The Futurist, January/February 2009
Doctors must weigh risks vs. benefits when prescribing antidepressant drugs for youth. All brands are now mandated by the Food and Drug Administration to carry a warning that use may damage self-esteem and increase suicidality in young patients.
Unit 8: Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)
29. Autism, the Law, and You, Edwin C. Darden, American School Board Journal, September 2007
This article explains the legal implications of parents pushing for early intervention, collaboration, accommodations, and specific instructional methods for their child with autism in public school. IDEA mandates an individualized education program (IEP) that is free and appropriate and meets all SPED needs, including communication. These are high-priced.
30. The ASD Nest Program: A Model for Inclusive Public Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Kristie P. Koenig et al., Teaching Exceptional Children, September/October 2009
New York City's Nest Program enrolls four students with ASDs in each small inclusive classroom (Nest). Collaboration is ongoing with speech-language and behavioral therapists, family, social workers, and SPED teachers. Many accommodations allow students with ASD to adapt to a calm classroom environment. This is good news for the dramatically rising numbers of children with ASDs.
31. The World Needs People with Asperger's Syndrome: American Normal, Temple Grandin, The Dana Foundation, October 1, 2002
Dr. Temple Grandin, author of "My Life With Autism," reviews brain research showing neurological differences in people with autism. She believes these differences allow them to focus on how things work, not on social interactions. People with Asperger's Syndrome, with "sky high" IQs, could equally well be diagnosed as gifted. Genetics provide the mind, culture determines how it is used.
Unit 9: Multiple Disabilities (MDs)
32. Getting Everyone Involved: Identifying Transition Opportunities for Youth with Severe Disabilities, Beth L. Swedeen, Erik W. Carter, and Nancy Molfenter, Teaching Exceptional Children, November/December 2010
Students with severe and multiple disabilities are often excluded from extracurricular activities in middle and high school. Including them requires extra accommodations but the rewards justify the action: a sense of belonging, functional life skills, and self-esteem. Peer tutors and family can help. Schools can help by using a mapping tool described in this article.
Unit 10: Gifted and Talented (G/T)
33. Is Genius Genetic or Is It Nurtured?, Joe Smydo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 9, 2010
The author reviews the lives of some creative geniuses, and states that some amazing abilities are genetically based. However, a rigorous practice regimen in an area of ability can change brain development. A third factor contributing to gifted and talented people is strong curiosity plus a strong work ethic which has been described as a "rage to learn."
34. From Perfection to Personal Bests: 7 Ways to Nurture Your Gifted Child, Signe Whitson, Psychology Today Passive Aggressive Diaries Blog, February 23, 2011
Many gifted and talented children are perfectionists. They have a "fixed mindset," all-or-nothing thinking. They avoid trying new activities for fear they will not instantly excel. The author gives 7 suggestions for helping children develop a "growth mindset." They need to learn that practice makes perfect. Families and teachers can focus on incremental progress and persistence rather than goal achievement.
35. Creating a Personal Technology Improvement Plan for Teachers of the Gifted, Kevin Besnoy, Gifted Child Today, Fall 2007
Technology is beneficial for educating students with special gifts and talents. This article presents a 5-step process of assessing, implementing, and evaluating computer hardware and software for gifted education. This plan increases accountability for instructional methods used.
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