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Lecture 2

Psychology 2043B Week 2 Notes.docx

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Psychology 2043A/B
Esther Goldberg

Psychology 2043B – Exceptional Children: Developmental Disorders Week 2: Introduction to Children Who Are Exceptional Weekly Objectives 1. Develop an understanding of the terminology associated with exceptionalities 2. Review some of the relevant legislation (international, national, provincial) 3. Discuss the difference between a label and a diagnosis 4. Discuss the use of labels with respect to individuals 5. Provide an overview of the terminology related to counting cases of exceptionalities 6. Learn about the concept of the Least Restrictive Environment 7. Develop an understanding of the differences between accommodations and modifications in programming for a child with special needs Children with Exceptionalities  Children with exceptionalities have difficulty reaching their full potential. Their intellectual, emotional, physical, or social performance falls below or rises above that of other children  In an educational context, children are considered exceptional only when their educational program must be altered to meet their unique needs  Terminology: o Impairments – abnormalities of body structure and system function (e.g. a visual impairment) o Disability – consequences of impairments in regards to functional performance (e.g. the person has difficulty seeing) o Handicap – disadvantages of impairments; an inability to meet environmental demands or achieve goals o Developmental Disability – indicates the presence of a condition that significantly affects the process of development o Developmental Delay – implies that a child is behind peers, but may catch up  Often used inappropriately: historically, the word “delay” was used instead of “disability”, as it was softer. However, the problem with this is that it implies – often falsely – that the condition or the effects of the condition can be overcome with either time or treatment What is PL 94-142? What is I.D.E.A.?  Public Law 94-142 is the Education of All Handicapped Children Act. It is now called Individuals with Disabilities Education Act because it makes a nice acronym (IDEA)  In 1975, U.S. Congress passed Public Law 94-142. In order to receive federal funds, states must develop and implement policies that assure a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities  Four Purposes of PL 94-142: o “to assure that all children with disabilities have available to them…a free appropriate public education which emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs” o “to assure that the rights of children with disabilities and their parents…are protected” o “to assist States and localities to provide for the education of all children with disabilities” o “to assess and assure the effectiveness of efforts to educate all children with disabilities” What’s the law in Canada? In Ontario?  IDEA is the standard across the United States. Canada’s policies are not as cohesive  Currently, all the provinces and the three territories have some form of legislated responsibility for the education of children who are exceptional, but the breadth of services varies. Legislative activity has tended to focus on children with disabling conditions  In 2008, the province introduced a new law for developmental services called the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act o This law replaced the previous act: The Developmental Services Act  The new law helps to encourage people with developmental disabilities to participate in their communities and supports them in using their skills and abilities at home, at work and in other places. It also sets out rules for agencies and people that receive government funding  According to the Government of Ontario, 1% of Ontarians have a developmental disability (personal comment: this figure is inaccurately low…)  Before a person can apply for adult developmental services, Development Services Ontario REQUIRES individuals to have a psychological assessment What does it mean to have a Developmental Disability in Ontario?  Under the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008: o A person has a developmental disability if the person has the prescribed significant limitations in cognitive functioning and adaptive functioning and those limitations,  Originated before the person reached 18 years of age;  Are likely to be life-long in nature; and  Affect areas of major life activity, such as personal care, language skills, learning abilities, the capacity to live independently as an adult or any other prescribed activity o “Adaptive functioning” means a person’s capacity to gain personal independence, based on the person’s ability to learn and apply conceptual, social and practical skills in his or her everyday life; o “Cognitive functioning” means a person’s intellectual capacity, including the capacity to reason, organize, plan, make judgements and identify consequences o Individuals with Developmental Disabilities may be born with them or acquire them sometime before they turn 18 (i.e. through an illness or accident) What about at school?  “…in Ontario, children who have behavioural or communication disorders, or intellectual, physical or multiple disabilities, or who are gifted, may require special education services or special education programs in order to enable them to attend school and to benefit fully from their school experience. Such students may be formally identified as exceptional pupils. The ministry sets out definitions of exceptionalities that must be used by school boards after determining that a student is an ‘exceptional pupil’.” -Ontario Ministry of Education: Introduction to Special Education  Children with Developmental Disabilities are those who have: o A severe learning disorder characterized by:  An inability to profit from a special education program for students with mild intellectual disabilities because of slow intellectual development  An ability to profit from a special education program that is designed to accommodate slow intellectual development  A limited potential for academic learning, independent social adjustment, and economic self-support  In the province of Ontario, five categories of exceptionalities have been identified in the Education Act definition of exceptional pupil: o Behaviour o Communication – includes children with problems such as Autism, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Language Impairment, Speech Impairment and Learning Disability o Intellectual – includes children who are recognized as Gifted, Mildly Intellectually Disabled and Developmentally Disabled o Physical – including Physical Disabilities and Blind/Low Vision o Multiple – Multiple Exceptionalities involve a combination of learning or other disorders, impairments, or physical disabilities What’s the Difference? “Exceptional Child” vs. “A Child with a Diagnosis”  “Exceptional” o A descriptor; implies different from the norm o Encompassing and socially acceptable o May or may not reflect a conferred diagnosis  Diagnosis o A limited act, done only by certain registered/licensed health professionals (e.g. physician, psychologist, nurse practitioner, etc.) – rest
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