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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 2110
Agnieszka Woznia

Exceptional Learners: an Introduction to Special Education Textbook Chapter Notes Chapter 1: Exceptionality and Special Education  Facts » Federal legislation specifies that every school must provide a free, appropriate education for every student, regardless of any disabling condition » In most cases, causes of exceptionalities are not known – more is known about treatment » All people are unique- including those with exceptionalities ; although their struggles are unique to the majority of the population, they should be viewed as unique within themselves » Exceptionality vs. Handicap › Exceptionality: an inability to do something, the lack of a specific capacity › Handicap: a disadvantage that is imposed on an individual • An exceptionality may be a handicap, depending on the circumstances • Ex. A personal with an exceptionality (autism), may have a physical handicap that makes it difficult to hold a pencil:: they would learn to type instead of writing by hand  Getting Oriented to Exceptionality and Special Education » Reasons for Optimism › Hard to determine the exact reason why a child is exceptional – lots of research being done › Knowledge of the causes of blindness (retinopathy), down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, hydrocephalus (large head) have helped greatly reduce the number of exceptionalities » Importance of Abilities › Many abilities among children with exceptionalities go unrecognized- must change › Most important of people with exceptionalities are their abilities NOT exceptionalities » Disability versus Inability › Disability: an inability to do something that most people, with the typical maturation, opportunity, or instruction can do › Disability is a subset of inability • Ex. Most 6month old cannot walk, therefore a 6month old does not have a disability if he/she cannot walk—they are just not at the right point in their physical development • If child is 3 and cannot walk- they most likely have a disability, which is causing their inability to walk  Educational Definition of Exceptional Learners » Moving away from children with “disabilities” and toward children with exceptionalities, because not all children with exceptionalities have a disability—they just do things in a unique way » Exceptional Learners: » 2 concepts for exceptional learners: Diversity of characteristics and the need for special education › Focus on the ability of the child with an exceptionality and build a program that better suits their unique abilities—each child is unique › Each student is diverse with their own set of needs and their primary source of exceptionality- where it be physical, cognitive, emotional, or communication abilities » Early identification and intervention are key to successes among children with exceptionalities › Most children aren’t identified until elementary/middle school where they have persistent problems learning and with appropriate classroom behaviour  Prevalence of Exceptional Learners » The number of people among a population whom are exceptional learners- percentage is dependent on how broad/narrow the definition is » High-Incidence and Low-Incidence Categories › High-incidence: exceptionalities that occur with a relatively high frequency • Learning disabilities, communication, emotional, and mild-intellectual › Low-incidence: blindness, deafness, and severe intellectual disabilities • Increase in autism and traumatic brain injury which are low-incidence » Increases can be due to improved identification  Definition of Special Education » Specially designed instruction that meets the unusual needs of an exceptional student » Different material, techniques, or equipment/facilities  Providing Special Education » Special Education of students depends on › How and how much the student differs from average students › What resources are available in the school and community » Special education is precisely controlled in pace, rate, intensity, structure, reinforcements, teach- pupil ratio, curriculum, and monitoring/assessment › Consultation with a special educator or other professional › Itinerant services to the exceptional student or classroom teacher. Itinerant teacher moves fro
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