Larissa Case Study-Special Education
When it comes to the delivery of special education services, diversity is an issue that cuts across the spectra of school, culture, and families. When these diversity issues happen at the same time, they make it difficult for the needs of special children to be met. Diversity in families can occur in the form of demographic dimensions such as the differences in ethnicity or race and socioeconomic status. Other examples of diversity in families have to do with parenting behaviors and communication. Different parents tend to have different parenting processes. Diversity in cultures has to do with ethnicity, race, religion, gender, language, disability and even age. In schools, diversity is exhibited through the learners’ language background, economic status, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity. When all these issues combine in the classroom set-up, they get in the way of learning. In this case, struggles to express herself and put down her thoughts on paper. Notably, she also lacked organization, and used fragmented sentences and lower-level vocabulary. Larissa’s struggles have to do with the fact that her family speaks multiple languages at home. They are immigrants from El Salvador and as such, they communicate in both Spanish and English at home.
Undoubtedly, understanding that learners with exceptionalities have different and understanding of their development helps teachers in meeting their needs. Because students are brought up differently and come from diverse backgrounds, teachers need to factor in these aspects of learning. For instance, some learners might be Muslims and others Christians. Teachers should train learners to accommodate and respect other people’s religion and tradition. For instance; they should make it known the taboos in Muslim religion such as drinking alcohol and specific animal products such as pork. This way learners will learn to show dignity to their counterparts who practice a different religion from them. Teachers should make the learners understand that although people subscribe to a different religion from them, honoring God is more important.
Collaboration of members of the IEP team is essential for special needs education Teachers need to work alongside the students, parents and guardians as each party adds to the team’s understanding of the special needs child. Each individual knows the student from a unique perspective. Parents and guardians spend the most time with the learner which places them in a position to know the child’s strengths, weaknesses, triggers, personality, and abilities (Rossetti, Sauer, Bui, & Ou, 2017). This information is critical in determining whether a learner with disability gets selected and enrolled on learning disability programs.
Various data types are employed in the development of a student’s IEP. One example of data sources are observations. They are used to help assess the student’s functional performance within a school setting. Observations help tell whether learners can follow classroom routines, their social interactions and if they can handle a complex education environment. Parent input is also another source of data for the IEP process for learners with disabilities. Before the IEP meeting, parents can provide information such as their needs, which will increase their participation in the meeting. Behavioral data is another source of information where the IEP team considers information like attendance and even more sophisticated data from intervention plans of the learners behavior.
When teachers participate in professional development and commit to lifelong learning activities, they are better placed to meet the individual needs of the students with learning disabilities. Professional courses help teachers learn better ways to teach as they collect new and more effective teaching strategies. The teachers can implement new teaching strategies in the classroom and modify their curricula and lecture styles to suit the needs of learners better.
Rossetti, Z., Sauer, J. S., Bui, O., & Ou, S. (2017). Developing collaborative partnerships with culturally and linguistically diverse families during the IEP process. Teaching exceptional children, 49(5), 328-338.