Special Education – Keeping Hopes Alive

SPED otherwise known as Special Education is the term for schools or any education system that offers education for students with learning problems due to mental health issues, behavior problems, speech and language problems, visual impairments, autism, deafness, trauma and other health impairments. At the beginning we can say that SPED students are not capable of attending normal school, SPED teachers teach them on specialized schools, home, hospitals and other institutions. But soon after years of specialized education offers a transition program for SPED students that will allow them to attend normal school just like anyone does.To become a Special Education teacher, is to become an unsung hero. SPED teachers are always patient and understanding of their students. They must be passionate about their profession and set a good inspiration for their students. Motivate his or her students to learn the basics of life and education.Indeed being a SPED teacher is a good Samaritan act, but not everyone can be a teacher specialized on this type of education since it requires some standardized education in order to become a SPED teacher – Technically you can’t but you still can help through simple ways.You can be a volunteer on schools where you can assist the teachers to lighten up their load on handling special people. You can donate some stuff like notebooks, pens, writing boards and other stuffs. Donation is a good way to provide support on SPED institutions.Education should have no limits. Everyone has the right to be educated including those special people, those people that has god given gift to be special. They have the right to normal lives and no one can take it away from them. For people concerned, we should keep their hopes alive.

The Value of Art in Adolescent Special Education

Art forms such as painting or music are powerful developmental tools, improving brain function and memory skills. Creative expression and appreciation are invaluable parts of any educational program but is especially beneficial as part of adolescent special education.Art As EducationA number of studies have demonstrated that schools with strong art programs have higher academic performance records than schools with less or no emphasis on art classes. There are several theories as to why this is true.Learning was once considered a logical, left-brain activity. However recent thought is that learning also involves the creative right half of our brains. As students participate in artistic endeavors, they strengthen the neural connections in the right brain. They are more open to new ideas, learn faster, and retain memories better. Art also helps thinking and problem solving, helping students to understand and relate to new subjects more easily. Finally, art engages students more than many traditional teaching methods.These facts do not just apply to adolescent special education. Typical students in general education environments benefit from art as well.Art As CommunicationMany students in adolescent special education, particularly those with neurological disorders, have difficulty communicating through traditional means. Some of these kids don’t relate to the world in the same way as traditional students and are unable to grasp the concept of spoken language despite having normal hearing. Some of these students are able to communicate through music. They easily understand song lyrics even as they struggle to understand normal speech.Other students can use art as a non-traditional communication medium. They can better express themselves through visual imagery than they can through the limits of traditional language. After all, art is at its core a form of communication and exposing these students to media outside written and spoken language may reveal new possibilities for interaction with their peers.Art As TherapyIt is common for parents and even other therapists to assume that the activities described above are art therapy. However simply listening to music or painting a picture is no more art therapy than walking down the street is physical therapy. Art therapy is a directed exercise that uses the art as both a motivator and a therapeutic tool.Traditionally art therapy has been used in the psychiatric field to allow patients get in touch with inner feelings they may be unable to express through other means. Today it is growing in popularity as a development tool, helping students in childhood or adolescent special education programs grow in ways that they might not be able to through other therapeutic means.Children who have been considered “unreachable” may suddenly blossom when exposed to painting, music, poetry or other forms of creativity. Art should always be included in an adolescent special education setting.

Special Education Seems to Be Overwhelmed – Discussion

Right now, our schools are overloaded and the classrooms are filling up. Teachers have been laid off and serious budget cuts have been made which will indeed adversely affect this generation of children in their education. That’s not very funny, but it is the reality and anyone that works for school district that still has a job that is, realizes this.Even tougher is special education, and there seems to be a great rift and divide on how money should be spent between special education, and regular classroom education. After all special education often requires one-on-one teacher or teacher’s aide assistance. Another problem is the ever-increasing number of children who have been diagnosed with developmental disabilities. The numbers have grown so strong that it is very much impacting school budgets.There was an interesting article recently in U.S. Health News Online found in the Health Day Section titled “U.S. Study Finds 1 in 6 Kids Now Have a Developmental Disability, Perhaps Due to Better Diagnosis” by Jenifer Goodwin Health Day Reporter – published on May 23, 2011. The article stated that the disorders included such things as: “autism, learning disorders or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to new research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”The article also made mention of the apparent drastic increases “1997-1999, about 12.8 percent of kids were diagnosed with a developmental disability, up to 15 percent in 2006-2008 – or an additional 1.8 million U.S. children. Driven by rising rates of autism and ADHD, experts say.”Okay so, I have some comments to add here today. Are all these kids really having developmental disabilities? And what about when we went to school, there were a number of kids that had behavioral issues, and they perhaps were not properly diagnosed, but due to the Discipline factor they were brought into compliance, and the teaching went on, and most all those kids did graduate, and they did so in regular classrooms.If we are going to be honest with ourselves, and provide an appropriate education for every child, then we need to come to terms with what normality is. What is the definition of a normal child? With so many developmental documented challenges and so many psychologists who are making diagnoses, how can we be sure if any of this is correct. The schools of yesteryear seem to do okay, and one has to ask if there really is a difference, if the problem really is growing.And if the problem really is getting worse then why are we allowing kids to watch so much television, play around on personal tech devices, and spend so much time playing video games. After all if your child has a developmental disability or ADHD and they are playing video games all day, it’s likely to get much worse. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it. If you have any comments, questions, or case studies please send me an e-mail.