Special Education Resources

Teachers face many challenges today in the classroom. One particular challenge is that of accommodating a special needs child. There are various special needs that a teacher may find in the class ranging from learning disabilities to behavior disabilities to visual and hearing difficulties. The internet has a wide array of sites available to teachers to help them discover more diverse ways to accommodate these special children into their classes.

General Special Education Sites

The Council for Exceptional Children: is a well-known group involved in the teaching and care of special education in the classroom. The site includes news and issues, blogs, a career center, and a special members-only section.

Itsy Bitsy Webs: gives us a breakdown of special education laws, the do's and don'ts, and the rights of the individual. This is a useful site for teachers, but even more for parents of special needs children.

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services: is a government site that provides grants to further the education of special needs children. Primarily the organization gives those grants to elementary and high schools to promote special education in their schools, but there are grants for individuals going to college as well.

Inclusion: is a site dedicated to informing teachers about inclusion education, or making the special needs child a part of the classroom community and to insure that they receive the same education as any other child. It goes through the legal requirements of a school district and teacher strategies to make inclusion easier.

The National Association of Parents with Children in Special Education (NAPCSE): is as site geared toward the parents of a child that participates in special education in a public school. There are transition resources, news alerts about special education, and a parents forum where parents can chat with one another regarding similar situations they are experiencing with their children.

LDOnline: There are sample letters available on this site for those parents who need to communicate with the teachers of their children about special needs issues. There is advice on the best way to begin if you believe that your child is not getting the care that he needs, and there are steps to take if you need to pursue a direction beyond the teacher.

Wrights Law: This is the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Law and how it affects the special needs child. It tells you how the NCLB Wrights Law is organized and the impact on the child and his teacher.

Attention Deficit Disorder

Do 2 Learn: contains special activities for teachers geared toward special needs children such as those with attention deficit disorder.

Balance Check: is a teacher resource to identify students with possible attention deficit disorder (ADD) and how to proceed once he or she is identified. It also goes over different strategies to accommodate the ADD child, as it is the teacher's responsibility to see that all the children in the classroom have a comfortable learning experience.

The ADHD Information Library: identifies the six different types of ADD and who is typically affected by each type. It also provides information to cases when ADD is present with other disorders such as depression or hyper-vigilance.

The ADHD Information Library: These are elementary room classroom interventions for the teacher to keep the attention of the ADD child. These tactics include desk placement, peer help, and advice on particular curriculum presentation to the child.

The U.S. Department of Education Resource Book: is for teachers to teach students with ADD. It explains ADD, helps identify students with the disorder, gives tips on how to approach it with the parents, on how to administer medication, and on how to teach the student in the classroom. There are also parent tips on the page as well.

Behavior Exceptionalities

Exceptionalities: explains various behavior exceptionalities, including, but not limited to, autism, orthopedic ally impaired, profoundly mentally handicapped, or severely emotionally disturbed. It notes that specific exceptionalities require different alterations in a classroom for adequate education for the child.

ABA & Music Therapy, Kids and Adults with Exceptionalities: is the homepage for the foundation, Working the Puzzle, LLC. This organization works through applied behavior analysis and music therapy to change behavior in children with exceptionalities.

Centre for Autism and Related Exceptionalities: introduces functional behavior assessment that involves first interacting with the child to identify the preceding factors of a behavior incident. Then an assessment is made of the events immediately following the incident. From this proper intervention into the pattern can be made to stop negative behavior patterns.

Definition of Exceptionalities: site provides a thorough list of exceptionalities as well as the criteria for defining those exceptionalities. It is very specific in its definitions, citing IQ levels, characteristics, and behaviors, as well as other mitigating factors.

Communication Learning Disabled

National Institute for Child Health and Development: explains the differences between learning disabilities and mental retardation. It notes language-related disabilities and goes on to give suggestions on early intervention with children with disabilities to give them the individualized and specific support that they require to learn.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: explains language based learning disabilities. Individuals with such a disabilities may have difficulty with reading or speaking, and also with communicating his or her thoughts. This site gives signs and symptoms, diagnoses, treatments, and possible support organizations.

Children with Communication Disorders: This site explains communication disorders, how many children are affected by such disorders, and some characteristics of these children. There are links to several articles on communication in young children.

Gifted/Talented Education

Pennsylvania Department of Education: is a parent's guide to gifted education. It discusses guidelines for gifted education, forms and formats, the governor's school of excellence, as well as provides information for an online degree for gifted education.

The British of Columbia Ministry of Education Site:seeks to help teachers identify gifted students in their classroom and then to challenge them in the classroom. It teaches strategies to make learning more interesting for gifted students.

Gifted and Creative Services Australia: explains the gifted child and how he or she thinks. In that way, it shows how that child can be more easily understood and thereby taught.

APA Online Center for Gifted Education: seeks to showcase the accomplishments of gifted and talented children and adolescents. It provides articles on students who have reached levels of achievement, and it relays information on programs and opportunities for gifted and talented students.

Hearing Impairment

The American Sign Language (ASL) Browser: is an excellent tool for a teacher who has a hearing-impaired child in his or her class. This site is an American Sign Language Browser. It will sign, by video, hundreds of words and phrases commonly used.

Strategies for Teaching Students with Hearing Impairments: begins by defining the levels of hearing impairments and common courtesy when dealing with hearing-impaired individuals. It goes on to give strategies on teaching hearing-impaired students; how to write on the chalkboard, how to talk, where to seat the student, and other visual aids to help the student better interpret what the teacher is trying to say.

Ball State University: identifies that another obstacles that a hearing-impaired student faces is the difficult to communicate as well. They attribute the level of communication skills to many factors in the individual's life. Further there are tips and strategies to communicate more effectively in the classroom with a hearing-impaired student.

Visual Impairment

American Foundation of the Blind: provides helpful information on including visually impaired students in a public classroom. These accommodations may include specialized equipment or even additional personnel.

Accommodations for a Student Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired: provides simple, straightforward solutions to include a visually impaired person in the public classroom.

Ohio State University: This site gives direction for its professors to accommodate persons with disabilities in their classrooms. This will involve the professor's involvement and perhaps another student as well, especially if the class involves a lab.

An Educator's Guide to Visual Disabilities: explains the varying levels of visual impairment and how each may need to be accommodated. Also, many examples of equipment are given and explained that can be used to more easily include a visually impaired person in the classroom.

Published: 2010-01-20