For students of all ages with learning, physical, or developmental disabilities, special education programs in schools are absolutely vital. This is to ensure access to a sufficient level of education regardless of whatever disability a student may have, whether it be autism, a hearing impairment, or physical disability. All young learners deserve the right to an adequate education to set them up for success throughout their lives.
Support over Accommodation
Rather than accommodating for a special needs student’s educational demands, successful special education programs provide him or her with the environment they need to flourish and learn. This comes with a more customized, personal approach often referred to as an Individual Education Program, or IEP.
IEPs are outlines of a special student’s needs taking into consideration traditional education models and molding them for a better fit. The two core factors of these documents are instruction and assessment. Without this structure in place, a special needs student might face significantly more challenges in the classroom.
Older models of special education actually promoted the isolation of special needs students, teaching them in separate environments away from their peers. This typically came with fewer or lower quality resources as well. Today, however, socialization amongst all students is widely accepted as an effective method in teaching those with special needs. Seeing as socializing is crucial for growing children, denying one this critical aspect of life is only limiting them from learning more.
Teaching Life Skills
Many special education programs teach the importance of basic life skills such as personal hygiene, safety, and finance, just to name a few. Students in these programs are also taught about modern-day workplace etiquette and how to act professionally in the business world; a vital lesson to learn for every student. Some programs even offer real-world experience through local businesses. For example, a nearby office may allow students to shadow an employee for a few hours to see what a typical workday looks like.
Through these lessons, special education programs also effectively moderate the behavior of special needs students. Some individuals may have more challenging disabilities than others, which could come with offensive or disruptive behaviors in the classroom and workplace. These programs are much more tolerable with teachers who understand this behavior and work to help them both academically and socially.