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Special Education Marco Berton Vanessa Calil Identifying the Child Employment Opportunities Post Grad. Mteach at University of Sydney 22.4.04.

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Presentation on theme: "Special Education Marco Berton Vanessa Calil Identifying the Child Employment Opportunities Post Grad. Mteach at University of Sydney 22.4.04."— Presentation transcript:


2 Special Education Marco Berton Vanessa Calil Identifying the Child Employment Opportunities Post Grad. Mteach at University of Sydney 22.4.04

3 Identifying Special Need Children Two Main Topic Areas Albert Einstein Definitions and Consequences The Changing role of Support Teachers Assessment and Observational Techniques The Student Sufferer, and their World Special Education Teachers & Job Opportunities Special Purpose Schools Special Units Support Teachers Teachers’ Aides APLD Consultants Principal In Service training M Teach

4 Children with mental retardation, hearing impairments including deafness, speech or language impairments, visual impairments including blindness, serious emotional disturbances, orthopaedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, or specific learning disabilities… Definition and Consequences [IDEA] The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 101 (a) American Legislature

5 Definition and Consequences In Australia & New Zealand, a student experiencing low achievement, which may impact on later adolescence and adulthood is defined ‘learning difficulties’. The equivalent definition in Canada and the U.S. is ‘Learning Disabilities’. (Ashman and Elkins, 2002) Although consistency was ambiguous during my own research. Whoopi Goldberg

6 Definition and Consequences Australian teachers though, hold various views on what constitutes LD. Research into provision for LD students found teachers, identified LD as heterogeneous group Group included; – showing gaps between cognitive ability & school performance – Low cognitive ability – Difficult behaviour – Differences between home & school language – Culture ( Lauden, Chan, Elkins, Greaves, House, Milton et al, 2000)

7 Definition and Consequences Hence the clarifying definition; Children with SLD’s, fall within the range of normal intelligence, but fail to learn or achieve as expected. Hans Christian Anderson Learning Disabilities are more outwardly visible. Whereas Learning Difficulties are harder & less obvious. As learning disorder definitions become broader - the likelihood of misidentification increases. ( Hammond and Hughes, 1996)

8 Changing Role of Support Teachers Traditionally a Support Teacher worked one-on-one with a special needs child. But this has changed, via teacher; Qld; (AVT) Advisory Visiting Teachers address specific disabilities (STLD) Support Teacher Learning Difficulties support learning difficulties or disabilities and work within schools. NSW; (APLD) Assistant Principal Learning Difficulties support students requiring special education. Also Support Teachers & Special Ed. Teachers can be itinerant throughout an area or work within a school. ( Special Ed. Perspectives Journal, 2000) WA; (SAER) Students At Educational Risk ( model ) view the majority of student population as requiring Special Ed. ( WA Dept. of Ed. 1998, p1-4 )

9 Marco Berton Changing Role of Support Teachers So this role change between Special Education Teachers and regular Teachers calls into use ‘Collaborative Consultation’. Collaborative school consultation is interaction in which school personnel and families confer and collaborate as a team within the school context to identify learning and behavoural needs, and to plan, implement and evaluate educational programs for serving those needs. ( Dettemer, Dyck and Thursten, 1999) The Collaboartive process can include upto ten individuals inputting to a single child’s program. ( The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Developemnt report, 1999)

10 Assessment & Observational Techniques Educational assessment; testing and diagnosis. Testing; Indicator of acquired skills Diagnosis; borrowed medical term, but rather than assign a label as condition, this use of word offers: Eligibility for certain kinds of services, not necessarily an indicator of cause of learning problem. Educational Assessment organises programs on basis of skills deficits. Not stereotyping syndromes or labels. ( McLoughlin and Lewis, 1994) Eg. A student named x, has special needs in the area of reading, rather than to say ‘they are Dyslexic’.

11 Assessment & Observational Techniques Educational Assessment Questions; Used as guide for appropriate choice of procedures. 1.During pre-referral, data is gathered, substantiating nature of student issue. Clarifies that every effort’s been made to correct any obvious reasons for LD. 2.Student eligibility for Spec. Ed. Services is matched re: their learning profile to that set by Fed & State guidelines. 3.In depth assessment undertaken identifies strengths & weaknesses in critical basic skills. 4.An IEP (Individ.Edal.Prg), planned including priority goals. 5.Program monitored & evaluated on regular basis. ( McLoughlin and Lewis, 1994) Tom Cruise

12 Assessment & Observational Techniques Quite informal form of assessment; Used as guide for localised /personal collaborative effort; 1.School Records: Refer to past performance. Learning aptitude as opposed to achievement is a relatively stable characteristic. 2.Student: By informal somewhat covert questioning, talk re: their own perceived abilities as learner. 3.Teacher: Everyday observation. Review & correlation between what’s taught & evaluated. 4.Parents: Home / neighbourhood performance. A lifetime exp. with child’s wider activities ie. developmental milestones. ( Hammond and Hughes, 1996)

13 The Student sufferer and their world The process of questioning and weighing up what a child ought to be able to do but cannot is what recognising SLD’s is about. Unlike visible conditions eg. Cerabral palsy, or blood test detectable conditions eg. Glandular fever… SLD’s are far harder to recognise… Symptoms occur within the brain, affecting learning in different ways in different children. ‘Significant’ delay is accepted as an indicator of a SLD. ie. 2 years behind peers. ( Hammond and Hughes, 1996)

14 The Student sufferer and their world These are children who usually demonstrate talent or expertise in one particular area like; Oral language Art Sport Mathematics … yet they experience severe difficulties in other areas. Most reliable predictors of learning difficulties in young are; difficulty saying alphabet in correct order “ … identifying letter names & sounds “ … naming colours & shapes “ … writing one’s name & copying shapes … even problems with phonological awareness such as; difficulty identifying rhyme “ … breaking words into sounds “ … manipulating sounds in words (Adams 1990, Bradley & Bryant 1983, Golinkoff 1978, Snowling 1985) Thomas Edison

15 The Student sufferer and their world Problems associated with SLD’s; ( Hammond and Hughes, 1996 )

16 The Student sufferer and their world Casual theories, commonly referred to in literature suggests 5 areas may cause SLD’s; 1.Genetic Parent, sibling, close relative also experienced SLD 2.Biological Boys: suprior vis spacial, Grls: better linguistic. Ratio 4:1 Left-handedness & cerebal dominance (Samual Orton, 1937) 3.Maturational Great variation rate central nervous system development 4.Environmental Teaching individualities mismatch learner/teacher style 5.Biochemical Diet, vitamins, food & environmental allergies can cause or cure SLD’s. ( Hammond and Hughes, 1996 ) Gustave Flaubert

17 Excellent for parents of children with LD, and adults themselves with LD. Endorsed by Dr.Paul R. Whiting Evelyn McCloughan Children’s Centre, Faculty of Education, USyd, 1996 Hammond L., & Hughes P. (1996). When Bright Kids Fail. Australia: Simon&Schuster. Sir Winston Churchill

18 Special Education Teachers & Job Opportunities Special Purpose Schools Special Units Support Teachers Teachers’ Aides APLD Consultants Principal In Service training M Teach

19 The 2,300 public schools in NSW strive to include students with disabilities learning difficulties behaviour disorders in regular schools, with strategies used to optimise their educational experiences. Providing for the student appropriately

20 “ SSP’s are for students from Pre-school to Year 12 who require intensive levels of support. These schools provide a specialised educational setting in which learning support plans are collaboratively developed, implemented and monitored”. Schools for Specific Purposes ( NSW DET, 2002 )

21 Behaviour difficulties Substitute Care Juvenile Justice Centre Emotional Disturbance Autism Hearing Impairment Learning Difficulties Mild Intellectual Disability Moderate Intellectual Disability Severe Intellectual Disability Physical Disability Visual Impairment Hospital Schools Categories of SSPs

22 Examples of SSPs Fisher Road – Intellectual disabilities (64 enrolments) Cameron Park – Moderate to severe intellectual disabilities often with associated medical conditions, requiring high levels of support (29) Palm Avenue School – Residential program for primary age students with literacy, behavioural and oral language problems (12) Rivendell School – Emotionally and psychiatrically disturbed (47)

23 Examples of SSPs Halinda School – Communication and socialisation (117) Niland School – vocational, social, physical and creative skills for achieving an independent lifestyle (48) Kandeer School – behaviour difficulties (11) Plumpton House – addressing violence in schools (42)

24 Special Education Units Within a school there may be a special unit to serve the needs of some students. The units have a minimum two teachers who exclusively teach the students. Plumpton High – pregnant students, students with children, mature age students Behaviour Units Physical Impairment Units OA classes for advanced students

25 Special Education Support Teachers Permanent & Itinerant Within schools in varying capacities. Qualified in these areas: Behaviour difficulties Hearing Impairment Integration Transition Visual Impairment

26 Teachers’ Aides are TAFE qualified, assisting within a classroom on a full or part time basis. They may be itinerant. Their TAFE qualifications are for behaviour or physical disabilities. Teachers’ Aides

27 Assistant Principal Learning Difficulties Consultants are found within each School Education Area. Collaborate with your school principal and your APLD Consultant. Seeking advice from a Consultant

28 On the job training can be undertaken to addressed your needs in dealing with different needs or challenging behaviour In-service Training

29 M T e a c h


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