Special Education: Part 1

Special education has been in the news recently; so, I wanted to take this opportunity to push the conversation further . . .

Special education services are multi-faceted and multi-fold, they depend on the individual child and each individual child has individual needs. So, it doesn’t look the same for anyone in any given context.

When discussing special education, consider and remember the following:

Special education can begin in the very early ages and continue onto the university level, or it can be a portion of a person’s educational career.

Special education services can be:

  • pull-out; or,
  • push-in

Special education can require:

  • occupational therapy
  • physical therapy
  • speech therapy
  • educational therapy

Special education can take place in:

  • a traditional classroom
  • a special education classroom
  • a specialty school
  • a special program and classroom within a school

At the school level, special education is the responsibility of:

  • students
  • parents/families
  • educators
  • specialists
  • administrators

Often, in general discussions or in short segments on television, special education is not illustrated, defined, or understood to be a complex and elaborate system that benefits a wide-range of students.

When I listen, when I watch, when I converse with non-educators in particular, the vastness of special education is not comprehended, and if that is not understood then meaningful dialogue and solutions are not attainable.

Therefore, in our quest to see it funded, funded well, and funded in the future, we must augment the conversation to demonstrate that all students, even those not in special education, benefit and rise in a system that understands that all students deserve an education that offers them the chance to learn, and the opportunity to demonstrate that learning.

If you have questions, if you have concerns, I encourage you to ask and research. If you want to know more, I encourage you to take an in-depth look at your school, the schools in your neighborhood, and the schools in your district.

Special education is an important and integral component of our education system; it deserves more understanding, more research, and certainly more resources.


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