Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

A child or young person is said to have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities if they have learning difficulties that are more significant than other children of their age, or who have physical or sensory impairments.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)  for special education might spend all their time in a classroom with other disabled students (known as segregated instruction) or may attend classes with other kids while spending a part of their day in a resource room working one-on-one with a specialist. In the latter case, the services and support a kid gets will depend on their individual needs, and can include things like speech and language therapy, physiotherapy or occupational therapy.

Schools must adapt the national guidelines to suit the unique needs of each student. They also develop individualized plans for every child eligible to receive special education services. These plans describe teaching methods, psychological, medical and paramedical services that a school will provide to the student.

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For students with intellectual disabilities, the primary criterion for eligibility for special education programs is an individually administered intelligence test. The tests are usually supervised by psychologists who certified the child’s eligibility for special education. Children with emotional and behavioural problems are evaluated by psychiatrists, social workers or psychologists. Those with medical or physical impairments are evaluated by doctors or other healthcare professionals.

In recent years, there has been a move toward inclusion of kids with disabilities. Federal law now requires that kids who get special education services should be taught alongside non-disabled kids as much as possible, in regular classrooms rather than isolated in special classrooms or schools.

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