November Is Special
November is the month when the Program of Special Education is divulged. Several activities for students, parents, teachers and the public in general takes place.
I am a public school retired teacher; and these last school years are becoming the hardest worked. The reasons are various but the principal reason is the constant changes in the Department of Education. We feel challenged and we are giving our best for the students, parents and for all the population as well.
Somebody said that from all the professions teachers are the most important because from teachers is where all the other professions come from. I love being a special education teacher, the satisfaction is immense! Because of confidentiality our work many times can not be exposed, even though, we do what we have to do. Recognizing the treasure in a child's hug, in the innocence found in their eyes and the fertile soil we spread the daily seed it is like a sunset on a cloudy day...nothing else really matters.
There are many resources to get information in the theme of special education. Here, as part of my functions, I will share the main facts.
Everybody is unique with possibilities of being
What is Special Education?
Special Education is a broad term used to describe specially designed instruction that meets the unique needs of a child who has a disability. The special education law is IDEA, the Individual with Disabilities Education Act.
Several changes have come to the Special Education Program from:The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, Public Law (PL) 107-110, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Americans with Disabilities Act -The ADA, The Assistive Technology Act and here in Puerto Rico, State Law Num. 51.
Categories of disability
- Development delay
- Emotional Disturbance
- Hearing Impairment
- Intellectual Disability
- Multiple Disabilities
- Orthopedic Disabilities
- Other Health Impairment
- Specific Learning Disability
- Speech or Language Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Visual Impairment (including Blindness)
Main Steps For Special Education
- The Referral Process: When a student is suspected of having a disability, a written referral for evaluation must be made to the principal of the public school the student attends (or is eligible to attend) or to the Chairperson of the Committee on Special Education Office.
- Free Initial Evaluation: The of a student is a collaborative and multifaceted process using a variety of assessment tools and strategies so as not to be discriminatory on racial or cultural basis. evaluation
- Eligibility: To determine eligibility for services the IEP Team must find that the student has an identified disability based on the criteria for the 13 disabilities. special education
- Individualized Education Program: The IEP document is a collaboratively developed plan based on information provided by parent's, assessment professionals, personal instruction, related services providers and, when appropriate, the student.
Learn the definition of these acronyms use in Special Education
Change and transformation
Many negative comments in today's education arises daily; as my experience, we are making a difference and there has been many progressive changes. There is work to do to benefit our children...if you will not be part of the solution, I suggest not to step back. Please try to help the people that with so little put so much effort.
November is also special when in October 1863 the official proclamation of Thanksgiving Day was signed by Abraham Lincoln. Gratitude is being aware of what you have and not what you don't.
The symbol of a butterfly will always identify change and transformation which daily occur. I see the Program of Special Education like the source which God has given students with needs to prosper and transform into better humans and feel free functioning in a wide and wonderful world He created for everyone to live in fullness, enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and union.
Thank You, Lord, for a chance to lead children...to guide them in their learning. Amen!
© Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill
Special Education is very special
© 2011 Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill
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