Education has been classified as a human necessity and no one is put aside regardless of their physical or mental conditions (Parker, & Schuster, 2002). Learning various skills both academic and non-academic is very necessary to every person whether normal or disabled. However, disabled individuals may require certain special treatment that is different from that given to the normal people. The severely disabled people require more attention from the teachers, family and the normal students in order to learn effectively. This essay therefore explains some of the ways in which the disabled people might be handled so that their academic potentials are fully utilized. The scope of this essay varies from handling the severely disabled students at school and at home. The culture and religion of the student is also considered. All these are attempts towards making learning effective to the severely disabled students.
Individuals with disability were thought to be incapable of learning earlier before research revealed that they could learn (Browder, Ahlgrim-Delzell, Spooner, Mims, & Baker, 2009). The disabled individuals could learn from other normal learners, they would also learn from signs and physical directions. However, research shows that not only the disabled individuals that learn from direct instructions as other normal learners do. All individuals can learn though their means of learning may be different. People with disabilities eat by themselves, do their laundry and all other activities by themselves (Browder, Ahlgrim-Delzell, Spooner, Mims, & Baker, 2009). They have proper communication skills and developed social techniques as well. The disabled can learn both academic and non-academic techniques when needed provided they are taken through special learning sessions. Nevertheless, to obtain their learning potentials fully, certain actions should be taken to create a conducive environment for the process of special learning.
Teachers that are highly trained should be hired to teach those students who are severely disabled (Browder, Ahlgrim-Delzell, Spooner, Mims, & Baker, 2009). The highly qualified teachers are likely to provide the most suitable instructions to the disabled students. In fact, the American laws have an act within it that provides for a qualified teacher to the severely disabled persons. A qualified teacher would design the best learning program for the severely disabled person. The program enhances learning to ensure that proper knowledge is gained after the studies. Lately, the question has shifted from whether the severely disabled persons can learn to how best they could be taught to ensure that their learning potentials are fully utilized (Browder, Ahlgrim-Delzell, Spooner, Mims, & Baker, 2009). While coaching the disabled people, the outcome of the lessons should always be anticipated to be the best. This kind of attitude would ensure that the disabled are taught properly. In addition, the disabled persons should be allowed to learn freely with other normal people so that they can learn from each other. Finally, the society should also be allowed to participate in handling the disabled people.
While teaching the disabled persons, a systematic provision of instructions would be very helpful. The information provided should also be direct to the point. The systematic views of teaching entails a properly designed teaching plan that evaluates what the students may learn when they are allowed time enough to exercise their techniques and capabilities (Collins, Gast, Wolery, Halcombe, & Leatherby, 1991). The processes also include the procedure for teaching and practicing certain recommended codes of behavior. The teacher should design his or her teaching plan according to the capability of their students in learning. This means that a teacher should take time enough for them to understand their students before laying out a working scheme for them.
Any kind of reinforcement or prompt could be used whether visual, tactile or verbal provided they would show personal strengths, preferences and needs of the people being taught. The systematic provision of instructions originates from summative and formative kinds of assessment, which influentially analyzes the progress of students within meaningful contexts and natural environments (Godsey, Schuster, Linco, Collins, & Kleinert, 2008). The program for assessment shows the progress of the students in learning and avails necessary information about the student that the teacher should use to develop the student. The information allows the teacher to adjust appropriately certain areas of weakness in the students' performance.
Additionally, the program should be individualized. The age of the students should be considered as well and the learning process should be culturally responsive (Parker, & Schuster, 2002). To realize the strengths and weaknesses of every student, each student should be individualized in accordance to his or her age. The individualization process should be culturally responsive and should have a meaning to the student. The interest of the student and the effect of learning to the society are some of the critical factors that cannot be ignored while teaching the severely disabled persons (Godsey, Schuster, Linco, Collins, & Kleinert, 2008). Furthermore, the students with disabilities should be kept together with those without disability to ensure that the education provided to both kinds of students is relevant to both the students and the society.
The practice of combining both kinds of students would be more helpful to the disabled students since they would feel equal to the other students when they are taught similar things. A new vocabulary adds daily to the lessons to make learning a continual process. Adaptation through individualization enables the students to participate fully to the learning process within their age groups (Collins, Gast, Wolery, Halcombe, & Leatherby, 1991). The students would show their access to contents of academics within their ages but at a standard that shows what they want and in a way that is relevant and sensitive to various cultures. The families of the severely disabled persons should be involved in the initiation of the learning process for these people.
The lessons provided should show the differences in culture, languages, religion and experience. The assessment of the learning program for such students depends on the family who would produce the certain background information that might be very helpful in the process of learning. For instance, when a student cannot speak by himself, it is the family members to say that in order for the teacher to have an easy time while handling the student (Godsey, Schuster, Linco, Collins, & Kleinert, 2008). The family would also be required to participate in the learning of the student by availing certain equipment for learning and in the culture and religion especially where the teacher might not be well informed.
The family of the student is required to join hands with the teachers also in ensuring that the student always practices while at home (Parker, & Schuster, 2002). In fact, the family should assume the duties of the teacher while the student is not at school. The family and the teacher should collaborate therefore to share their assessment of the student. Both the teacher and the family monitor the progress of the student at the same time. This would ensure that the student is handled in the right manner so that his potential in learning is fully utilized (Collins, Gast, Wolery, Halcombe, & Leatherby, 1991). The positive behavior support technique could also be used in teaching the severely disabled students. The program involves identifying the student behaviors both good and bad. The bad behaviors are corrected while the good ones are encouraged. Should the student adapt to such culture, he or she grows up with a positive mind and attitude. The positive behavior support is a collaborative task for the teacher and the family.
In conclusion, the essay has discussed how to provide education to the severely disabled students. Having shown that learning is fundamental to all regardless of whether one is disabled or not, the proper ways to teach the severely disabled students are discussed. The special attention provided to these students shows concern the government and the society has for their potentiality. The learning is provided to ensure that they are as educated just like other normal students. According to the essay, the families as well as the teachers have very determinant roles to play in the learning and well-being of the severely disabled students. The value of education is evident from this essay; everyone should therefore be educated regardless of his or her conditions in life. The ways of educating the disabled discussed here should be adopted as they are very effective in ensuring that potential skills within the disabled people are utilized fully. Educating the disabled is beneficial to the society and a nation at large.
Browder, D., Ahlgrim-Delzell, L.., Spooner, F., Mims, P.J. & Baker, J.N. (2009). Using time delay to teach literacy to students with severe developmental disabilities. Exceptional Children, 75, 343-364.
Collins, B.C., Gast, D.L., Wolery, M., Halcombe, A., & Leatherby, J. (1991). Using constant time delay to teach self-feeding to young students with severe/profound handicaps: Evidence of limited effectiveness. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 3, 157-179.
Godsey, J.R., Schuster, J.W., Linco, A.S., Collins, B.C., & Kleinert, H.L. (2008). Peer-implemented time delay procedures on the acquisition of chained tasks by student with moderate and severe disabilities. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 43, 111-122.
Parker, M.A., & Schuster, J.W. (2002). Effectiveness of simultaneous prompting on the acquisition of observational and instructive feedback stimuli when teach in a heterogeneous group of high school students. Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 37, 89-104.
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