History of Special Education
Special education is not a new concept. It has been there since years in different forms. It has been specifically designed for the underprivileged. This education program is customized to suit individual needs and accordingly has the teaching procedures and the relevant study material.
Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.
- Albert Einstein
Destiny and education might not go hand-in-hand but certainly when one has education, he or she can change the destiny. World becomes a nice place to live in when the self-satisfied people come forward to offer a helping hand to the needy. Special education is one way of showing the path of light to the ones who are falling short of the learning skills due to physical or mental impairment. This special category of students includes those who are physically challenged, have behavioral disorders, lack behind in learning and communication etc.
Every student has unique needs. The first step that the educators take is to understand the student's strengths and weaknesses. It is also vital to know the student's interest as well as the potential to learn. By identifying the disability in the student, the school provides the relevant learning aids. This can be explained with the following examples:
- If a child is physically challenged, the school can arrange for a home tutor or even a computer.
- If a child has problems in concentrating and gets easily deflected in the crowd of students, he or she may be allotted a private classroom.
- Special education programs inclusive of medical therapies are available for children with poor mental health suffering from, Depression, Autism, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) etc.
There are many approaches of providing special education to suit the needs of the student.
- A student with mild intellectual problems is placed with normal intellect students. This approach does not let the deprived child to feel that he or she is distinguished from the rest because some disability. In additional these students receive special education programs apart from attending the regular classes. There has been objection arising from some parents on this approach who believes that this kind of system cannot be flawless for the deprived students because of the distractions that the teacher might face because of the crowd of normal students. This would lead to lack of attention towards the student with special needs and would leave them without being provided the right education to improvise their skills.
- Another approach allows students with special needs to spend partial time in regular classes and the rest of the time is scheduled for special education depending on the skill level.
- In some cases, the student may be completely isolated from regular classes and trained in special classroom designed as per their needs. Such students are provided special tools and equipments and are under the care of a tutor who has an expertise in training these students with special needs.
- There is a category of students who are completely prohibited by schools because of some serious medical problems or a criminal background. There is a provision of special education for such students as well. They are kept isolated from the normal crowd of students and are provided a special instructor who imparts education to them.
Almost all the nations are working towards this good cause of providing education to the special category of students and this awareness needs to be spread all around the world. Many people are not aware of facilities of special education available for children irrespective of what kind of problems they are living with.