Labels for Special Education Students

The word “label” can cause many parents to cringe inwardly. They often see it as a big sign hung on the back of their child, making them conspicuously different from the rest of the population. Some parents may fear a label will stay with their child for the rest of their lives, preventing both social acceptance and employment opportunities. Others may see a label as some kind of failure in regards to their parenting skills. In fact, no parent wants his/her child to be labeled.

However, labeling may be unavoidable. Getting your child diagnosed is the single most important step in the foundation of his education. If you perform your own evaluation and red flags pop up, it’s time to take action.

Your first call should be to your child’s primary care physician. At well-child check-ups, your doctor will ask questions regarding developmental benchmarks. Benchmarks are guidelines of normal development your child should reach by a certain age. These include expressive language, receptive language, vocabulary, and fine and gross motor skills. Because language development can vary from child to child, physicians may be lax in taking appropriate action for a child who is not reaching benchmarks. As a parent, your intuition should serve you well. Call your local county Child Development Services (CDS) office and request an evaluation. Your CDS case manager will refer you to specialists more suited to diagnosing disabilities.

If your child is already attending school and you are worried about his progress, keep the lines of communication open with his teachers. Many teachers will refer students to the special education department for an evaluation. Regardless of the results of a public school evaluation, you may want to get an unbiased, independent evaluation. Tutoring centers like Sylvan use specialized testing. In this way, you have a back up should the school district decline services.

If your child does have a disability, an appropriate diagnosis is important in order for the state to recognize him as a special education student. State funds ensure support staff will be available to help your child meet the goals listed in his IEP, or Individualized Education Plan. This plan includes any therapeutic services your child may need such as speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and adaptive physical education. These services are vital to your child’s success throughout his primary and secondary education.

Sometimes the biggest hurdle is dealing with having your child “singled out” as a special education student. You fear your child will be seen as different, weird, stupid or weak. While there is no easy fix for this issue, being an advocate for your child and his education can alleviate some of those fears. At the primary level, ask the special education teacher about reverse mainstreaming. This process invites mainstream students into the self-contained/special education classrooms. Students who spend time in the specialized classrooms tend to be more accepting of differences because they are allowed to get to know special education students on a personal level. If reverse mainstreaming is promoted regularly, lasting bonds can form between students that will carry over into the mainstream classrooms and all over the school.

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Review of “Education

“Education and the Significance of Life” by J. Krishnamoorthi is a book for those who are engrossed in understanding the profound meaning of life and importance of education. In this book, J.K. advocates for a life oriented education, more liberal and practical, resulting in effective living.

Krishnamoorthi acknowledges the importance of knowledge and efficiency, but does not make any secret of his concern that overemphasis on them may result only in conflict and confusion. Jiddu Krishnamoorthi questions the link between comfort and security with education as any common man would perceive and also opines that bringing about independent thinking with such a conventional education is next to impossible. Emphasizing the importance of learning to be compassionate, to be content with little, and to seek the supreme, J.K. feels only this path can lead to the true salvation of mankind.

According to J.K., education is just not a process of accumulating information and knowledge from books, but is the understanding of oneself, for it is within each one of us. Peace and happiness for men, J.K. says can come only with self-awareness that brings a change of heart, good will and inward transformation.

The master feels that to merely educate people to be brilliant engineers, luminous scientists, proficient executives, competent workmen etc. cannot account for the world peace. J.K. feels education should eliminate enmity and hatred between human beings and help each individual to discover their own psychological hindrances, and not merely impose new patterns of conduct and new modes of thought on the learner.

The passion for living beings induces J.K. to express the need for the teachers and parents to be rightly educated, so that pure knowledge shall be imparted to their pupil. Silence as a means to enhance creativity and to enjoy the beauty is strongly advocated by J.K.

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