There are a lot of different programs and strategies which have been considered as effective for dealing with students with disabilities. Exploring the programs and trying to consider their usefulness and contribution in the studying process, the Peer Buddy Program has been researched from different angles. The most commonly spread steps for implementing the program in class are as follows.
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First, it is important to establish the importance of the program and to inform the participants about its needs. Second, parents are to be notified. Third, the researchers are to recruit peer buddies. Fourth, peers are to be informed about their responsibilities. Fifth, the program should be set up. And finally, it should be evaluated (Sansosti, Powell-Smith, & Cowan, 2000). All these steps have been conducted and the evaluation has been done.
The Peer Buddy Program has been assesses from the following aspects, social purpose of the Peer Buddy Program, the useful social activities which were practiced in the program, social effects of involved adults, providing social supports after high school, working as a peer in future, being in the Peer Buddy Program in the future, recommended social activities for future, academic purpose of the Peer Buddy Program, good academic activities in the program, academic effect of the involved adults, thinking for academic supports and skills after high school, working as a peer, being in peer buddy again in the future, and recommended academic activities for future.
The research has been conducted to understand social and academic achievements of students with learning and behavioral disabilities. The results of the research in each of the categories have been achieved. The social purposes of the Peer Buddy Program according to the respondents are to increase social skills interaction, and effective communication between students with disabilities and their peers, and to share experiences and problems.
Peers’ responds also refer to the activities which are taken, such as the support of students with disabilities and their peers, the share of the problems with peers who are in the same age level, solution of the problems through discussion, assistance in making friendships outside of school, and collaboration between families and school on developing social and academic skills of children with disabilities.
Adults have also been involved in the research and their participation was seen in assistance with development of the verbal skills, in explanation of behavior in the classroom, and in teaching of collaboration among peers and how to deal with those who have disabilities.
Four participants believe that they have received social support that assists them to think about their future. The same number of students state that they experience the support from the program in dealing with students in need. Five students express desire to participate in the same program in the future with two purposes, to provide social supports and to receive it.
Speaking about the results in the academic research, the following data have been obtained in the categories of needs of students with disabilities, age gaps between students with disabilities and teachers, need for enough number of supportive in the classroom to help students with disabilities, reducing the responsibilities of teachers, and weakness of the freshman students.
Academic effectiveness of the program has been highly appreciated. Many students stressed on engagement in all classroom assignments, students’ support in completing all works, on positive changes which occurred to grades, on discussion possibilities in solving problems, on a teacher ‘s encouragement during activities, on understanding the activities, and on easy creating of the assignments.
The effectiveness of adults’ involvement has been assessed. The participants of the research pointed to high level of teachers’ assistance in studying process aimed at giving increased grades. Referring to providing academic supports and skills after high school, participants reported about much information they were offered while research about the importance of GPA and activities.
Six students reported about the desire to assist others in the future as this participation has insured them in personal academic success and has given them experience in supporting others academically. Four students have expressed a desire to work in the program in the future and to assist others academically. At the end of the questionnaire, peers had an opportunity to express their vision of the further activities.
Students have reported about the following issues, to increase academic supports in and out of school, to increase the number of peers as well as the number of the training activities for peers, and to give the peers an opportunity to be tutors to students with disabilities.
These research results are very important for further development of the problem of social and academic achievements of students with learning and behavioral disabilities is a serious issue which needs consideration. A detailed discussion of the details shows that peers began communicate more with students with disabilities.
This activity is very important as disabled students usually lack communication due to the barriers created by many factors, such as impairment, language used, attitudes, assumptions, cultural expectations, lack of knowledge, physical environment, behavioral issues, lack of confidence, time, and funding (Westwood, 2011). Disabled students have many problems both in and out of school.
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Having difficulties in communication with peers, friendship complications and other particular problems students of the same age experience (Stephenson, Gourley, & Miles, 2004), the program under consideration managed to help students in need to solve the problems or at last make those easier to consider. The increased participation of students with disabilities in the every day life, more communication, and involvement in other social activities perform better at schools (Newman, 1991).
Children are unable to cope with the problems themselves. Each step of students is followed by their parents and other adults at school. Disabled students need more participation from the side of the adults. The research has shown that children see adults’ involvement in the teaching and up bringing process.
The assistance of adults is important as even being involved in the social development program children need much to be told and taught. The same is about academic success. Students need much information to be explained and teachers and parents are to be involved in the learning process actively as children notice this involvement and they are to do all possible to guarantee the highest assistance (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012).
According to Taragon and McTiernan (2010) future is the main goal for all people. Living in the community it is important to think about the future while committing any actions. The participation in the Peer Buddy Program has encouraged many children to think about their future and the role of the sociability in it.
Many people in the modern world have a desire to assist students in need, especially when it is about disabled people (Hutchinson, & Atkinson, 2010). Therefore, student’s desire to participate in the further programs of the same idea is understood. Depending on students’ abilities, they want either contribute to the social skills of disabled students or to assist them academically.
Having considered the results achieved from the social participation of students with learning and behavioral disabilities, it should be stated that even though the program has succeeded, the recommendations are appropriate. The research results clearly state which recommendations are to be made.
Here are the recommend activities for further programs based on students’ responses, practicing the outsourced events, increasing social interaction supports in and out of school, peers introduce themselves and sharing their life with students with disabilities, providing support to students who need assistance even though they are not involved in the Peer Buddy Program, and the peers have to be distinguished than others students, and increasing game activities.
Academic results of the Peer Buddy Program are also positive. According to the research, the purposes of the academic exploration differ from participants’ responses. Stressing on the age differences and other specific gaps disabled children have in comparison with others students, the stress was not put on the academic achievements.
Asking the participants of the program about the academic purposes of the intervention students failed to answer the question correctly. Reconsidering the students’ responses in relation to the effectiveness of the academic assistance of students with disabilities, it should be stated that peers’ and teachers’ support is essential.
Students are to feel assistance from the side of others as this encourages them for further development and studying. The effectiveness in studying for disabled students is focused on students’ ability to understand the learnt material and on grades. The discussion of the effectiveness of studying and the role of the program in it should be discussed with the reference to teachers’ participation.
All the participants of the research have reported about high role of teachers’ in improved students’ grades. Adults have great affect on students and their grades. The role of teachers in the process of assessment may be great if teachers’ interest is seen. Considering students with disabilities, it may be stated that teachers are interested in giving these students higher grades as this encourages and motivate them for further development.
Therefore, the research results just confirm the role of teachers in grading students (Adams, 2011). Future is important for all students and coming closer to the high school graduation students have to understand that GPA is one of the most important factors which guarantees students’ entrance of a higher educational establishment. The role of the program in explaining disabled students about the importance of GPA is great.
The research results show it and when conducting a research about the reason why students with disabilities fail to enter higher educational establishments the low GPA is one of the reasons. Thus, students who do not participate in the program, who live in their own world and who are not interested in achieving higher success do not have a chance to study further.
In most cases students are unaware of the opportunities they may have considering their disabilities as the main factor which is going to prevent them from further studying (Hocutt, 1996). The results devoted to the future involvement in the program show that students do nit remain careless to people in need.
Understanding that disabled students need more assistance due to their increased needs, many students express readiness to work further in order to assist others and improve their teaching skills. Even though that many students express the desire to participate in the program and to be taught rather than assist others, it means that students have become interested in what happens with those who they have assisted (Browder, & Spooner, 2011).
The research results devoted to academic achievements of disabled students under the Peer Buddy Program show that the program deserves attention as respondents showed high activity and desire to participate in the program more. Therefore, it may be concluded that the research results considered while the discussion of the Peer Buddy Program express high readiness of students to participate in the same projects in the future.
Applying the results to the real life and practical implementation, it may be stated that increased sociability and academic achievements of disabled students is a guarantee of successful collaboration between simple students and their peers with disabilities. It has always been a real problem to involve students with disabilities into the common educational process.
The participation of students in the program is a success for those who have always studied to involve disabled students in the working process on equal terms with others. The research results show that both students and their disabled peers are ready to work together, they just need assistance from adults and necessary directions.
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