The research paper explores the various viewpoints of school disability programs. In this case, the paper has sought to assess the issue of school disability from both a broad perspective as well as an evaluation of the issues that often faces members of staff in school-based disability programs.
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Emphasis has also been placed on the political polices necessary in order to ensure that we have possible and/or desirable disability programs in schools. In this regard, use has been made of nine techniques as applicable in a multi-sensory school disability program. This paper focuses partly on one most common disability associated with language known as dyslexia.
Statement of the problem
Many parents enroll their children to disability programs that schools offer although the children do not need these services. These parents take unduly advantage of the system in order to afford their children full attention they need. This enigma is putting strain on the dwindling resources allocated for disability programs. Moreover, these able children dissipate the resources and the experts focus on the genuine disable children thereby making the realization of the objectives of the program far-fetched.
When one stops to ponder about this issue, various questions pops in the mind. For instance, is the eligibility criteria employed to select the children to be enrolled for this program efficient? What elements of the programs attract parents to enroll the able children to such programs? How can the eligibility criteria improved to make the programs accessible to just the genuinely disabled
Children in need of disability programs
Some children who fail to attain behavioral or academic standards consistent to their grade rank may be identified by their parents and schools as requiring some extra attention to facilitate their success. Majority of the schools have put in place the criteria for screening, know as the student study teams. Such procedures bring together all of the child’s stakeholders in a problem solving discussion. This initiative ensures that all of the problem aspect are considered and allows for the contribution of all the stakeholders (Bowden and Greenberg, 2010, p. 14).
Often, the student study team integrates the child’s parents, the child’s teacher, the school administrator, the school’s speech therapist, the school psychologist, and the school resource specialist. In a first time meeting of the student study team, all team affiliates contribute comments to establish the existing child performance level and the types of sustenance that have already been afforded (Bowden and Greenberg, 2010, p. 14).
Disable children’s education
Parents often prefer to send their children to special schools because teachers in such schools are properly trained and the child will have the opportunity to mingle with other children with similar disability. However, these schools may be situated far from home or may not exist within the vicinity thereby demanding of the disable child to make long trip daily or apply for residence at the school (Meyerhof, 2010).
In circumstance where special schools are close, a parent may opt for main streaming which involves sending the child to a regular school. By convention, young moderately disabled children perform best when they are subjected to normal environment for the longest time possible. This theory is supported by the fact that small children are more adoptive to changes than big children are, thus the parent should rest assured that their child will not feel isolated in a regular school (Meyerhof, 2010).
School disability program policy
Individuals with Disability Education Acts [IDEA] demands that proper education be provided free of charge to all children with disability by all the states. A segment of the law dictates that each child individual demands be satisfied through an individualized education program [IEP].
Moreover, under IDEA parents are entitled to contribute to any decision regarding the education of the disable child, and the right to question any decision and appeal to any action pertaining the identification, placement, or assessment of their disabled child (Meyerhof, 2010)..
IDEA applies for disabled children between ages 3 to 21, for states which afford public schooling for children lower than age 5 and above age 18. Nevertheless, various local school districts afford programs for children even below age 3 beyond the expectations of state law such that, most of them receive federal support (Meyerhof, 2010).
This disparity presents even inside the school districts where particular disabilities are more favored than others. In addition, federal budget reductions have negatively impacted on the disability educational programs leading to the closure or truncation of several of such programs. Noteworthy, various school districts afford information on what they offer and guidelines that illustrate the disable child educational privileges (Meyerhof, 2010).
Special program for child with disability
Choosing a disability program
Most disabilities have national organizations that afford information and optional programs or assets. Majority of such associations have local subdivision and parent-support teams (Meyerhof, 2010).
How can apparent choose a program that is appropriate for the child. A parent should base their choice on how contented s/he is with the experts in the obtainable programs and the treatment they offer. One should bear in mind the fact that educators often vary in on the issue of learning succession; some instructors of the hearing-impaired, for example, consider initiating sign language more or less right away, whereas some think children should firmly undergo auditory-oral training prior to initiation of sign language. Thus, a parent should analyze various programs before committing self or the disabled child to a unique one that meets his/her expectations (Meyerhof, 2010).
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Factors that determine the disability program choice include:
- cost and convenience;
- longevity of the program service;
- the techniques and therapies employed;
- the competence of the therapist;
- therapists’ work supervision;
- the therapist’s expectation from you;
- willingness by therapist to share her/his knowledge with you;
- therapist’s openness regarding the techniques s/he uses;
- capability of the therapist to develop rapport with the disabled child;
- the monetary support of the new program;
- the amount of children the program supports and the proportion of personnel to students;
- whether children with several disabilities are pooled in classroom together with those with a single or just two disability (Meyerhof, 2010).
Professional of disability programs
The prominent factor in the choice for a disability program is the expectations of the experts concerned. Every individual child has unique demands and takes own ambitions succeed to the program. The parents of the child may detect strength and progress which professionals may overlook. In case where the experts’ expectations are so low your child’s progress may be jeopardized and may not meet the parents demand. Conversely, too high expectations from the experts may frustrate the efforts of the disabled child (Meyerhof, 2010).
Often, professionals embrace and encourage vigorous parental participation in decision concerning the disabled child. Some professionals may develop particular prejudices and presumptions which do not meet the demands of every child. The parent is at liberty to offer own opinions through open conversation with the professional. However; when the therapist is so occupied for; or refutes such negotiations; or if the parent might find those discussions unyielding; s/he should opt for another program or professional (Meyerhof, 2010).
Imagine, a child victim of Down’s syndrome called Adam, is enrolling for your program. He appears distinct from the rest of the children, and he possesses developmental setbacks. Although he plays, his plays do not match the intricacy of other children’s. He solely knows how to use the spoon for eating. Also, he attempt to interact with the rest of the children and reacts when they confront him, but such association are usually brief (Bredekamp and Rosegrant, 1992).
This is especially the case with the families who have disabled children; parents are also preoccupied with their child’s privileges. These concerns of the parent are met under the Americans with Disability act of 1990 which granted the parents the right to register their disabled children in district child care sites. Under this act the children are entitled to assessment on case-by-case criteria and before the supports that will be required to enroll the child in a certain program are determine (Fink, 1992).
Steps for the enrollment into a disability program
Generally, children are more alike as opposed to different in all perspectives and disabilities do not render them different. Also, they want to have friends in order to exercise their sense of belonging. Every child should be mobilized to achieve their optimal potential, and every child should be appreciated for his/her distinctiveness.
Often, the therapist mind is inclined towards the difference; even so there are two useful tips the therapist should bear in mind. Every child is first, last, and ever a child; and secondly, every child has distinct requirements (Wolery, Strain, and Bailey, 1992).
According to Sparks-Derman (1989), teachers must be conscious of their innate attitudes. It is hard for a therapist who fails to see beneath the exterior, to believe in the disabled child’s prospective. Also, normal children should also learn and express their position concerning disability.
The other step ca be expressed using the following words; “The challenge for the teacher is to treat each child as an individual. If you treat everyone the same, you are not using each child’s uniqueness. Seek and recognize the differences and help the child feel comfortable with her differences. The goal is to develop an appreciation for each child as an individual. Then we can help parents value their child as an individual.” (Neugebauer, 1992).
Because parents prefer to enroll children who are not disabling, it means that there is loop hole in the program system for such unprecedented events to pass unconsidered. At the same time, this circumstance may mean that teachers in the normal school programs do not fully dedicate their selves’ towards children education.
This research seek to uncover the drawback of the disable program policy as well as the factors which undermines the capacity of the normal program teachers to realize maximum potential in children making the parents to opt for special programs. Perhaps after finishing going through this paper, one will appreciate the need for improvement in school programs, particularly the disability programs.
Secondary research through the use of the already available sources in literature on the subject matter entailed the methodology of this particular research paper. The identification of progressive inquiry lines was undertaken, followed by a research on the same, and an eventual recording exercise.
As the research study progressed, an identification of new enquiry lines was achieved as well. This was important in helping to assess their relevancy. In order to facilitate in the literature search, use was made of the public library, the local university, as well as facilities from the post-graduate hospital.
Multisensory Structured Language (MSL) programs
This finding focuses on survey to ascertain the supremacy of the MSL programs over the other models of intervention for meeting the demands of students with dyslexia. Also, the finding seeks to establish whether the Scientifically Based Reading Research [SBRR] supports this intervention model or should fresh supervision from the district be sought.
Ensuring that every student with dyslexia obtains high-quality education at the same time increasing the expectation for student outcome is a common objective of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001[NCLB] and section 504 regulation.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, according to the fresh amendments, dictates a school district to afford a Free Appropriate Public Education [FAPE] to every eligible student with a disability provided s/he is under the school district jurisdiction (United States Department of Education [USDE], 2005 as cited in Southeast Comprehensive centre [SECC], 2008).
The FAPE encompass both the regular and special aids in conjunction with relevant aids and services geared towards satisfaction of student’s distinct demands. Moreover, NCLB obliges that the schools use instructional, strategies, programs, materials, and approaches that align with SBRR (USDE, 2002 as cited in SECC, 2008).
The 1993 definition of disabilities studies as postulated by the Disabilities Studies Society involves as assessment of the policies and practices undertaken by the various communities with the aim of illuminating on the social elements of disability, as opposed to the physical and psychological aspects of disability.
In developing studies on the issue of disability, this is with a view to exploring ideological and mythical impediments associated with disability, along with a dispelling of the stigma attached to it. The disability studies helps to dispute the misconception that the social and the economic positions and the assigned responsibility of persons with disabilities are predetermined by their conditions.
The disability rights lobby group begun in the 1970s and 1980s and is accounted for the establishment of the foundation of the contemporary development of disability studies. It is the persons with disabilities who directed the viewpoint of the studies towards the emphasis on socially based obstacles, as opposed to the emphasis on pathological and individual deficiency. The socially constructed barriers include, prejudice, inaccessible architecture and exclusion (Panitch, 2010).
Multisensory Structured Language program and other reading intervention models
Because of the legislation controlling access to the general education program, an increasing number of student with disability, including dyslexia, end up in the general learning classrooms. This has prompted schools to focus on reading programs and interventional models that may promote students to circumvent reading challenges, boost reading skill and attain grade level standards (SECC, 2008).
Dyslexia is language disorder in which people experienced difficulty in discrete language proficiencies mainly reading. Besides, dyslexic pupils generally have difficulties with other language proficiencies, including words pronunciation, writing and spelling. Nevertheless, through various reading intervention models, desirable students’ outcome can be attained (International Dyslexia Association [IDA] n.d, cited in SECC, 2008)
The MSL is the most commonly used method for students with disabilities. This approach applies two or more sensory modalities comprising of visual, kinesthetic, tactile and auditory. Therefore it provides different routes for assisting students to learn alphabetic models and words.
Most MSL programs are founded on Orton-Gilingham [OG] theories for teaching language-centered skills. The OG teaching method focuses on careful sequence teaching of the structure and use of written dialogue, syllables, sounds, sentences, and words (Birsh, 2005, cited in SECC, 2008).
The MSL programs that have replaced the original OG approach, affords different techniques for perpetuating students’ ability to understand read and write language. These techniques include, Wilson Method, Starting Over, Spalding Method, Slingerlands Multisensory Approach, Project Read, Lindamood-Bell, Herman Method, Association Method and Alphabetic Phonics (McIntyre & Pickering, 1995, cited in SECC, 2008).
Even though MSL programs are commonly applied, there are few research outcomes to support the efficiency of this technique. In 2005 Birsh (cited in SECC 2008), discovered that MSL teaching is widely approved and practiced by tutors of students with disabilities although the techniques of the Program are rarely well defined, thereby necessitating the need for empirical justification and explanation. In literature review of OG reading directions, it was found out that three factors that include few no of research, low methodological firmness of the existing research, and indecisive outcomes of the usefulness of OG program, prerequisite for studies to ascertain the scientific basis of the program (Ritchey and Goeke, 2006, p. 182, cited in SECC, 2008),
Conversely, organizations such as IDA, have established the multisensory teaching to be useful instructional strategy in regard of dyslexic students.
In 2000, IDA gathered the following facts on Multisensory structured language program techniques; modern studies, most of it promoted by the National Institute of child Health and Human Development (NICHD) converge on the usefulness of unequivocal structured language learning for children with dyslexia. Substantial improvements, particularly in decoding skills were recorded in young children who were put under multisensory structured program in conjunction with phonemic awareness.
These multisensory structured language technique approaches employed straight, precise teaching of letter-sound connection, meaning word parts and syllable pattern. A similar research in clinical setting depicted concurrent results across a broad scope of ages and talents (p. 2).
Deficiency in SBRR evidence of usefulness of MSL intervention and programs has been emphasized by certain studies that have proved that MSL reading approaches. Moreover, studies shows that the prominent aspects of OG intervention do not align with the five component of reading guidelines predetermined by the 2000 National Reading Panel (Ritchey and Goeke, 2006, p, 181, cited in SECC, 2008).
Further, the two researchers supposed the efficiency of the OG programs could be reinforced through their expansion or by combining them with other reading instructions interventions the focus on developing vocabulary and fluency.
Researches pertaining usefulness of the various school disability programs segregate into two. There are those studies that proof the usefulness of some of these programs while others do not have substantial evidence of the usefulness of such programs (Murray, 2008 January, 22, cited in SECC, 2008).
SBRR presently advocate for reading programs that are precise, methodical, utilizes data to notify instruction, and affords instruction consistent with the ‘big ideas’ of reading. These conditions are met by the MSL/OG- centered programs.
Nevertheless, even if a program has been proven useful, schools should take caution because usually they do not satisfy the demands of all the students. The most important factor of instructional efficiency is the teacher and his/her knowledge about the characteristics of a useful instruction. Thus school should identify a learning program which concur with SBRR recommendations, then afford quality experts training to all staff on the use of the program, and tailor instructions to meet distinct students demands.
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