Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Statistics of Special Needs Students

For me, one of the hardest things about teaching special needs students is that I feel so unaware of what I am supposed to do. I feel like I will never have enough training and I have an enormous amount of respect for those who do have sufficient training to handle different children with different needs on a daily basis. I have hosted guest posts before on using encouragement with special needs students, as well as specific tips for dyslexia

This infographic goes over some common types of special needs kids and how we can best accommodate them in our classrooms. While it specifically references the United States, I feel teachers internationally can find this helpful.

Statistics of special needs students show that these children are just as capable of achieving what students without special needs can accomplish.

In the United States of America, 18.5 percent of kids under the age of 18 have special needs. These kids face specific everyday challenges that others do not. It is a misconception that these children are not as smart or talented, but this couldn't be farther from the truth.
There are generally four basic types of special needs children.
  • These include kids with physical disabilities, including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, chronic asthma and other conditions. 
  • Kids with developmental disabilities include those with autism, Down's syndrome, dyslexia and other learning disabilities. 
  • There are also special needs children who have behavioral and/or emotional problems, including those with ADD or ADHD, oppositional defiance disorder and other conditions. 
  • The fourth category of special needs children include those with sensory problems, such as those who are blind or visually impaired and kids who are deaf or hearing impaired. 
If you have a special needs child in your class or in your family, you will of course want to ensure that the child is getting all of the best care when he or she is at school. The most basic right is for all children to be treated humanely.

There is also the issue of the Americans with Disabilities Act, also referred to as ADA. This means that anyone with disabilities has to be treated equally to anyone else so that they can get the same opportunities as those who do not have disabilities.

Another act is IDEA, which is an acronym for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This law states that students with disabilities have to be prepared to live independently, gain higher education and obtain employment. In addition, if a special needs child does not have the stamina, strength or endurance to keep up with certain school activities, he or she can qualify for a special education status known as "other health impaired."

There is also the Rehabilitation Act that protects individuals with disabilities. Section 504 of this act requires that schools make accommodations for students with disabilities, prohibits schools from discriminating against children with special needs and that students who have impairments that play a large part in their lives in limiting their activities are qualified as disabled.

It is important to get a good doctor for your special needs child. Obtaining the proper medical care will help your child to be the best he or she can possibly be. The doctor should be someone nearby, non-threatening and who can provide a quality service.


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