Special Education Courses and Lessons

The resources available at Study.com dig into many complex topics surrounding special needs and education, starting from early childhood special education.

From Special Education History and Law, which sets a foundation of the rights now established, to Specialized Education Curriculum Development, these courses are thorough and comprehensive. The studies on Assistive Technology in Education and Autism Strategies for teachers can be an efficient resource for teachers of all levels of learners.

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What is Special Education?

Special education is the instruction designed and implemented to address the academic, social, and physical needs of students who qualify for special education services. Individualized education plans (IEP) created for learners with special needs are monitored and adjusted so that students receiving these services can access education in a way that best serves them. Services for special education take into account teaching strategies and procedures, suitable equipment and materials, appropriate settings, and organized interventions to assist learners with special needs to succeed in school. In working to serve learners with special needs, educators work to establish routines and practices that can transfer into skills and self-sufficiency that can carry into life outside of the classroom.

The federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities of Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 states that learners with special needs have the right to learn in the least restrictive environment and with individualized plans to suit the learner's unique needs at no cost to the parent(s) or guardian(s).

There is no one-size-fits-all approach, so educators work to establish best practices to assist each learner's success. Many models for instruction are used to serve learners with special needs best. One is inclusion programs, which aim to include learners with special needs in classrooms with their peers. When regular education classes include special education services, this can benefit a learner's academic success and to build community with other students. In an inclusion course, the learner may have extra time to complete the work or be assisted by a special education teacher. However, some learners are able to better learn in a separate environment.

Special education of all models embraces all students and provides them with opportunities to participate, learn and build upon their strengths and be included in the community of learners around them.