Special education is the practice of education students who come to the education system with special, individual differences and needs. In an ideal situation, this process will involve and individual plan for each student and a monitoring of their processes as they learn from a teacher who specializes in their disability. In special education schools, teachers and students will interact in much more individual ways compared to students in a regular school. The adaptations made to a special needs student’s curriculum are done by the teachers because they work so closely with each individual student. These adaptations are all laid out in the student’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP).
Among the many disabilities students endeavor to manage in special education schools, autism is one that has recieved much attention in the last few years. Autism is a disorder categorized in the nueral develotment area. Those with autism deal with social interation and communication in impared ways and are sometimes severely restricted by their repetitive behaviour. The symptoms are present from a young age and affect daily functioning. Autism has a strong genetic basis, although Austism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is not fully known to be explained through genetics or through severe mutations of genes.
The term “spectrum” refers to a very wide range of different symptoms, skills and levels of disability. These levels of disability cab vary widely when it comes to the individual. Many can perform activities all day long while others need assistence throughout the day with the simplest of activities. Often, the diagnosis of autism includes the impaired fuction of speech and language comprehension. Autism occurs across every racial and ethnic group and spares no socioeconomic level. It has been found, however, that boys are significantly more likley to develop autism than girls. The reason for this is unclear.
Special education schools in the Untied States are much more aware of the autism spectrum than they were only a decade ago. Many students who fal on the ASD are mainstreamed into the public education system. However, there are many students that fall on the ASD at a level where much more individual attention is needed than can be given in the public schools. That is why special education schools are so important.
Many students with ASD find that social interaction can be very difficult. The give and take of a usual conversation is very difficult. Many autistic individuals find it extremely difficult to look eye to eye with strangers and even with people they know well. They might often fail to repsond to their names, will avoid eye contact altogether, and not interact with people at all unless there is a specific goal attached as an outcome. They might also not be able to understand the feelings of others, making it very difficult to function in a regualr school environment.
Special education schools serve many purposes, from educating students with sever physical handicapps to those on the ASD. It is extremely important to recognize their value, not only to the students but to society as a whole.