Special education or special needs education is the education of students in a way that addresses the students’ individual differences and needs. At the Reed institute, this process involves the individually planned and systematically monitored arrangement of teaching procedures, adapted equipment and materials, accessible settings, and other interventions designed to help learners with special needs achieve a higher level of personal self-sufficiency and success in school and community than would be available if the student were only given access to a typical classroom education.
This means that special education is actually referred to as a range of services and accommodation based on specialist knowledge rather that just being an alternative place for these individuals.
What constitutes special needs could be very different from one individual to another. It ranges from differences in the learning style, to cognitive impairments to physical challenges like deafness or blindness.
It is ideal if the educators could be modifying teaching methods and environments so that the maximum number of students in their classrooms would be served in general education environments.
Schools and institutions may use different approaches to providing special education services to identified students. These can be broadly grouped into four categories:
Inclusion: In this approach, students with special educational needs spend all, or at least more than half, of the school day with students who do not have special educational needs. Because inclusion can require substantial modification of the general curriculum, most schools use it only for selected students with mild to moderate special needs, for which is accepted as a best practice. Specialized services may be provided inside or outside the regular classroom, depending on the type of service.
Mainstreaming: Refers to the practice of educating students with special needs in classes with non-disabled students during specific time periods based on their skills. Students with special needs are segregated in separate classes for the rest of the school day.
Segregation: In this model, students with special needs spend no time in classes with non-disabled students. Segregated students may or may not attend the same school where regular classes are provided. They would typically spend all instructional time exclusively in a separate classroom or facility for students with special needs.
Exclusion: Historically, most students with special needs have been excluded from mainstream or special schools. Such exclusion still affects about 23 million disabled children worldwide, particularly in poor, rural areas of developing countries. It may also occur when a student is in hospital, housebound, or unable to attend school of other reasons.
Reed Institute supports an inclusion model of delivery for the special education. Our collaborative model coordinates efforts of parents, educators and other specialists with those of out own specialist staff for each of our students within the least restrictive environment. Our student may visit us a few hours weekly or participate in a full time, fast-paced program, all depending on their specific needs. We pride ourselves for being very flexible and sensitive to children’s varying needs rather than adopting a few rigid ways and approaches and trying to mold every individual into them.