TExES 161. Special Education EC-12. XAMonline, INC. Boston. Teacher Certification Exam. By: Sharon Wynne, M.S. Southern Connecticut State University

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1 TExES 161 Special Education EC-12 Teacher Certification Exam By: Sharon Wynne, M.S. Southern Connecticut State University XAMonline, INC. Boston

2 Copyright 2009 XAMonline, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of the material protected by this copyright notice may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrievable system, without written permission from the copyright holder. To obtain permission(s) to use the material from this work for any purpose including workshops or seminars, please submit a written request to: Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data XAMonline, Inc. 25 First Street, Suite 106 Cambridge MA Toll Free Web Fax: Wynne, Sharon A. Special Education EC : Teacher Certification / Sharon A. Wynne. -3rd ed. ISBN Special Education EC Study Guides. 3. TExES 4. Teachers Certification & Licensure. 5. Careers Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are the sole works of XAMonline and were created independently from the National Education Association, Educational Testing Service, or any State Department of Education, National Evaluation Systems or other testing affiliates. Between the time of publication and printing, state specific standards as well as testing formats and website information may change that is not included in part or in whole within this product. Sample test questions are developed by XAMonline and reflect similar content as on real tests; however, they are not former tests. XAMonline assembles content that aligns with state standards but makes no claims nor guarantees teacher candidates a passing score. Numerical scores are determined by testing companies such as NES or ETS and then are compared with individual state standards. A passing score varies from state to state. Printed in the United States of America œ-1 TExES: Special Education EC ISBN:

3 TABLE OF CONTENTS DOMAIN I. UNDERSTANDING INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES AND EVALUATING THEIR NEEDS COMPETENCY 001 THE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER UNDERSTANDS AND APPLIES KNOWLEDGE OF THE CHARACTERISTICS AND NEEDS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES...1 Skill 1.01 Skill 1.02 Skill 1.03 Skill 1.04 Skill 1.05 Skill 1.06 Skill 1.07 Skill 1.08 Skill 1.09 Knows the characteristics of individuals with disabilities including individuals with different levels of severity and multiple disabilities across eligibility categories...1 Knows how the developmental, academic, social, career, and functional characteristics of individuals with disabilities relate to levels of support needed, and applies knowledge of human development and disabilities to plan and implement appropriate curriculum...8 Knows theoretical explanations for behavior disorders, and analyzes the varied characteristics of behavior disorders and their effect on learning...8 Knows the different ways that students with and without disabilities learn... Applies knowledge of human development and the effects of various types of disabilities on developmental processes in order to identify the needs of individuals with and without disabilities...12 Understands the effects of cultural and environmental influences on the child and family...15 Understands normal, delayed, disordered communication patterns, including non-symbolic communication, and the impact of language development on individuals with disabilities...17 Knows aspects of medical conditions affecting individuals with disabilities, including the effects of various medications on behavior and functioning and the implications of medical complications for student support needs...21 Understands ways in which physical disabilities and health impairments relate to development and behavior, and knows the etiologies and effects of sensory disabilities and other conditions affecting individuals with disabilities...24 SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 vii

4 COMPETENCY 002 THE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER UNDERSTANDS FORMAL AND INFORMAL ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION PROCEDURES AND KNOWS HOW TO EVALUATE STUDENT COMPETENCIES TO MAKE INSTRUCTIONAL DECISIONS...25 Skill 2.01 Skill 2.02 Skill 2.03 Skill 2.04 Skill 2.05 Skill 2.06 Skill 2.07 Applies knowledge of basic terminology used in assessment and evaluation, the uses and limitations of various types of instruments and techniques, and methods for monitoring the progress of individuals with disabilities...25 Understands ethical concerns related to assessment and evaluation, including legal provisions, regulations, and guidelines regarding unbiased evaluation and the use of psychometric instruments and instructional assessment measures with individuals with disabilities...31 Identifies appropriate evaluation strategies for individual students with diverse characteristics and needs...32 Applies knowledge of procedures for screening, pre-referral intervention, referral, and determining eligibility, including criteria used to determine eligibility...35 Knows how to gather background information regarding academic, medical, and family history, collaborate with parents/guardians and with other professionals to conduct assessments and evaluations, document ongoing student assessment, and maintain accurate records...41 Knows how to interpret and apply information from formal and informal assessment and evaluation instruments and procedures, including interpreting various types of scores...43 Knows how to communicate assessment and evaluation results appropriately to individuals with disabilities, parents/guardians, administrators, and other professionals...45 Skill 2.08 Understands the reciprocal nature of assessment and instruction; applies skills for developing individualized assessment strategies to evaluate the results of instruction; and knows how to use assessment and evaluation results to design, monitor, and modify instruction for individuals with disabilities...46 SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 viii

5 Skill 2.09 Skill 2.10 Knows how to design and use ecological assessments, portfolio assessments, task analyses, and functional assessments to accommodate the unique abilities and needs of individuals with disabilities...51 Applies skills for using assessment and evaluation information from various sources to make instructional decisions, plan effective programs for individuals with disabilities, including those from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and identify supports needed for integration into various program placements...53 DOMAIN II. PROMOTING STUDENT LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT COMPETENCY 003 THE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER UNDERSTANDS AND APPLIES KNOWLEDGE OF PROCEDURES FOR PLANNING INSTRUCTION FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES...57 Skill 3.01 Skill 3.02 Skill 3.03 Skill 3.04 Skill 3.05 Skill 3.06 Knows how to select, develop, and apply instructional content, materials, resources, and strategies that are responsive to cultural and other factors...57 Knows curricula for developing cognitive, academic, social, language, affective, motor, functional, transition, and career life skills for individuals with disabilities...58 Knows the role of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) in developing Individual Education Programs (IEPs) for students with disabilities, and applies skills for sequencing, implementing, and evaluating individual learning objectives...59 Applies procedures for developing and using Individual Education Program (IEP) objectives to plan instruction for individuals with disabilities...60 Prepares, adapts, and organizes materials to implement developmentally appropriate and age-appropriate lesson plans based on Individual Education Program (IEP) objectives for individuals with disabilities...61 Applies knowledge of issues, resources, and appropriate strategies for teaching students with disabilities in specialized settings (e.g., alternative schools, special centers, hospitals, residential facilities), including transitions to and from school- and community-based settings...61 SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 ix

6 Skill 3.07 Skill 3.08 Skill 3.09 Skill 3.10 Skill 3.11 Knows how to collaborate with other professionals to interpret and use sensory, mobility, reflex, and perceptual information to create appropriate learning plans...66 Knows how to collaborate with other professionals to plan, adapt, and implement effective instruction in the least restrictive setting for individuals with disabilities...67 Knows how the general or special classroom and other learning environments impact student learning and behavior, and applies strategies for planning educational environments that promote students' learning, active participation, communication, selfadvocacy, increased independence, and generalization of skills...68 Identifies ways in which technology can assist in planning and managing instruction for individuals with disabilities...70 Knows how to use local, state, and federal resources to assist in programming for individuals with disabilities...71 COMPETENCY 004 THE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER UNDERSTANDS AND APPLIES KNOWLEDGE OF PROCEDURES FOR MANAGING THE TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, INCLUDING PROCEDURES RELATED TO THE USE OF ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY...72 Skill 4.01 Skill 4.02 Skill 4.03 Skill 4.04 Applies procedures for ensuring a safe, positive, and supportive learning environment in which diversities are valued, and knows how to address common environmental and personal barriers that hinder accessibility for and acceptance of individuals with disabilities...72 Knows how to use instructional time efficiently and effectively for individuals with disabilities...74 Knows how to design, structure, and manage daily routines, including transition time, for students in a variety of educational settings, and applies procedures for monitoring behavior changes across activities and settings...75 Applies knowledge of basic classroom management theories, methods, and techniques for individuals with disabilities, researchbased best practices for effective management of teaching and learning, and management procedures that are appropriate to individual needs...77 SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 x

7 Skill 4.05 Skill 4.06 Skill 4.07 Skill 4.08 Skill 4.09 Skill 4.10 Identifies ways in which technology can assist in managing the teaching and learning environment to meet the needs of individual students...82 Knows various types of assistive technologies, devices, services, and resources and their role in facilitating students' educational achievement, communication, positioning, mobility, and active participation in educational activities and routines...88 Knows how to make informed decisions about types and levels of assistive technologies, devices, and services for students with various needs, collect and analyze information about a student's environment and curriculum to identify and monitor assistive technology needs, and support the use of assistive technologies, devices, and services...93 Applies procedures for participating in the selection and implementation of assistive technologies, devices, and services for students with various needs...93 Applies procedures for coordinating activities of related services personnel and directing the activities of paraprofessionals, aides, volunteers, and peer tutors...93 Under the direction of related services personnel, applies knowledge of appropriate body mechanics to ensure student and teacher safety in transfer, lifting, positioning, and seating...97 COMPETENCY 005 THE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER KNOWS HOW TO PROMOTE STUDENTS' EDUCATIONAL PERFORMANCE IN ALL CONTENT AREAS BY FACILITATING THEIR ACHIEVEMENT IN A VARIETY OF SETTINGS AND SITUATIONS...99 Skill 5.01 Skill 5.02 Analyzes cultural factors and perspectives that affect relationships among students, parents/guardians, schools, and communities with regard to providing instruction for individuals with disabilities...99 Knows how to serve as a resource person for families, general education teachers, administrators, and other personnel in recognizing the characteristics of and meeting the needs of individuals with learning differences in the general education classroom SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 xi

8 Skill 5.03 Skill 5.04 Skill 5.05 Skill 5.06 Skill 5.07 Skill 5.08 Skill 5.09 Skill 5.10 Skill 5.11 Skill 5.12 Knows how to use assessment results to design, monitor, and adapt instruction to enhance student learning, and applies skills for selecting, adapting, and using effective, research-based instructional strategies, practices, and materials that are developmentally appropriate and age appropriate and that meet individual needs Knows instructional, compensatory, enrichment, and remedial methods, techniques, and curriculum materials, and applies strategies for modifying instruction based on the differing learning styles and needs of students Applies knowledge of techniques for motivating students, including the effects of high teacher expectations on student motivation Knows life-skills and self-help curricula and strategies for providing students with life-skills instruction relevant to independent or assisted living and employment Knows how to select and use appropriate technologies to accomplish instructional objectives, and applies skills for appropriately integrating technology into the instructional process Applies strategies for integrating affective, social, and career/vocational skills with academic curricula, teaching students with disabilities to solve problems and use other cognitive strategies to meet their individual needs, and facilitating maintenance and generalization of skills across learning environments Knows how to adapt lessons to maximize the physical abilities of individuals with specialized needs Knows how to integrate related services into all types of educational settings Knows how to provide community-referenced and communitybased instruction as appropriate Knows how to design and implement instruction in independent living skills, vocational skills, and career education for students with physical and health disabilities and how to promote the use of medical self-management procedures for students with specialized health care needs SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 xii

9 COMPETENCY 006 THE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER UNDERSTANDS AND APPLIES KNOWLEDGE OF ISSUES AND PROCEDURES FOR TEACHING APPROPRIATE STUDENT BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL SKILLS Skill 6.01 Skill 6.02 Skill 6.03 Skill 6.04 Skill 6.05 Skill 6.06 Skill 6.07 Skill 6.08 Skill 6.09 Skill 6.10 Applies knowledge of how culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds of students impact behavior management and social skills instruction Recognizes ways in which teacher attitudes and behaviors and personal cultural biases influence the behavior of students Applies knowledge of ethics, laws, rules, and procedural safeguards related to planning and implementing behavior management and discipline for individuals with and without disabilities Knows theories relating to student problem behavior and the theoretical basis of behavior management techniques Develops and/or selects social skills and behavioral curricula and strategies that promote socially appropriate behavior, and prepares individuals to live cooperatively and productively in society Incorporates social skills instruction across settings and curricula and knows how to design, implement, and evaluate instructional programs that enhance an individual's social participation in family, school, and community activities Identifies realistic expectations for personal and social behavior in various settings, and applies procedures for increasing an individual's self-awareness, self-control, self-management, selfreliance, and self-confidence Knows strategies for modifying learning environments (e.g., schedule, physical and instructional arrangements) to promote appropriate behaviors Knows the impact of language on an individual's behavior and learning and knows how the communication skills of nonspeaking/nonverbal individuals affect their behavior Understands functional behavior assessments and evaluations and their role in developing behavior intervention plans SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 xiii

10 Skill 6.11 Knows strategies for crisis prevention, intervention, and postintervention; applies procedures for developing, implementing, and evaluating individual behavior crisis-management plans in educational settings; and implements the least intensive intervention consistent with individual needs COMPETENCY 007 THE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER UNDERSTANDS AND APPLIES KNOWLEDGE OF TRANSITION ISSUES AND PROCEDURES ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN Skill 7.01 Skill 7.02 Skill 7.03 Skill 7.04 Skill 7.05 Skill 7.06 Skill 7.07 Skill 7.08 Knows how to plan, facilitate, and implement transition activities as documented in Individualized Family Services Plans (IFSPs) and Individual Education Programs (IEPs) Knows how to plan for and link students' current and previous developmental and learning experiences, including teaching strategies, with those of subsequent settings Knows programs and services available at various levels and how to assist students and families in planning for transition Knows how to teach students skills for coping with and managing transitions Knows sources of unique services, networks, and organizations for individuals with disabilities, including career, vocational, and transition support Applies knowledge of procedures and supports needed to facilitate transitions across programs and placements Knows how to collaborate with the student, the family, and others to design and implement transition plans that meet identified student needs and ensure successful transitions Applies skills for communicating with families about issues related to transition and strategies for helping their children make successful transitions SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 xiv

11 DOMAIN III. PROMOTING STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS AND READING AND IN MATHEMATICS COMPETENCY 008 THE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER PROMOTES STUDENTS' PERFORMANCE IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS AND READING Skill 8.01 Skill 8.02 Skill 8.03 Skill 8.04 Skill 8.05 Skill 8.06 Skill 8.07 Skill 8.08 Applies knowledge of developmental processes associated with communication systems, including emergent and preliteracy skills, and knows how to provide a variety of opportunities for students with disabilities to learn communication skills Knows how to use a variety of assessment practices and procedures to plan and implement instruction in English language arts and reading that is responsive to the strengths and needs of individuals with disabilities Knows the nature and stages of literacy development, and various contexts and methods for promoting students' literacy development Applies knowledge of phonological and phonemic awareness and strategies for promoting the phonological and phonemic awareness of students with disabilities Applies knowledge of the alphabetic principle and word analysis skills, and knows how to provide students with disabilities with systematic instruction that promotes their ability to apply the alphabetic principle and word analysis and decoding skills Applies knowledge of reading fluency and the relationship between reading fluency and reading comprehension, and knows how to provide students with disabilities with systematic instruction that promotes their reading fluency Knows the importance of comprehension in reading, and knows how to provide students with disabilities with instruction in the use of skills and strategies to promote their reading comprehension Knows how to provide students with disabilities with systematic instruction to develop skills in writing conventions and competence in written communication SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 xv

12 Skill 8.09 Skill 8.10 Knows the relationship between learning and effective study, critical-thinking, and inquiry skills, and knows how to use various methods and strategies to teach students with disabilities to apply study, critical-thinking, and inquiry skills Knows skills for interpreting, analyzing, evaluating, and providing visual images and messages, and knows how to provide systematic instruction that helps students with disabilities learn to interpret, analyze, evaluate, and create visual images and messages in various media and technologies COMPETENCY 009 THE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER PROMOTES STUDENTS' PERFORMANCE IN MATHEMATICS Skill 9.01 Skill 9.02 Skill 9.03 Skill 9.04 Skill 9.05 Skill 9.06 Knows how to use a variety of assessment methods to monitor the mathematical understanding of students with disabilities and adapt mathematics instruction to address individual strengths and needs Knows how to provide mathematics instruction that is based on principles of children's learning and development and that reflects recognition of common misconceptions and sources of error in mathematics Knows how individuals learn and develop mathematical skills, procedures, and concepts Understands numbers, number systems and their structure, operations and algorithms, and quantitative reasoning, and uses various instructional strategies and resources, including technology, to help students with disabilities understand and apply related content and skills Understands patterns, relations, functions, and algebraic reasoning and analysis, and uses various instructional strategies and resources, including technology, to help students with disabilities understand and apply related content and skills Understands geometry, spatial reasoning, and measurement concepts and principles, and uses various instructional strategies and resources, including technology, to help students with disabilities understand and apply related content and skills SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 xvi

13 Skill 9.07 Skill 9.08 Understands principles and applications of probability and statistics, and uses various instructional strategies and resources, including technology, to help students with disabilities understand and apply related content and skills Applies knowledge of methods, strategies, and resources for teaching students with disabilities to engage in mathematical reasoning and problem solving, apply mathematics in a variety of contexts, and communicate mathematically DOMAIN IV. FOUNDATIONS AND PROFESSIONAL ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES COMPETENCY 010 THE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER UNDERSTANDS THE PHILOSOPHICAL, HISTORICAL, AND LEGAL FOUNDATIONS OF SPECIAL EDUCATION Skill Skill Skill Skill Skill Skill Skill Knows the historical foundations of special education, major contributors to the literature, major legislation relevant to knowledge and practice in the education of individuals with disabilities, and current issues and trends in special education Applies knowledge of models, theories, and philosophies that provide the basis for special education practice Applies current educational terminology and definitions regarding individuals with disabilities, including professionally accepted classification systems and current incidence and prevalence figures Analyzes issues relating to definition and identification procedures for individuals with disabilities, including individuals from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds Understands factors that influence the overrepresentation of culturally and/or linguistically diverse students in programs for individuals with disabilities Recognizes various perspectives regarding definitions and etiologies of disabilities Understands cultural variations in beliefs, traditions, and values and their effects on the relationships among child, family, and school SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 xvii

14 Skill Applies knowledge of the continuum of placement and services for individuals with disabilities COMPETENCY 011 THE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER APPLIES KNOWLEDGE OF PROFESSIONAL ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES AND ADHERES TO LEGAL AND ETHICAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE PROFESSION Skill Skill Skill Skill Skill Skill Skill Knows how to exercise objective professional judgment, maintain a high level of competence and integrity in professional practice, and participate in professional activities and organizations that may benefit individuals with disabilities, their parents/guardians, and/or colleagues Knows consumer and professional organizations, publications, and journals relevant to individuals with disabilities, and knows how to access information on cognitive, communicative, physical, cultural, social, and emotional characteristics and needs of individuals with disabilities Applies skills for participating effectively in identifying, diagnosing, placing, and developing programming for students with disabilities, including using advocacy skills and competencies to support the education of students in least restrictive environments Applies knowledge of assurances and due process rights related to assessment, eligibility, and placement, and knows the rights and responsibilities of parents/guardians, students, teachers, other professionals, and schools Knows legal and ethical issues relevant to working with individuals with disabilities, and knows how to conduct instructional and other professional activities consistent with the requirements of laws, rules and regulations, and local district policies and procedures, including complying with local, state, and federal monitoring and evaluation requirements Knows the roles of and relationships among federal, state, and local entities with regard to the regulation and provision of special education and related services, including specialized health care services Applies knowledge of practices that conform to standards and policies of the profession, including the Code of Ethics and Standard Practices for Texas Educators and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Code of Ethics SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 xviii

15 Skill Skill Skill Demonstrates awareness of personal cultural biases and differences that may affect one's teaching, and knows how to demonstrate respect for the culture, gender, and personal beliefs of individual students Applies procedures for safeguarding confidentiality with regard to students with disabilities, and recognizes the importance of respecting students' privacy Knows laws, regulations, and policies related to the provision of specialized health care in the educational setting COMPETENCY 012 THE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER KNOWS HOW TO COMMUNICATE AND COLLABORATE EFFECTIVELY IN A VARIETY OF PROFESSIONAL SETTINGS Skill Skill Skill Skill Skill Skill Understands the collaborative roles of students, parents/guardians, teachers, and other school and community personnel in planning and implementing an individualized program, and applies effective strategies for working collaboratively in various contexts Applies knowledge of factors that promote effective communication and collaboration with students, parents/guardians, teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school and community personnel Knows how to foster respectful and beneficial relationships between families and professionals in the school and community Knows typical concerns of families of individuals with disabilities and appropriate strategies to support families in dealing with these concerns Applies knowledge of strategies for encouraging and assisting parents/guardians in their role as active participants in their children's education, and applies procedures for planning and conducting collaborative conferences with parents/guardians Applies knowledge of effective communication in various professional contexts, and knows ethical practices for confidential communication regarding individuals with disabilities SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 xix

16 Skill Skill Skill Skill Knows the types of information generally available from parents/guardians, school officials, the legal system, and community service agencies Applies knowledge of the collaborative and consultative roles of Special Education Teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school personnel in integrating individuals with disabilities into general educational settings Knows how to collaborate with teachers in the general educational setting and other school and community personnel to integrate individuals with disabilities into various learning environments Knows how to serve as a resource person for families, general education teachers, administrators, and other school personnel regarding the characteristics and needs of individuals with disabilities Sample Test Answer Key Rationales with Sample Questions References SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 xx

17 DOMAIN I. UNDERSTANDING INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES AND EVALUATING THEIR NEEDS COMPETENCY 1.0 THE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER UNDERSTANDS AND APPLIES KNOWLEDGE OF THE CHARACTERISTICS AND NEEDS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES. Skill 1.01 Knows the characteristics of individuals with disabilities including individuals with different levels of severity and multiple disabilities across eligibility categories. THE CAUSATION AND PREVENTION OF A DISABILITY The exact cause of many disabilities is unknown. A wide variation of factors make it often impossible to pinpoint the cause of a disability. Listed below are some factors that can contribute to the development of a disability. Problems in Fetal Brain Development - During pregnancy, the development of the brain can be affected by a number of factors which could alter how the neurons form or interconnect during fetal brain development. Throughout pregnancy, brain development is vulnerable to disruptions in the developmental process. Early disruptions to fetal brain development often result in miscarriage or the infant may be born with widespread disabilities. Disruptions occurring later, when the cells are becoming specialized and moving into place, may impact cell makeup, location, or connections. It is generally believed that these errors may manifest later as learning disorders. Problems During Pregnancy or Delivery High risk and complicated pregnancies tend to result in a higher number of children born with disabilities. Complications during delivery can contribute to the development of learning disabilities. Delivery complications in which the infant is deprived of oxygen for any period of time can be contributing factors in the development or developmental delays or learning disorders. Genetic Factors - Learning disabilities can run in families, although a direct inherited link has yet to be scientifically established. A genetic predisposition to certain times of learning disabilities has been noted to run in families. Environment - Environmental factors can also contribute to the development of learning disabilities. For example, parents with expressive language disorders may not verbally interact well with their child, or the child may mimic the parent s articulation errors. In this case the lack of good language models can contribute to a speech or language disability. SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 1

18 Tobacco, Alcohol, and Other Drug Use -- Many drugs taken by the mother pass directly to the fetus during pregnancy. Research shows that a mother's usage of cigarettes, alcohol, or other drugs during pregnancy may have damaging effects on the unborn child. Mothers who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have smaller birth weight babies. Premature infants have a higher risk of having developmental delays than full term infants. Heavy alcohol use during pregnancy has been linked to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a condition resulting in low birth weight, intellectual impairment, hyperactivity, and certain physical defects. New studies also examine the impact of the father s drug abuse, which may have an influence on the development of disorders such as learning disabilities and Attention-Deficit Disorder. Toxins in the Environment Up to a year after birth, new brain cells and neural networks continue to develop. These cells are vulnerable to developmental disruptions. Certain environmental toxins, such as cadmium and lead may contribute to learning disabilities. Neurological research has focused on cadmium, used in making steel products, and lead as being significant factors in the development of disabilities in children. These elements can leach into the soil and ultimately into the food supply. Lead was once common in paint and gasoline, and is still present in some water pipes. Children with cancer who have been treated with chemotherapy or radiation at an early age can also develop learning disabilities. Radiation to the skull for the treatment of tumors carries a risk of the development of learning disabilities, as the radiation may damage brain cells. In order to prevent disabilities from occurring, information on the causes of disabilities should be widely available so that parents can take the necessary steps to safeguard their children from conception up until the early years of life. While some of the causes of disability are unavoidable or incidental, there are many causes that can be prevented. SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 2

19 IDENTIFY CHARACTERISTICS OF CHILDREN WITH EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCES Children with emotional disturbances or behavioral disorders are not always easy to identify. The acting-out child who is constantly fighting, or cannot stay on task for more than a few minutes, or who shouts obscenities when angry is easily identified. The child who internalizes his/her problems may not be readily identifiable. The child with an emotional disturbance may be from depression, shyness, or fears. Unless the problem becomes severe enough to impact school performance, the internalizing child may go for long periods without being identified or served. Studies of children with behavioral and emotional disorders identify some general characteristics: Lower Academic Performance: While it is true that some children with emotional disturbance have above average scores on intelligence (IQ) tests, the majority are behind their peers in measures of school achievement. Many have learning problems that exacerbate their acting out or giving-up behavior. As the child enters secondary school, the achievement gap between the child with an emotional disturbance nondisabled peers widens until the child may be two to four years behind in reading and/or math skills by high school. Due to behavioral issues such as defiant or passive-aggressive behaviors, children with severe degrees of impairment may be difficult to evaluate. Social Skills Deficits: Students with deficits in social skills may be uncooperative, selfish in dealing with others, unaware of what to do in social situations, or ignorant of the consequences of their actions. A lack of prior training, lack of opportunities to interact appropriately with others, and dysfunctional family value systems contribute to social skills deficits in children. Classroom Behaviors: Children with emotional disturbances often display disruptive classroom behavior. Significant classroom behaviors frequently exhibited by the child with an emotional disturbance include: habitually out of seat or running around the room, hitting, fighting, disturbing classmates, stealing or destroying property. The child with an emotional disturbance may be defiant, noncompliant, and/or verbally disruptive. The child with an emotional disturbance will often have difficulty following directions and often does not complete assignments. Aggressive Behaviors: Aggressiveness is often noted in the child with an emotional disturbance. The child will often fight or instigate their peers to strike back at them. Aggressiveness may also take the form of vandalism or destruction of property. Aggressive children also engage in verbal abuse. SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 3

20 Delinquency: As the child with an emotional disturbance enters adolescence, he or she may become involved in socialized aggression (i.e. gang membership) and delinquency. Delinquency is a legal, rather than a medical term, and describes actions that would be criminal if committed by adults. Not every child who exhibits delinquent behaviors is classified as having an emotional disturbance, but children with behavioral and emotional disorders are especially at risk for becoming delinquent Problems at school (the primary place for socializing with peers), deficits in social skills that may make them unpopular at school, and dysfunctional contribute to making the child with an emotional disturbance at risk for developing delinquent behaviors. Withdrawn Behaviors: Children who manifest withdrawn behaviors may consistently act in an immature fashion or prefer to play with younger children. The withdrawn child may daydream or complain of being sick in order to escape. The withdrawn child may also exhibit behaviors such as often crying, clinging to the teacher, and ignoring those who attempt to interact with him or her. The withdrawn child may also become fearful or depressed. Schizophrenia and Psychotic Behaviors: Schizophrenia typically manifests itself between the ages of 15 and 45, typically, the younger the onset, the more severe the disorder. Children with Schizophrenia or related disorders may have bizarre delusions, hallucinations, incoherent thoughts, and disconnected thinking. These behaviors usually require intensive treatment beyond the scope of the regular classroom setting. Gender: Many more boys than girls are identified as having emotional and behavioral problems, especially hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, autism, and childhood psychosis. Boys typically are identified as having problems with control, such as aggression and socialized aggression more often than are girls. Girls, tend to exhibit more difficulty with over control, such as withdrawal and phobias. Age Characteristics: When they enter adolescence, girls tend to experience affective or emotional disorders such as anorexia, depression, bulimia, and anxiety at twice the rate of boys, which mirrors the adult prevalence pattern. SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 4

21 Family Characteristics: Having a child with an emotional or behavioral disorder does not automatically mean that the family is dysfunctional. However, there are family factors that create or contribute to the development of behavior disorders and emotional disturbance. Abuse and neglect Lack of appropriate supervision Lax, punitive, and/or lack of discipline High rates of negative types of interaction among family members Lack of parental concern and interest Negative adult role models Lack of proper health care and/or nutrition Disruption in the family IDENTIFY CHARACTERISTICS OF CHILDREN WITH MILD LEARNING, INTELLECTUAL, AND BEHAVIORAL DISABILITIES Some characteristics of students with mild learning and behavioral disabilities are as follows: Lack of interest in schoolwork Prefer concrete rather than abstract lessons Possess weak listening skills Low achievement; limited verbal and/or writing skills Respond better to active rather than passive learning tasks Have areas of talent or ability often overlooked by teachers Higher dropout rate than typically developing peers Require modification in classroom instruction and are easily distracted. IDENTIFY CHARACTERISTIC OF STUDENTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES Characteristics of students with learning disabilities include: Hyperactivity: a rate of motor activity higher than normal Perceptual difficulties: visual, auditory, and perceptual problems Perceptual-motor impairments: poor integration of visual and motor systems, often affecting fine motor coordination. Disorders of memory and thinking: memory deficits, trouble with problem-solving, concept formation and association, poor awareness of own metacognitive skills (learning strategies) Impulsiveness: acts before considering consequences, poor impulse control, often followed by remorselessness. Academic problems in reading, math, writing or spelling; significant discrepancies in ability levels. SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 5

22 IDENTIFY CHARACTERISTICS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH MENTAL RETARDATION OR INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES Individuals with mental retardation or intellectual disabilities may exhibit the following characteristics: Score of below 70 on an intelligence test. Limited cognitive ability. Delayed academic achievement, particularly in language-related subjects. Deficits in memory which often relate to poor initial perception, or inability to apply stored information to relevant situations Impaired formulation of learning strategies Difficulty in attending to relevant aspects of stimuli. Slowness in reaction time or in employing alternate strategies. IDENTIFY CHARACTERISTICS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH AUTISM Autism appears very early in childhood and is generally identified by age three. Six common features of autism are: Apparent sensory deficit: The child may appear not to see or hear or react to a stimulus, then react in an extreme fashion to a seemingly insignificant stimulus. Severe affect isolation: The child with autism does not respond to the usual signs of affection such as smiles and hugs. Self-stimulation: The child with autism may exhibit stereotyped behavior that takes the form of repeated or ritualistic actions, such as hand flapping, rocking, staring at objects, or humming the same sounds for hours at a time. Tantrums and self-injurious behavior (SIB) Children with autism may bite themselves, pull their hair, bang their heads, or hit themselves. They may have severe tantrums, and direct aggression and destructive behavior toward others. Delayed or unusual speech/language development Children with autism may engage in echolalia, also known as parrot talk. For example, the child with autism may repeat what is played on television, or respond to others by repeating or echoing back what was said. Alternatively, the child with autism may not speak at all. Severe deficits in behavior and self-care skills. Children with autism may exhibit behavior patterns that would be typical for children much younger than themselves. Teachers of special education students should be aware of the similarities as well as the differences between disability conditions. SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 6

23 Students in all areas of disabilities may demonstrate difficulty in social skills. For a student with a hearing impairment, social skills may be difficult because of not hearing social language. However, the student with an emotional disturbance may have difficulty because of a special type of psychological disturbance. A student with autism might be unaware of the social cues given with voice, facial expression, and body language. Each of these students would need social skill instruction, but the emphasis would be different for each. Students in all areas of disabilities may demonstrate difficulty in academic skills. A student with mental retardation will need special instruction across all areas of academics while a student with a learning disability may need assistance in only one or two subject areas. Students with disabilities may demonstrate difficulty with independence or selfhelp skills. A student with a visual impairment may need specific mobility training while a student with a specific learning disability may need a checklist to help in managing materials and assignments. Special education teachers should be aware that although students across disabilities may demonstrate difficulty in similar ways, the causes may be very different. For example, some disabilities are due to specific sensory impairments (hearing or vision), some due to cognitive ability (mental retardation), and some due to neurological impairment (autism or some learning disabilities). The reason for the difficulty should be a consideration when planning the program of special education intervention. Additionally, special education teachers should be aware that each area of disability has a range of involvement. Some students may have minimal disability and require no services. Others may need only a few accommodations. Some may need goals and objectives that outline a specific special education program. Implementation of the goals and objectives could be carried out in a variety of settings, including general education and special education programs. A student with an attention deficit may be able to participate in the regular education program with accommodations that include a checklist system to keep the student organized and additional communication between school and home. Other students with attention deficits may need instruction in smaller groups with fewer distractions and would best benefit from a special education setting. Special educators should be knowledgeable of the cause and severity of the disability and its manifestations in the specific student when planning an appropriate special education program. Because of the unique needs of the child, such programs are documented in the child s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 7

24 Skill 1.02 Knows how the developmental, academic, social, career, and functional characteristics of individuals with disabilities relate to levels of support needed, and applies knowledge of human development and disabilities to plan and implement appropriate curriculum. Each child with a disability has unique needs that may not necessarily be applied to another child with the same or similar disability. In order to adequately assess a student s educational needs, the teacher must plan for each student on an individual basis. Collaboration with others, such as the general education teacher, parents, and service providers is essential to assure appropriate programming and instruction for students with disabilities. Students with mild learning, intellectual, and behavior disabilities are identifiable by academic and social behaviors that deviate from those of their classmates. Generalities can be made about this population. Students with mild intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, and behavior disorders are the largest subgroup of students receiving special education services. The total group of students with mild intellectual, learning, and behavior disabilities comprise about half of the total special education population. Students with mild disabilities are typically served by special education during their school year, but mild disabilities are often unrecognized before and after school years. No nationally accepted criteria for identifying mild disabilities exist; therefore, the categories of mental retardation, learning disabilities, and behavior disorders can vary from state to state. Each state has developed its own identification criteria; therefore, a student may be eligible for special education service delivery in one state and not necessarily so in another. Effective collaboration between general and special education teachers is vital to the development of appropriate educational programming for students with disabilities. Skill 1.03 Knows theoretical explanations for behavior disorders, and analyzes the varied characteristics of behavior disorders and their effect on learning. Behavior disorders can range from mild to serious. A child is said to have a specific disorder when the behavior occurs frequently and to a degree that impacts the learning and safety of the child and others. SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 8

25 One theoretical explanation for behavior disorders is Time-Stable Individual Differences. The main premise of this approach is that certain characteristics predispose an individual to antisocial behavior. For example, traits such as emotional instability, antisocial personality, and impulsiveness, combined with lower intelligence levels tend to predispose individuals toward to reckless or even criminal behaviors People with high impulsivity are thought to be unable to commit to conventional activity and are less likely to establish relationships or persist in educational activities. Social and Environmental Theory is based on the premise that specific social and environmental factors influence the decision to commit certain behaviors. Factors such as dysfunctional family environments and gang participation are related to the development of behavior disorders in children. Interaction Theory attempts to explicitly define interactions between characteristics of the individual and features of the social environment that are considered integral to behavioral development. There are two main approaches within this perspective. Dynamic-behavior theory focuses on developmental aspects, while the functional analysis model offers an explanation for the maintenance of the behavior. Instinct Theory focuses on the innate and evolutionary nature of aggression. Freudian Theory supports Instinct Theory and purports two basic instincts, the sex and aggression instinct or death instinct. Psychic energy used for aggression is always being created, requiring an outlet. The release of aggression is considered a catharsis. Students need to learn ways to decrease aggressive energy through appropriate means. The Biophysical Perspective emphasizes the relationship between physical and biological factors, including body chemistry and genetics, and that of behavior. Drug therapy is often utilized in this approach. It is believed that the id, ego, and superego act as a system of checks and balances on behavior. The id is the pleasure seeking, impulsive force that is dominant in childhood. The superego is the conscience, which represents moral and ethical beliefs. The ego mediates between the id and the superego. The ego guides actions by taking into account the natural consequences of behavior. The Psychodynamic Approach underscores the need to understand why students are disruptive. This approach emphasizes the connection between how a student feels and how a student acts. The Psychoeducational framework utilized with the Psychodynamic Approach integrates clinical insights in behavior with practical methods for managing the behavior. This type of approach resulted from the merger of behavior management with psychodynamic theory. SPECIAL EDUCATION EC-12 9

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