Special Education

Who is a Special Education Specialist?

Teachers and experts with a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D. degree in special education are Special Education Specialists.   

What is Special Education?

Special education is a specific educational process conducted through use of programs, methods, and materials uniquely developed by special education specialists in order to  improve the quality of any given condition and to reduce or eliminate a deficiency an individual suffers from due to delays in either one or many aspects of development.

Who needs special education?

Children who are behind their peers in terms of developmental or who bear an official diagnosis established via standard tests are in need of special education. If your child displays some of the following features, s/he might be a child with special needs either diagnosed or not:

  • Developmental delays in sitting, crawling, walking, running, and speaking
  • Your child does not respond although you call out her/his name
  • Difficulties in setting up games
  • Long periods of exposure to television, tablet, or smart phone (more than 1-2 hours daily)
  • Obsessed with some objects to carry, align, or arrange
  • Long and unstoppable crying seizures
  • No functional use of toys (instead of talking on the toy phone, s/he rubs it onto the ground or hits with it)
  • Very short-term interest in toys and objects, and rapid interest shifts between objects
  • Reduced amount of eye contact with either you or the others around
  • Overly silent and calm with no demands for anything
  • Difficulty expressing how she feels
  • Preference to play alone and failure to start games with others
  • Presence of established routines and meltdowns when a routine is not followed
  • Difficulty in directing her/his attention and focusing
  • Cannot answer information questions (Why, How, What, Where, When, Who) although s/he is 5 years of age
  • Low academic success
  • Problems in social relations with peers
  • Rapid fade of memories and information recently studied

Decision Making Process for Special Education at DLLGEM

Following the diagnosis by Childhood and Adolescence Psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, speech and language therapist or special education specialist carry out relevant assessment procedures based on the child’s deficiency. During the assessment process, typically developing peers serve as the norm.

  • If a clinical psychologist administers the assessment procedure, s/he makes use of either developmental or intelligence tests appropriate for the child (AGTE, DENVER, WISC-4) to determine the severity of developmental deficiency/delay, and refers the child to special education unit when necessary. 
  • If a speech and language therapist conducts the assessment procedure, s/he applies developmental tests for speech and language to identify the severity of developmental deficiency/delay and decides if there is a need for special education through her7his observations during the assessment.
  • If a special education specialist carries out the assessment procedure, s/he examines age-appropriate skills the child should have through plays, and decides if the child needs special education by way of observing the child’s reactions and behaviors during the assessment.

What do Special Education Specialists do at DILGEM?

Special education specialist, first of all, determines the current status of the child through developmental assessments. Next, the child’s family is informed about the assessment results. Then, special education specialist, clinical psychologist, and speech & language therapist starts working with the child via a firm coordination with the child’s family. For instance, special education specialist conducts supportive activities for fine motor development during the therapy sessions and assigns follow-up activities for the family to work with the child in her/his real environment. Similarly, families are informed about all areas of deficiency targeted during therapy sessions and are guided about how to administer relevant follow-up exercises at home or school. At the end of each session, families are briefed about their children’s development, their questions are answered, and wishes and desires are met.

 

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