Amelia Tartaglia Dr. Levy SPED 602 Philosophical Statement In our schools today we see many different types of things going on. Classrooms are not set up like they were in the past and the main reason for that is because our students have different needs. Many students suffer from emotional or behavioral disorders and require special services or specific learning needs. It is important that all disorders are identified clearly and the students receive the special help that they need to succeed in school and later on in life. There must be an understanding of the disorders they suffer from and how to work with the children effectively. Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Emotional disorders are any mental disorder not caused by detectable organic abnormalities of the brain and in which a major disturbance of emotions is predominant. Behavioral disorders are often referring to children who exhibit extreme or unacceptable chronic behavior problems. Disruptive behavior disorders involve consistent patterns of behavior that break the rules. Behavioral disorders are basically disorders that affect behavior and emotional well-being. The term "emotional disorders" is not a fully accurate medical term, but is commonly used in ordinary context to refer to those psychological disorders that appear to affect the emotions such as anxiety disorders or depressive disorders. More correct disease categories are psychological disorders, psychiatric disorders, anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, behavioral disorders or personality disorders. Types of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Anxiety Disorders: are when a child will experience severe worry, fear or uneasiness Symptoms will include excessive fear, excessive anxiety, increased heart rate, sweating, weakness, feeling of faint, dizziness and possible nausea. Types of Anxiety Disorders may be: Panic disorder Obsessive-compulsive disorder Post-traumatic Stress disorder Phobias Types of Disorders continued… Severe depression Children that are very sad, feel worthless, lose interest in activities, decline in schoolwork, change in appetite or sleep pattern, believe they are ugly and unable to do anything right. Bipolar Disorder Show signs of drastic mood swings, have manic phases, talk excessively, need little sleep and use poor judgment. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Children that are unable to focus attention, have severe impulses, easily distracted, have difficulty remaining still, taking turns and keeping quiet. Types of Disorders continued… Learning Disorders Difficulties that make it harder for children to learn and retain information. Conduct Disorder Children have little concern/respect for others, violate the basic rights of others and will act out in destructive ways. Autism Children that have extreme difficulty interacting and communicating with other individuals. Causes of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Emotional and behavioral disorders in children are caused by biology, environment, or a combination of the two. Sometimes genetics, chemical imbalances in the body, and damage to the central nervous system can cause a mental disorder. Many environmental factors also can affect mental health, including exposure to violence, extreme stress, and the loss of an important person. Educational Approaches There are many approaches that may be used when dealing with an emotional or behavioral disorder. Schools today offer special education and provide services to the students at no cost to the families. Teachers may differentiate their instruction to meet the needs of their students. There is also technological support that may offer further assistance in teaching a student with an emotional or mental disorder. Educational Approaches continued… There are many strategies that can be used to improve the learning of student with disabilities. One strategy is putting in place a screening instrument that sole purpose is to detect signs that may be associated with disorders. It is important to use this tool because we can then determine any emotional and or behavioral disorder a child may have. It is also imperative that we use proven methods to improve the learning based on the specific needs of a child. When early intervention is utilized the success of the child may be more feasible because of the early detection of a disability and early service provided. One must never forget to also provide the most developed instruction based on the individual needs of the student. Educational Approaches continued… Early Intervention is also extremely important. When identifying a child with emotional or behavioral disorders it is extremely important to do this in an early stage of life because the earlier it is detected then the earlier a child begins to receive services that can help them succeed. Early intervention can help to prevent other disorders from possibly developing at a later age, as well as prevent any negative effects a child may experience academically and socially. Early intervention is a program where teachers, parents and other professionals will work together to help children with the slightest sign of an emotional or behavioral disorder. It is designed to offer intervention and adjustments so that a child may perform successfully in school. It is beneficial because then fewer children will be recommended for special education and has been proven to provide lifelong success. Educational Approaches continued… Other classroom techniques that can be used are a combination of Assertive Discipline and McGregor’s Theory X and Y. McGregor’s theory states you should give students a sense of autonomy so they could feel like they had control over decision making. Assertive Discipline states that children accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions. These theories can work together if the teacher doesn’t go through a power struggle with the children. The teacher should model listening to the student’s problems regardless of whether they are “troublemakers” or not. Not only is this portraying peace building, it is letting each child feels like they matter to the teacher and to the class community. Educational Approaches continued… Differentiated instruction is adapting our teaching methodologies and instruction to meet the needs of all our students. It is important for the success of our students that each of their learning needs is met so they have the opportunity of succeeding in school and the future. Differentiated instruction calls for teachers to be flexible and adapt their lessons and instruction accordingly. In order for differentiated instruction to work appropriately the teacher must first recognize many things about the students. A teacher must take into account the very different background knowledge, their readiness to learn, their language, learning styles that are preferred and their ability to react responsively. Educational Approaches continued… This technique is meant for teaching and learning of the different abilities of all the students in the same class. The teacher must assist in the learning for each student. A teacher must plan the lesson to meet the needs of the students and then plan for individual, paired and small group instruction based on individual learning styles and ability. For differentiated instruction to work effectively there are three essential elements that must be taken into consideration. First element is content, which means several elements and materials are used to support instructional content, the tasks and objectives to learning goals must be aligned, and instruction is concept-focused and principle-driven. Second element is process in which flexible grouping is consistently used and classroom management benefits the students and the teacher. Third element is product where initial and on-going assessment of student readiness and growth are essential, the students are active and responsible explorers and the expectations and requirements for student responses vary according to ability. Closing thoughts… As teachers it is important to remember that students today are not all the same . There are many students that experience behavioral and emotional disorders. These students may be required to be in a special education class. It is our job as teachers to be there for our students and have an understanding that they want to learn. They need our help, support, guidance and most of all our care. Special education doesn’t have to be the stereotypes that people have developed. It can be a warm, caring learning environment for the students. All you need is some patience, skills and respect towards all students!!!
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