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Essay On Children With Disabilities
The cartoon has triggered a clear stimulus indicating that if a path is cleared for those individuals who are in specific need then a path gets cleared for every other individual. The trigger arises the focus on those children or students who are in need of help in the form of inclusion. The aim of this assignment writing service is to focus attention on autistic children requiring inclusion to cater the needs of learning difficulties faced by them. In addition, this has been studied on the cases of current research literature leading towards demonstrating an understanding on legislations, adjustments and accommodations along with collaboration with stakeholders and the views connected with inclusion (Wagner 1999).
Inclusion is that terms which has been coined together to describe arguments which are philosophical in nature with regard to autistic children. Degree of inclusion varies and inclusion needs to advocate a support on arguments that diagnosis of children segregation does not lead to an interest which is at its best for the child. It has been argued by full inclusion advocates that integration of autistic children has to be with normal children in the regular classes of education at all points of time. The reference of this essay has been from the perspective of a particular subject. The chosen subject is geography.
The philosophical position of inclusion has two arguments on which it is based. These are:
- Segregate the autistic children and deny them the access to regular classes leading to a denial for regular experience
- Services also being segregated but this have not resulted in sufficient education for autistic children. While inclusion arguments have a similarity to each other but there still exist important differences with regard to their movement and mainstreaming framework (Powers 2000).
Autism is that disability which consistently develops affecting the normal function of the brain. Autism is present from birth affects the learning of individuals since birth. The diagnosis usually is done only after the child is 3 years of age and persists throughout the child’s adulthood. Autistic children have difficulty in skills of communication, skills which are social and in regard to reasoning as well.
Autism symptoms are widely built and include repetitive objects usage, communication issues, resistance in routine changes and issues in interacting socially. Autism symptoms vary and this is referred as the spectrum disorder.
With specialized support, training and specifically intervention in early stages of intervention can lead an individual with autism in the right direction making them find a meaning in their life making them productive (Powers 2000).
This can be led in the right direction with inclusive education that in incorporated for providing an opportunity to all children to make them learn in school. Inclusive education has a concentration on implementation of best practices for autistic children within the classroom which is regular. Within such classrooms, all individuals need a chance to interact with learning involved with peers. Such environment of inclusive framework provides opportunities for autistic children with autism providing them a confidence to interact socially in turn improving the social skills (Fahety 2005).
The movement of inclusive education was primarily focused on autistic people with difficulties in learning (Ainscow et al. 2006). The assumption was evident across all literatures and also across the documents of legislations. Recently, this concept has expanded to embrace all those who are facing the risk of marginalization. From this perspective, the approach can be thought as that one which addresses learning barriers and participation providing such resources supporting learning and participation. This has caused an increased support on all activities which include consideration of extra curricula’s increasing the school capacities to respond towards diversity.
The Learning supported in addition a wider view of inclusion replacing the narrow notion within the framework of educational needs with additional support for learners (Clipart 2003).
NSW Anti Discrimination Act, 1977 has provided to state unlawful all that behavior which involves discriminates on the grounds of race, gender, marital status, disability, sexuality and age. Inclusion in underpinned by this act and by several other acts strengthening the rights of pupils with statutory statements of special educational need to get educated in regular schools. In addition the policy has driven a concern for rights of children specifying concern that segregates education isolating them from developing peers typically, curricula in the mainstream and also practices of educational framework.
Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act, 1992 talks about calling the negative behavior towards autistic students to be unlawful and has to be avoided as it involves discrimination. In addition, the human rights and equal opportunity commission has made inclusive education to determine principles and practices involved for special needs children. People with disability in Australia have equal rights in respect to others in the community which includes right to access and participation in institutes of education (Kinmey and Fischer 2001).
Disability standards for education, 2005 was formulated from disability discrimination act, 1992 and was tabled in parliament. The standards in this act provided a clarification for obligating education and providers of training ensuring that all students with special needs are able to have an access to participate in education as well as training on the same framework as other children.
The objects of this act are to:
- Eliminate discrimination against those individuals on disability grounds for education and training
- Ensuring practical rights to provide equality in the presence of the law for education and training like everyone else
- Promoting recognition and accepting communities on the basis of the disability principle having some fundamental rights like everyone else
In addition, this act is supported by providers of education which have educational authorities, educational institution and organizations having the purpose to develop curriculum used by other providers of education.
Rights and Conflicts
There are various conflicts having the potential on the rights present under the inclusion pursuit. The relationship between choice of parents and rights of children’s is an example of such a conflict. There can be other situations as well in which parents and wishes of children are not compatible necessarily. It may be the parents preference to have a mainstream class but autistic children might consider a segregated classroom as they may find it easier to relate with their kind of children around. Such tensions in the policies of education have led towards development of various debates. These debates have strong views on all sides (Hopkins 2004). The tension has been regarding inclusion values and individuality values. It has been argued by Norwich (2008) that in order to deal with differences that are significant and exceptional, society has to find a way where these multiple values get balances like labeling versus provision access or common curriculum participation versus programs of learning for fulfilling the needs of individuals. Resolving these dilemmas and with this multiple values balance, the society can reach a state which leads to ideological impurity removal.
Catering to students with special Needs
For preparing students in assessment tasks, it is important that teachers have to be aware of the learning needs of students in the classes. This includes ESL learners with levels that are varied, literacy and understanding of concepts and autistic children or children with special needs range.
There are various strategies that can be adapted for learners in the field of geography which are especially applicable particularly in the pre- teaching stage.
Pictures and illustrated editions need to be used in order to convey text passages and theories from books. Another option is to use clip arts or graphics to let the autistic students understand various geographical phenomena. Geography is the study of places which is not complete without map studies. Maps can be boring and unattractive to autistic children and so a learning style has to be accommodated which explains concepts with the help of media. Some playful activities can also be used to attract the interest of autistic students towards map study activities. For example, a map of student’s bedroom or classroom can be depicted with a place marked on it. Student should be allowed to explore the room according to the map and find the marked location, using prompts if needed. A reward could be placed at the marked location that the student receives after finding it through map reading. This activity can be subsequently performed on a large scale by using maps of entire school, parks, etc.
Real maps can be taught by making a map of countries showing important locations that might be of particular interest to the student, for example location of a relative’s home, Disneyland, etc. Other methods of teaching advanced concepts could involve:
- Using photos and descriptions with voice in order to describe patters, processes and key elements
- Creating a word scrap which has an area for writing on pictures or area sketches
- Resources emphasizing on touch such as 3D models and sonic or tactile maps (Fahety 2005)
In order to make students adjust with each other, they have to be exposed to such environments which are not familiar to them. Geography includes a lot of fieldworks, developed visits and other possible learning. These should be adjusted reasonably for inclusive teaching and should be in accordance to the government policies. It is important that a check is made on the school and its grounds and labels are put wherever necessary. Another adjustment can be with regard to providing audio descriptions and digital photographs which are attractive and would make inclusive adjustments fruitful (Wagner 1999). While teaching in the class, care should be taken to reduce potential distractions such as noise and bright light. Assignment and homework deadlines should be made flexible. Breaks between lectures should be allowed for students with special needs so that they are able to retain focus for longer stretch.
Collaborative Curriculum Planning
Geography lesson plans have to be inclusive in nature where teachers have to find the need to anticipate the barriers in taking part while learning through particular activities, lessons or even particular series (Faherty 2005). For some activities, autistic children might not be able to take part and so, collaboration has to be through parallel activities. For example: using mind maps asking students to represent the concepts in geography and collect ideas rather than normal texts of theories. Paintings and travel books could be used to illustrate topographies and geographical areas around the world. Prior to teaching autistic students about maps, they should be made to practice drawing maps of simple environments, for example the classroom.
In order to create an effective curriculum for students with special needs, there are various adjustments that need to be made based on a collaborative approach between teachers, parents, service providers, and the students themselves. Teachers should be given time with students to understand their needs and difficulties in studying maps, contour, lectures and audios. During the early phases, maps should be given to students of routes to transit between teaching venues. As a teacher, one should be available to support with lectures, organizing homework and assignments, library work, facilitating communication with peers. All important and relevant information in lecture notes and books should be highlighted. For example, definitions, names of capitals, mountain ranges, etc., which a student might need to remember can be marked differently in different color (e.g. mountains with a brown, river with a blue and so on).
Organization of classroom should be in such a way that it allows a balance between the whole class and the small group. The learning environment for geography teaching has to be inclusive in nature. This includes taking care of lights, noises, reducing glares, students using hearing aids, low vision aids, video presentations having sub titles for deaf students and students who are autistic. Whiteboards have to interactive in nature and so non reflective to reduce the effect of glare.
Using resources such as proper colors, symbols in order to make sure that maps and atlases which are accessible by all students as well as are properly labeled. In addition, using digital presentations such as making a visit to field trips could be arranged to attract contribution from every student (Clipart 2003). Seating arrangements should be made in classrooms so that students with special needs are not discomforted during lectures such that they are distracted. For example, seats with back support can be provided, in addition to allowing some students to sit near the door.
Teacher Beliefs and Attitudes
Inclusion will not work if the attitude of the teachers and their belief is not strong enough to support the process. According to O’Brien (2000), the key resource of inclusion in a successful way is inside the head of the teacher. There is a positive disposal of teachers towards inclusion of those students who have special needs and less for those who have problems related to behavior and emotions. Teachers should rather classify and then study the types and characteristics of students in their class in order to deal with all of them working towards the same goal but having different needs (Baker 2003).
Inclusion has an important value to add and a difference to make with regard to seeing beyond disability in students with special needs. With inclusion, peer tutoring, consolidation for tutors, increased collaboration of all members involved as well as saving the time for everyone involved can be accomplished. Students with special needs are not different and this has been proved by the various legislations designed by the common wealth government focusing on providing equal rights to children with special needs. Autistic children or children with special needs do not require a segregation process but they need to be collaborated with the general children in order to make the society look at them beyond their disability (Autism Society Ontario 2003).
- Autism Society Ontario, 2003, A Chance to Be Me (video). Toronto, ON.
- Autism Society Ontario, 2003, Meet My Brother (video). Toronto, ON.
- Baker, C. (2003). Learning Styles Audit. Retrieved March 2, 2005 from http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/tld/audit/lstyles/audit.htm
- Clipart, K., (2003), Retrieved June 17, 2005 from www.clipart.com
- Faherty, C., 2005, Understanding Friends. TEACCH:: The University of North Carolina.Retrieved February 23, 2005 from http://www.teacch.com/teacch_e.htm
- Faherty, C., 2000, Asperger’s...What Does It Mean To Me? Arlington, TX: Future Horizons, Inc.
- Hopkins, G. , 2004, Positively Respectful. Education World. Retrieved February 17, 2005 from http://www.education-world.com/a_lesson/04/lp329-02.shtml