Special Education

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Efforts to educate severely and profoundly handicapped students continue to be a problem for school districts throughout the United States. In the acts passed by the Congress, such as the 'Individual's with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 1997)', definitions of severe disabilities were not included in the amendments.


The term low-incidence disability is used to refer to these individuals, because the occurrence of such disabilities is less than 1% of the general population (Horner, Albin, Todd & Sprague, 2006). The numbers of students with such disabilities are accordingly less. But the important consideration for these students is the support that is required to help them participate in the community and to live a decent life similar to that of other citizens. Such students will need support for mobility, communication, self-care and learning (Horner, et al., 2006). While these students may have the capacity to learn, they must have lifelong support as well. Because legislation provides for the education of all students, these individuals must be educated to the levels of their abilities (No Child Left Behind Act of 2001). There's a need for providing them an opportunity to function without the stereotypes that exist about their potential.
Students who can learn language acquisition skills can be taught the standards as required in the functional academics standards. There are three levels of language for students with severe disabilities: pre-symbolic, early symbolic and expanded symbolic (Horner, et al., 2006). Because some students are not able to respond to words and pictures, there is also a stage called non-symbolic. ...
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