Special education refers to the focused attention and education given to children with various physical, mental, developmental and learning disabilities, as well as to children with exceptionally high intelligence and talent. Students receiving special education may suffer from varying types and levels of disability, including visual or hearing impairment, brain injuries, dyslexia or autism. Or, if they are particularly gifted rather than challenged, they may be reading twelfth-grade material at the age of seven.
If you have what it takes to create lesson plans designed to maximize learning for special-needs children, earning an online degree in special education can help advance your career goals.
Special education teachers may work with infants, toddlers, elementary school children or high school students in a classroom or school designed for groups of children with similar disabilities or abilities. Those working in public schools must have a bachelor’s degree in education or special education and a teaching license.
Earning an online degree in special education can help individuals work with infants, toddlers, elementary school children or high schools students with special needs. Below are more details concerning careers within this field.
Special education teachers assess each individual’s particular instructional needs. They create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to set goals for the child and outline a transition plan to prepare the student for the next level of education, reviewing the plan with parents, teachers and administrators to track the child’s progress.
Speech therapists help people to overcome problems with language, speech and voice that may have been caused by delayed development, an accident, genetic disorder, stroke or major trauma. As applied to special education, they may help children learn how to speak for the first time or work to overcome an accent, lisp, stutter or speech defect.
The role of a special education paraprofessional is to assist the teacher in assessing the child’s individual needs, developing a lesson plan to meet those needs and then implementing that plan. Paraprofessionals often participate in the creation of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for each child, a process that includes the teacher, representatives from the school administration, and the child’s parents.
As a teacher, nothing gives you more pleasure than seeing your students engaged in learning. As an educator who works with gifted or special needs students, you know that challenges are plentiful but not insurmountable. If this sounds like you, we’ve found an area of study that may pique your interest.
A speech pathology degree provides the appropriate educational background for a career as a speech-language pathologist or speech therapist.