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  • Zulfikar Dhanse

Guide to Special Education and Helpful Learning Tools to Reduce Costs and Increase Success

Introduction: So what is Special Education?

Special education is a program that offers specialized instruction to students with disabilities. The goal of this program is to help these students succeed in school and society. Special education services are offered to children and adults with a wide range of needs, and conditions including autism, intellectual disability, hearing impairment, speech impairment, physical disability and other special needs. There are many ways that special education can help individuals with disabilities. It can provide them with the opportunity to learn alongside their peers in the regular classroom setting; it can provide them with one-on-one instruction from a specially trained teacher; or it may offer them assistance from therapists who focus on speech therapy, occupational therapy or physical therapy.

Learning Disabilities & How Assistive Technology can help Learning disabilities are a group of conditions that affect a person's ability to read, write, speak or listen. Children who show early signs of a learning disability can be diagnosed by the age of 2. Children with learning disabilities usually have trouble in one of these areas: reading, writing, speaking, listening, and math. Some of these disabilities are Dyscalculia, A specific learning disability that affects a person’s ability to understand numbers and learn math facts. Or Dysgraphia, a specific learning disability that affects a person’s handwriting ability and fine motor skills. Or Dyslexia, which is a specific learning disability that affects reading and related language-based processing skills.

7 Learning Disabilities

There has been an increase in the prevalence of 'Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities' recently, meaning that some people find it difficult to read non-verbal cues and may have poor coordination abilities. So other related disabilities are ADHD, a disorder that includes difficulty staying focused and paying attention, controlling behavior, and hyperactivity. Or disability of the Executive Functions which affects, planning, organization, strategizing, attention to detail, and managing time and space. There are many assistive technologies for children with disabilities available to help them learn more easily. It can help those who struggle with cognitive difficulties and those who have physical impairments. For example, some students find it hard to concentrate on the lesson and so they use accessible devices to help make understanding audio sentences easier. There are also Assistive Technology tools designed to help people who struggle with math. They offer both visual + auditory support so that it's easier to read and understand basic problems. There are also a wide range of assistive technology tools available to help individuals who struggle with reading. While each of these tools works a little differently, most of them present text as speech and help facilitate decoding, reading fluency, and comprehension.

These tools give parents and therapists a low-cost alternative to traditional therapy while giving a very high chance of success with their children.

For a list of some other great software/tools used in Special Education please check out this brilliant article here from Are there any top assistive technology tools that you recommend? Let us know in the comments below.

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