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The world of Special Education is new when compared to the rest of history. For thousands of years, children and adults with special needs, both physical and emotional, were cast aside and abandoned by societies throughout the world.
In fact, in ancient times people thought children with special needs were born because the gods were angry. Thinking about that today seems absolutely ridiculous! Try this, just over 45 years ago in 1969, there were over 1 million children with special needs EXCLUDED from schools! These human beings were not even given the right to public education at all and didn’t have the ability to step on school grounds because they were perceived as “different.”
From Cruelty To Understanding – Trends In Special Education From Then To Now;
In the infographic below, Special Education Degrees outlines the treatment of children with special needs throughout time. It’s truly astonishing how far we’ve come as a society in the past 100 years as it relates to special education. From casting aside anyone perceived as “different,” to understanding and making an effort to ensure everyone has access to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). However, it’s alarming just how far we have yet to go in ensuring that all children receive the opportunity and special education resources necessary to reach their excellence.
Special Education Milestones Throughout History;
- 1776 – A founding father with a disability signs the Declaration Of Independence.
- 1817 – First permanent school for the deaf opens in Connecticut.
- 1829 – New England Asylum for the Blind Opens
- 1975 – Landmark legislation – Children with special needs are given the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and can learn in regular classrooms. Known today as IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).
- 2001 – No Child Left Behind law is created. It calls for all children with special needs to be proficient in math and reading by 2014.
Modern Day Special Education Obstacles (As Of 2013);
- 5% reduction in federal funding of IDEA
- $579 Million cut from IDEA Part B. This section supports students ages 3 to 21 with learning disabilities, speech or language impairments, ED and Autism.
- More than 10,000 special education teachers were laid off in 2012 as part of the sequestration.
Before these cuts, special education services were struggling to keep up with demand. After the cuts, there’s been a MASSIVE influx in classroom sizes, leading to dropping grades and increased behavior issues. All children are different and require unique tools and resources to maximize academic success.
Special Education Tutoring;
A direct result from these massive cuts and layoffs has been an explosion of outside resources designed to help children with special needs. Special education tutoring has quickly become a way for parents to take their child’s education into their own hands. Often, children with special needs aren’t receiving instruction in a way that maximizes their chances of success. Special education tutoring takes the curriculum your child is currently being taught in a public school and molds it to fit their unique learning style.
As a parent or an educator of a child with special needs, it’s absolutely vital to stand up for what’s right. Children deserve the opportunity to be successful in life and it’s our duty to ensure that happens. Be involved and help influence positive change for the next generation of children in special education. You’re not alone!