Special education is an important topic for everyone to know about whether you’re a parent, an educator, or just someone who wants to be a positive influence on the lives of children.
The theme for Special Education week in 2022 will be “Teaching Students with Disabilities: It Takes All Kinds.” This theme will highlight the many different ways teachers can provide quality educational experiences to disabled students and how parents, friends, classmates, and community members can provide support to these students as well.
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What is special education?
It’s simply the process of helping children with disabilities learn in school and achieve their goals. Typically, that means providing extra attention, help, or accommodations for students. For example, a child with ADD may need some extra help focusing on class, while a student with Down Syndrome may need help getting around the classroom.
A lot of people think that parents have to request special education services for their children. That’s not always true; sometimes teachers will notice that a student needs extra help and will request assistance from the school’s special education department.
History of special education day
The idea of Special Education Day originated in the 1960s when individuals with disabilities and their parents first began to advocate for the rights of children with disabilities to have access to a free, appropriate public education. It was not until the passage of Public Law 94-142 – now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) – that students with disabilities were guaranteed equal educational opportunities in this country.
The public schools were the first to observe a “special education week” as early as 1920, but it wasn’t until 1976 that Congress established the first full week of October as National Children’s Day and National Children’s Week. In 1987, Congress expanded the program by creating National Child Health Day on the first Monday of each November (the same day as National Young Readers Day). Since then, American children have been recognized as a national holiday celebrating their health and happiness every year.
Why is it important?
Education is one of the most important steps on the road to adulthood, so any time we can make school easier for kids especially those who face additional challenges we should consider doing so.
Special Education Week is an opportunity to learn more about special education and what it means for students and educators.
The basic idea behind special education is that all students are entitled to an education. Students with disabilities have the right to a free and appropriate public education, just like any other student. However, they may need additional services or accommodations in order to be successful in school.
Special educators are teachers who have specialized training in helping students with disabilities succeed in school. There are many different types of special educators, from speech therapists to occupational therapists, from physical therapists to counselors. They all work together as a team to help each student achieve success in his or her own way.
Some students may be eligible for some or all of the following specialist programs and services:
- Learning supports
- Speech pathology
- Occupational therapy
- Social work
- Assistive technology
Special education programs are designed specifically for each student’s needs. This is called the Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP outlines the goals for each student and the services he or she needs to reach those goals. The plan is developed by the student’s parents, teachers, administrators, and other professionals who work with the child, such as speech therapists or occupational therapists.
How to observe special education day
With the holiday season in full swing, you may be wondering how to observe Special Education Day. For this holiday, there are a variety of ways you can educate yourself on what it means to have special needs or disabilities.
You can also participate in the activities that are listed below:
- Read a book that highlights the importance of people with disabilities having access to education.
- Share a post on social media honouring someone who has had an impact on special education.
- Talk with children who have special needs. Interacting with individuals with special or different needs is slightly different from talking to children without disabilities.
- If you’re a teacher, ask your students to share their experiences with a child who has a disability.
- Making a commitment to learning more about the history of special education.
Special Education day Dates in 2022 and next 4 years
Positive attitudes towards special needs students will allow educators to provide the tools necessary for students to succeed in the classroom. Being a positive influence is one of the best ways that you can help change these attitudes, and Special Education Week is your chance to get involved. It’s clear that special education is an important topic, but my fear today is that too many people benefit from the work that others do without being aware of how important it actually is. What I would like to think we can all agree on is that children deserve a lifelong, quality education that provides them with opportunities to learn and grow. It won’t happen without our support, so let’s all make a commitment here today to celebrate those who are involved with special education and doing what we can to make sure every child has their chance at success in this world.