Connecting with the Expertise of Special Education

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Picture of an elementary school girl peering out over the top of a big stack of books.Updated July 2012
Links checked, January 2013

Special educators have a tremendous amount of expertise to share, especially about individualizing instruction for students with specific kinds of disabilities and taking into account each child’s special needs. Take advantage of the knowledge base that’s built up over years of providing special education services to children with disabilities, starting with the section below on Special Education Websites. These will take you into the heart of more, more, more.

You can also get specific—use the links under the section called Resources for Teaching Students with Specific Disabilities to connect with information on teaching those with:

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Special Education Websites

About.com’s Links to Special Education Teaching Strategies and Best Practices
http://specialed.about.com/od/teacherstrategies/Teaching_Strategies_and_Best_Practices.htm

On Mainstreaming/Inclusion Information & Strategies
Mainstreaming: http://712educators.about.com/od/mainstreaming/Mainstreaming_Strategies.htm
Inclusion/Integration: http://specialed.about.com/lr/the_inclusive_classroom/2896/1/

Exceptional Learners
The Johns Hopkins University School of Education  offers a comprehensive resource for parents and teachers of those who are challenged physically, emotionally, or cognitively.
http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/Exceptional%20Learners/index.html

Intervention Techniques
Special education majors at the UVA review journal articles on teaching techniques for students with disabilities.
http://special.edschool.virginia.edu/information/interventions.html

Teachers Helping Teachers
Special education lesson plans submitted by teachers.
http://www.pacificnet.net/~mandel/

TeacherVision.com
Use TeacherVision’s search box at the top of the page to find resources fast. Search under the words “Curriculum”, “Disabilities” or the phrase “Special Education” and you’ll find scads of articles and web resources.
http://www.teachervision.fen.com/

Teaching special-needs students in the regular classroom.
http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/columnists/mcdonald/mcdonald022.shtml

Special education resources for general educators.
http://serge.ccsso.org/

Math matrix.
The math matrix (a subsection of the TechMatrix) matches technology tools with supporting literature on promising practices for the instruction of math for students with disabilities. Search for products and evidence among the six purposes of technology that support reading for students with special needs. From CITEd.
http://www.citeducation.org/mathmatrix/

Reading matrix.
This matrix matches technology tools with supporting literature on promising practices for the instruction of reading for students with disabilities. From the National Center for Technology Innovation.
http://www.techmatrix.org/Infopage?page=Reading_for_Struggling_Students

WatchKnowLearn.org.
WatchKnowLearn has indexed over 33,000+ educational videos, placing them into a directory of over 3,000 categories. The videos are available without any registration or fees to teachers in the classroom and to students at home 24/7. There are also a scad of short videos focusing on how to teach students with disabilities. The link below takes you to the main page. Down the left you’ll see videos by subject (e.g., teaching science) and you’ll see a search box. Enter the terms “disabilities” or “special education” and reap the harvest!
http://www.watchknowlearn.org/

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Resources on Teaching Students with Specific Disabilities

AD/HD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)

How can teachers help students with AD/HD?
http://www.educationworld.com/a_issues/issues148c.shtml

Helping children with AD/HD succeed at school.
http://helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_teaching_strategies.htm

AD/HD instructional strategies and practices.
From the U.S. Department of Education.
http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/adhd/adhd-teaching-2006.pdf

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Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

The puzzle of autism.
A guide from the NEA (National Education Association).
http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/HE/autismpuzzle.pdf

Autism: Interventions and strategies for success.
http://www.specialed.us/autism/index2.htm

Visit Autism-World.
http://www.autism-world.com/index.php/2007/03/25/effective-strategies-for-teaching-children-with-autism-spectrum-disorders/

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Behavioral/Emotional Disorders

Supporting students whose behaviors or emotions prevent academic success.
http://tinyurl.com/6rvpuuc

Check out Intervention Central.
The link below will take you to the Intervention Central’s Behavioral Resource page, where you’ll find a rich hub into topics such as classroom management, bully prevention, rewards and motivation, special needs, and challenging students.
http://www.interventioncentral.org/behavioral-intervention-modification

Behavior at school.
http://www.nichcy.org/schoolage/behavior/atschool/

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Hearing Impairments, including Deafness

Including deaf and hard of hearing children in the classroom.
http://deafness.about.com/od/schooling/a/inclassroom.htm

Mainstreaming the student who is deaf or hard of hearing: A guide for professionals, teachers, and parents.
http://www.handsandvoices.org/pdf/mainst_cal.pdf

Teaching students who are hard of hearing.
From PEPNet.
http://resources.pepnet.org/files/359_2010_2_10_11_52_AM.pdf

Explore these many resources on educating children with hearing loss.
From the Clerc Center, whose top priority is the education of deaf and hard of hearing children.
http://tinyurl.com/78fv5p6

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Intellectual Disabilities

Down syndrome.
http://specialed.about.com/od/disabilities/a/downs.htm

Down syndrome.
http://www.teach-nology.com/teachers/special_ed/disabilities/down/

Effective teaching methods for students with ID.
http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=10365&cn=208

Students with ID: A resource guide for teachers.
http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/specialed/sid/27.htm

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Learning Disabilities (LD)

Visit LDonline.
This is a premier source of info on LD for educators.
http://www.ldonline.org/indepth/teaching

TeachingLD, a must-visit, too!
TeachingLD is a service of the Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD) of the Council for Exceptional Children.
http://www.teachingld.org/

And here’s a 3rd–the National Center for Learning Disabilities.
http://www.ncld.org/at-school/especially-for-teachers

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Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

The Center for Brain Injury.
http://www.cbirt.org/tbi-education/

Understanding and teaching students with TBI.
www.fldoe.org/ese/pdf/trauma.pdf

Accommodations guide for students with brain injury.
http://www.brainline.org/content/2011/10/accommodations-guide-for-students-with-brain-injury.html

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Visual Impairments, including Blindness

Effective classroom adaptations for students with visual impairments.
http://tinyurl.com/87y9hqt

From Family Connect, on educating students with visual impairments.
http://www.familyconnect.org/parentsitehome.asp?SectionID=72

Setting up a classroom for students with visual disabilities.
The resources in this module offer helpful tips on setting up the physical aspects of your classroom and will introduce types of equipment used by students with visual disabilities.
http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/v01_clearview/chalcycle.htm

Instructional accommodations for students with visual disabilities.
This module highlights tips for modifying lessons and ways to make lessons accessible for students with disabilities.
http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/v02_successsight/chalcycle.htm

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Would you like to visit one of the other pages in Effective Practices in the Classroom and School?

If so, here are helpful quick-jump links.

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NOTICE: The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) is no longer in operation. Our funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) ended on September 30, 2013. Our website and all its free resources will remain available until September 30, 2014.