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Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act


A 2004 revision of the special educational law originally passed in 1975 as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, and later revised as the Individuals with disabilities Act, which requires states to provide appropriate public education to students with disabilities aged 3 to 21.

Ensures students with disability a free and public education

Ensures educators and parents with the right tools to improve education for children with disabilities.

 To assess and ensure the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities



A federal law that provides special education funding for 13 categories of disability.

 IEP: a plan outlining curricula, educational modifications, and provision of services intended to enhance or improve the student's academice, social, or behavioral skills.

Records of students must be kept confidential.

Least Restrictive Enviornment: special classes, separate schools, or other pull-out programs should be used only when the nature or severity of the disability prevents the student from functioning in the general education classroom.




An elusive trait characterized by high achievement in one of a variety of domains. 


Master knowldege or skills in a particular domain earlier then peers

Process information more efficiently, learn at a faster pace, us more effective strategies

Independent Learners

High level of interest and intrinsic motivation, and internal drive


Acceleration: refers to either moving students quickly through grades, or provoiding instruction above grade level 

Cross grade grouping: in this method gifted students are assigned to classes for reading or mathe with ostudents at different grade levels who have similar achievement levels. 

Enrichment activites: allow them to broaden and deepen their knowledge beyond the regular curriculum.

Curriculum compacting: a useful tool for streamlining the material that needs to be covered with students who are gifted.  Find out their knowledge through a pre test and only teach instructional objectives that are not met by the student.


Intellectual Disability


A disability characterized by significant limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills(formerly called mental retardation). 



Bring to attention Science Role Models with Disabilities, with a disability silimilar to the students and then explain he got that far by a combination of effort and asking for help when needed. 

Have students of different backgrounds, levels or disabilities work together, this provides the best growth for a student. 

Keep up to date on students accomplishements in therapy. 

If you can see a student needs help and you ask and they say no thank you accept it graciously. 

Develop a protocol for when a student anticipates the need for help. 

Speak directly to the impaired student as you would all of your other students.

Practice the skill several times

Providing reinforcement for demonstrating the skill


Learning Disabilities


A neurological disability causes difficulty in organizing information recieved, remembering them, and expressing information, this affects a persons basic functions when it comes to reading, writing, comprehension, and reasoning.

Subaverage intellectual ability (IQ 70 or lower)

Problems in Adaptive Funcitioning



Use an online projector displaying an outline for the day


Provide a detailed course syllabus before the beginning of the class. 

Give assignements in both written and oral form. 

Eliminate classroom distractions, such as noise, flickering lights, etc.. 

Consider cross age or peer tutoring. 

Make sure all notes, presentations and rubrics are clear and concise. 

Let the student borrow notes from another student.




A language based disability in which a person has trouble understanding written words. It may also be referred to as a reading disability or a reading disorder.

Seems bright and intelligent, but cannot read or write or has trouble doing so.

Seems to Zone Out or daydream alot

Confused by numbers, letters, words



Make a daily checklist for pupils to take home.

Make sure that everything you send home is written, not just verbally explained.

Break down tasks into small easily remembered pieces of information.

Have a structured reading scheme that involves repetiton and  introduces new pieces of information.

Making a creative lesson plan that creatively uses two motor or more motor skills can dramatically improve language skills and academic outcome.





A mathematical disability in which a person has difficulty time solving arithmetic problems and grasping math concepts.

Slow to learn how to count

Problems solving math problems

Slow to learn math skills

Hard to remember formulas


Focus on counting principles, counting strategies, or encouragin automatic fact retrieval.

Use a varitey of games to teach counting principles, such as order irrelevance and stable order.

Ask students if they know this one?? If they can retrieve it from their memory.

Introduce shortcut strategies (link similar problems in order to facilitate storage of facts in long term memory)

Automaticity training: practice aimed at improving the accuracy of math skills such as math fact retrieval.




A writing disability in which a person finds it hard to form letters or write within a defined space.


Mixing lower and uppercase letters in a word

Difficulty with syntax(forming sentences or phrases) and grammar (using rules to write sentences)

Cramped or awkward pencil grip or posture


Teach students how to take notes.

(symbols, abbreviations, contractions)

(column style note taking, webbing)

Have activities for every phrase of the writing process

Encourage proper grip, posture and paper positioning

Use oral exams and have students dictate answers to a scribe 


Auditory Processing Disorder


A sensory disability in which a person has difficulty understanding language despite normal hearing and vision.

Do not recognize subtle differences in sounds and words

Have trouble learning information that is presented orally

Have poor listening skills

Have low academic performance



Make sure your student sits in the front

Present idea in short segments, if possible use visual cues

Repeat and rephrase what you've said in simple language

Write directions on the board

Assign a buddy to your student so they can check understanding


Visual Processing Disorder


A hindered ability to make sense of something that is taken in through the eyes.


 Has trouble focusing on visual images

Recognizing letters

and visual tracking

Problems reading and writing words that are not phonetic

Frequently loses place when reading




For reading, Enlarge prints of books, articles or text you are using in your classroom

Have the student sit in the front of the classroom

Writing paper has darker lines, easier to see

Have them use a ruler as a reading guide

Let them tape record lessons




Nonverbal Learning Disorder


A neurological disorder that originates in the right hemisphere of the brain, causing problems with visual-spatial, intuitive, organizational, evaluative and holistic processing functions.

Students have a hard time recognizing and understanding nonverbal cues, such as facial expression, gestures, or tone of voice.

Trouble with coordination

Short Attention Spans

Trouble reading, writing, spelling and math.



Project an attitude or repsect, acceptance, and warmth

Provide frequent feedback and individual attention

Provide verbal explanations with examples

Provide simple graphic organizers

Teach social concepts directly



Attention-Defecit/Hyperactivity Disorder 

A neurological condition that impairs self-regulation compareted to same age peers. 

Difficulty attending to instructions, explanations, or demonstrations

Missing important details in assignments

Avoidance or dislike of tasks requiring sustained mental effort

Misplacing needed items, difficulty organizing assignments.


Contingency Manangement use positive reinforcement whether its for good behavior or bad behavior. 

Verbal reprimands when given consistently and followed with time out and loss of privelages are effective components of classroom discipline for students with behavioral disabilities. 

Cognitive-behavior management a technique that teaches students to regulate their own behavior using a seres of instructions that they memorize, internalize and apply to different school tasks.




A developmental disorder affecting social interaction, communication, and behavior.

Impaired social interactions due to difficulty with nonverbal behavior (eye contact, facial expression, gestures).

Lack of social or emotional reciprocity

Lack of spoken language or a delay.

Repetitive patterns of behavior, such as hand flapping or rocking, lining up of toys, self-injurious behavior



Use consistent classroom routines

Give visual rules and instructions 

Highlight directions on worksheets 

Provide Rubrics 

Encourage students to use 1 to 2 sentence summaries 

Make the most of special interest when introducing a new and difficult tasks



Asperger's Syndrome


Impairment of Social Interaction

Impairment of Social Communication

Absense of a significant delay in Cognitive Development

Absense of a general delay in language development


Help them work on their social skills 

Picture Charts to map out Assignements/Tasks 

Give Verbal Cues and Visual Cues 

Take time to discreetly ask the student if they are finished with their work

Limit class chatter while work is being done

If lights are to bright it can give the student a headache, dim the lights


Anxiety Disorder


Mental thoughts related to worrying and negative emotions such as nervousness or tension, which can impair academic performance.

Worry about competence even when they are not being evaluated.

May redo tasks often because they want it to be perfect due to excessive disatisfaction over what they did.

Engage in avoidance behaviors such as absenses from school


Create a "safe" place for the student to go when anxiety levels are high

Beaware of physical symptoms, and provide calming activites (listening to  music or reading)

Teach child relaxation techniques

Give the student a few minutes at the beginning of the day to transition to the school day 




Atleast two weeks of depressed moods or loss of interest, along with at least four additional depressive symptoms, and can last about two months.  

Significant distress or impairment in social, occupationals, or other types of funcitioning cannot be the result of medication. 

Pervasively sad mood

General Irritability

Inability to sustain attention, think, or concentrate

Loss of interest in activities

Prolonged unpredictable crying


Reach out to the student let them know you care

Spend extra time working with student

Extend time on assignments

Seat the student in the front of the classroom

Prepare Notes for student when they miss class


Oppositional Defiant Disorder


A childhood disorder characterized by characteristics of angriness, irritabilyt, hostility, negative or vindicative behavior lasting over six months, that is occuring more often then that of a typical behavior of that child's age.


Tempor tantrums

Blame problems on others

Argue excessively with adults

Deliberately defy adults


Use Self timeouts

Remind them of their goals

Never raise your voice or argue with them

Do not take the defiance personally

Address concerns privately



Visual Impairment


Low Vision or Blind may require special equipment 

Squinting to see whats on the board

Looking at nothing in particular



Speak to the class when you enter or leave the room

Call the student by his or hers name

Seat student away from glaring lights

Use descriptive words such as straightforward, left, right etc, in relation to student's body orientation



Physical Impairment


The physical capacity to move, cordinate actions, or perfrom physical activities is limited, impaired, or delayed and is exhibited by difficulty in one or more of the tasks:

Motor skills

Indepedent Movement

Performing basic life functions


Partial or total Parlysis

Muscular Dystrophy

Cerebral Palsy


Consider physical acess to a classroom

Familiarize yourself with the emergency evacuation plan

Encourage the use of a note taker or note recorder

Inclass written assignments can be done oustide of the class with a scribe


Hearing Impairment


Overtime the average hearing impaired students loses

vocabulary growth

complex question comprehension and construction

creating a gap between a student who can hear normally and one who is hearing impaired





Body language and facial expressions can help convey the messgae, make sure the student can see you

Gently touch student on arm or shoulder to gain students attention

Use of visual aids is most helpful

Use written announcements


Communication Disorders


A wide variety of problems in speech, language, and hearing.

 Speech and language disorders




Voice Disorders


Encourage classmates to accept the student with a Communication Disorder

Be a good Speech Model

Consult a Speech Language Expert

Keep up to date on students accomplishments in therapy

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