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Service Delivery Models for Educating Young Children with Special Needs (page 4)

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

Models for Primary-Aged Students

Commonly in kindergarten and first-grade settings, itinerant teachers have the critical role of helping general education teachers identify appropriate preacademics for children who are not ready to begin systematic academic instruction or who require a different pace of academic instruction. Children with complex and severe needs may not benefit as much from full-group participation, and itinerant teachers can help staff identify ways to create individual or small-group settings in which to provide direct instruction to these children (Sadler, 2003).

Many children with disabilities in kindergarten through third grade are educated in three primary placements or variations of these placements (IDEA, 2004). A description of these—the general education classroom, the resource room, and the separate special education classroom—follow.

General Education Classroom

Students who receive the majority of their schooling in the general education classroom and who receive special education and related services, such as speech-language therapy, outside the general education classroom for less than 21% of the school day are said to be educated in the regular classroom. These students tend to have mild learning difficulties and display social behaviors that do not pose special discipline problems. They receive the services of a special education teacher and/or paraprofessional within the general education classroom. These professionals provide both direct and indirect, or consultative services, for varying amounts of time each day.

Resource Room

Students who receive special education and related services in a resource room and other settings outside the general education classroom for 21% to 60% of the school day are considered to be educated in the resource room. These students tend to have one or more academic need areas. That is, they may have difficulty with reading, mathematics, or both. However, their academic needs are not so significant that they do not benefit from the general education curriculum. These students leave the general education classroom for an established period of time each week (e.g., one hour a day, one hour four times a week, etc.) to receive intensive, individualized instruction from a special educator or other specialist, such as a reading specialist, with the intention of remediating their present difficulties.

Separate Special Education Classroom

Students who are outside the general education classroom 61% to 100% of the school day, receiving special education and related services, are considered to be educated in a separate classroom. These students are taught by a special educator and tend to have academic needs that are too great to be managed appropriately in a resource room or a general education classroom. Further, they may have social and/or behavioral issues that are extreme enough to reduce their chances of success in a general education classroom.

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