The table below lists the different types and characteristics of special need student and the suggested classroom strategies to help these children in an inclusive setting.
||Characteristics You Might Observe
||Suggested Classroom Strategies
|Students with specific cognitive or academic difficulties
- Low self-esteem related to areas of academic difficulty (especially if a learning disability has not yet been diagnosed)
- Greater susceptibility to peer pressure (for students with learning disabilities or ADHD)
- Difficulty in perspective taking or accurately interpreting social situations (for some students with learning disabilities or ADHD)
- In some cases, poor social skills and few friendships; tendency to act without considering possible consequences of one's actions (especially for students with ADHD)
- Promote academic success (e.g., by providing extra scaffolding for classroom tasks).
- Give students the opportunity to show off the things they do well.
- Use induction to promote perspective taking (e.g., focus students' attention on how their behaviors have caused harm or distress to others).
- Teach any missing social skills
|Students with social or behavioral problems
- Rejection by peers; few friendships
- Limited emotional connectedness to others (for students with autism)
- Difficulty in perspective taking and recognizing others' emotional states
- Deficits in ability to interpret social cues (e.g., perceiving hostile intent in innocent interactions)
- Poor social skills and social problem-solving ability; limited awareness of how inadequate one's social skills really are
- Poor impulse control; difficulty controlling emotions
- Less empathy for others
- Explicitly teach social skills, provide opportunities for practice, and give feedback.
- Establish and enforce firm rules regarding acceptable classroom behavior.
- Label and praise appropriate behaviors.
- Teach social problem-solving strategies (e.g., through mediation training; see Chapter 10).
- Provide opportunities for students to make new friends (e.g., through structured and well-monitored cooperative learning activities).
- Help students recognize the outward signs of various emotions.
- Use induction to promote empathy and perspective taking.
|Students with general delays in cognitive and social functioning
- Generally low self-esteem
- Social skills typical of younger children
- Difficulty identifying and interpreting social cues
- concrete, often preconventional ideas of right and wrong
- Scaffold academic success.
- Teach social skills, provide opportunities for practice, and give feedback.
- Specify rules for classroom behavior in explicit, concrete terms.
- Label and praise appropriate behaviors.
|Students with physical or sensory challenges
- Fewer friends and possible social isolation
- Fewer opportunities for perspective taking and development of social skills
- Maximize opportunities for students to interact with their classmates.
- Assign buddies—classmates who can assist students with tasks they cannot perform themselves because of a disability.
- Teach any missing social skills.
|Students with advanced cognitive development
- High self-esteem with regard to academic tasks (especially for males)
- Above-average social development and emotional adjustment (although some extremely gifted students may have difficulty because they are so very different from their peers)
- Conflicts between the need to demonstrate abilities and to gain peer acceptance (especially for females)
- Greater perspective taking
- More advanced moral reasoning for some students
- Emergence of concerns about moral and ethical issues at a younger age than that of peers
- Be sensitive to students' concerns about how their exceptional abilities may affect their relationships with classmates.
- Engage students in conversations about ethical issues and moral dilemmas.
- Involve students in projects that address social problems at a community, national, or international level.
Sources: Barkley, 1998; Beirne-Smith et al., 2002; Bierman et al., 1987; Cartledge & Milburn, 1995; Coie & Cillessen, 1993; Dempster & Corkill, 1999; Gresham & MacMillan, 1997; Grinberg & McLean-Heywood, 1999; P.L. Harris, 2006; Harter et al., 1998; Heward, 2006; Hobson, 2004; Juvonen & Weiner, 1993; Keogh & MacMillan, 1996; MacMaster, Donovan, & Macintyre, 2002; Marsh & Craven, 1997; Mercer & Pullen, 2005; Milch-Reich et al., 1999; Schonert-Reichl, 1993; Schumaker & Hazel, 1984; Shavinina & Ferrari, 2004; Turnbull et al., 2007; Winner, 1997; Wong, 1991 a; Zirpoli & Melloy, 2001.
Excerpt from Educational Psychology Developing Learners, by J.E. Ormrod, 2008 edition, p. 102.
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