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The boy whose brain could unlock autism

The boy whose brain could unlock autism | Special Education | Scoop.it
SOMETHING WAS WRONG with Kai Markram. At five days old, he seemed like an unusually alert baby, picking his head up and …
Karla Luetzow's insight:

This article is very scientific in nature but holds a more narrative tone of presenting information on autism. It tells the story of Henry Markram, a renowned neurologist and his diagnosed autistic son, Kai. The article starts by describing Kai’s early childhood, which was filled with outbursts and social odd reactions. One of the most powerful quotes in the article by Henry Mackrem states, ““You know how powerless you feel. You have this child with autism and you, even as a neuroscientist, really don’t know what to do.” This quote displays the complete emotional conundrum of autism. If a parent who is known as the most knowledgeable neurologist feels powerless against their child own child, one can only imagine the fear and misunderstanding as a parent or figure without this background. This article goes onto describe autism is a more an emphasis on cognitive functions instead of a lack of cognitive functions. In fact, the article describes autism is the ability to see the “intense world.” Overall, this article gave a new insight to the interworking of children with autism by describing this neurological difference in layman’s term.

 

Insight:

 

            I found this article to be extremely beneficial. In the classroom, I always heard about a child who was diagnosed with autism, but the wide degree of cases left me confused of what autism actually entails. This article used a story to describe autism by weaving scientific facts throughout it. It left me feeling emotional and somewhat saddened toward the issue.  Many people in the world do not know or care to know about the tendencies of autistic children or adults. Education about autism should be more widespread. As a future teacher, I believe it is my job to try to understand as much as possible about this neurological functioning.

 

               One of the most interesting aspects of the article describes an aspect of autism called “mind blindness.” Mind blindness is the failure to take others perspectives. This even includes make believe or imagination games. Therefore, students with autism often have difficult times imagining abstract concepts or putting themselves in other roles. Instead, they focus on objects or systems like the solar system. I remember a girl in my elementary school with Asperger’s, a specific type of autism. She knew every type of llama and the geographical location of each type, but could not play “house” without an outburst. I never understood why she would act this way besides the fact that she was diagnosed with Asperger’s. This makes sense now. After reading this article, I have a deeper understanding of autism, which will help me understand autistic students in the future.

 

 

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Is It Too Late for My Child to Get an IEP?

Is It Too Late for My Child to Get an IEP? | Special Education | Scoop.it
Is it ever too late for a student to get an IEP, or Individualized Education Program? Learn what’s allowed for students with learning disabilities or difficulties who are eligible for an IEP. (Is it ever too late for a student to get an IEP?
Karla Luetzow's insight:

This informational website offers the steps in order to ensure a child with a learning disability receive an IEP. An IEP is an individualized education plan. Every student receiving special education services have an IEP. This website helps to ensure that a child does not fall through the cracks and receives all the help that they can receive. This includes a transitional plan, which helps a student with a learning disability succeed after high school.

 

Insight:

 

            This website taught me about the process for a child to receive an IEP. A learning disability qualifies a student to get an IEP, but parents and school officials must be on the same page. An IEP confirms a student belongs in the special education program. Some students start kindergarten with an IEP.  However, some children do not receive an IEP until later on. The children who receive an IEP early benefit more than children do not receive an IEP until later. I see the process of qualifying a student for an IEP as an extremely lengthy and involved process. In actuality, a parent must be involved in order for a child to qualify for an IEP. If the parents are not really involved in their child’s academics, it could be very difficult for a child to get an IEP. This is an explanation as to why it takes ten years before a student qualifies to get an IEP. It saddens me that some students can fall behind because they are not getting the help they need. I believe more school specialists should be put into school to recognize students to qualify for special education IEP’s.

An example of a failing IEP was in my EDCI280 classroom. One student seemed to me to have very severe dyslexia. He would write his “J’s” backwards and could barely read first grade level words. At the end of the semester, he was finally getting an IEP thanks to the extreme effort of the teacher pushing the parents. At ten years old, this child already believes he is not smart. If he had an IEP a few years ago, he could have gotten the help to aid in his success. As a fourth grader, it will take a lot more time for him to catch up to his fellow classmates. If a change in IEP certifying occurred, it could help many students similar to my student in receiving an IEP.

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HuffPost Live

HuffPost Live is a live-streaming network that attempts to create the most social video experience possible. Viewers are invited to join discussions live as on-air guests. Topics range from politics to pop culture.
Karla Luetzow's insight:

Summary:

This video interview discusses what an “appropriate education” for a special education actually means. Due to law stating that if a public school cannot provide appropriate education to meet the needs of a special education student then the school district should pay for private school education, there is some argument over what is appropriate education. The person interviewed is a father of a six-year-old boy with autism. After trying four public schools, the father is fighting for his child’s right to a special education that is equal to a regular public education.

 

Insight:

            After doing some outside research, I realized there were a lot of facts about special education that I did not know. I did not know that school districts were required to provide an education that would fit the needs of someone with special needs. If they a school is not able to meet these needs, the school district is required to pay for private education for this student. This shocked me. While I think this is a good policy, I never realized the incentive for schools to provide a special education program in public schools. It pushes public schools to provide adequate education for each student.

At first, I thought this was a foolproof system. However, this video showed the blurred lines of an adequate education. The family interviewed is in the works of fighting for the money to send their autistic child to private school.  It makes me wonder how a judge can figure out whether the education is appropriate. It is already difficult to measure a student’s learning without any special needs. As many know, standardized testing is not always a great reflection of what is actually learned. Therefore, this video made me question how an education can be measured to be good. Is an education good only if academic results reflect that? Should social education be included in that? For example, a student’s level of happiness can affect the ability to learn. If a student feels that he or she cannot fit in due to his or her special needs, the student may be able to learn more effectively in a private school.

My cousin had an extreme case of dyslexia and could not learn in the same way as other public school students. No schools existed in his area that specialized in learning with dyslexia. Eventually, he was sent to a boarding school across the country that specialized in extreme cases of dyslexia. The positive change in his demeanor and outlook on education was inspiring. However, the financial weight put a huge strain on my aunt. If special education funding was raised and adequately supplied like the video suggested, my aunt would not have been in under such a financial burden.   

 

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Educational Technology in Special Education Infographic

Educational Technology in Special Education Infographic | Special Education | Scoop.it
How technology is shaping education for America’s special needs students, with good and bad news. Published by Special education degrees (Technology for Special Education Goes High Tech!
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What Extra Time Gives a Dyslexic: A Firsthand L...

What Extra Time Gives a Dyslexic: A Firsthand L... | Special Education | Scoop.it
Hayley Groff's insight: Allison Swartz is a deslysic girl who despite years of adversity, just aquired her masters degree from Columbia University.
Karla Luetzow's insight:

Summary:

 

A diagnosed dyslexic and Columbia graduate Allison Schwatz tells this narrative in first person. She elaborates on the up and downs on her educational journey with dyslexia. From being tested in kindergarten to graduating college, this first person narrative offers a glimpse into the struggles of growing up in the education system labeled as someone “special"  because she needed extra time.

 

 

Insight:

 

Allison Schwatz’s story really reflected a lot of my experience working with the kids in my classroom for EDCI280. While not many were diagnosed with dyslexia, many students could easily express their opinion while talking to me but could not answer it on the test. This discrepancy made me think about dyslexia. As Allison described it, taking a test is not whether if you know the material but how fast you can convey the material. Luckily, her fourth grade teacher understood the inaccuracy in this and gave her extra time.  I found Allison's reaction to her fourth grade teacher particularly powerful. It showed me how a teacher can have a huge emphasis on a child's future learning.This article solidified  my view that I do not think speed should be so heavily emphasized in the classroom.

For example, as the students in my EDCI280 fourth grade kept scoring low on tests, I saw their confidence decrease as their grades decreased. It was depressing to see a ten year old who already does not believe in his or herself's intelligence. However, they were not dumb or  “slow.” They just had to think about it in a different way in order to decode the letters. It makes me question why schools continue to put so much pressure on speed. In real life, a deadline is never in the same time restraint as a timed test. Therefore, I believe schools should not put as much emphasis on speed, because it lowers confidence in school, which lowers the love of learning in the classroom.

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Young man with autism still seeking higher education after appeal to Obama

Young man with autism still seeking higher education after appeal to Obama | Special Education | Scoop.it
More than a year after asking President Obama for help in going to college, 21-year-old Billy Pagoni is refusing to give up on his hopes for a higher education.
Karla Luetzow's insight:

This news article tells the story of Billy. Billy is a 21 year old who was diagnosed with autism at eighteen months. Billy believes he has the right to have a higher education that can suite his learning needs. Therefore, he publicly addressed President Obama earnestly asking him to support higher education for students with disabilities via a video on Facebook. This video went viral and prompted a response from the White House. However, Billy and his parents believe things are not happening fast enough.

 

Insight:

 

This news article is very touching. Sometimes, as a college student in the midst of finals week, I forget about the true blessing it is to be able to learn. Billy so desperately wants to learn and continue learning throughout his life. His ambition is quite inspiring. Not only did he try to make a change, but also he is beginning to make a change. The first step to change a problem is always to get the word out there. This article reminds me of the narrative articles explaining autism. Autistic children have the potential to make many great discoveries about the world. Their mind just works in a different way. If universities make programs where autistic students can thrive, our world could see mass improvements.

The article mentioned that Billy is currently enrolled in the G.R.O.W.E.R.S program. This program teaches workforce ideals while learning how to grow flowers. My high school had a similar program called the CareBear program. In this program, special education students were partnered with a student during the school day. In order to learn real world work habits, our schools has a cookie store run by the CareBear program. Special Education students would bake the cookies in the morning and sell them in the store in the afternoon. By learning business transactions, my high school program taught these special education students real life skills. I believe universities could easily first attempt a program like this. Once a program like this is established, the program could be expanded to involve even more first hand learning. 

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WATCH: Middle school team converts ‘most inspiring football play of all time’

WATCH: Middle school team converts ‘most inspiring football play of all time’ | Special Education | Scoop.it
The team, without coach’s knowledge, came up with a plan to not score a touchdown.

Via Mardi Sansone
Karla Luetzow's insight:

Summary:

 

This video is a heartwarming video about a middle school football team. The football team wanted to give Keith Orr, a special needs student a chance to score a touchdown. A parent filmed this play, which quickly turned viral. The emotional response from not only Keith’s parents but also the football players themselves challenged the typical dumb, mean, popular jock stereotype.

 

Insight:

It is no wonder this video became viral. The caring and thoughtful actions of these football players made Keith’s day. As his parents stated, they would never imagine their son to be the one with the touchdown on his record. I found this video to show the benefits of inclusion in the classroom and extracurricular activities. This football play showed how much people can learn and surprise each other. The students learned how to put others before themselves. They also demonstrated thoughtfulness and kindness. The parents were inspired by the student’s thoughtful actions. Keith’s parents were slightly in tears in the interview. Hearing the joy in the parent’s voice as they recap the play can warm anyone’s heart. Lastly, Keith got the chance to feel on the inside instead of the outside. The score on the scoreboard was from his touchdown. This accomplishment probably made Keith feel very worthwhile and loved by his teammates. Overall, this heartwarming video supports inclusion of special needs children and regular children especially in extracurricular activities. Both benefit in this situation as this football simply displays through his quote, “I went from mostly caring about myself and my friends to caring about everyone and trying to make everyone’s day in everyone’s life.”

 

 

 

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Mardi Sansone's curator insight, November 21, 2013 5:12 PM

This video is about a special education student who is on his middle school football team.  All the boys on the team look out for Keith and make sure he is always protected.  The boys chose to do this play on their own without their coaches influencing them to do so.  This is important becuase although the students see differences between themselves and Keith, they know that he is part of their team and they must protect one another.  When the coach saw the great play that his students thought of on their own it was definitely  a proud moment. 

When watching this video I felt it was very moving. I think it is important for special needs children to feel a sense of belonging and feel included by a team.  It was so great seeing that the boys on the team wanted Keith to feel special and like a hero.  When Keith and the other boys on the team spoke about the team they are all so happy and feel so accomplished.  When watching this video I got the chills seeing the happiness in everyone's voices.  Moreover, when Keith's mother said "It felt good seeing that someone will always have his back from now until he graduates" this was so nice because it is important for a child to feel like they are sage and for parents to know their child is safe and happy in school.  

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Inclusion and Differentiated Instruction: Teachers in the Movies do it Too

Montage of movie teachers practicing inclusion and differentiated instruction.
Karla Luetzow's insight:

Summary:

This montage of movie clips displays teachers in movies. It also shows step-by-step instructions on how to include every student in the classroom. This includes students who are certified special education.

 

 

It’s interesting to see the different teaching approaches in this movie. From using familiar language to inspiring the students to think for themselves, all the clips show teachers connecting to their students. I believe all types of students need to be able to feel comfortable with their teacher. A great teacher-student relationship can inspire students to continue learning and pursue their passions. One example in this movie montage shows the famous movie The Dead Poet’s Society. This movie displays the teacher as this inspirational leader to the students. The students pretty quickly warm up to him and lead by his example. However, this movie also shows other clips where it takes more time for students to warm up to other teachers. Teaching is a continuing effort and every student is different especially if working with students in special education. Overall, I love watching these clips because it inspires me to want to be a teacher that inspires.

 

 

 

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