Accommodating students with special needs in the classroom

A crucial accommodation is giving explicit clarification whether in the classroom, in the lab, on the web, or via distance learning.

Occasionally a more significant accommodation must be made for the SLD student.

Many times I inwardly groaned in frustration at Alberts apparently irrelevant questions, late assignments, and misunderstanding of papers/activities.

But the real frustration came when I was grading research papers. When measuring ideas, Albert was a genius, or at least he had the potential to excel.

New terms refocus attention from an overall deficiency to a narrow developmental disorder that affects how the student learns.

Two terms, specific learning disorder (SLD) and specific developmental disorder (SDD), emphasize that these disorders are specific in nature, suggesting specific coping strategies for individual disorders (Wender 5, 14; Eckwall 315-316).

According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, in 1992, 65% of high school students with documented learning disabilities went on to postsecondary studies.However, just because a teacher uses technology in the classroom does not mean the SLD student will benefit.In order for technology to truly function as an assistive devices, potential needs for accommodation must be considered when designing an activity/assignment.Additionally, more SLD students now begin postsecondary education because distance learning and on-line courses provide easier access for them (Cook).Postsecondary administration and faculty must realize that these students are not just in developmental classes or in the community colleges; SLD students are enrolled in all courses.

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First, recognizing that spending some time making accommodations/modifications for these students is, in the terms of our economically-driven society, cost beneficial.

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