WELCOME TO SPECIAL EDUCATION!
WHAT IS SPECIAL EDUCATION?
Special education is specifically designed instruction to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities from birth to age 21. At Wyoming Elementary we service students with a wide variety of special needs.
THE SPECIAL EDUCATION IDENTIFICATION PROCESS
• PRE-REFERRAL ACTIVITIES
Teachers or parents who have concerns about their child’s academic, social, cognitive, emotional, or behavioral development should contact the school psychologist or building principal. In most cases this concern will be brought to the attention of the pre-referral intervention team who will help develop specially designed interventions to help the child be more successful. If these interventions are not met with success, the child may be referred to the building special education assessment team to see if they meet state criteria for one or more disabilities.
• ASSESSMENT TEAM
Wyoming Elementary has a special education assessment team that consists of the child’s classroom teacher, special education teachers, school psychologist, principal, and parents or the student referred for assessment. The purpose of the team is to determine what a child’s needs are by administering assessments, and discussing special services and/or instruction need to meet the child’s needs according to state special education guidelines. The testing helps teachers and parents work together to make informed decisions regarding placement and progress as well as identified individual strengths and weaknesses within the child. Before any testing is completed, parent permission is needed. Testing may involve any of the following:
- Intellectual Ability Assessment – this measures cognitive functioning
- Achievement Assessment-this measures academic skills in reading, math, written language, and oral expression
- Social/Emotional/Behavioral Assessment-this may include checklists, interviews, and observations of the child’s development in these areas compared to other children his or her age
- Sensory/Motor Assessment
- Health Assessment
- Speech/Language Assessment
The assessment team may determine that the child meets state criteria for one or more disability areas as well as if they are in need of special education.
SPECIAL EDUCATION DISABILITY CATEGORIES
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – Children identified with ASD demonstrate a significant range or needs in the areas of social interaction, communication, and unusual or limited activities, interests, and behaviors.
Deaf/Hard of Hearing – Children at Wyoming Elementary who have been identified with a hearing loss can be provided with variety of services depending on the child’s individual needs. A teacher for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing provides support for academic, communication and amplification needs. Children can be serviced in the classroom as well as in a small group setting. The district also has interpreters available for students who need American Sign Language or Cued Speech.
Developmental Cognitive Disability (DCD) – Children identified with DCD demonstrate significant delays in areas such as academic performance, intellectual ability, social development, motor skills, language, and independent life skills.
Emotional/Behavioral Disability (EBD) – This program services students who have social, emotional, and or behavioral issues that significantly interfere with their educational progress
Other Health Disability (OHD) –. This program services students who have a medical diagnosis that significantly interferes with their educational progress.
Specific Learning Disability (SLD) – Children identified with SLD demonstrate significant difficulties processing information as well as academic difficulties in the one or more of the following areas: basic reading skills, reading comprehension, math calculation, math reasoning, written expression, oral expression, or listening comprehension.
Speech/Language Disability – At Wyoming Elementary a speech clinician provides therapy for children who exhibit significant delays in communication skills—articulation skills (speech sounds), language skills (grammar, syntax), voice quality, and fluency. Children attend individual or small group sessions where they receive specific instruction and practice with how to remediate the areas of delay.
SPECIAL EDUCATION AND RELATED SERVICES
Wyoming Elementary has several special education teachers and related service providers. Special education teachers develop goals for Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for children who receive special education services, provide direct and indirect services so children can make progress on their IEP goals, and report on progress for their students. Other services provided at Wyoming Elementary include:
Adaptive Physical Education
Adaptive physical education is an alternative physical education program which is offered to children with special needs who cannot successfully participate in the regular physical education program.
The school psychologist offers services that consists or emotional and behavioral consultation, mental health and general counseling, assessment, program planning, access to community and psychological resources, and intervention services. These services can be provided to students who are referred by parents, teachers, administrators, and other professional staff or community agencies.
The school psychologist works closely with other adults in the school, community, and home to provide psychoeducational expertise in the identification and treatment of emotional, behavioral, and cognitive needs of children within the school and district. The school psychologist uses a wide range of intervention techniques for children with special needs using either school based and/or community based resources. Strategies are developed to meet the unique needs of each child. The school psychologist is also a member of the building crisis team and may be consulted to meet with students in crisis.
The school district provides special education resource programs for students with specific needs designed to meet educational goals.