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History Of Special Education Essay

549 words - 3 pages

Special education has a very meaningful history. Special education is a complex enterprise that can be defined and evaluated from many perspectives(Heward 2013). The time frame and relation of special education play a major role in the evolvement in current and future education. The Education for All Handicapped Children Act was passed by Congress in 1975. The 1990 amendments renamed the law and changed it to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act which was mainly referred to as IDEA. Special educators are very important because they teach students have disabilities, such as language, sensory, learning, physical, and/or emotional abilities that cause them to be deviated from those of the general population. The responsibility of special educators is to give instruction that is specifically targeted to meet the individualized needs, making education available ...view middle of the document...

After many years of research of trial and error, special education now provides services to students with different types of degrees and forms of disabilities like mental retardation, speech-language disabilities, impaired hearing, and deafness.
During the early nineteenth century, many leaders took it upon themselves to cure many ills of society. Some of those leaders were Thomas Hawkins Gallaudet, Samuel Gridley Howe, and Edouard O. Seguin. These leaders wanted better treatment provided to those individuals who had disabilities. In the 1800s, individuals with disabilities received very harsh treatment. These individuals were placed in jails and almshouses without decent food, hygiene, clothing, and exercise. These conditions is what led to developing diagnosis or labels for those who had disabilities. In 1817, the first special education school in the United States, the American Asylum for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb (now called the American School for the Deaf), was established in Hartford, Connecticut, by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (Winzer 1993). Under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), to receive special education and related services , a child must be identified as having a disability and, in most cases, further classified into one of that state’s categories, such as learning disabilities or orthopedic impairments (Heward 2013). Some educators did not agree with labeling students at first because they believed that the labels used to identify and classify exceptional children stigmatize them and serve to deny them certain opportunities. These educators later came to a realization labeling students recognized some important differences in learning or behavior. This was a necessary step in responding responsibly to those differences. One of the first steps in dealing with some productively is to give a label. After most educators realized that labeling students was not a bad idea, the benefits from labeling and classification came about.

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