Accommodating children with disabilities in the classroom
In older children and teenagers, we are seeing an increased number of diagnoses of anxiety and depression.Accommodating these disorders follows the same principles as physical disabilities.After all, accommodations are meant to "level the playing field," provide equal and ready access to the task at hand, and not meant to provide an undue advantage to the user.Selecting and monitoring the effectiveness of accommodations should be an ongoing process, and changes (with involvement of students, parents and educators) should be made as often as needed.Because most music therapists still need a teaching credential to get into the school system, a therapist is not always available and it becomes the responsibility of the music educator to include the special needs students.Thirteen different disability categories are listed by IDEA for ages 6-21.It also is difficult to know when accommodation of a child’s psychological disability requires giving him or her a pass and when it requires encouraging the child to push their limitations.
The third exception comes into play more often with psychological disabilities than physical, and that is that you need not accommodate a child who poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
The key is to be sure that chosen accommodations address students' specific areas of need and facilitate the demonstration of skill and knowledge.
One thing that struck me about the recent college admissions scandal is the way that the parents abused disability laws to get more time for standardized tests or a specific test center for their children.
Music classes in today’s educational system have changed substantially.
With the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), educators are expected to see all students, with and without disabilities.
Children previously not served by music educators are now being served.