Teachers - Special Education
Special education teachers work with children and youths who have a variety of disabilities. A small number of special education teachers work with severely mentally retarded or autistic children, primarily teaching them life skills and basic literacy. However, the majority of special education teachers work with children with mild to moderate disabilities, using the general education curriculum, or modifying it, to meet the child's individual needs.
Most special education teachers instruct students at the elementary, middle, and secondary school level, although some teachers work with infants and toddlers. The various types of disabilities qualifying for special education programs include specific learning disabilities, speech or language impairments, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, multiple disabilities, hearing impairments, orthopedic impairments, visual impairments, autism, deaf-blindness, traumatic brain injury, and other health impairments.
Students are classified under one of the categories, and special education teachers are prepared to work with specific groups. Early identification of a child with special needs is an important part of a special education teacher's job. Early intervention is essential in educating children with disabilities. Special education teachers design and teach appropriate curricula, assign work geared toward each student's ability, and grade papers and homework assignments
Special education teachers use various techniques to promote learning. Depending on the disability, teaching methods can include individualized instruction, problem-solving assignments, and small group work. When students need special accommodations for test-taking, special education teachers see that appropriate ones are provided, such as having the questions read orally or lengthening the time allowed to take the test.