Exceptional Lives : Special Education in Today's Schools

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2004-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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For introductory courses in Special Education. Widely recognized for innovation and accessibility, this text is a tribute to the authors' vision of equipping general and special education teachers with principles, values, and practices that support educating the majority of students with disabilities within general education programs. Through four engaging themesuniversal design for learning, inclusion, collaboration, and multicultural responsivenessthe text explores the processes necessary for implementing best practices to achieve the goals of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997. The authors showcase real students with real disabilitiesletting their stories illustrate, as nothing else could, the characteristics and causes of disabilities, the challenges faced by people with exceptionalities, and the myriad factors educators must consider when making decisions about how, where, and what to teach.

Table of Contents

Overview of Today's Special Educationp. 2
Implementing IDEA's Principlesp. 40
Special Education Today: Inclusion and Collaborationp. 72
Learning Disabilitiesp. 104
Emotional or Behavioral Disordersp. 144
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorderp. 180
Giftednessp. 222
Mental Retardationp. 260
Severe and Multiple Disabilitiesp. 300
Autismp. 336
Other Health Impairmentsp. 368
Physical Disabilitiesp. 404
Traumatic Brain Injuryp. 438
Communication Disordersp. 480
Hearing Lossp. 516
Blindness and Low Visionp. 556
Glossaryp. 597
Referencesp. 605
Name Indexp. 641
Subject Indexp. 653
Photo Creditsp. 673
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.


Our Vision Consider two different lives, those of the children of three of the authors. Jay Turnbull is 35; that means he was one of the very first students to benefit from the federal special education law (enacted in 1975, when he was 8 years old). In those days, special education was in its infancy; the education he received was good enough--nothing great except occasionally and then largely because of a few exceptionally gifted teachers. Nolan Smith is two. That means he is one of the many students who is now benefitting from a well-developed special education system that came into his life at the very beginning--not, as in Jay's case, when he was entering his ninth year of life. Unlike Jay, Nolan will benefit from new teaching techniques (universally designed learning), new models (inclusion and access to the general curriculum), new procedures (collaboration), and new understandings (about them and their peers from multicultural backgrounds). That is exactly how it should be: The new ways should replace the old if they provide more benefits. So much for looking back. Now, let's look forward. Our vision defies specification. It is general, nothing more. One part of it is that what educators now regard as new will persist if it benefits students--all students, not just those with disabilities. Another part is that educators will continue to develop better ways to raise America's children. Yet another is that our country will finally face the realities of poverty and diversity and commit resources--not money alone, but also imagination and courage--to the students and families who are traditionally un- and under-served. To the degree that this book makes it possible for educators to leave no child and family and teacher behind, fine. But there must be more. We educators must find better ways to educate children. And we must find the common ground and the new words to make it self-evident that we have not done enough for those who are, by one measure or another, "exceptional." Only when "un" and "under" are purged from "served" and replaced with "well and rightly" will America's schools fulfill their promise: full citizenship for all students. That is what Jay sought and eventually received; that is what Nolan can almost take for granted, at least for now; and that is the birthright of all students and the obligation of all educators. Our Book's Organization Chapters 1 through 3 lay the foundation for the rest of our book. They tell a bit about history, quite a lot about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the law that Congress passed in 1975 and that it amended in 1997, and a great deal about today's schools. Most of all, they introduce you to our primary message: All teachers can educate students with disabilities, especially in the general curriculum, by using the principles of universal design, inclusion, collaboration, and multicultural responsiveness. We build on this foundation by describing in Chapters 4 through 16 how to educate students in special education--those who have disabilities (Chapters 4 though 6 and 8 through 16 are about student; various kinds of disabilities) and those who have unusual gifts and talents (Chapter 7). When we write about the students with various kinds of exceptionalities, we use a "categorical" approach: Each chapter describes a different "category" or type of student--for example, Chapter 4 describes those with learning disabilities and Chapter 5 describes those with emotional or behavioral disorders. Chapter Format Chapters 4 through 16 have the same "flavor" and format. Their similar flavor comes from the four themes that we weave throughout each chapter: universal design, inclusion, collaboration, and multicultural responsiveness. Their similar format comes from the way we present our information. Each chapter follows this order:

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