Students with hearing and visual difficulties/physical and health disabilities thrive from an inclusive classroom environment that offers children tools needed to be successful. To ensure children gain the appropriate support, educators must do the following: define the disorders, prevalence, potential causes, characteristics, IDEA identification, and best practice instructional strategies.
The purpose of this paper to analyze hearing and visual difficulties/physical and health disabilities of children in the classroom. The following are definitions related to hearing and visual difficulties/physical and health:
- Deafness – A hearing weakness that prevents a child from breaking down information and language.
- Blind – A vision impairment that causes a loss sight.
- Low Vision – An impairment with a substantial amount of vision loss.
- Orthopedic Impairment – Deficiencies caused by genetic irregularities.
- Other Health Impairment – Continuing health complications that restricts strength and attentiveness.
- Traumatic Brain Injury – Damage to the brain that can be classified as minor, moderate, or severe.
Studies show that in a 2015 – 2016 school year, 1.2% out of 5,971,495 children were being services special education services for hearing deficiencies (Gersten, Schiller, & Vaughn, 2000).
Hearing impairments can be characterized as conductive, sensorineural, mixed, and central. Each of these deficiencies affect the decibels and hertz, which determines if hearing is minor, moderate, or severe. Because of these characteristics students are negatively affected socially, which make it hard to form relationships effectively. Another negative impact is academics. Although there are no difficulties cognitively, students struggle with language, writing, and reading.
IDEA made a provision stating that communication for hearing deficiencies should be equally effective as students without hearing impairments. Children benefit from best practice instructional strategies for hearing impairment using the following: Sign language interpreter, grammar assistive technology, transcripts, visuals, and online-course assignments (Rudman, 2016).
Visual impairments for children under the age of 18 years of age is rated at 12.2 per 1,000. A few causes of the visual impairments are retinal, degenerative, prematurity, and diabetes. Characteristics of visual impairments are failing hand-eye coordination, unstable mobility, failure to pay attention, and unsuccessful academics. IDEA requires that any child that exhibits any form of vision impairment that poorly affects a child’s academics are eligible for special education services.
Best practice instructional strategies for visual deficiencies are as follows: seating in the front of the classroom, oral and physical cues. 15.6% of school age children receive special education services for physical and health disabilities. Causes of physical and health impairments include the following: communicable diseases, neurological, and musculoskeletal. Characteristics of physical and health impairments include in the following: restricted mobility, increased medical support and adaptive paraphernalia.
IDEA requires that all children displaying any physical and health impairment that impacts a student’s academics (Rudman, 2016).
Best-practice instructional strategies for students with physical and health impairments are as follows: multi-color highlighters, touch screen technology devices, timers, the environment and setup of the classroom.
Xavier is a 9-year-old student at Hickory Elementary School, currently attending a third-grade inclusion class and receives services under the category of ‘Other Health Impairments.” His diagnosis is hearing impairment. Xavier’s areas of strength are: expressive language skills, general knowledge, academic inquisitiveness, tactile learner. His areas of needs are: vision and movement. Xavier becomes frustrated when attempting to block out noise during instruction. Also, Xavier is unable to differentiate between sounds of spoken words and letters.
Xavier would benefit from the following: verbal clarifications shortened and augmented by visuals, concrete pictures of impressions, placed where sound is strong (Paul, 2018).
Arielle Newkirk is a 12-year-old seventh grader attending Holly Mills Middle School. She was diagnosed at 3 years old with vision loss and learned to position and acclimate herself while attending an early intervention program. Once she entered the public-school system, Arielle was given a one-on-one assistant during the school day. She received instruction in an inclusion classroom setting and received services under “Other Health Impairment.”.
Arielle displays the following deficits: trouble in precisely distinguishing items in space with reference to other items, inverse numbers or letters, struggles with recognizing items from a background of other items, and problems discriminating likenesses and variances when associating letters, numbers, and other items.
Arielle would benefit from the following: large print, highlighters, color coding, graphs, parallel line paper, clear and detailed pictorial instruction (Brulé & Jouffrais, 2016).
Henry Pulley is a student who is currently enrolled in an inclusion classroom setting at John Parker Elementary School. Henry receives special education services under the classification of Specific Learning Disabilities and Traumatic Brain Injury. Delays are seen in the area of reading, writing, listening, and reasoning.
Henry is not able to consistently count sets of 10 or fewer blocks and tell how many, point to more than 4 printed numbers when requested or tell what numbers come next in numbers 1-10. Henry struggles with accurately forming letters and numbers. Copying simple shapes and recognizing all upper/lower case letters and sounds (Ikari, 2015)
As you can see, providing instruction for children with hearing and visual difficulties/ Physical and Health Disabilities has a requires careful planning with instruction and the classroom environment. Children in an appropriate setting with the assistive technology and support will them to thrive and be successful learners.