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How do you deal with special need students?


New Member
I am currently working towards my teaching credential. I was wondering however, how teachers in states other than California or even in different countries deal with special need students. I would appreciate tips and strategies that working teachers actually employ in their classrooms. Thank you.


Senior Member
What kind?

Are you talking the kind of kid who can't read? or the kid who stands up and swears and throws chairs? or the kid who cries at the drop of a hat? of the kid who has a nurse because of feeding tubes and seizures?

I have children who happen to have special needs. I teach them at their level just like a teach the kid who reads 3 grades above. Differentiated instruction.

It's definately hardest to teach the child who stands up and swears and throws chairs, but you just deal with it.

It's like trying to explain War and Peace in less than 50 words!


Senior Member
When it's behavior I put behavior modification plans into place. When it's academic, I do peer tutoring, extra help with adults who come in the room and i have a remediation/extension time set up at the end of my instructional day. Those who don't need remediation get to work on other projects such as writer's workshop or research. When they throw things/swear I have to refer them to the office regardless-- school policy for documentation purposes for CSC and Elegibility. You just have to roll with the punches so to speak. Deal with what you can, ask for help with what you can't and try your best each and every day to give your children what they need.


I am not sure what exactly you are asking...Severe needs or just learning disabilites

I will tell you that I teach in NH and recently had a student from Cal, be in my classroom for 2 months before returning to CA. He had never been in a regular school he had been in a special needs school and we have full inclusion at my school. He was non verbal. We started to teach him sign (as well as the whole class), and use a picture choice book. In two months her learned to "read" and use at least 15 signs. He also learned how to make choices using pictures of his peers and activites.

Hmm...what exactly do you want to know?


Senior Member

Yes this is a difficult question to answer. It really is so very different with each child.
One year I had a bipolar schizophrenic (SP?) MR child that absolutely could not handle my morning routines. So I changed them for him. He also was not able to sit amonst the rest of the class because it aggitated him. I put his desk next to mine and each morning when he came in he had his own work packet for the day on his desk. The things in the packet were on his level. (K or PreK and I teach 2nd)

For behavior problems I implement behavior plans and modify when necessary.

Really it just depends on the child, the problem, and the situation.

Ms. Teacher

Junior Member
Special Needs Students

These students will have IEPs that should state where they are functioning at academically. The IEP should also have modifications that can be used in the regular classroom by the regular education teacher. Depending on where you are teaching, students will either be pulled for extra help, a Learning Specialist may want to come into your class and team-teach with you, or a combination of the two. Keep in mind the "least restrictive environment" that will give the special needs student the support he/she needs to be most successful in school. If the individual child's needs take away from the rest of the class, a para may be needed if the Learning Specialist cannot be in the class or maybe more time is needed in the Resource class.