Chapter 12 (Learners with Exceptionalities) Study Guide

INTASC standards related to this chapter:

Standard 3 – Diverse Learners. A teacher must understand how students differ in their approaches to learning and create instructional opportunities that are adapted to students with diverse backgrounds and exceptionalities.

Study Guide Questions:

1.One way to respect and recognize the rights of individuals with disabilities is through the use of vocabulary and terminology. Provide and explanation and examples of what Slavin refers to as “put people first” and “avoid making the person equal the disability”.

        In putting people first one will always be known as an individual the disability is just one thing about that person.  In other words the person is first the disability is second.  An example of this people first language is Jane is a student with a learning disability.  This way the person is an individual they are not a disability in a person.

2.Explain the difference in meaning between the terms:

*Disability is a limitation of a function such as a cognitive process, sensory or physical abilities.  It’s an impairment of a function not imposed by some other source.

*Handicap is a condition imposed on a person with a disability imposed by society, the environment or his or her own attitude.  This is a disadvantage given by something.

3. Develop a table or graphic organizer to compare the definitions, characteristics and eligibility criteria for the following categories:





Learning Disability

Has a difficulty in making academic progress but does not have mental retardation or is not mentally disturbed

-Normal intelligence or even giftedness

-Hyperactivity or distractedness

-Difficulty solving problems

-Reverses letters, words or numbers

-Immature social skills

-Lower academic self esteem

- Delays in achievement

 A student must show signs of low achievement but must have an average IQ.

Speech or language disorder

Speech– problems with oral articulation understands the code but can’t communicate it

Language – Impairment in understanding or comprehending the rules and code.

-Difficulty in pronouncing certain letters such as “r” or “s”

- Stuttering, hoarse or nasally voice

- Cannot express ideas in ones own native language\

-Difficulty in understanding language


Speech therapy is called for if a student cannot be understood or if the speech impairment is causing psychological or social difficulties.

Language therapy is given to students who are unable to express ideas or understand language in their native language and also when lack of experience to the language is ruled out

Mental retardation

A condition that is usually present at birth and that results in a below average IQ and poor life skills (adaptive.) Usually different levels such as mild and moderate and profound.

-Developmental delays

- May look different then their average peers.

- Short attention span

-Difficulty in transferring new skills from one situation to another

-Low tolerance and easy frustration

-Low coping skills

-Immature social skills

-Low self esteem

-Limited Vocabulary

-Deficiencies in fine and gross motor skills

An IQ level at least one standard deviation below normal and exhibits inabilities of adaptive, social and life skills.

Emotional or behavioral disorders

Deviating from the norm with problems with learning, social skills and control of feelings and behaviors.

Many characteristics the key here is the duration, excessively and the degree in which the behavior is formed.



-Laughing when something is sad or complaining during fun activities




-Acting out

-Disruptive towards others



-Minimal social interaction skills


Inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors

Inability to build interpersonal relationships with peers or adults

Inappropriate types of feelings or behaviors

Depression like symptoms

Tendency to develop physical symptoms, pains or fears associated with school or personal problems

Orthopedic Impairments

A disability due to an injury or birth abnormality.  This injury, disease or abnormality is usually on an extremity.


-Unsteady gait

-Poor muscle control

-Loss of limb

-Impede speech production

Physically disabling and seriously impairs students movement or motor skills and has an adverse educational effect.

4.            Describe effective teaching strategies a teacher would use when instructing a students with a learning disability and a behavior disorder in an inclusive classroom setting.

        Learning Disability

A few things that teachers can do to help learning disabled students are to use classroom management skills such as walking around the classroom, and knowing student’s background and culture.  Another thing that can be done is to teach study skills, breaking down tasks into smaller parts, small group instruction, give frequent feedback, align out of class help with in classroom activities and remember to teach to different learning styles.

        Behavioral Disability

Again a teacher would want to use effective classroom management skills such as walking around the room, using variety, using a rapid pace and having many opportunities to participate. 

5.            Describe the 4 level classification system of support needed for individuals with mental retardation.

        Mild Retardation (IQs 50-55 and 70-75) – Usually needed limited to intermittent level of support, which means that a student will not always need support and the support, is given on an as needed basis.

        Moderate Retardation (IQs 35-40 and 50-55) – Usually limited support, which means support on a consistent basis but only for a limited amount of time.

        Severe Retardation (IQs 20-25 and 35-40) Usually extensive support which means support on a regular basis in at least some environments and not time limited.

        Profound Retardation (IQs below 20-25) Usually pervasive support, which is high intensity support, provided across environments and usually more staff members are needed.

6.            Explain the meaning of the following terms:

*            Special education – A program in schools that is for the benefit of students with mental, emotional and physical disorders, this program address these needs. 

*          Least restrictive environment –It is a law specifically (IDEA) the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that says that students with disabilities must be put into classes with students without disabilities.

*            Mainstreaming - This is a temporary instructional and social integration of eligible children with exceptionalities with peers without exceptionalities, but this is with an ongoing Individual Learning Plan (IEP) and program process.

*            Inclusion – A process of including all students into the same classroom.

7.            Describe the rights and services provided with the passing of the following federal laws:

*          P.L. 94-142 (Education for the Handicapped Act) This law said that all students that were eligible were able to have special education services.  These services were free for the parents and were paid for by the public.

*          P.L. 99-457 – It extended this law to students from ages 3-5 and also students with severe disabilities as infants to toddlers.

*          P.L. 101-476 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 1990) – Change the Name to IDEA and required schools to plan for students with disabilities to go on to further education or employment by age 16.

*          P.L. 105-17 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 1997) – IDEA’97 was put into place to strengthen the original act and is six main principles.  These are free and appropriate public education, appropriate evaluation that includes eligibility and that the programs should not be culturally specific.  Also students will have a IEP (Individualized Education Program) which includes goals, how the ability affects education, services to be provided, how the student will participate with non disabled and a few other things.  The last three are least restrictive environment otherwise the idea that students will be put with their peers that are non-disabled as much as possible, parent and student participation in decision making and procedural safeguards to help protect rights and to give a way for disputes to be resolved.

8.         List and explain the continuum of services offered for special education starting with the least restrictive to the most restrictive.

1)    Direct or indirect consultation and support for general education teacher

2)    Special Education up to 1 hour per day

3)    Special Education from 1 to 3 hours per day: resource program

4)    Special Education more then 3 hours per day; self-contained special education

5)    Special Day School

6)    Special Residential School

7)    Home and or Hospital care

In general the more severe the disability the more restrictive services the student will receive but this does not always hold true, the other thing that needs to be looked at is where the student will benefit more.  

9.            Describe the components of an Individual Education Plan.

 The IEP will include general information about the student and home life.   Next is the services required which includes what kind of time spent in general education, resources, self-containment and the time spent in services.  The test used and will be used for testing the student.  The students’ strengths and weaknesses this section is specific.  For each weakness there will be an attainable and measurable annual goal.

10.       List and describe two options for adapting education programs to the needs of students who are gifted and talented.

 Acceleration programs is one way for adapting education for gifted or talented students this program is where teachers will skip over things that gifted students may not know or otherwise skip ahead in subjects such as math to a higher level of thinking math.

 Another program would be the Enrichment program, which involves self directed or independent study.  This enrichment time should include three different types of learning general exploratory, group work and investigations such as interviews or writing books or newspapers.