Students with Exceptionalities

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Educators at all levels refer to special needs students as those with exceptionalities. In general, exceptionalities fall in six broad categories:

Fire Alarm

Most educators prefer not to use the term handicapped because of its negative implications. You'll more often see terms like challenged and exceptionality—both of which have more positive implications.

  • Intellectual. This includes students who have superior intelligence as well as those who are slow to learn.

  • Communicative. These students have special learning disabilities or speech or language impairments.

  • Sensory. Sensory-grouped students have auditory or visual disabilities.

  • Behavioral. These students are emotionally disturbed or socially maladjusted.

  • Physical. This includes students with orthopedic or mobility disabilities.

  • Multiple. These students have a combination of conditions, such as orthopedically challenged and visually impaired.

Although statistics are difficult to obtain, it has been estimated that between 10 and 13 percent of the school-age population has exceptionalities. Thus, in an average-size classroom of 25 students, it is conceivable that 3 or 4 individuals will exhibit one or more exceptionalities.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Success as a Teacher © 2005 by Anthony D. Fredericks. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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