Special Education Child Visitation Essay

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Special Education Classrooom

Special Education

Observations of Special Education Classroom

The paper is a description of an observation conducted at a center that provides special education services to children and teens. The observation duration was three hours in a secondary education classroom. I was invited to participate as little or as much as I wanted during the observation. The students were at grade levels 9 -- 11.

Observations of Special Education Classroom

For the purposes of this paper, I gained permission to observe a secondary school-aged classroom at the Association for Metro Area Autistic Children. Children as young as two years old to students aged twenty-one attend the center. There are also adult services provided, at the center and at the private residence. The school is in session from 8am -- 2:30pm, Monday through Friday. I asked to attend on a day and during a timeblock where the students would learn in multiple settings. I observed during the hours between 10am -- 1pm. The Association for Metro Area Autistic Children (AMAC) is a data-collection agency. The staff practices and receives training in Applied Behavior Analysis. More than half of the staff attends a college or university part time or full time; several staff members train to become Board Certified Behavioral Analysts (BCBA).

In the classroom I observed, there was one primary/head teacher and two teacher assistants. Throughout the course of my observation, specialists such as Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Counselors, and others came into the room to either work alongside students whose IEP's prescribed such services, or removed the student(s) from the classroom setting to perform services elsewhere. There are twelve students in all in the class; nine of them attended the day I was present.
Of the nine students, seven of them are male and two are female. The students' age range is from sixteen to twenty years old. Furthermore, while I was there, a new hire for the center spent an hour in the classroom as the management adamantly advocates hands on training and experience when working in special education, with the autistic, and the otherwise differently abled.

The lesson plans for the current week must be prepared, submitted, and approved the prior week by a member of the management team for secondary education; either the director or the assistant director of secondary education have the power to approve lesson plans. The teachers are mandated to post a copy of the week's lesson plans in a clear and prominent area of the classroom so that any specialist, auditor, board member, parent, or other visitor, could enter any classroom and be able to follow along side the instruction.

The head teacher for this classroom, designated Team 10A, had several of the students for a few years in a row; thus, there was a deep level of familiarity and trust among the students and staff. The students in this classroom are high functioning; some of them are on the autism spectrum, others suffer from emotional disorders. Other students have a combination of disorders or another condition altogether. Almost every student receives additional services as prescribed by their IEP's. The IEP's are also highly visible and easily accessible. It is a rule in AMAC that every staff member that interacts with a student over the course of the academic day must compose an entry in that child's IEP….....

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