Running head: SPED REFLECTION SPED Reflection Tiffany Stevenson EDUC 5382 – Administration of Special Programs Professor – Dr. Kristy Duckworth East Texas Baptist University July 24, 2015 Version 1.0 SPED REFLECTION 2 The philosophy of Special Education is to provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to students with disabilities. Students who are identified needing special education services are encouraged to be placed into the Least Restrict Environment (LRE) which is the mainstream classroom. SPED services provide many placement options for students. A few of these placements are Mainstream, Homebound, Hospital class, Speech Therapy, Resource room/services, Selfcontained, Off home campus, and many others. Students can qualify for SPED services for cognitive disabilities, behavioral disabilities, and physical disabilities. The teacher or parent of a student asks for testing to be completed and must provide data on why the student can benefit from SPED services. The teacher must fill out evaluations or surveys on students going through the evaluation process. If students can be successful with accommodations through Section 504 then schools prefer to serve these students through Section 504. If students are still unsuccessful with these accommodations and there is documentation to prove the attempt of interventions, the student can be evaluated for a disability that could qualify them for special education services. Students with disabilities are protected from disciplinary actions that are inappropriate such as an alternative placement (DAEP). There must be an MDR meeting to determine if the placement is a manifestation of their disability. Students who qualify for SPED services will have an ARD (admission, review, and dismissal) committee and an IEP (individualized education plan). Teachers must follow the IEP because it is the law for that student. Any member of the ARD committee can ask for a meeting at any time to discuss changes in the IEP but no change can be made outside of the ARD meeting. Special Education is a federal mandated program and is funded federally as well. SPED REFLECTION 3 The people who are affected by the Special Education program are the students who qualify to receive services through IDEA and the parents of the students. Students are affected because of the rights they receive when they are identified needing services through the special education program in their district. The parents are affected because they must fight for their student to receive the best and most appropriate education possible. If they do not fight for their student, no one will. Schools who have students qualified for special education services are affected because of the funding and possible lawsuits that could come from the inappropriate education of a student. General education teachers are affected because they will service these students and must know the law regarding following a student’s IEP. The SPED teacher is affected because of the push for students to be in the Least Restrict Environment (LRE) which is usually the general education classroom. SPED teachers are pushing into classrooms to service these students and supplement the teacher of the classroom. Issues that arise with special education programs is the inconsistency of implementation of IEPs in the general education classroom. Teachers should be but aren’t always trained or knowledgeable on implementing a student’s IEP. In my opinion, an issue can be the push for the LRE. Students need to be in the LRE but if it isn’t beneficial for the student, then what’s the point? Some students benefit from a smaller educational setting even in elementary. These students sometimes go through CATE programs in high school where schools differentiate their setting. Another issue with the SPED program is the amount of students needing this service but so many are unidentified because of race, gender, location, and background. I believe if a student needs extra services through the special education program, then they should receive it. So many students are unidentified because of the extensive process and there may be too many African American males qualified in one district therefore the student SPED REFLECTION 4 who also may need the service, won’t receive it. Lawmakers and TEA claim to have the student’s interest at heart but when students are turned away for extra assistance when they need it, which is not having the student’s best interest at heart. I agree with the extensive process for identification because some students may benefit for services through Section 504 or RtI. Not every student who is struggling learning to read needs to be identified through SPED. I do appreciate the individuals who are passionate about serving these students daily and I personally need to attend more trainings to learn more about how to serve students with severe disabilities all the way to minor learning disabilities.