SPED Reflection
Tiffany Stevenson
EDUC 5382 – Administration of Special Programs
Professor – Dr. Kristy Duckworth
East Texas Baptist University
July 24, 2015
Version 1.0
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.
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
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.