Exceptional students are those students that have trouble in learning, and their performance needs modification in instructions and curriculum (Hardman et al., 2010). These students have trouble in socializing, vocational, learning and other life skills. These students portray contracting characteristics in their learning abilities (Whatley, 2006). Some of the students require a repetitive and a well-structured environment to enable them get the required skills in life while other students learn and use whatever they have learnt in different scenarios (Justice Department, 2013).
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This paper describes and explains the effective teaching methods for the exceptional students. This paper gives examples of strategies for children with emotional, physical, and behavioral disorders. This paper will also show ways and methods of how the students are helped to advocate for their self- esteem and confidence (Whatley, 2006). Many students with physical impairments have no cognitive impairments. They can learn with equal rate as their non- disabled peers (Hardman et al., 2010). They, however, must be provided with the right modifications and accommodations. There is no other group of the exceptional students is the continuum of educational services fit than this group (Whatley, 2006).
The educational approaches for these students involve the collaboration of an interdisciplinary team of occupational, teachers, speech therapists and health care specialists (Hardman et al., 2006). Students with physical impairments need environment modifications. These modifications are use of wheelchair- accessible classes and assistive technology (Justice Department, 2013). How other students and the community as a whole react to a student with a physical impairment or any other emotional disability, is important as the impairment itself. It is necessary for classmates, teachers and the public to have inclusive attitudes and accommodate these groups of exceptional learners (Whatley, 2006).
Emotional and Behavioral disorders
Some of these exceptional students have a hard time controlling their emotions and behavior. They have not yet learnt to control themselves or take time to think before acting (Justice Department, 2013). These conditions cause medical implications, which contribute to their varying mood swings. The teachers help these students by allowing them to explain how their disabilities affect their lives and how they think best on how the teacher and other students could handle them in the classroom (Whatley, 2006). This gesture shows the exceptional student that the teacher and the other students respect them. This opens door for an effective communication between the teachers with the exceptional student, and the exceptional students and the non- exceptional students (Hardman et al., 2010).
Teaching strategies for the behavioral and emotional disability should focus on changing the unwanted behavior itself (Justice Department, 2013). The system should concentrate on discouraging unwanted emotions and behavior, and rewarding the desired behavior. The teachers use this system easily by adopting the effective strategies:
– The teachers specifically identify the behavior that needs to be changed.
– The teachers then create a baseline of the observed behavior.
– They closely examine the information derived from the baseline. They evaluate their observation and then they document the information.
– The teachers then develop short and long-term achievements for the student. In this plan, they create a reward system that they use (Justice
Department, 2013). For example, the teacher gives the exceptional student a check mark for every fifteen minutes behavior that is appropriate. When the student receives eight to nine checks, the teachers award them ten minutes of computer time.
– The teachers then reevaluate the plan for effectiveness (Hardman et al., 2010). The teachers should check whether the behavior has reduced occurrence in a variety of settings.
– When the teachers are content with the strategy, they make modifications in the behavior system. This reinforces the desired outcome (Whatley, 2006).
Many behavioral, emotional and physical impaired students have anger management problem. The best strategy that the teacher should adopt is allowing the student step out of the classroom (Justice Department, 2013). This allows the student step out of the situation and cools down. The teacher makes this practice possible for the impaired student by establishing a calm down environment. The teacher may allow the student adopt as a secluded corner of the classroom, a calm reading area or a distant desk as a cooling zone (Hardman et al., 2010). This zone allows students to subside down when they are angry or feel low. When they have relaxed in these zones, they come back to the class or the teacher and explain their actions. This opens a communication forum in the classroom (Justice Department, 2013).
The teachers should adopt a system that they use to encourage the exceptional students to get in touch with their emotions by journaling (Hardman et al., 2010). The teacher presents the student with a writing material, and the teacher explains to the student that, instead of out bursting when he is frustrated or angry, he should open his writing material and record his feelings and thoughts (Whatley, 2006). If the teacher notices a student writing down on his journal, the teacher should pull the student aside and ask the student to share his entry with the teacher (Justice Department, 2013). The teacher should use the entry as a step from which the teacher explores the things that bothers the student and try to solve the problems the student has (Hardman et al., 2010).
Whatley (2006) defines self-esteem as a person’s overall appraisal of his self-worth. Self-esteem is a personality trait that develops in childhood, but affects a person’s behaviors, overall well being and their social interactions. Exceptional students have low self-esteem; they also lack confidence in their social relationships, they feel like a failure (Hardman et al., 2010). The students may not assert themselves. They may exhibit dependent behaviors. They lose their temper easily, and end up blaming others for their problems (Whatley, 2006). There may be body image distortions with low self-worth. Teachers and the public in general should work hand in hand and nurture self- esteem in the exceptional students. One way that self- esteem can be boosted in exceptional students is by helping the students stop criticizing themselves their conditions (Justice Department, 2013). The teacher should try to convince the students to stop criticizing themselves, and encourage the students that they can achieve their goals by having a high self- esteem about themselves.
The students should accept their weaknesses. Disability cannot hinder them to achieve their determined goals (Whatley, 2006). The self-criticism by the exceptional students is unwarranted. The teachers and the community should encourage students to evaluate the consequences of their failures, which are nonexistent. The students should stop berating themselves. Berating is the leading cause of low self- esteem in the exceptional students (Justice Department, 2013). Teachers should help students recognize, enjoy and believe compliments they receive. Low self- esteem students fail to recognize the compliments they get from the society. They denigrate these compliments, and they quickly forget these compliments (Hardman et at., 2010). When these students appreciate and recognize compliments, they know that they are worth in the society and that the society appreciates them.
Convince low esteem students to ease trying to act and be the way other students and persons want them to be. The students should get guidance from the teachers and appreciate they way they are (Justice Department, 2013), the students perform poorly when they try to adopt the lifestyle of other non- exceptional student. Encourage these exceptional students to be themselves. Criticism and rejection build low self- esteem (Hardman et al., 2010). These students should be themselves. Their disability cannot hinder them attain their goals.
Many exceptional students had been having difficulties in the classrooms. The principal reason is the hostility they received from the regular students (Justice Department, 2013). This has changed over the years. The regular students are adopting strategies and ways that they create an environment whereby they live together in harmony with the exceptional students (Hardman et al., 2010). Regular students understand, respond to and respect the exceptional students in the classroom by giving each person ample time during presentation (Justice Department, 2013). When an exceptional student is presenting, he or she should not be disrupted during the presentation. Every student in the class should be allowed the same opportunity. The regular students must play with the exceptional students. This reduces the chances of loneliness in the exceptional students (Hardman et al., 2010). Playing, reading and sharing a meal together promotes unity and respect among the regular and exceptional members of the society. The exceptional students will feel that they form part of the class, and this promotes their interaction in the classroom (Justice Department, 2013).
The local policies, procedures and programs for the education of students with disability do not discriminate against any qualified student with disability (Justice Department, 2013). The local programs do not discriminate on accessing activities and programs in the school. All qualified students request for accommodation like using computers, using taped books, easy access to note-takers get evaluated by the admission board on a case-by-case basis (Whaley, 2006). The available policies, programs and procedures enable the students with the disability enroll into the local school with no difficulty. This is because, the easily accessed accommodation facilities and learning facilities like use of brail and auxiliary aids facilitate the educational process in the local school (Hardman et al., 2010). The local policies maintain confidentiality between the education facility and the exceptional student. The student’s information is top secret unless the student decides to disclose his or her information (Justice Department, 2013).
Hardman, M. L., Drew, C., & Egan, W. (2010). Human Exceptionality: School, Community, and Family. Kentucky: Wadsworth Publishing.
Justice Department. (2013, January 15). Disability Resources. Retrieved January 19, 2013, from Disability Resources Web site: www. disabilityresources. Org
Whatley, G. C. (2006). Helping Students Develop Self- Determination. Teaching Exceptional Children Plu,, 4-6.