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Special Education - Reading

Students with special abilities are hardwired differently. They take another route to find their interests, discover their strengths, and detect their weaknesses. One strategy to assist children with different needs is to have a guided reading. They can work with a group or independently, or follow on a specific instruction or task, one at a time. The presence of the teacher must be felt all throughout the process without being intrusive to their learning experience. That means that a great deal of patience is expected to be employed.

The instructional approach of guided reading in classrooms allows a teacher to interact with a student and assess the student’s development in their ability to learn individually, or in a small group setting. For students in the group, it is important to put one group with at least similar reading abilities. Students with low reading ability can be managed individually.

Students with mild to moderate disabilities benefit from a regular classroom setting. These are usually children with high-functioning autism or ADD, or kids with learning disabilities. They are able to develop reading by learning with peers of similar reading levels. Lessons that the teacher may provide are those that ensure that the group becomes effective as a uni who are learning from the same materials.

On the other hand, students who are withdrawn, or non-verbal, need to have an individual safe space where teachers are sitting beside them and reading material with them. This may be very tedious for special education teachers, but it’s all worth the effort once the students show those small but precious little developments.

Teachers of children with special needs will all agree that learning needs to be tailored to the needs of their students. But there is a general advantage of doing guided reading especially when teachers want to see tangible results.