Knowledge is a crucial element in human development. People’s intellectual, physical, and emotional growth gives people the chance to handle multifaceted aspects they face daily. However, this aspect is not efficiently fulfilled because of some factors like learning disabilities. Learning disabilities affect the cognitive processes involved in the assimilation of knowledge. They can be caused neurobiological or genetic aspects thest impedes brain functionlity. The aspects lead to decvelopmental skils like writing, reading, as well as, critical thinking. In the education sector, this problem takes place due to obstacles to critical learning functionalism in institutions. In learning institutions, kids with learning disabilities have particular needs, thus requiring essential support in the process of acquiring knowledge. However, most of them are not in the sphere of control of the students affected. By examining the issues affecting children and youth with learning disabilities, an assessment of their needs concerning the role of concerned personnel, their background, and external circumstances is established.
Educational institutions are places where individuals of different ages assimilate knowledge. These sites include universities, high schools, elementary schools, and preschools. The students advance through the different schools. As a child progresses through the various stages, the knowledge and skills provided are narrowed down towards a particular field, allowing for specialization. Schools have been a fundamental part of societies since time immemorial. Records indicate their existence in early civilizations such as ancient Greece (Đurišić, & Bunijevac, 2017). Due to the emphasis on efficiency in wars, it was standard to have primary-level education to join the military. There are two categories of schools, government and non-government, commonly referred to as private schools. Private schools are essential in case the government cannot meet particular educational needs such as adequate institutions, religious interests, or quality of education. Schools have different components that aid in learning and development, such as classrooms, playgrounds, administrative offices, and libraries.
The aspect of special needs in the school environment is explored to understand how learning institutions have adapted to help the affected students cope. However, certain factors are fundamental in exploring the environment in gaining a wholesome perspective of the issue (Li & Qiu, 2018). In examining the subject, major emphasis is drawn on the primary and high school level stages of education, which are considered crucial in students’ formative stages; Thus, schools require effective systems to assist children with learning disabilities. In the quest to understand the needs of these children and meet them, it is vital to understand the various stakeholders involved. They include teachers, parents, the school administrative board, and support staff. Teachers are the primary instructors within the learning institutions.
It is critical to analyze their training and stipulated conduct principles to understand their impact in the process. Other stakeholders in the school setting, such as the support staff and administrators, have less contact with the student but are significant in the destination of the overall experience by students. Despite the common oversight, parents also significantly influence academic achievement regarding the family background and environment to which the child is exposed (Li &Qiu, 2018). The paper also explores the political perspective regarding the government and legislative role in the education sector, especially concerning learning disabilities. This antecedent will draw an integral view to the shortcomings of the current systems to resolve the various adversities faced by children with learning disabilities in the school environment. For an in-depth understanding of the severity of the issue, the paper examines the root causes, strategies towards change and resolution, and obstacles against these efforts.
Child and Youth Needs
Child and Youth Care (CYC) is a field that centres on child/youth’s developmental needs in their environments. Most practitioners in the field are commonly referred to as Child and Youth Care counselors and workers. Still,they can also be incorporated in various roles such as educator, supervisor, trainer, private practice, and direct care. The field integrates social pedagogy by supporting and empowering relationships to enable holistic learning and individual well-being (Khasawneh, 2021).However,the primary objective of child and youth care is therapeutic relationships, which integrates research on human development to promote optimum maturation of young people towards productive and healthy adulthood.
In the analysis of child and youth care, The CANS tool will be utilized. The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths is a functional tool used in care determination and the development of support care planning (Sri, 2021). In the school setting, the fundamental need is education: the process in which learning is facilitated through assimilation of knowledge and acquisition of skills and values critical to individual development and fulfilment. However, as education is a holistic process, several facets of development are integrated, which encompasses additional student needs. There are six categories of core needs regarding children and youth: Behavioral/Emotional needs, Caregiver Needs, Life Functioning, Cultural factors, Risk Behaviors, and Strengths (Liu et al., 2021).These domains consist of several areas in child/youth’s development that affect their daily functioning. An example of an application domain is the life functioning category which entails living situation, school behavior, school achievement, school attendance, medical/physical, sexual development, family functioning, sleep, and decision making. Some of these areas are natural elements in the learning process, while the rest have a relational influence that still impacts individually. Children and Youth Care practitioners use Table A1 and Table A2 in Appendix Ato evaluate the different areas by rating each child’s need and strength level to develop a detailed plan on how to support them through the stages.
The school setting is a crucial environment in support of students with learning disabilities. The National Center for Learning Disabilities report indicated a ratio of 1:5 regarding children with learning disabilities. Examples of disabilities impeding students from proper learning include Cerebral Palsy, ADHD, Seizure Disorder, Auditory Processing Disorder, and Dyspraxia. They have various effects on a student’s learning progress, like slower in reading as well as, writing, more processing time in understanding concepts, reduced participation in class, and difficulty in relationship formation with peers (Pfeifer et al., 2021). Thus, these students need extra help that can help them overcome these challenges. Usually, schools have procedures to identify students with learning disorders to assign specialized programs and services tailored to their needs.
As illustrated in the current legislature, the government has dedicated certain efforts to cater to children with learning disabilities. These legislative articles provide accommodation to students with special learning needs. The first piece of legislation is known as the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It protects the rights of students with learning disabilities by providing free Appropriate Public Education tailored to meet their unique needs in pursuit of education (Dragoo, 2017). It monitors the efforts input by the respective learning institutions towards providing these specialized services to special needs persons. Moreover, it accounts for the assistance required to be input by the various localities, states, federal and educational services. These programs include Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Survivor Benefits/Social Security Disability Benefits, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP). They cover various aspects such as monetary contributions towards health coverage and other facets. The government has also implemented the IDEA and Section 504 to support and accommodate students with services and resources within their respective learning environments.
Another crucial law is known as Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act.This law was the first U.S. civil rights act catered to disability (Education & Fund, 2018). It prohibits the discrimination of persons with disabilities by executives or organizations receiving federal financial aid from equal opportunity in related benefits and services. It offers students with special needs reasonable accommodations within their respective learning environments. Consequently, factors such as financial constraints and stereotypes should not lead to a lack of individualization and consideration of the individual needs of special learning needs students. The government should pull more resources towards the supports of learning disabled students to increase access to essential services inf their pursuit of education.
The Child and Youth Care (CYC) practitioners’primary focus is children and youth’s productive development and individual well-being. Within the school setting, these practitioners center their practice around the need for education, including all the variables involved. Contrary to the misconstrued perception as related fields such as social service, CYC practitioners are focused on the collaborative support with the child’s well-being as the priority (Mann-Feder et al.,2017). The CYC practitioner works personally with the student to help them cope and catch up with their peers in school.
A Campus Inclusion and Learning Head is an administrator in charge of coordinating teachers, support staff, and education assistants in addressing the needs of children with special needs and disabilities in a school. The essential qualification is a certified degree in teaching, specializing in developing a particular subject alongside a Master’s in Educational Leadership.On the other hand, a school counselor is a professionally certified personnel in designing programs and accessing academic, college, and career information while offering social-emotional support to students. They require a degree in psychology counseling alongside a post-graduate degree/master’s degree in school counseling. Further, a Special Education Need Coordinator (SENCo)is a teacher responsible for planning the assessment and monitoring the progress of special needs disabilities’ children (Fitzgerald, & Radford, 2020). The essential qualification is a bachelor’s degree in teaching and a relevant subject such as languages.
The English as an Additional Language (EAL) Teacheris tasked with supporting students whose first language is not English, such as international students, refugees, and immigrants. They provide tailored programs to help students cope within their classroom setting, where English is the language of instruction (Slaughter & Cross, 2021). The required qualifications include a bachelor’s degree with relevant coursework in EAL or a post-graduate degree in the same field.Lastly, Speech and Language Pathologists (SLPs)are professionals in human communication with a comprehensive understanding of its devolvement and related disorders. In schools, they support children with speech difficulties. SLPs diagnose and prepare treatments plans such as speech therapy for individuals with speech-related disorders. To practice, one requires a degree in speech and language therapy and registration as a health care practitioner.
There have been several shortcomings in the strategies to assist students with learning disabilities. However, the efforts by interested parties such as CYC practitioners, parents, teachers, and the government, the lack of a holistic approach towards the issue has led to critical gaps in its mitigation. Firstly, in most strategies, there is insufficient funding to cater to students with special needs adequately. Most elementary and high schools have limited budgets which compromises their ability to make managerial decisions based on the needs of students with learning disabilities. Often, these leads to tight eligibility criteria which exclude persons in actual need of the services and resources. Secondly, the negative stereotypes towards children with special learning needs can contribute to their lack of academic success. Some educators, peers, and staff’s unfavorable attitudes can impede these students’access to certain educational services(Thien and Phan, 2021). In some cases, some of the staff can perpetuate negligence in areas such as building designs which can lead to barriers to movement or even lavatories for some of the students. Moreover, most conflict management systems are often ineffective due to unresolved disputes. Despite the laws and systems enacted to accommodate children with learning disabilities, most schools have incorporated them in conflict resolution procedures. This omission leads to delays in disputes and conflicts reported by students and staff, thus causing avoidable time loss, which can be detrimental in the school setting. In some cases, it often ends up in unresolved cases.
In conclusion, learning disabilities are a significant concern in the field of education. Its influence on the academic success of the affected students negatively influences their development. Contrary to the view that exclusively associates it with only the school environment, a holistic perspective engages all aspects of a child’s environment in assimilating the knowledge, skills, and values imparted to them. Thus, background and external factors have acritical role in diagnosing and creating a support plan for students with special learning needs. The CANS model can evaluate the direct and relational factors, which assesses the students’ strengths and needs by analyzing various core components in their development, such as emotional needs and life function domains. CYC practitioners in the school setting, such as the school counselor and the speech and language therapist, support the students by helping them cope and adapt to their learning environment to maintain pace with their peers and instructors. The government has also implemented specific legislature such as the IDEA and Section 504 that supports, as well as, assists students with appropriate services and resources in their particular learning settings. Additionally, it has established programs necessary for overseing and supporting the cause, which has aided the affected students. Consequently, factors such as financial constraints and stereotypes have led to a lack of individualization and consideration of the individual needs of special learning needs students. The government should pull more resources towards the supports of learning disabled students to increase access to essential services in their pursuit of education
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