spatial-material organizational disorder A problem with organizing materials so that the child constantly struggles for survival within an ordered environment. A child with this problem has a hard time organizing information on paper. Margins are missing, spacings between words and letters are incorrect, centering is difficult, and the overall appearance of the work is messy. Teachers often have trouble reading the child's work. A child with this problem often forgets assignments or books needed to complete assignments. Assignments themselves may be incomplete, or the child cannot find completed assignments.
In addition, a child with this problem is often disorganized and has problems following routines or completing tasks. Desk and home environment are usually quite messy and disorganized, although the child may appear to have his own system of organization in his own space.
special education Educational services and programs for students with abilities ranging from gift-edness to mental retardation, and including various physical, emotional, or learning differences.
Although the history of special education can be traced at least as far back as Plato's recommendation that children with extraordinary intellectual ability should be provided special leadership training, in more modern times special education was practiced in the 16th century when Pedro Ponce de León taught deaf Spanish children to speak, read, and write. In the 18th century Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard developed special education techniques with
Victor, the so-called Wild Boy of Aveyron. During the late 18th and early 19 th centuries, special education procedures for teaching some school skills to pupils with sensory handicaps were supported by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. For example, individuals with profound hearing loss were taught meanings for printed words by repeated simultaneous presentations of a printed word and a picture of what the word represented.
About the same time, attempts to educate individuals with mental retardation or with emotional or behavioral disorders increased in number and success, as exemplified in the work of the American educator Samuel Gridley Howe. Successful attempts to educate the deaf and blind led to scientific methods to teach the mentally retarded in Europe. For example, Maria Montessori, a pediatrician and innovative educator, used multisen-sory methods to teach mentally retarded and culturally deprived children in Rome in the late 19th century.
In the 20th century, the enactment and implementation of compulsory education laws led to an increasing need for special education services. In the latter half of the 20th century, great gains have been made in special education. In most developed countries, addressing the educational needs of the disabled has become universal. However, it was not until the mid-1970s, with the passage of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (PL 94-142), that the education of disabled children carried the force of law in the United States. This revolutionary legislation, guaranteeing a free and appropriate education for all children, paved the way for a rapid expansion of the field of special education that continues to this day.
Public Law 94-142, renamed Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1990, requires students with disabilities to be placed in the least restrictive environment (LRE) available in order to avoid segregating students with disabilities.
Schools that comply with the laws receive more money from the federal government to offset part of the costs of providing special education services. The federal government also requires that schools report the number of special education students they serve. During the 1989-90 school year, more than four-and-a-half million children received
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