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Guaranteeing Special Education Rights: Individualized Education Plans

Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.
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Sensitivity is an important issue when it comes to working with special education students. They know they are different and so do the other students; this may present a barrier between the students, which is why mainstreaming is so crucial to the social development of students in special education. Terms such as 'retarded student', 'cripple', 'crazy' and other negative terms should NEVER be used to describe any student. When you are discussing an issue related to the disability, please remember to use appropriate terms, for example,

"Often, students with physical disabilities need a special keyboard or mouse to use the computer. Does your son need any special equipment or is he able to use a regular computer?"


"We have several students with mental retardation in our school who will not be able to take the written examination for job applicants. Can we have the test taken orally?"

Usually, when you are talking about or to a student with a disability, the right way to address the student, as with any student, is by name, "Delrene and Derrick will be in your classroom in the fall." Honestly, if you live in a small town, and Derrick has mental retardation or has had one leg amputated in an accident - everyone knows it! Small towns are like that. Saying, "Derrick, that kid with one leg, will be in your class in the fall" is unnecessary and just plain rude. Don't do it.

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