EP 306 Counseling and Special Needs Education

Counsellor and client

Important terms

Exceptional children.



At risk.

a.   Exceptional children

Children whose physical or learning attributes deviate from the norm (above or below) to such an extent that special educational programming is required to meet their special needs.


I.        Mental attributes

Gifted and talented

Mental intellectual disability.

II.        Physical deviations

Physical disability.

Other health impairment.

b.   Disability

Refer to reduced function or loss of a particular body part of an organism which limit the ability to perform tasks as other people do. Example to see, walk, hear, synonymous with impairment.

c.   Handicap

Problems a person with disability encounters in interacting with the environment.

A disability may pose a handicap in one environment and not in another.

d.   At risk

Term used for children who are not yet identified as having a disability but who are considered to have a greater than usual chance of developing disability.

Language use

The person with disability person first.

Do not use the word disability for a person who has a physical mental, emotional, sensory or learning disability.

Do not call one a handicap.

Avoid labelling them as a victim, disabled.

Avoid terms such as wheel chair bound. Someone with a mobility impairment.

Appropriate interaction

Shake hand as with others.

Treat adult as adults.

If possible, sit down when talking to a person on a wheel chair.

Speak directly to the person with disability.

Offer assistance with sensitivity and respect.

Population people with disability;

Differ with countries development and the ability to provide health and social services.

10% of the total population is commonly use. This include all level of disability.

Problems of getting correct population



Capacity for proper identification.

Special needs education

Education therefore deals with it in terms of:

Who-special personnel.

Especially trained teachers in the different exceptionalities. This provide instructional service.

Personnel providing related services.

Related services:



Physical therapy

Occupational therapy

Speech language pathology

What is curriculum modification?

Variation in the content. Some people need to be taught what others learn without effort.

Some may need higher level content.

It may be impossible for some of them to learn certain things due to their disability.

Variation in methodology

Mode of communication for students with:

Visual impairment

Hearing impairment

Severe speech and language disorder and,

Profound and multiple disabilities.

Teaching methods and strategies:

Where? Education placement.

Inclusive placement.

Appropriate education for all students in the regular classroom irrespective of their special needs.

Continuing of placements ranges from total inclusion to total segregation.

Inclusive education

Inclusion-movement that seeks to create schools and other social institutions based on acceptance, belonging and community.

Educating all learners together in high age appropriate general education classroom in their neighborhood schools.

Zero rejection policy.

Positive effects of inclusive education

1.   Academic performance, behavior and social development.

2.   Improved self-esteem, grades, on task behavior, greater interaction with peers and a more positive attitude towards school and learning.

3.   Enhancement of students, preparation of adulthood.

Participate in past secondary academic programs be employed and make higher salaries.

Live independently.

Be socially integrated in their community.

More like to be engaged or married.

1.   Friends in the neighborhood, easier to play and visit, easier to get help mates.

Negative effects of inclusive education

1.   Some may lead to fear, frustration, ridicule, isolation.

2.   Can be used as an excuse not to provide appropriate services.

3.   Teachers concerns

Class size


Time to meet curriculum and work with special personnel.

Lack of appropriate expertise.

To handle special needs.

Continuum of services

-      Special residential institution

-      Special class with integration

-      Regular class placement with assistance.

-      Regular class placement

Total inclusion, regular class with assistance, teacher consultation, regular class resources.

Special class placement

Special class with some regular class integration, special class in regular school, special day school.

Special residential placement

Special residential institution

Special residential schools, homebound instruction, hospital instruction.

Special aeede education is a part of not

Apart from regular education

Historical development of special education

Historical development internationally

1.   People with disability have existed throughout human history.

2.   Negative attitude towards people with disability have been documented.

Attitudes towards PWDS change in attitude towards PWD in stages

Neglect and abuse, killed or abandoned at birth or at the identification of disability.

Pity and institutionalization. (During the spread of Christianity).

PWDS were putting asylums in inhumane condition, given food and clothing.

Separate education, special education, institution were established.

Integration education more towards, normalization, mainstreaming etc.

Inclusive movement

Internationally accepted should implemented with caution.

Factors which led to the provision of education

1.   Changing concepts regarding disability, change in mode of production.

2.   Religious humanism, value of human being irrespective of disability.

3.   Advancement in science and technology.

4.   Emergence of voluntary charitable and service groups.

5.   Existing inheritance laws e.g. deaf had to learn to speak to inherent.

6.   Emergency of schools of PWDs.

Historical development in Tanzania

1.   Similar trends like the international but much later.

2.   Negative attitudes still persist and infanticide of children born with disabilities is still taking place in some areas.

3.   Ignorance and superstitious beliefs lead to the negative attitudes.

Basis for provision of services in Tanzania

1.   General government pronouncements e.g. Arusha Declaration.

2.   International year for disable persons (IYDPP) of 1981, protection of the dignity of person with disability.

3.   Act no 2 of 1982 employment.

4.   Act no 03 of 1982 care and maintenance.

National policy on disability

In July 2004, the ministry of labour youth development and sports produced a policy:


Encourage the development of PWDs.

Empower families of PWDs

Improve service delivery.

To allow participation of PWDs in decision and implementation of important activities in society.

To enable families of PWDs and the society at large to participate in decisions and improvement of important disability friendly activities.

Areas included in the policy

-       Health

-       Early intervention

-       Mental health services

-       People with disabilities and HIV

-       Education

-       Skills training

-       Employment

-       Older people with disabilities

-       Technical aids

-       Accessibility

-       Awareness creation

-       Human rights and legal provision

-       Accidents and compensation.

Special groups

Priority groups in provision of services

Women with disabilities.

Children with disabilities.

Older people with disabilities.

Establishment of educational services

Policy for provision of services very recent – 2004.

Initiated by voluntary organizations religious group.

Most services are at the primary level.

Establishment of special school.



Established by


Visual impairment

Anglican church


Hearing impairment

Roman Catholic


Physical disability

Salvation Army


Intellectual handicap

Tanzania government



Tanzania association of handicap



Tanzania government

Gifted and talented students

Gifted is hard to define.

It is generally accepted that, a gifted child would have potential to perform at a level that is significantly beyond that of the majority of other children of the same age, in one or more skill areas.

A gifted child may have the potential to become e.g. a great artist, thinker or athlete.

A number of definition of gifted exist focus on different aspects:

Feldhussem-talent as primary defining character.

Pirto-having superior memory, observational powers, curiosity, creativity and ability to learn.

Renzulli-traits of above average general abilities, high level of task commitment and creativity.

Gullford includes dimension of fluency, flexibility, originality in his definition of creativity.

Gifted and talented could be in one or more of the following areas:

1.   Verbal/language e.g. reading, writing and speaking ability.

2.   Logical and mathematical e.g. number, classification and problem solving ability.

3.   Visual and performing arts e.g. drawing, painting, musical ability.

4.   Body/movement/psychomotor ability e.g. dance, athletic ability.

5.   Interpersonal e.g. communication, leadership ability.

6.   Intrapersonal e.g. reflective, self-sufficient ability.

What make a child gifted and talented?

1.   What a child inherited genetically.

2.   The development of the child before birth.

3.   Nurturing of the child.


1.   Rapidly acquirer, retain and use large amount of information.

2.   Relate one idea to another.

3.   Perceive operations of large systems that may not be recognized by the ordinary person.

4.   Acquire and manipulate abstract symbol.

5.   Solve problems by refraining the question and creating novel solutions.

6.   Make sound judgments.


Gifted are not perfect, talents can make them withdrawn or unmanageable.

Need both basic and advanced knowledge.

Identification and assessment.

Initially only IQ scores used as sole means of identification-not the best means.

There is no generally agreed definition of giftedness but most school placement decisions and most longitudinal studies over the course of individual lives have been based on IQ in the top 2% of the population that is above IQ 130.

Most appropriate use a combination of:

IQ scores.

Creative and achievement measures.



Teachers and


And self-nomination.

Fostering intellectual development

Parents and teachers confoster, intellectual and talent development through:

1.   Conveying positive, realistic expectations.

2.   Encouraging independence.

3.   Guiding constructive coping strategies.

4.   Providing daily opportunities.

To build abilities and enjoy success and pursuing positive social experiences for the child.

Educational approaches

Three major approaches:

Ability grouping.

Enrichment and


Ability grouping

Differentiation in placement to allow students with similar level abilities be together.

Special schools for the gifted and talented.

Special classes.

Resources room services.

Regular classroom.


Giving experience which let students investigate topics interests in great details.

Help students for define area of interest and independently access a variety of information and materials.

More innovation, novelty and sophistication.

N.B enrichment is not do your own thing approach.

Topic must be based on ongoing curriculum.


Providing student opportunity to move through required curriculum at a faster pace.

Acceleration option:

Early admission to school.

Grade skipping acceleration.

Content acceleration in one or two grades.

Curriculum compacting or telescoping.

Concurrent environment high school and college.

Advance placement tests.

Early admission to college.

Testing out of courses.

Teachers of gifted children

Not necessary gifted but must:

Be flexible



Competent and self-confident.

Current issues and future trends

Definition of gifted is still debatable.

Most services will originate from regular class teacher.

Special groups of gifted

Individuals need special ways to identify.

Gifted females

Individual with disability.

Cultural diverse groups.

Final challenge:

Is there need to improve societal attitudes towards gifted and talented?

Intellectual disability/mental retardation


Three criteria for identifying a person with intellectual retardation

1.   Sub average general functioning.

2.   Existing concurrently with deficits adoptive behavior.

3.   Occurring during the developmental period.

Intellectual functioning also called intelligence refers to general mental capacity such as learning, reasoning, problem solving etc.

One way to measure intellectual functioning is an IQ test. General an IQ test scores around 70 or as high as 75 indicate a limitation in intellectual functioning.

Adaptive behavior

Adaptive behavior is the collection of conception, social and practical skills that are learned and performed by people in their everyday lives.

Conceptual skills

 Language and literacy, money, time and number concepts and self-directions.

Social skills

Interpersonal skills, social responsibility, self-esteem, social problem solving and ability to avoid being victimized.

Practical skills

Activities that daily living (personal care) occupational, skills, healthcare, travel/transportation, schedules, safety, use of money, use of telephone.

Standardized tests can also determine limitations in adoptive behavior.

Age onset

This condition is one of several developmental disabilities during the developmental period which in the US, operationalized as before the age of 18.

Additional considerations in defining and assessing intellectual disability

Additional factors must be taken into account such as:

1.   The community environment

Typical of the individuals peers and culture.

2.   Linguistic diversity and cultural differences in the way people communicate, move and behave.

3.   Limitations in individuals often co-exists with strengths.

Signs of intellectual disability in children

Many different signs of intellectual disability in children:

Signs may appear during infancy or they may not be noticeable until a child reach school age.

It often depends on the severity of the disability.

Some of the most common signs of intellectual disability:

Early signs:

1.   Rolling over, sitting up, crawling or walking late.

2.   Talking late or having problem with talking.

3.   Slow to master things like potty training, dressing and feeding himself or herself.

4.   Difficult to remember things.

5.   Low in understanding.

6.   Inability to connect actions to consequences.

7.   Behavior problems such as explosive tantrums.

8.   Difficulty with problem solving or logical thinking.

Causes of intellectual disability

1.   Anytime something interfere with normal brain development, intellectual disability can result. However a specific cause for intellectual disability can only be pinpointed about a third of the time.

Most common causes of intellectual disability.

Genetic conditions-this include things like Down syndrome and fragile x syndrome.

2.   Problem during pregnancy, things that can interfere with fetal brain development include alcohol or drug use, malnutrition, certain infections, or preeclampsia (toxemia).

3.   Problems during childbirth

Intellectual disability may result if a baby is deprived of oxygen during childbirth or born extremely pre-mature.

4.   Metabolic abnormalities e.g phenylketonuria and galatosemia.

5.   Illness or injury

Infections like meningitis, whooping cough or measles can lead to intellectual disability. Several head injury, near drowning, extreme malnutrition, exposure to toxic substance such as lead and severe neglect or abuse can also cause it.

Educational approaches

Main concerns is modification in:

Curriculum (what)

Instructional technique (how)

Educational placement (where)

Specially trained personnel (who)

Curriculum (what)

Curriculum should focus on functional skills that will help students to succeed in:





Leisure domains

Functional academics

Skills that can be used in everyday home community and work environments.

The functional skills differ from one student to another.

Instructional methods (how)

Continuous search for better teacher methods.

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) or behavioral approach produced the most consistent educational improvement.

ABA defined as systematic arranging environmental events to produce desired learning.

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) common features

Work for children with different types of disability.

Most applied behavior analysis programs have the following six common features:

1.   Precise definition and task analysis

Precisely defined task.

Task analysis

Break down complex or multiple step behavior or skills into small easy to teach subtasks.

Eg. Eating at a restaurant.

Locating, ordering, paying, eating and existing.

2.   Direct and frequent measurement

Measure the actual behavior of interest


N.B the regular monthly tests or end of course tests are usually not adequate for detecting problems and modification of program.

3.   Opportunity for active student response

Choral responding

Response cards.

Guided notes.

4.   Immediate and systematic feedback

Feedback most effective when its:

Specific towards specific response not generalized.

Immediate occurring immediately after response.

Positive reinforcement, most effective.

Systematic feedback.

Feedback is most effective when,

Frequent when it occurs frequently especially at the knowledge acquisition stage.

Differential, must show what is and what is not appropriate.

5.   Procedures for transferring stimulus control

The student while learning performs activity or skills as a response to prompting and in most an unnaturally occurring stimulus.

Stimulus eliciting the response must be transferred to a naturally occurring one. Example, from prompts to pick spoon to eat to response at being given food to eat or, “karibu chakula.”

Generalization-the extent to which a student applies what is taught in one setting to other appropriate settings.

Maintenance-the extent to which one extends learned skills overtime.

Students with MR do not generalize and maintain information like other children need planned activities.

Educational placement


Special schools

Special class/unit

Regular school with assistance

Inclusive education

What can they learn?

Mild MR can handle up to primary level.

Moderate MR taught communication should help and daily living skills and vocational skills.

Several MR learn a functional communication and self-help skills.

Profound MR totally dependent.

Current issues and future trends.

Development of laws to protect the right of persons with MR.

Recent scientific advances reduces biologically or clinically caused MR

1.   Genetic counselling

2.   Amniocentesis

3.   Chlorion villus sampling

4.   Virus vaccines

5.   Early screening tests

Early identification and intensive education services show promise to high risk infant.

MR caused by psychosocial disadvantage no widely used technique to decrease.

Current goal of services is to make lives people with MR as normal as possible-home in school and at work.

What can I do to help my intellectually disabled child?

Step to help your intellectually disabled child include:

Learn everything you can about intellectual disability. The more you know the better advance you can be for your child.

Encourage your child’s independence. Let your child try new things and encourage your child to do by himself or herself. Provide guidance when your child does something well or master something new.

Get your child involved in group activities, taking an art class or participating will help your child build social skills.

Stay involved by keeping in touch with your child teachers, you will be able to follow him/her progress and reinforce what your child learning at school through practice at home.

Get to know other parents of intellectual disabled children. They can be great source of advice and emotional support.

No child is uneducable. Despite their intellectual disability, children can learn skills which can improve their quality of life.

Hearing impairment

Hearing impairment is any level of hearing loss.

Deaf-severe hearing loss which precludes hearing of language through audition even with hearing aids.

Hard of hearing. Hearing loss which is severe enough to affect a person’s daily activities but person can still learn language through audition.

Classification of hearing impairments

There are four categories using different criteria:

1.   Time of onset

Congenital-hearing problem acquired before birth.

Adventitious-hearing problem acquired after birth.

2.   Part of ear affected

3.   Whether language had been acquired

4.   Whether one or both ears

Assessment of hearing

Measurement technique:

Pure tone audiometry.

Speech audiometry

Alternative assessment technique

Play audiometry

Behavior observation audiometry

Evoked response audiometry

Operant conditioning audiometry.

Impedance audiometry insert prob and pump to test functioning of the eardrum.


Hearing ability is shown in decibels and hertz frequency.

Each ear is tested individually.

The higher the DB the greater hearing loss.

The critical range of frequency pitch in Hertz is from 500hz to 200hz

Degree of hearing loss

Slight 27-40db

Mild 41-55db

Moderate 56-70db

Severe 71-90db

Profound 91db

An alternative way of categorizing in USA.

Mild at 26-45dB, a little difficulty hearing speech. Even a mild hearing loss can be serious for children still learning to talk.

Moderate at 46-65db more difficulty hearing speech.

Severe at 66-85db, a lot of hearing difficulty hearing speech. It is at this level that we begin to use the term deaf.

Profound-anything over 85db. This level of hearing loss, hearing aids may or may not help. Cochlear implant are often an option.

Causes of hearing loss

Exogenous vs. endogenous.

30% unknown cause.


Maternal Rubella.


RH factor compatibility.

Pre maturity and complications of pregnancy.



High fever

Industrial noise

Accidents and drugs.

Effects of hearing loss

Especially pre lingual deaf

Complex and profound.

The child face immense difficult in learning language.

Academic problems. Achievement related to:

Severity of hearing impairment.

The age of onset.

Identifying hearing problem in class

Asking for repetition.

Tilting head to one side.

Oozing ears.

Missing words or letters in spoken communication.

Cannot understand unless facing speaker.

Educational considerations

Most have residual hearing and can benefit from:

1.   Amplification

Many types has to fit individual needs-hearing aids are becoming smaller and lighter.

Classroom amplification system can be used in mainstream and in special classes.

2.   Auditory training/learning

Training to make better use of residual hearing.

Training for all and should start at home with very young children.

Recognition of regular environmental sounds.

Running water, a knock on the door.

3.   Discrimination of sounds

Emphasis today, ‘learn to listen and learn by listening.’

4.   Speech reading-initially lip reading-difficult

5.   Sign language: different sign languages.

Educational approaches

1.   Aural-oral focus on speech reading and speech exclusively.

2.   Manual communication

Emphasis in sign language, gesture and other manual exclusively.

3.   Total communication

Emphasis is getting the message through include both oral and manual.

4.   Currently bilingual education

Proficient in both sign language and spoken language.


1.   Seating in front of class.

2.   Written supplement to oral instructions, assignment and directions.

3.   Use visual aids as often as possible.

4.   Speaker facing to class during lecture.

5.   Repeat questions by other children.

6.   Have note taker during lectures.

7.   Test accommodations extended time, separate place interpreter direction etc.

8.   Unfamiliar words written on board

9.   Interpreter started where student can see interpreter and lecture.

10.        Reduce excess noise.

Using hearing aids and speech reading

1.   Look at student

2.   Keep hand away form mouth

3.   Use shorter sentences

4.   Use appropriate facial expressions and gestures.

5.   Avoid standing in front of a window or glare.

6.   Don’t shout or exaggerate mouth movements.

Using interpreter

1.   Look at students and not interpreter

2.   If using overhead or video, leave some light on

3.   Talk to students not interpreter.

4.   Don’t ask interpreter questions.

5.   Give short break during long lectures.


1.   Captioned video and television

2.   Telephone system.

3.   Computer assisted instruction

4.   More advance hearing aids.

5.   Cochlea implants.

Current issues

Early intervention, increases cognitive development and academic achievement.

Post-secondary education. Mostly neglected, over presentation in manual trades.

Visual impairments

It range from mild loss, correctable with glasses to total blindness.

Interested in those with low vision and blindness.

Two types of definitions legal definition and educational definition.

Legal definition

Legally blind

Visual acuity for distant vision of 20/200 or field of vision not exceeding 20-normal is 180 tunel vision. May have problem of periphery vision.

Low vision.

Vision acuity-20/200 to 20/70.

Educational definition

Focus on:

Function vision

Visual efficiency

Blind use modes other than sites

Low vision-can use vision and may learn to read and write regular print through vision.

Concentration is on the extent they need special materials for learning.

Effects of VI

VI affects education and emotional needs of child.

Effects differ depending on whether the visual problem is congenital or adventitious.

Congenital more difficult in acquiring concepts but better adjusted emotionally.

Adventitious easier at acquisition of academic skills but more difficult in emotional adjustment.

Causes of visual impairment

Causes of blindness of visual impairment prenary or during infancy in toddlers.

1.   Prematurity low birth weight, needing to be treated with oxygen at birth, or breeding in the brain.

2.   Family history

Congenital cataracts or metabolic or genetic diseases.

3.   Infection of mother during pregnancy such as rubella to xoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, HIV and some sexually transmitted infections including herpes, gonorrhea and chlamydia.

4.   Problem with the central nervous system such as developmental delay, cerebral palsy, seizures or hydrocephalus.

Retrolental fibroplasia/retinopathy of prematurity-dense growth of blood vessels and scar tissue in the eye leads to visual loss and retina detachment (occur in pre mature babies placed in some incubators.

1.   Tumor

Growth in the eye or brain which causes visual impairment.

2.   Injuries

Any injury to the eye or the brain which affects sight.

3.   Infections

Any problem caused by infection of the eye.

Cataract-reduced or loss of vision caused by cloudy or opaque lens.

Glaucoma-abnormally high pressure in the eyeball.

Diabetic retinopathy-impairment caused by hemorrhages on the retina.

4.   Refractive errors

5.   Myopia-near sightedness, light is focused on a point in front of the retina-blurred vision of distance objects.

Hyperopia-farsightedness, light is focused on a point behind the retina. Blurred vision of hear objects.

Astigmatism-blurred vision due to irregularities on the cornea or other surfaces of the eye.

Educational approaches

Student should be assisted to acquire as much information as possible through non-visual senses and participate actively in active practical experiences.

Teacher must be knowledgeable competent and creative.

Most people who are blind, read and write braille.

Write by use of perkins, brailler or slate and stylus.

Educational approaches they include need to type and use other specialized materials.

Student’s participation depends of teacher ability to adapt activities to include the students.

The teacher must be creative and provide as many non-visual activities as possible.

Technical devices and special equipment

Tape recorder-many blind persons rely heavily on tape recorders.

Talking computer terminal. It speaks the words that appear on the screen of a standard print terminal.

Retomatic and click rule.

Generally, linear measurement in cabinet making and wood working is required to be accurate within 1/32 or 1/64 of an inch.

Calculators. The firsts talking calculators were developed in the early 70’s and were extremely expensive US400.

Braille thermometer. A metal clinical thermometer which can be read tactually is available. It can be used by individuals in medical employment or at home. A talking thermometer can also be constructed.

Light probe: in certain jobs it is necessary that the operator of a piece of equipment know when a light is on, and it may also be necessary to know the position of the light.

Type writers: there are no such a thing as type writer for the blind because there is no need for it. Blind people use standard typewriters, manual electric and selectric.

Braille Dymo tape machine. If relatively brief, Braille labels are needed on file folders or equipment, they can be made by blind or sighted employee using a Braille Dymo tape machine.

Closed circuit Tv enlargers: these machine magnify print from a printed page onto a screen. Enlargement can be as much as 60 times the size of the original print.

Computer driven braille printer: several companies have developed machines which can be driven by a computer print Braille.

Braille thermoform machine: this machine is comparable to a copy machine for print materials.

Kurzweil reading machine: this machine was developed by Raymond Kurzweil to convert the printed page into synthesized speech by means of a special automated scanning system and a min computer.

A beeping sphygmomanometer: a device to make it possible for blind persons to record accurate blood pressure reading.

Braille micrometer: is able to measure the diameter of a shaft or gear with an accuracy up to 0001 inches.

Talking calipers: some blind machenists prefer the talking calipers. This depends some on individual preference and types of job assignments.

Low vision

Student with low vision need to learn to use their residual vision more effectively.

They may read normal print and use optical devices.

Normal print can be enlarged to different fronts.

Listening skills

Students need to develop skills for more efficient listening.

Need braining in

Attending to paying attention.

Awareness of sound.


Assignment of meaning to sound.

Good listening broaden.

A child vocabulary and support speaking, reading and writing skills.

There is a wide variety of learning to listen skills/approaches.

Young children learn to discriminate sound far vs. near, loud vs. soft, high pitch vs. low pitch.

Order children may learn to identify important details in the presence of distracting background noise.

Stereotypic behavior also called blindism or blind mannerisms

These are repetitive body movements or other behavior.

Body rocking, eye rubbing, hand waving and head weaving.

Puts a child at social disadvantage, they are conspicuous and draws negative attention to the person.

Notes Hazijafika Mwisho, Gusa Hapa Kupata Notes Zote kwa Tsh. 2,000/= tu.

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