Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Special Educational Needs Related Abstracts

4 Effects of an Inclusive Educational Model for Students with High Intellectual Capacity and Special Educational Needs: A Case Study in Talentos UdeC, Chile

Authors: Gracia V. Navarro, María C. González, María G. González, María V. González


In Chile, since 2002, there are extracurricular enrichment programs complementary to regular education for students with high intellectual capacity. This paper describes a model for the educational inclusion of students, with special educational needs associated with high intellectual capacity, developed at the University of Concepción and its effects on its students, academics and undergraduate students that collaborate with the program. The Talentos UdeC Program was created in 2003 and is intended for 240 children and youth from 11 to 18 years old, from 15 communes of the Biobio region. The case Talentos UdeC is analyzed from a mixed qualitative study in which those participating in the educational model are considered. The sample was composed of 30 students, 30 academics, and 30 undergraduate students. In the case of students, pre and post program measurements were made to analyze their socio-emotional adaptation, academic motivation and socially responsible behavior. The mentioned variables are measured through questionnaires designed and validated by the University of Concepcion that included: The Socially Responsible Behavior Questionnaire (CCSR); the Academic Motivation Questionnaire (CMA) and the Socio-Emotional Adaptation Questionnaire (CASE). The information obtained by these questionnaires was analyzed through a quantitative analysis. Academics and undergraduate students were interviewed to learn their perception of the effects of the program on themselves, on students and on society. The information obtained is analyzed using qualitative analysis based on the identification of common themes and descriptors for the construction of conceptual categories of answers. Quantitative results show differences in the first three variables analyzed in the students, after their participation for two years in Talentos UdeC. Qualitative results demonstrate perception of effects in the vision of world, project of life and in other areas of the students’ development; perception of effects in a personal, professional and organizational plane by academics and a perception of effects in their personal-social development and training in generic competencies by undergraduates students.

Keywords: Inclusion, Special Educational Needs, educational model, high intellectual capacity

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3 The Application of Sensory Integration Techniques in Science Teaching Students with Autism

Authors: Joanna Estkowska


The Sensory Integration Method is aimed primarily at children with learning disabilities. It can also be used as a complementary method in treatment of children with cerebral palsy, autistic, mentally handicapped, blind and deaf. Autism is holistic development disorder that manifests itself in the specific functioning of a child. The most characteristic are: disorders in communication, difficulties in social relations, rigid patterns of behavior and impairment in sensory processing. In addition to these disorders may occur abnormal intellectual development, attention deficit disorders, perceptual disorders and others. This study was focused on the application sensory integration techniques in science education of autistic students. The lack of proper sensory integration causes problems with complicated processes such as motor coordination, movement planning, visual or auditory perception, speech, writing, reading or counting. Good functioning and cooperation of proprioceptive, tactile and vestibular sense affect the child’s mastery of skills that require coordination of both sides of the body and synchronization of the cerebral hemispheres. These include, for example, all sports activities, precise manual skills such writing, as well as, reading and counting skills. All this takes place in stages. Achieving skills from the first stage determines the development of fitness from the next level. Any deficit in the scope of the first three stages can affect the development of new skills. This ultimately reflects on the achievements at school and in further professional and personal life. After careful analysis symptoms from the emotional and social spheres appear to be secondary to deficits of sensory integration. During our research, the students gained knowledge and skills in the classroom of experience by learning biology, chemistry and physics with application sensory integration techniques. Sensory integration therapy aims to teach the child an adequate response to stimuli coming to him from both the outside world and the body. Thanks to properly selected exercises, a child can improve perception and interpretation skills, motor skills, coordination of movements, attention and concentration or self-awareness, as well as social and emotional functioning.

Keywords: Science Education, Special Educational Needs, Sensory Integration, Autism spectrum disorder

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2 Overcoming Reading Barriers in an Inclusive Mathematics Classroom with Linguistic and Visual Support

Authors: A. Noll, J. Roth, M. Scholz


The importance of written language in a democratic society is non-controversial. Students with physical, learning, cognitive or developmental disabilities often have difficulties in understanding information which is presented in written language only. These students suffer from obstacles in diverse domains. In order to reduce such barriers in educational as well as in out-of-school areas, access to written information must be facilitated. Readability can be enhanced by linguistic simplifications like the application of easy-to-read language. Easy-to-read language shall help people with disabilities to participate socially and politically in society. The authors state, for example, that only short simple words should be used, whereas the occurrence of complex sentences should be avoided. So far, these guidelines were not empirically proved. Another way to reduce reading barriers is the use of visual support, for example, symbols. A symbol conveys, in contrast to a photo, a single idea or concept. Little empirical data about the use of symbols to foster the readability of texts exist. Nevertheless, a positive influence can be assumed, e.g., because of the multimedia principle. It indicates that people learn better from words and pictures than from words alone. A qualitative Interview and Eye-Tracking-Study, which was conducted by the authors, gives cause for the assumption that besides the illustration of single words, the visualization of complete sentences may be helpful. Thus, the effect of photos, which illustrate the content of complete sentences, is also investigated in this study. This leads us to the main research question which was focused on: Does the use of easy-to-read language and/or enriching text with symbols or photos facilitate pupils’ comprehension of learning tasks? The sample consisted of students with learning difficulties (N = 144) and students without SEN (N = 159). The students worked on the tasks, which dealt with introducing fractions, individually. While experimental group 1 received a linguistically simplified version of the tasks, experimental group 2 worked with a variation which was linguistically simplified and furthermore, the keywords of the tasks were visualized by symbols. Experimental group 3 worked on exercises which were simplified by easy-to-read-language and the content of the whole sentences was illustrated by photos. Experimental group 4 received a not simplified version. The participants’ reading ability and their IQ was elevated beforehand to build four comparable groups. There is a significant effect of the different setting on the students’ results F(3,140) = 2,932; p = 0,036*. A post-hoc-analyses with multiple comparisons shows that this significance results from the difference between experimental group 3 and 4. The students in the group easy-to-read language plus photos worked on the exercises significantly more successfully than the students who worked in the group with no simplifications. Further results which refer, among others, to the influence of the students reading ability will be presented at the ICERI 2018.

Keywords: Mathematics Education, Inclusive Education, Special Educational Needs, symbols, easy-to-read language, photos

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1 Assessment of the Illustrated Language Activities of the Portage Guide to Early Education

Authors: Ofelia A. Damag


The study was focused on the development and assessment of the illustrated language activities of the 1996 Edition of the Portage Guide to Early Education. It determined the extent of appropriateness, applicability, time efficiency and aesthetics of the illustrated language activities to be used as instructional material not only by teachers, but parents and caregivers as well. The eclectic research design was applied in this study using qualitative and quantitative methods. To determine the applicability and time efficiency of the study, a try out was done. Since the eclectic research design was used, it made use of a researcher-made survey questionnaire and focus group discussion. Analysis of the data was done through weighted mean and ANOVA. The respondents of the study were representatives of Special Education (SPED) teachers, caregivers and parents of a special-needs child, particularly with difficulties in learning basic language skills. The results of the study show that a large number of respondents are SPED teachers and caregivers and are mostly college graduates. Many of them have earned units towards Master’s studies. Moreover, a majority of the respondents have not attended seminars or in-service training in early intervention for them to be more competent in the area of specialization. It is concluded that the illustrated language activities under review in this study are appropriate, applicable, time efficient and aesthetic for use as a tool in teaching. The recommendations are focused on the advocacy for SPED teachers, caregivers and parents of special-needs children to be more consistent in the implementation of the new instructional materials as an aid in an intervention program.

Keywords: Inclusion, Special Educational Needs, illustrated language activities, portage guide to early education

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