Special education refers to a range of services that can be provided in different ways and in different settings. Special education is tailored to meet the needs of students with disabilities. The services and supports one child receives may be very different from what another child receives. It’s all about individualization.
A specific learning disability most often affects skills in reading, writing, listening, speaking, reasoning and doing math. Common learning issues in this category include:
- Dyslexia: Difficulty with reading, writing, spelling, speaking
- Dyscalculia: Difficulty doing math problems, understanding time and money, remembering math facts
- Dysgraphia: Difficulty with handwriting, spelling, organizing ideas
- Dyspraxia: Difficulty with hand-eye coordination, balance, fine motor skills
- Auditory processing disorder: Difficulty interpreting what the ear hears (which is different from having a hearing impairment)
- Visual processing issues: Difficulty interpreting what the eye sees (which is different from having a visual impairment)
The IEP is often described as the cornerstone of special education. That’s because this legally binding document details a student’s annual learning goals as well as the special services and supports the school will provide to help him meet those goals.