My Husband Chase and Me on our wedding day, May 28th, 2011

Introduction of Student

Something that you want us to know about you or something about you that is interesting
I was born and raised in Ashland, Oregon. After graduating from AshlandHighSchool, I needed to “get out” of the Valley and moved to Nevada (pronounced NA-VAY-DA) Missouri, where I attended a private all girls’ liberal arts college. While there I got my AA in Photography and met my now husband. “How did I meet my husband at an all girls’ school?” you ask, well lets just say the guys in Nevada know where the all girls’ school is. After graduating from that school, Ashland and decided that although I love photography, it is not a very reliable career, so I changed majors to Early Childhood Ed when I transferred to SOU.

Explain your education & career goals
After transferring and changing majors, I realized that being with kids is what I love most and I am so excited to be with kids everyday. This is my first year teaching at a private pre-school here in Ashland and I love it. I have 15 four year olds and I work right next door to my mom which is amazing. I hope that during the rest of my time at SOU and after I get my degree that I will continue to work at this pre-school.

What brings you joy?
I love teaching and being with the age group I teach. Three and four year olds have so much life and energy and it brings me so much joy to watch them discover and learn. I also get a lot of joy from spending time with my husband and our puppy Charlie.

What is your greatest fear about being a teacher?
To be completely honest I am terrified of students with special needs. I don’t know how to handle them, or support them, or accommodate them and that scares me the most.

Did you ever experience a time when something was extremely difficult to learn? Explain that time and how it made you feel.
Growing up I had a very hard time learning to read and it was completely frustrating to me. To this day I have a reading disability and I am terrified of reading aloud and I get extremely stressed when I am asked to read aloud in class. Growing up I felt like a burden to my parents and teachers and it made the struggle with learning to read even harder.

How might this piece of your history help you connect to students with learning differences?
My experience was a terrible experience and I think it has taught me what not to do while teaching. I learned that I need to be supportive and not allow other students poke fun at those students that need extra help because it discourages those special needs students and make them want to shut down and not learn.

What do you want to gain from this course?
I want to get past my fear of students with special needs and learn to help them in the most effective ways. I hope to gain the knowledge I need to be the best teacher I can for all students.

Introduction to TopicIntellectual_Disability.jpg

I chose to research Intellectual Disabilities because I have never had much first hand experience with people that have an Intellectual Disability, and I would like to know more. Not only would I like to know the different types of Intellectual Disabilities, but I would also like to know different ways I can include students with Intellectual Disabilities in my general education classroom.

An Intellectual Disability is a term used when a person has a certain limitation in mental functioning and in skills such as communicating, taking care of themselves, and social skills. These limitations may cause the student to develop and learn more slowly than typical students. They WILL learn, but it may just take more time and effort, than other students.

Top 5 Things I have Learned

1. Recognize that we, as teachers, can make an enormous difference in the students’ lives! We need to find out the students’ strengths and interests, and emphasize them. We need to create opportunities for success, by using their strengths, being as concrete as possible, and giving the student immediate feedback.

2. Over 190 million people all over the world have an Intellectual Disability. Approximately 6.5 million of those people are in the United States. More than 545,000 million children (age 6-21) have some level of an Intellectual Disability and receive special education services in public schools under this category in IDEA. In fact, 1 in 10 children who need special education services have some sort of Intellectual Disability.

3. Intelligence refers to a general mental capability. It involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly, and learn from experience. Intelligence is represented by Intelligent Quotient (IQ) scores obtained from standardized tests given by trained professionals. Intellectual disability is generally thought to be present if an individual has an IQ test score of approximately 70 or below.

4. Intellectual Disabilities includes the following: Down Syndrome, which is caused by having an extra copy of chromosome 21, Fragile X Syndrome, is a mutation in a gene that does not produce the correct protein for correct brain development, Williams Syndrome, is a rare genetic disorder that is characterized by mild to moderate learning difficulties, a distinctive facial appearance, and a unique personality that combines over friendliness and extreme empathy with anxiety, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, is caused from the mother of the child drinking alcohol while pregnant and can cause birth defects, learning difficulties, growth problems and much more.

5.The Special Olympics is a not only a way to involve students with Intellectual Disabilities in sports, but it provides the proper assistance they need for everyday living, including health care, dental care, and career preparation. Less than 10% of people with an Intellectual Disability have a job, but over 50% of the people involved in the Special Olympics hold a full time job after their participation.

Top Resource
*National Dissemination Center of Children with Disabilities. (2011). Intellectual Disabilities. Available online at: http://nichcy.org/disability/specific/intellectual

5 out of 5 Stars: This website is a great resource because it gives all the information that a person would need to know about Intellectual Disabilities. It gives the definition under IDEA, some of the causes, how common they are, what some of the signs are, and how to help students with this type of disability. I think that this is the top resource because it helped me the most. I think that this is a resource that I could provide to parents and other teachers that might help them with their experience with students that have an Intellectual Disability.

Additional Resources

*Eliza’s University Experience. (2012). College Advocacy for Student with Down Syndrome. Available at: http://www.elizaschaaf.com/

5 out of 5 Stars: I give this source five stars because it is near and dear to my heart. Eliza has Down Syndrome, and grew up in Ashland, Oregon and was always included in the general education classroom, until she started taking a ceramics class at SOU. SOU would not accommodate her special needs and withdrew her from the course. This website includes all of the letters she received from SOU, the letters she wrote to SOU, all of her IEPs, and achievements. I feel like this resource can be very inspiring to all of us.

*”Picture This: Intellectual Disabilities”. (2011). Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. and Special Olympics. Washington, DC. Available Online at: http://www.specialolympics.org/uploadedFiles/EIC-SOI%20report.pdf

5 out of 5 Stars: This is a resource published by the Special Olympics all about how the Special Olympics can benefit people with Intellectual Disabilities. There are testimonials, statistics, event information, resources, medical information, and articles that can help teachers, parents, and even people with Intellectual Disabilities. I think this is a close second for best resource.

*The Arc. (2009). Introduction to Intellectual Disabilities. Available Online at: http://www.thearc.org/page.aspx?pid=2448

5 out of 5 Stars: This is an amazing website that goes even more in depth than any of the other sites about the exact definition of Intellectual Disability. It tells us what intelligence is, what adaptive behavior is, how an Intellectual Disability can affect a person’s life, what support is out there for people with an Intellectual Disability, and the difference between an Intellectual Disability and a Development Disability.

*NationalCenter on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. (2005). Intellectual Disability. Available online at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/pdf/parents_pdfs/IntellectualDisability.pdf

4 out of 5 Stars: This is a fact sheet that provides the definition of an Intellectual Disability, some of the signs of a child with this disability, and even the steps that a parent can take to receive services for their child with special needs.

*”We Are More Alike Than Different” Video. (2009). National Down Syndrome Congress. Available Online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cA3t1HW1Ow&feature=related

4 out of 5 Stars: This is a video of people with Down Syndrome, an Intellectual Disability, talking about the normal everyday things they love to do. This was a campaign video for the National Down Syndrome Congress, its goal is to bring awareness to everyone about how having and Intellectual Disability, like Down Syndrome, does not make a person very different than the rest of us.

*Bright Hub Educations. (2011). Intellectual Disabilities in the Classroom. Available Online at: http://www.brighthubeducation.com/special-ed-inclusion-strategies/9893-teaching-students-with-intellectual-disabilities/

4 out of 5 Stars: This article written by Anne Vize, is about how teachers can include students with Intellectual Disabilities in the general education classroom. It gives a list of tips for teachers on adaptations they can do to help the student succeed, and how to incorporate technology in their learning.

*Intellectual Disability. (2011). Video Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vc6i8uSTwI

4 out of 5 Stars: This is a great video with different ideas that teachers and schools can do to include students with Intellectual Disabilities in the General Education Classroom. This video also gives statistic on bullying of students with this disability that I did not see on any of the other sites. This video also talks about case studies that the creators have done.

*U.S. Department of Education. (2010). 30th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2008. Washington, DC: Autor. Available Online at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/osep/2008/index.html

3 out of 5 Stars: This website describes in detail all the rights that students and parent with any disability, including Intellectual Disabilities, have under IDEA. This is a great resource for any new teacher or parents that have a child with a disability.