Common Disabilties - Mild, Moderate, and Intensive

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by MissKatie, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. MissKatie

    MissKatie Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2011

    Hi, everyone,

    As a high school junior hoping to pursue a degree in Special Education, I have a very basic question.

    1.) What are some common disabilities of children labeled as mild, moderate, and intensive.
    2.) What is a typical classroom for each group like?

    I work with severely special needs kids at my high school, so I have a pretty good feel for this group (love it, by the way) but I am basically clueless regarding the mild and moderate areas.:help:

    Thank you very much!:)
     
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  3. bethechange

    bethechange Comrade

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    Mar 12, 2011

    This is a generalization, and there will always be kids who don't really fit into any category - but in my experience:

    Mild: tend to be kids with Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD), kids with ADD/ADHD (qualify under OHD), and kids with high functioning autism and Asperger's (ASD)

    Moderate: tend to be kids with Developmental Delay (I work in a state that recognizes this as a category until the age of 7), Cognitive Disabilities (may have a genetic syndrome that causes this), autism, fetal alcohol syndrome, emotional/behavioral disorder, selective mutism, bipolar, deaf-blind, etc.

    Severe: tend to be kids with severe autism, or a genetic syndrome or birth injury that causes multiple disabilities. Also, in my experience, there are generally kids with severe emotional/behavioral disorder, but they usually have a different program than the vulnerable CD/ASD kids.

    In my experience, kids with hearing impairment and vision impairment are usually serviced mostly in the general education classroom and are on the mild end, unless they have other complicating disabilities.

    If you are interested in servicing mild/moderate students, I would HIGHLY recommend learning everything you can about autism, especially high functioning autism and Asperger's. There are more and more kids with HFA/Asperger's who do okay academically, especially in elementary school, but have HUGE sensory, social, organizational, and behavioral hangups that impact their learning in school. As a mild/moderate teacher, I would venture to guess that you are going to need to teach social skills at some point for these guys.
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Mar 12, 2011

    In mild/moderate you will see mostly kids with learning disabilites. You may also have students with cognitve delays, emotional/behavior disabilities, or aspbergers. What a typical classroom would like varies so much from program to program and state to state. Some programs will be full inclusion where you may be just helping the students be more successful in the regular classroom by modifying assignments for them, reading tests aloud/doing small group tests, and maybe pulling small groups aside to sort of "tutor" them on whatever they're learning in their regular class. That's what it looked like in my old state. Here, I pull small groups of students for reading, writing, and math lessons based on their IEP goals. I see each group for around 20-40 minutes and my groups range from 1 student to 6 students. The lessons are based on their individual goals/needs and learning styles and don't necessarily coincide with what they're doing in the regular classroom. For example, they might be doing multiplication and division in their regular class, but with me they might be working on fixing gaps in addition/subtraction work.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Mar 13, 2011

    I second what is said above.

    Students who have a mild form of a disability are generally in the regular education classroom for their entire day with supports in the classroom.

    The students with a moderate form of a disability may be in the regular education classroom for their entire day with supports in the classroom, but they usually tend to be pulled for extra services. This may be reading, math, or writing interventions or social skills training or organizational supports, etc. This list could go on and on.

    Sometimes students with a moderate form of a disability are in a separate classroom within the regular school for most of their day and sometimes these students are in a separate school for their entire day. It depends on the student's needs.

    Students with a severe form of a disability may be in the general education classroom for some parts of their school day. The amount of time in the general education classroom varies from student to student.

    More often, these students are in a separate class within the school for most of their day. They will have lunch, gym, or other classes with their peers when possible.

    Oftentimes, these are the students who attend a separate school for students with similar needs.
     
  6. MissKatie

    MissKatie Rookie

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    Mar 13, 2011

    Thank you all very much- very helpful and thorough answers!:) I looked all over google, but couldn't find the slightest answer. You all answered it perfectly!

    One more thing... Would you say mild/moderate teachers deal more with modifying lesson plans than with working in the actual classroom/with students? When I become a teacher, I actually want to see my students for most of the day, you know!
     
  7. bethechange

    bethechange Comrade

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    Mar 13, 2011

    Most of the mild/moderate teachers I know work with students all or most of the day - they just might not have their own classrooms and, instead, service the kids in general ed rooms. They might make and modify work for students, but they also teach small groups using specific reading/math curriculums, and they might have a few non-SPED kiddos in their groups as well if they are in the gen ed room. They also (generally) do have higher caseloads than moderate/severe teachers.

    If you want to work with more mild/moderate students and have your own classroom/set of kids, you could always look into a private school? I think unless you do EBD or mod/severe you might have a harder time getting our own classroom.
     

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