It’s a true hallmark of parenting: We all want what’s best for our kids. Parents are fierce protectors, consistent teachers and faithful advocates.
When a child has an emotional or behavioral disorder, educators must work with parents and students to develop goals, a beneficial plan and appropriate structure.
Dr. Reesha Adamson, associate professor of special education at Missouri State University, shares about developing positive learning environments and implementing inclusive instruction.
In 2021, she and Dr. John William McKenna from the University of Massachusetts – Lowell wrote the book “Inclusive Instruction for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders: Pulling Back the Curtain.”
Getting the structure in place
When a student will be moving between a special education and general education classroom, there is a lot of necessary coordination, said Adamson, and it begins before the student ever enters the inclusive classroom.
A general educator and special educator have to meet and work together regularly to set goals, build supports and determine accommodations needed to help students in an individualized manner.
The book includes tips and strategies for educators, but Adamson says it all comes down to flexibility and assessing the question: What is best for this student in this time and in this place?
When a peer is in a crisis
Between 20-40% of students will experience a behavioral or emotional disorder during their lifetime, according to Adamson. This underscores the importance for empathy and understanding among peers, parents and educators.