The term, sprecial-needs children is defined as children whose developmental and/or behavior requires help or intervention beyond the scope of the ordinary classroom or adult interactions. About 15 to 20 percent of all children in the United States will exhibit some form of atypicall development and need special services (Bee, 1995). These children include children with learning disabilities (LD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Down Syndrome children, physically and mentally disabled children and gifted children.
Children with learning disabilities may have poor memory skills, trouble following directions, eye-hand cordination problems and trouble with distinguishing between letters, numbers and sounds.
There is no scientific explanation why children have learning disabilities, but some experts believe the cause may be due to slight brain damage.
ADHD affects up to 5 percent of children up to the age of 18(Walls, 1994. When hyperactivity components are not present, it is diagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD.
Children with ADHD are prone to restlessness, anxiety, short attention spans and impulsiveness. They have trouble listening, remaining seated, interacting with other people and are easily distracted. A child with ADHD will show extreme symptoms, usually before the age of 7.
The most common medication for children with ADHD is an amphetamine called Ritalin, which produces a paradoxical effect. The speed stimulates the cerebral cortex, allowing the brain to manage incoming sensory information efficently. Ritalin is very controversial since the side effects can be quite serious, such as inhibiting growth.
Down Syndrome is one of the most common and easily determined forms of mental retardiation. It affects 1 in 100 births among women under the age of 35 and 5 per 100 of woman over 40.
Down Syndrome, formerly called mongolism, is caused by a chromosal abnomality. The affected...