Teaching Students With Orthopedic And Physical Disabilities

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Teaching students with orthopedic and physical disabilities can present an imposing challenge for teachers; even more so when these students are to be incorporated into a regular education class. Fortunately, there are strategies that have proven successful in integrating these students and providing them with an education that will help them achieve their potential. The IDEA defines orthopedic impairment/physical disability as:
“a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child 's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).
This paper will examine strategies designed to: 1) engage and instruct these students in language arts and math through common core, 2) arrange the environment for access and safety, 3) integrate motor goals in the educational environment, and 4) promote social skills. As environment is one of the first things that must be addressed when welcoming these students into the classroom, it will be the first to be discussed here. According to research, the arrangement of the physical environment can affect not just the students, but the teacher as well. (Weinstein, (1992) The classroom environment should be arranged for optimal access and safety for all students and to accommodate the daily functioning of the
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