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exceptional children includes all children whose physical attributes and/or learning
abilities differ from the norm (either below or above) to such an extent that an
individualized program of adapted, specialized education is required to meet their
disability reduced function or loss of a particular body part or organ which limits the
ability to perform certain tasks (e.g., to see, hear, walk) in the same way that most
nondisabled persons do; impairment is often used interchangeably
handicap the problems a person with a disability or impairment encounters in
interacting with the environment; a disability may pose a handicap in one environment
but not in another
at risk children who, while not currently identified as having a disability, are
considered to have a greater-than-usual chance of developing a disability

W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e, 2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Recognizes meaningful differences in learning or behavior and is a first and
necessary step in responding responsibly to those differences.
May lead to a "protective" response in which children are more accepting of
the atypical behavior by a peer with disabilities.
Helps professionals communicate with one another and classify and
evaluate research findings.
Funding and resources for research and other programs is often based
on specific categories of exceptionality.
Enables disability-specific advocacy groups to promote specific programs
and to spur legislative action.
Helps make exceptional children's special needs more visible to policy
makers and the public.

W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e, 2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Because labels usually focus on disability, impairment, and performance deficits,

others may think only in terms of what the individual cannot do instead of what he or
she can or might be able to learn to do.

Labels may stigmatize the child and lead peers to reject or ridicule the labeled child.

Labels may negatively affect the child's self-esteem.

May cause others to hold low expectations for and to differentially treat a child based
on the label, which may result in a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Labels that describe a child's performance deficit often mistakenly acquire the role of
explanatory constructs (e.g., "Sherry acts that way because she is emotionally

Even though membership in a given category is based on a particular characteristic

(e.g., hearing loss), there is a tendency to assume that all children in a category share
other traits as well, thereby diminishing the detection and appreciation of each child's

W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e, 2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Labels suggest that learning problems are primarily the result of something wrong
within the child, thereby reducing the systematic examination of and
accountability for instructional variables as the cause of performance deficits.

Special education labels have a certain permanence; once labeled, it is difficult

for a child to ever again achieve the status of simply being just another kid.

Labels may provide a basis for keeping children out of the regular classroom.

Classifying exceptional children requires the expenditure of a great amount of

money and professional and student time that might better be spent in planning
and delivering instruction.

W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e, 2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.

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1. Zero reject Schools must educate all children with disabilities. The principle applies regardless of the nature
or severity of the disability; no child may be excluded from a public education.
2. Nondiscriminatory identification and evaluation Schools must use nonbiased, multifactored methods of
evaluation to determine whether a child has a disability and, if so, whether special education is needed.
3. Free, appropriate public education (FAPE) All children with disabilities must be provided an appropriate
education at public expense. An individualized education program (IEP) must be developed and implemented
for each student with a disability.
4. Least restrictive environment (LRE) Students with disabilities must be educated with children without
disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate.
5. Due process safeguards Schools must provide safeguards to protect the rights of children with disabilities
and their parents.
6. Parent and student participation and shared decision making Schools must collaborate with parents and
students with disabilities in the design and implementation of special education services.

W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e, 2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Extends civil rights protection to persons with disabilities in private sector
employment, all public services, public accommodation, transportation, and
telecommunications. A person with a disability is defined in the ADA as a person:
(1) with a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits that person
in a major life activity (e.g., walking, talking, working, self-care);
(2) with a record of such an impairment (e.g., a person who no longer has
heart disease but who is discriminated against because of that history); or
(3) who is regarded as having such an impairment (e.g., a person with
significant facial disfiguration due to a burn who is not limited in any
major life activity but is discriminated against).

W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e, 2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Successful interventions prevent, eliminate, and/or overcome the obstacles that might
keep a child or adult with disabilities from full and active participation in school and
society. There are three basic kinds of intervention efforts:

Preventive Intervening to keep potential or minor problems from becoming a

disability (e.g., early intervention for at-risk preschool children)
Remedial Eliminating the effects of the disability through instruction (e.g., teaching
skills for independent functioning to a child with disabilities)
Compensatory Teaching the use of skills or devices that enable successful functioning
in spite of the disability (e.g., orientation and mobility instruction for a child without

W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e, 2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.

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