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What are some of the behavioral mood swings and academic levels should be expected in a...

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monique06 | Valedictorian

Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:17 PM via web

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What are some of the behavioral mood swings and academic levels should be expected in a inclusion or special education classroom servicing students with emotion disabilities, other health impairments, and traumatic brain injury?

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted July 30, 2013 at 12:39 PM (Answer #1)

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In a special education classroom in today's educational system, you can expect anything and everything plus the unexpected.  The behavioral mood swings depend on what the child has experienced that day before ever arriving in the classroom.  Home, the bus, other students, their own mental health all impact a student's mood swings.  The calm student of the day or hour before may now be agitated, afraid, and difficult to calm.  Many of the students in my experience will have underlying conditions or undiagnosed conditions which also affect them.  As for academic levels, expect anything from very high IQs to very low.  As a special education home base, I had students with IQs of 59 to 145.  Some were able to work alone while others would only work with a para as group work for that student was impossible.  A special education teacher must be prepared for any situation including when to call for help in dealing with a very difficult situation especially as the students get older, bigger and stronger.  As for academic levels,  students are first assessed to figure out where they are academically, and then plans prepared for helping them advance their learning.  As a teacher, learn to be very observant about the students you teach as small clues can warn you of negative mood swings.  Simply changing the location of something in the room is a negative experience for students with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or autism.  Their expectation is that the room will remain the same each day just like their schedule, and change destroys that comfort level.  If you intend to be a special education teacher, you will need to get acquainted with the effects of their conditions and some idea of what medications can do.  Parents, previous teachers, and the students themselves can often help you with that knowledge.   

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