Special Educational needs and Instruction Strategies

Students who are a part of the special education program must be educated the same as their regular education counterparts. However, these students require accommodations to help them succeed in the classroom. The following adaptations can help special education students achieve academic success.


Autism is a complex developmental disability. It impacts the student’s social interaction and communication skills.

The teacher of autistic students will need to make instructional accommodations. The teacher should make these students and their parents aware of expected classroom behavior. Classroom rules should be visual, and the teacher should have these rules of conduct in both words and pictures. The teacher should also model the expected behavior.

Autistic students do not deal with change well. So, the teacher should establish classroom routines and stick to them. The teacher will need to make sure to give oral instructions and that they are broken into simple steps that the autistic student can follow.  The teacher can also use a visual aids and hands-on activities with these students.

Mentally delayed

Some special education students may be mentally delayed. This means that they are limited in their age-appropriate intellectual. They have limited memory recall and limited social skills.

The teacher who has these students will need to simplify instruction and provide as much one on one instruction as possible. They will need to teach only one concept at a time, provide hands-on activities, and use manipulatives whenever possible. The teacher should break large assignments up into smaller ones, and utilize visual aids as much as possible.

Hearing impaired

Students who are hearing impaired have difficulties in speaking, reading, and writing. These students have normal intelligence levels. They simply have problems hearing.

The teacher will need to place hearing impaired students in the front of the classroom, use facial expressions, and give them written instructions. The teacher should provide them with hands-on activities, speak slowly while facing the student, and eliminate excessive noise from the classroom.

Specific learning disability

Some students are only learning disabled in a specific area such as language or math. These students have lower academic achievement in that particular area. They have difficulties with both short and long term memory.

The teacher of these students will need to provide them with study guides, give them extra practice, eliminate distractions, and use graphic organizers and visual organizers.

Language Impaired

Language impaired students stutter, produce incomplete sentences in written and spoken expression. They also have frequent changes in the pitch of their voices.

For language impaired students, the teacher should maintain good eye contact, allow them extra time to respond to questions, eliminate distractions from the classroom, and give both oral and written instructions and assignments.


Although most people don’t think of these students as being a part of special education, talented and gifted students fall under this category. Gifted students perform above average in academic areas or in performing or creative arts.

These students can become bored easily. The teacher must make accommodations in order to keep these students motivated and engaged.  Lessons should include critical thinking activities. The teacher can allow them to work ahead of the rest of the class, act as peer tutors, and work on creative projects.

Special education students require accommodations to help them succeed in the classroom. Some of those adaptations include being allowed to tape lessons, being given extra time to complete assignments, and large assignments being broken up into smaller ones.