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Special Education - Jean-Marc Gaspard Itard 1799

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The one event that stood out the most to me was the beginning of Special Education. A physician Jean-Marc Gaspard Itard realized this in 1799, while working with a boy called "wild boy". In his attempts to teach him, he saw how educational interventions were improving his life. I find this so relevant to today in our integration of special needs children in all classrooms.

I was quite surprised at how early in our history Special Education was first realized, and in contrast how slow the process has been to bring about these changes. After more than 200 years of realizing the benefits of Special Education, we as a society still struggle with how to implement the programs to teach Special needs children. I find it ironic that when I am searching school districts for available jobs, most of them are in need of Special Education Teachers.

The realization that Dr. Itard came to 200 years ago, that most people can be educated still has not sunk in for all of our educators today. Some of the teachers I have been able to speak with share stories of students who are unable to learn in the classroom setting. I wonder if those teachers could get though to these students with patience and more training or if they truly need one on one instruction.

I am glad that I live in a country that is dedicated to offering an education to all children, no matter what their IQ is. With continued strides in the area of Special Education needs, hopefully we will be able to give these children even more of the tools they need to live fruitful and successful lives.



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