The different types of difficulties like behavioural/social, reading and writing, understanding things, concentrating, physical needs or impairments affect children's ability to learn in the regular education environment or classroom. Thus the children affected from above disabilities need extra support and specific environment to facilitate their cognitive development and learning process. Special education is an additional service, support, programs, specialized placements or environments to ensure that all students' educational needs are provided for.
Cognition includes the processes of the brain that allow us to experience the environment, remember, think, act, and feel emotions. Cognitive processes are complex, diverse, and highly inter-related.
The following components of the cognition are assessed using various methods and techniques to understand the cognitive abilities of the child
Special education support goes beyond what is normally offered or received in the regular school/classroom setting. Thus, Special Education not only takes care of academic education but helps in different areas of cognitive development (as described above)to improve quality of life of a child. The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for the child takes care of the individual needs and education of the child in the following areas:
|Attention (awareness of others, objects, or activities)||Attention goals focus on sustained attention; joint attention; and shifting attention from event to event, object to object, object to person, and person to object.|
|Imitation||Imitation is an essential prerequisite skill in learning from others. Imitation goals include imitation with objects, motor actions, oral motor actions, vocalizations, verbalizations, gestures, academic tasks, and social skills.|
|Communication||Communication goals focus on expressive and/or receptive language and include verbal or augmented communication skills, social-communication skills, and the use of functional communication systems to provide alternatives to challenging behaviours.|
|Social development||Social development is a core deficit area for individuals on the autism spectrum. Goals in this area include body language, manners, conversation skills, friendship management, cooperative play skills, self-regulation, empathy, and conflict management, among others.|
|Play||Developmentally appropriate and functional play skills are targeted as an avenue to increase social skills with peers.|
|Cognitive development||Cognitive goals include a focus on conceptual development, problem-solving, academic performance, and executive functions (i.e. flexible, strategic plan of action to solve a problem or attain a future goal).|
|Challenging behaviours||The function of challenging behaviours are identified and appropriate alternative behaviours are taught using positive behaviour supports.|
|Sensory and motor development||Individual differences in motor and sensory functioning are identified and planned for, including tactile/touch, visual, smell, sound, and taste; environmental stressors are identified and modified.|
|Adaptive behaviour||Essential life skills, including hygiene, self-help and safety are considered and planned for in order to enhance personal independence and create opportunities for greater community participation, including independent living, working and recreating.|
|Recreation/Leisure/Physical Education||Recreation skills are important goals as they enhance cognitive, social and motor skills; enhance relationships between self and environment; shape appropriate use of unstructured time; increase opportunities to get physical exercise and stay healthy; and increase enjoyment of life.|