In the early 1960′s, when a child caused problems for teachers in the classroom, school officials often placed the child in a class separate from the regular classroom. In certain schools, they called this the Special Class.
The level of disruption caused by the child did not matter to school administrators. To them, the child was troublesome and they had to separate that child so as not to interfere with other students.
It was not until November of 1975 that Congress approved the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, which went into effect in October of 1977. This act gave schools the funds to obtain resources for children in need of special instruction.
This brought to the forefront the needs of children who, while not exhibiting any physical or emotional disabilities, still required special instruction in class. The IQ of these children can range from average to superior, to genius. The problem is not the inability to learn, it is the inability to learn in the same manner as everyone else.
Parents of children with superior intelligence have some idea about the problems gifted children have with learning disabilities. Sadly, parents of children with average intelligence may never find out that the only reason their children are not thriving in school, is that they learn on a different level than most. The reason may be as simple as an extremely smart child’s inability to be a good test-taker. Parents may also discover that their child is bored in class.
Schools with gifted programs have the resources to match a gifted student with a school psychologist or counselor. The counselor will test the gifted student to determine the best course of study that will best suit the advanced student. They call these Individual Education Plans.
All children should have access to these resources. Anytime a child struggles in school, parents should request a meeting with the teacher, the counselor, and other school administrators, to determine the cause of the child’s difficulty. A number of key issues may be uncovered that will ease the difficulties children may encounter in school.