Special Education Through the Years

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by cheysbelt
Last updated 5 years ago

Social Studies
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Special Education Through the Years

Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe (1801-1876), formed a school in Massachusetts for the disabled or "feeble minded" in 1848. He was also the administrator for the Perkins School for the Blind.This was to be a boarding school focused on experimentation for mental retardation.http://dhss.alaska.gov/gcdse/Pages/history/html_content_main.aspx

Eventually there were Training Schools. They offered education to the disabled. Parents and families of children with disabilities were relieved to finally have some hope to grasp onto. Parents everywhere were eager to get their children admitted into the schools. Many parents wanted their child to be eduacated, but many needed a break as well.http://dhss.alaska.gov/gcdse/Pages/history/html_content_main.aspx









After World War II, there was an increase in special classes and support services, or assistance for teachers that had disabled children in the classroom. In the early 1900s, the attention to disabilities in schools was starting to grow. There was a need and want for child guidance clinics. The interest in special needs education was starting to spark a change.http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Special_education.aspx

"Nowhere is wisdom more necessary than in the guidance of charitable impulses. Meaning well is only half our duty; Thinking right is the other, and equally important, half." –Samuel Gridley Howe, 1868.http://dhss.alaska.gov/gcdse/Pages/history/html_content_main.aspx

Hospital schools and specialized day schools were becoming more popular for students with disabilities in the 1960s. The hospital schools were for the severely disabled. There was also an increase in specialized classes in public schools. The assisting of general education teachers by more specialized teachers was continuing to expand. http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Special_education.aspx


In the early 1800s, people with disabilities were often kept in jails and almshouses (charity housing). They didn't have adequate food, hygiene, excercise, or clothing. It was hard for people to understand someone who was different. Many specialists believed that the disabilities and behavior issues were due to poverty or other environmental vices. http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Special_education.aspx

In 1975 President Gerald Ford signed EAHCA (Education for All Handicapped Children Act) into law. By 1977 EAHCA had become fully implemented. Once EAHCA was in place schools were required to provide a free and appropriate education (FAPE) to every student. There was federal funding put in place to ensure proper testing, evaluation, and placement. IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) was well known by the 1990s. Schools started using IEPs (Individualized Education Programs) for every student who qualified for extra assistance in learning. http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Special_education.aspx

Special Education Through the Years


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