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Advocacy for Students With Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, Article Writing Example

Pages: 3

Words: 762

Article Review

Advocacy for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders: One Call for Redirected Efforts. Author: Smith, C.R. (1997). Journal: Behavioral Disorders Vol.22 Issue 2 pp. 96-105

There are reasons to be concerned about current public policy directions affecting students with emotional and behavioral disorders and their parents, according to Smith (1997), who ask the question, where is the voice of advocacy in our field?

Maybe it could be heard in the sound of Reay (1996), an early pioneer in the advocacy for children and family, who enunciated that there was a sense of compulsion and urgency to collectively address the necessities and desires of children and their families.

Problems were debriefed, solutions generated and other efforts were inculcated, according to Reay (1996),  to advance the interest of children experiencing debilitating influences of serious emotional disturbances and family, especially single parents striving to manage their family and personal lives.

Covey (1991), argues that advocacy standards should be seen as life compasses driven on the basis of values, norms and teachings that uplift, enable, fulfill, empower and inspire people.

The agenda to deal with the question of who is responsible for the disabled is yet to be solved, according to Smith (1997), and this may be as a result of Congress’ inability to resolve issues related to the Reauthorization of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Advocates for the disabled according to Stanfield (1995), are insisting that they are the guardians of the civil rights of the most vulnerable students, while educators are contending that they are responsible for ensuring the safety and learning environment of all students.

A critical question asked again by Smith (1997), was how can we be confident of our ability to apply threshold distinctions in terms of the same or separate standards with respect to discipline and special education, while Skrtic (1993) warns of the tendency to apply pathological models in special education that requires an accounting presence or absence of pathological symptoms to verify the existence of abnormal conditions.

According to Aldemann & Taylor (1954), in the classification criteria there is often the problem of treating conditions as discrete entities which may be gradations of the conditions themselves.

In terms of Assuring Appropriate and Individualized programs, Smith (1997), suggest that administrators determine to what extent these children with behavioral disorders have been previously provided with appropriate education, before placing them under any of the chosen models available. Inherent to the concept of appropriateness, according to Smith (1997), should be the promise that students with behavioral problems are provided with programs that are individualized to their needs, and individualization should serve as a basic foundation in providing free and appropriate public education for students with disabilities.

The question of Eligibility and Assessment issues regarding to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADA), according to Smith (1997) evoke the idea that behavioral patterns may trigger the  consideration and application of criteria such as (a) are they quantitatively different from normal behavior, (b) do they challenge the basic function of teacher control, (c) are basic emotions such as anger elicited from teachers during sessions and (d) are behavioral concerns appropriated to medical or biological causations or not?

Qualified Personnel according to Kaufman (1994, are basic in providing appropriate programs for students with EBD, but such training has been superficial to the extent that there may be no real expert like instructional specialists to ensure there is consistent focusing of efforts.

Least Restrictive Environment Considerations does not equate into general classroom settings for all students with EBD, according to Smith (2006), and will continue to be of specific concern which should warrant advocacy attention until adequate solutions are developed and implemented.

Smith (2006), went further to enunciate the problems encountered in placing students with EBD into segregated day school and points to the disproportionate number of minority youths served in the program, the high rate of lack of services and supplementary support, constant advocacy among teachers for students to be transferred  to  regular attendance centers, the need for small classes, available therapies, supervision , family services and more flexibility.

It was ethically imperative Smith (2006), infers to move vigilantly in the direction of improving the means by which students with EBD are identified and classified, as current eligibility rules mandates educators to virtually provide different educational needs to identical students.

Smith (2006) in closing also suggested that there should be a move away from the activities surrounding the reauthorization of IDEA to an agenda that focuses on individualization, appropriate programs in least restrictive settings with qualified personnel and structures that are developed from relevant and functional assessment data so that the needs for EBD students can be adequately met going forward.

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