Lukumi Babalu Aye And City Of Hialeah Comparison Sample College Essay

Facts of the case

The Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. a non-profit religious denomination practiced Santeria religion together with its congregants. Santeria is a form of religious practice that originated in the 19th century and it involves animal sacrifices as a principal element of their devotion to the religion. Under the Santeria religion killing of animals involves cutting of the carotid arteries, which are then cooked for consumption, however eating could take place in all the Santeria ritual with the exception of death and healing rites. In April 1987 the Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc leased land in the city of Hialeah, Florida with plans of building a house of worship among other projects such as establishing a school, museum as well as cultural center1. The church had a goal of spreading their faith and the practice of the Santeria religion, which involves rituals of animal sacrifices. The church managed to acquire all the requisite licenses and permits after conduct of zoning approvals and inspections, however difficult it was in august, 1987.

Upon hearing of the Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc’s plans to establish a house of worship and other amenities in the city of Hialeah, Florida the City Council convened an emergency passing session whereby they ratified a number of resolutions and ordinances for addressing the sacrifices of animals by religions2. The following resolutions were adopted in the ordinances noting several issues ranging from the concern of the members of the Hialeah community as well as the interests of the municipality. First, the ordinance outlined the residents’ concern of the emergence of churches that engage in practices that infringe public peace, health morals, and safety. Another ordinance that takes into account the Florida animal cruelty law was approved to prohibit unnecessary or cruel killing of animals, thus opposing ritual sacrifices of animals within Hialeah3.

Another key ordinance approved by the City of Hialeah defined sacrifice “to unnecessary kill, torment, torture, or mutilate an animal in a public or private ritual or ceremony not for the primary purpose of food consumption”4. Additionally the ordinance prohibited ownership or possession of any animal with the intention of using the animal for food purposes. The final ordinance defined slaughter as “the killing of animals for food” and as such, the ordinance banned slaughtering done outside the demarcated area for slaughterhouse use5. Failure to observe the set ordinances could lead to punishment by fines limited to $500 or equivalent of 60 days imprisonment and in certain circumstances both penalties could apply.

Upon the enactment of the ordinances approved by the City Council, Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye Inc. petitioned the Southern District Court of Florida claiming infringement of the free exercise clause protected by the First Amendment. However, the District court claimed that the church suffered no violation against their right to free exercise as per the First Amendment. The case was later transferred to Court of Appeal for the Eleventh Circuit who also upheld the regulations6.

Issue of the case

The major issue that arises between the Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye and City of Hialeah involves whether the ordinances violated the First Amendment right of free exercise relating to the church and if it does what remedies are available to settle the mater equitably.

How religion played an important part in the case

Religion is one of the vital components of the society and as such, the government has protected the conduct and belief of various religions since the independence through the constitution. Through the constituents of the First Amendment, in particular establishment and the free exercise clauses, the constitution has clearly outlined the extent of government intervention and involvement in the constitution matters. As such, it is vital that the jury tackle issues relating to religion with a lot of care to avoid violating the rights granted to the churches being a vital organ of religion. It was obvious that the defendant was going to lose in the case between the Churches of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah relating to the Santeria religion owing to a number of factors as expressed below.

The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, which has further been extended to states and all the local governments by the Fourteenth Amendment, broadly outlines that Congress at any time, shall not enact laws relating to the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion7. In fact the First Amendment restrict the congress from preferring one religion to another, set up a national religion or discriminate any non-religion and vice versa. Additionally, no individual as well as a group of persons will be tormented or discriminated based on their religion by the government. It is undoubtedly that the Hialeah city disliked the Santeria religion and they had to prevent it by enacting the ordinances that would ban it and this act is unconstitutional considering that it only targeted a particular religion8.

It is note worthy that “Under the Free Exercise Clause, a law that burdens religious practice need not be justified by a compelling governmental interest if it is neutral and of general applicability”9. However, it is noted that laws that are not neutral and of general applicability must be scrutinized rigorously. Free exercise clause further outlines that all laws that are not neutral and general applicable, must be of compelling government interest and should only emphasize on advancing the interest for it to be considered an infringement to the First Amendment right of free exercise of religion10. The fact that religion is highly protected by the constitution clearly indicates how religion plays a plausible role in settling the court case. The majority had to analyze the constitution in relation to the City Council’s decision to restrict Santeria religion.

The concept of protecting religion from government institutions can be traced back to period of independence when the founding father of America Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptists association. The ideas he expressed in his letter were entrenched into the First Amendment giving religions the rights to establishment and free exercise either by conduct or by belief.

This case play a vital role in promoting the rights granted to religion by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court clear analyzed the rights established in First Amendment thereby creating the precedence for understanding religion as per the provisions of the First amendment. It is undoubtedly that religion is a key aspect in the united states society and it is as if the majority of the majority of the American beliefs in the powers of the creator. This is evident in the declaration of independence as the fore fathers expressed their belief that all men were created equal and grated certain rights by their creator that cannot be detached at any time of life among them being right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Bibliography

Merriman, Scott. (2007). Religion and the law in America: an encyclopedia of personal belief and public policy, Volume 1. California: ABC-CLIO, Inc.

US Supreme Court. (1993). church of lukumi babalu aye v. city of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 (1993). Findlaw. Web.

Footnotes

  1. US Supreme court. (1993). church of lukumi babalu aye v. city of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 (1993). Findlaw. Web.
  2. US Supreme court. (1993). church of lukumi babalu aye v. city of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 (1993). Findlaw. Web.
  3. US Supreme court. (1993). church of lukumi babalu aye v. city of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 (1993). Findlaw. Web.
  4. US Supreme court. (1993). church of lukumi babalu aye v. city of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 (1993). Findlaw. Web.
  5. US Supreme court. (1993). church of lukumi babalu aye v. city of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 (1993). Findlaw. Web.
  6. Merriman, S. (2007). Religion and the law in America: an encyclopedia of personal belief and public policy, Volume 1. California: ABC-CLIO, Inc.
  7. US Supreme court. (1993). church of lukumi babalu aye v. city of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 (1993). Findlaw. Web.
  8. Merriman, S. (2007). Religion and the law in America: an encyclopedia of personal belief and public policy, Volume 1. California: ABC-CLIO, Inc.
  9. US Supreme court. (1993). church of lukumi babalu aye v. city of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 (1993). Findlaw. Web.
  10. US Supreme court. (1993). church of lukumi babalu aye v. city of Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 (1993). Findlaw. Web.

Capstone Project Change Proposal In Healthcare Sector

Healthcare is a sector that is the most intensively exposed to stress and emotional exhaustion or burnout. Medical workers deal with patients’ health problems that imply constant mental pressure and a high level of responsibility for a professional. The problem of low staffing in the industry depends on the emotional atmosphere in the workplace. Numerous studies found that nurses, especially those working in intensive care “experience higher levels of stress-related burnout” in comparison to other medical workers (Khamisa, Peltzer, & Oldenburg, 2013, p. 1). Such a tendency leads to nursing understaffing, increased workload, turnover and subsequent decrease of the patient-to-nurse ratio (Van den Heede et al., 2013). Therefore, patient care suffers from the errors in treatment and the low level of service quality provided by nurses. Consequently, the poor performance of medical workers might increase morbidity and mortality rates and lower the standards of healthcare practice.

Self-Care Nursing Theory

The growing rates of understaffing in nursing take their roots in the emotionally and psychically intense working environment that leads to various adverse outcomes. The burnout is resembled in decreasing of emotional energy, pessimistic demeanor and attitude to professional accomplishments (Khamisa et al., 2013). This problem needs to be applied with decisive measures and interventions grounding on valid nursing theory. One of the most efficient approaches applicable to the issue of nursing understaffing is self-care nursing theory. It is an application of the concept of self-care as a crucial element in nursing ensuring people to “sustain life and health” (Alliggod, 2013, p.222). This theory concerns the personal awareness of the individual under treatment about the state of their health condition (Alligood, 2013). It can be applied as a theoretical framework for the project due to its potential to raise nurses’ awareness of the possible individual ways to overcome difficulties and stay in the profession. When adjusted to the therapy of nurses exposed to burnout at the workplace, self-care theory might be addressed as the educational intervention aimed at the introduction of effective strategies and procedures for burnout minimization.

Proposed Implementation Plan with Outcome Measures

Nursing understaffing is caused by the stressful workload of the profession. Since nursing burnout has a potential to be harmful to patient safety, it is vital to carefully consider the implementation of procedures aimed at the minimization of burnout rates among nurses. The health condition of nurses occupied in acute care hospitals is endangered. The quality of their performance reflects their psychological well-being. In case of negative attitude to the accomplishments, the nurses neglect their professional responsibilities and undermine patients’ safety. That is why it is essential to supply the employees suffering from the emotional exhaustion with professional therapeutic practices.

According to the implementation plan within this project, targeted institutions will include local primary hospitals and the intensive care units, in particular. The participants will take part in the project on a voluntary basis. The professional therapists will be invited for the implementation of different kinds of procedures aimed at burnout relief. The processes will be of an educational character to ensure the nurses’ awareness about their emotional state as implied by the self-care nursing theory application. These will include group and individual practices aimed at dealing with stress and burnout. The therapists will retrieve feedback information from the participants to monitor the state of their psychological condition. They will identify the causes of the particular cases and find the ways of overcoming them. The implementation of therapeutic procedures will contribute to the decrease in emotional tension, higher accomplishments rates, the overall positive attitude to work, and consequently to the solving of the nursing understaffing problem.

Potential Barriers to Plan Implementation

The difficulties related to the burnout therapy application might include the following. The voluntary basis of attracting the potential participants might engage a lacking number of nurses that will diminish the reliability of the outcomes. Concerning this barrier, it would be rational to provide some motivational reward for those exposed to intervention implementation. Regarding the limitation of the participants to the employees primarily of the intensive care units, there is a potential bias in results. The interventions applied to the participants occupied in acute care hospitals might be insufficient for the nurses of other medical facilities. It would be relevant to widen the scope of participants involved to diversify the population and to customize the procedures according to the needs of specific areas of nurses’ practice.

The effectiveness of such therapeutic interventions should be tested and empirically studied to analyze their applicability to a broader range of participants. Only the proof of the practical efficiency of the project plan will guarantee the sufficient investing in the nursing sphere for the employees’ retaining (Van den Heede et al., 2013). Establishing therapy facilities for nurses on a regular basis will improve the situation in the nursing stuffing.

In conclusion, nursing understaffing is caused primarily by the emotional exhaustion of medical workers due to the stressful workload in the sector. Although the implementation of therapeutic interventions within the framework of self-care nursing theory in the chosen hospitals is expected to be successful, some difficulties might occur. They include the limited number of voluntary participants, the limitation to intensive care units, and insufficient investment. However, in case of successful results of the project plan implementation, the data could be used for multiple healthcare institutions to solve the problem of nursing understaffing.

References

Alligood, M.R. (2013). Nursing theory: Utilization and application (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Khamisa, N., Peltzer, K., & Oldenburg, B. (2013). Burnout in relation to specific contributing factors and health outcomes among nurses: A systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 10(6), 2214-2240.

Van den Heede, K., Florquin, M., Bruyneel, L., Aiken, L., Diya, L., Lesaffre, E., & Sermeus, W. (2013). Effective strategies for nurse retention in acute hospitals: A mixed method study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 50(2), 185-194.

Characteristics Of Students With Disabilities

Introduction

This Resource Note book is about characteristics of students with disabilities. According to the Disability Discrimination Act, a disabled individual is anyone who has a mental or physical impairment that has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on that individual’s potential or ability to undertake normal day-to-day activities (Disabled People, 2008). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (P.L. 101-476) and the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94-142) came up with particular categories of disabilities through which children may qualify for special education and related services.

IDEA identified a ‘child with disability’ as a child with speech or language impairments, mental retardation, visual impairments (including blindness), traumatic brain injury, hearing impairments (including deafness), serious emotional disturbance, autism, orthopedic impairments, other health impairments, specific learning disabilities, or other health impairments: and who by any virtue of the above mentioned disabilities, needs specialized education and other related services (Disabled People, 2008). Such types of disabilities may actively hinder students to dependably and easily process various types of information if not well taken care of. These disabilities will be addressed in depth in this Resource book. The main aspects of these disabilities that will be looked into include the definition of the disability, causation, prevention, characteristics, current trends and instructional strategies for each disability. The Note book will also look into aspects of Early Childhood Education (ECD).

Students with Learning Disabilities

According to Lyon (1996), over 5 percent of all students in public schools have a learning disability. Most students are taught at an early age how to develop an organized strategy or plan when confronted with a problem, and how to process information. But other students find such cognitive tasks as learning basic skills quite challenging. These and many other children having diverse disabilities that limit their educational performance in relation to other normal children are referred to as children with Learning Disabilities (Smith, 1997). The learning disabilities fall on a continuum, ranging in severity from mild to critical impairment. The U.S. congress passed an educational bill in 1975 named the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142), assuring children with learning disabilities an appropriate, quality, and free education in the least restrictive environment (Bernadette & Barbara, 1998).

Mental Retardation

Definition

According to IDEA, mental retardation is a “significantly sub average general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior” (Bernadette & Barbara, 1998). It is often noticeable during the child’s development period, thereby unfavorably affecting his or her educational performance.

Causes of mental Retardation

There are many causes of mental retardation as it can be caused by many condition that damage the proper development of the brain either before birth, during the birth process, or during childhood years. Indeed, there are several hundred causes of mental retardation (Heward, 2005) and (Link et.al. 1999). These causes can be categorized into the following broad categories.

Genetic conditions

  • Abnormal genes inherited from parents
  • Errors in genes combinations
  • Gene disorders caused by infections during pregnancy
  • Overexposure to X-rays
  • Inborn errors of metabolism, such as the deadly Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Chromosomal abnormalities bringing diseases such as Fragile X syndrome and Down syndrome

Problems during Pregnancy

  • Alcohol abuse by pregnant mothers
  • Pregnancy illnesses such as granular disorders, rubella, cytomegalovirus, and diabetes
  • Malnutrition
  • HIV infection originating from prenatal life

Problems at Birth

  • Injury to the infant’s brain during the birth process, resulting to physical malfunctions
  • Prematurely born infants
  • Low birth weight

Problems after birth

  • Child illnesses such as chicken pox, Hib disease, measles, and whooping cough can lead to encephalitis and meningitis that can in turn damage the brain
  • Man-made and natural disasters and accidents
  • Dangerous substances such as lead mercury and lead

Poverty and Cultural Deprivation

  • Malnutrition due to poverty
  • Inadequate medical care
  • Environmental health hazards
  • Deprivation of many day-to-day and cultural experiences leading to brain under stimulation

Prevention of mental retardation

Mental retardation can be prevented through various prevention strategies. However, due to the fact that that most mental retardation cases occurs during pregnancy and the subsequent upbringing of the child, it is imperative that the prevention strategies are subdivided into two – Prenatal and Post natal (Heward, 2005; Link et.al. 1999; Simpson, 2008).

Prenatal Prevention Strategies

  • Avoid using drugs such as cocaine and heroine, alcohol, and smoking
  • Obtain quality medical care when sick
  • Keep away from habits that can expose you to sexually transmitted diseases
  • Maintenance of good healthcare and nutrition during pregnancy
  • Obtain all the necessary prenatal and genetic tests
  • Treat infections immediately
  • Administer folic acid tablets to avert the occurrence of neural tube disorders

Postnatal Prevention Strategies

  • Proper Medicare and nutrition
  • Obtain appropriate immunizations such as DPT, BCG, and MMR
  • Avoid intake of dangerous chemicals such as lead
  • Avoid child neglect and abuse
  • Eliminate dilapidating conditions of poverty and associated problems
  • Employ toddler and infant seat belts and car seats
  • Universal iodization of salt to curtail iodine insufficiency
  • Adequate pregnancy spacing to allow the body replenish lost nutrients

Characteristics of Mental Retardation

The characteristics of mentally handicapped individuals may be divided into four broad categories namely intellectual functioning, social skills, motor skills, and communication skills.

Intellectual functioning

  • Failure to demonstrate learned skills spontaneously
  • Slow learners and failure to notice relevant features of what the teacher is teaching
  • Difficulty in applying the learned knowledge and skills to new situations
  • Difficulty in contemplating complex skills and abstract concepts

Social Skills

  • Difficulty in developing interpersonal relationships
  • Not interested in individuals and events around them
  • Rarely makes any eye contact to those around them
  • Engagement in inappropriate or isolated behaviors

Motor skills

  • May exhibit signs of delays in motor and sensory development
  • May exhibit signs of physical disabilities such as visual impairments, speech impairments, epilepsy, and hearing defects.
  • In cases of severe mental retardation, seizure disorders, cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus and other cardiovascular disorders may be witnessed.

Communication skills

  • Speech problems like delayed speech is widespread among students with relentless disabilities
  • The development of language skills may be significantly delayed or inhibited
  • The quality and content of language may be significantly affected as people with mental retardation usually construct less complex, shorter sentences

Current Trends

  • 1 to 2 percent of the worldwide population is mentally retarded
  • Slightly over 1 percent of the school going population is requiring special education due to mental retardation
  • Almost 90 percent of all individuals requiring special education have symptoms of mild mental retardation (WHO Fact sheet, 2004)

Instructional Strategy

  • Functional Assessment – this strategy is good in these circumstances as it looks beyond the behavior of the mentally retarded students to identifying particular pupil-specific, affective, social, cognitive, and environmental factors associated with the mental retardation. A broader perspective of the problems will help the instructor understand the mentally retarded (CECP, 2001).

Emotional Disturbance

According to IDEA, a child is deemed to have emotional disturbance when he or she exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:

  • An active inability to concentrate in learning that cannot be explained by sensory, intellectual, or health factors.
  • An active inability to either build or maintain a sustainable interpersonal relationship with teachers and peers.
  • Inappropriate or questionable types of feelings and behaviors under normal situations
  • A general passive mood of depression and unhappiness.
  • A general tendency of developing physically manifested symptoms or fears associated with school or personal problems.

According to IDEA, serious emotional disturbance may develop into Schizophrenia and psychosis (Bernadette & Barbara, 1998).

Causes

Heward (2005) and Dharitri (1996) argue that the causes of emotional disturbances among students are often varied and hard to determine. However, the causes can be grouped into the following broad categories.

Biological Factors

  • Genetics and brain chemistry
  • Biochemical factors
  • Neurological factors

Environmental factors

  • Social rejection by friends
  • A belligerent pattern of behavior exhibited on entering school
  • An unfavorable early rearing environment

Family

  • Relationship and interaction between parent and child
  • Child abuse and neglect

School

  • Peers at school
  • Teacher actions and expectations on the student

Society

  • Impoverished environment and poor nutrition
  • Sense of frustration and hopelessness
  • A Disrupted family

Prevention

Due to an unclear understanding on the causes of emotional disturbance among students, it is often hard to pinpoint an exact preventive strategy (Heward, 2005; The Lead Center, 2008; Mauro, 2009). However, some of common strategies used include:

  • Positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports – Effective for a student whose personal behavior impedes his or her own learning and that of other students.
  • Psychological and counseling services – Effective on emotionally disturbed students
  • Career education (both academic and vocational) – Should be offered to all adolescents

Characteristics

  • Psychiatric disorders – includes anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and conduct disorders
  • Hyperactivity – includes impulsiveness and short attention span
  • Withdrawal – includes retreating from social interaction conversations and failure to initiate social interaction with others.
  • Aggression/ Self-injurious behavior – always involved in fights and acting out
  • Learning difficulties – always performing below grade level academically
  • Immaturity – includes temper tantrums, inappropriate crying, and poor life coping skills

Current trends

  • One in every five children has in one time or another developed a diagnosable emotional, mental, or behavioral disorders.
  • Up to ten percent of all children may develop a serious emotional disturbance later on in their adult life.
  • Worldwide, up to 70 percent of all children who have developed emotional disturbance do not in anyway receive mental health treatment (WHO Fact sheet, 2004).

Instructional Strategies for Emotional disturbance

  • Presentation of materials at independent level, not frustration at level
  • Providing short and manageable class assignments
  • Provision of mini-breaks between lessons

Autism

Definition

IDEA defines autism as a developmental disability that significantly affects the social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communication of children before they attain the age of three years, thereby adversely affecting their educational performance. Other characteristics associated with the condition include resistance to change in daily routines or to environmental change, engagement in repetitive activities, unusual responses to sensory experiences, and stereotyped movements. It was added as a distinct class of disability in 1990 under P.L. 101-476 (Bernadette & Barbara, 1998).

Causes

According to Heward (2005) and ASA (2008), no research has been able to unearth the causes of Autism. But possible causes put forth by researchers can be grouped into two broad categories that entail:

Genetic Vulnerability

  • Abnormalities in brain function and structure
  • Link between genetics, heredity, and medical problems
  • Metabolic imbalances
  • Genetic illnesses such as tuberous sclerosis, Fragile X syndrome, untreated phenylketonuria (PKU), and congenital rubella syndrome.

Environmental factors

  • Medical conditions such as acute viral infections
  • Exposure to dangerous environmental chemicals and metals such as mercury
  • Problems during pregnancy

Prevention

  • No known prevention strategy to reduce incidences or severity of the disorder at this time

Characteristics

According to Heward (2005), the characteristics of the Autistic disorder can be divided into the following major categories:

Social interactions and language development

  • Signs of rejection, lack of general interest in people and physical contacts.
  • Evade making eye-to-eye contact with other people, including parents
  • Experience difficulty in communication
  • Failure to interact with other children or develop interpersonal relationship
  • Delay or total lack of language development
  • Failure to use language to develop with others effectively
  • Repetition of words and phrases (Echolalia)
  • Using idiosyncratic or stereotypical language

Behavioral and cognitive development

  • Presence of stereotyped or repetitive patterns of behavior
  • Preoccupied usually with moving objects, parts of objects, and lights
  • Repetitive motor movements such as finger or hand flapping and rocking
  • Noticeable hypersensitivity to certain types of noises
  • Perform rituals
  • Maintains routines that are excessively rigid or nonfunctional
  • Undertakes highly restricted patterns of interests or preoccupations

Current Trends

  • Autism occurs in approximately 1 per 2,000 children
  • Improved media coverage has led to public allure with autism
  • There exists astonishing claims about the efficacy of some treatment approaches but no empirical evidence has been able to substantiate the claims

Instructional Strategies

  • Printed schedules
  • Printed directions
  • 3-D rewards such as small toys
  • Visual prompts such as overlays to put on the page that the student should focus on (Disability Resources, 2007).

Other Health Impairment

Definition

According to IDEA, Other health impairment is a condition attributable to individuals who have limited vitality, strength, or alertness as a result of acute or chronic health conditions such as rheumatic fever, heart condition, leukemia, hemophilia, and asthma, which unfavorably affect the educational performance of that individual (Bernadette & Barbara, 1998).

Causes

According to Heward (2005) a multiplicity of factors is believed to play a pivotal role in causing other health impairments. However, the most common causes are:

  • Genetic impairments
  • Disease
  • Environmental factors such as pollen, animal dander and chemical irritants

Prevention

Although some Other Health Impairments are hard to prevent, the following preventive strategies have been found useful.

  • Physiotherapy
  • Being physically active and maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Reducing alcohol intake and fat in food
  • Avoiding prolonged exposure to the UVA/UVB sources such prolonged sun tanning

Characteristics

  • Lack of alertness or strength to keep up with class work among the students with OHI’s, thereby affecting the students’ ability to perform successfully
  • Long periods of absence due to acute or chronic health problems
  • Observed inability to perform tasks at the same pace and length of time as peers due to acute or chronic health problem
  • Inability to attend to tasks due to the medication being taken
  • An acute inability to attend to school duties for more than a few hours a day due to limited vitality and strength
  • Developmentally inappropriate degrees of impulsivity, inattention, and over activity

Current Trends

The number of students diagnosed with OHI’s worldwide is less than 5 percent. However, the number is rising than in the past decades because students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and ADD are now integrated in this category.

Instructional Strategy

Be flexible with deadlines. Due to the students’ lack of strength and vitality as a result of the OHI’s, they may require more time to complete a task or assignment. Other students with medicated or chronic pain may need an extension of time or additional explanations of the materials that have already been covered in class (Disability Resources, 2007).

Traumatic Brain Injury

According to IDEA definition, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is an acquired injury to the brain occasioned by an external physical force, thereby causing partial or total psychosocial impairment or partial functional disability, or both, that unfavorably affects a student’s educational performance. The definition applies to closed or open injuries to the head, resulting in actual impairments in one or more areas, such as language, memory, cognition, abstract thinking, attention, judgment, perceptual, problem-solving, and motor abilities. The injuries may also result in impairments in physical functions, psychosocial behavior speech, and information processing. TBI was added as a distinct category of disability in 990 under P.L. 101-476 (Bernadette & Barbara, 1998).

Causes

TBI can be can be caused by a multiplicity of causes like the ones indicated below (Adams et.al. 2008).

  • Motor Vehicle – traffic crashes
  • Assaults/ Firearms
  • Falls
  • Struck by/ against situations
  • Harmful chemicals such as solvents, insecticides, lead poisoning, and carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Lack of adequate oxygen (Hypoxia)
  • Disease

Prevention

There are numerous ways to prevent the chances of TBI happening. Some of them are:

  • Fastening of seat belts while driving and buckling your children too
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol
  • Wear a helmet when riding a motorbike, playing contact sport, riding a horse, etc.
  • Making living areas safer by removing clutter in walkways, installing grab bars next to a toilet, improving the lighting systems throughout the home, etc.
  • Putting lethal chemicals out of reach of children

Characteristics

According to Kimes (2005), there are many characteristics of TBI students. Below are the most basic ones

  • A deep sense of frustration and denial occasioned by the fact that the student was previously living a normal life prior to the acquired brain injury. The student physical, social, emotional and academic life drastically changes due to the injury bringing about the deep sense of frustration.
  • Greater degree of disorientation, confusion, and emotional outbursts during the initial stages of recovery from the injury.
  • Unusual discrepancies in ability levels such as inconsistent patterns of performance and uneven cognitive deficits.
  • Significant problems in integrating, generalizing, and structuring information
  • Behavioral problems such as being more distractible, impulsive, hyperactive, and perceptions of being socially inappropriate.

Current trends

Approximately 1.5 individuals in the U.S. suffer from TBI every year. Out of that number, 50, 000 succumb to the injuries, and another 85, 000 suffer long term disabilities. More than 5.3 million individuals in the U.S. live permanently with disabilities occasioned by TBI. Among the children aged 0 to 14 years, 2,685 die out of TBI’s, 37,000 are hospitalized, and 435,000 receive emergency department visits each year (Centre for Disease Control, 2008).

Instructional Strategy

Compensatory strategy – Due to heightened levels of frustration, stress, and self denial occasioned by the acquired disability, the student’s concentration levels in class is substantially affected. As such, what the student hear does not stick, a situation known as slowed acquisition. As such, the instructor must use a lot of repetition to compensate for what the student lacks to grasp (Disability Resources, 2007).

Multiple/ Severe disabilities

Definition

IDEA defines multiple/ severe disabilities as a combination of impairments (such as mental retardation-physical disabilities, or mental retardation-physical disabilities) that has the capacity to cause extreme educational problems that the child cannot find any accommodation whatsoever in a special education program sorely for one of the multiple impairments. However, the term does not cover deaf-blindness situations (Bernadette & Barbara, 1998).

Causes

In 40 percent of all cases of multiple disabilities, no identifiable cause has been forthcoming. But according to Heward (2005) and a fact sheet on multiple disabilities published in 2006, the most likely causes of multiple disabilities includes metabolic disorders, prenatal biomedical factors, brain malfunctions, possible dysfunction in production of enzymes causing a large buildup of toxic chemicals substances in the brain, problems during pregnancy, problems at birth, low birth weight, incidents after birth, and heredity problems..

Prevention

A good prevention strategy for multiple disabilities should include:

  • Good prenatal care
  • Pre-Pregnancy determination of risk causing factors
  • Access to quality healthcare
  • Public awareness of prevention strategies

Characteristics

According to Heward (2005), Allyn and Bacon (2004), the characteristic of multiple disabilities are varied. They can be subdivided into the following sub-categories.

Cognitive

These includes Motor delays, abnormal muscle tone, Balance problems, Muscle atrophy, Memory loss, and Contractures

Medical

These characteristics include Seizure disorders, Problems in hearing and vision, Heart disease, and Cerebral palsy.

Language

Characteristics include having trouble generalizing information and communication problems

Social

Trouble communicating in community activities without supports

Current Trends

  • In the U.S., only 0.18 percent of students have multiple-severe disabilities
  • The requirements for this type of disability are different in various states. For instance, some states exclude hearing problems and learning disabilities from this category. However, the unique needs of all the students having this disability are met.
  • Currently, children with multiple-severe disabilities are being placed in classrooms and other community-based activities with their counterparts who are not disabled. However, this trend has been courted with controversy

Instructional Strategy

Note taker services – due to the severity of the multiple disabilities, such students can be assisted by finding effective note takers to help them take notes in the class. The note takers should be pooled from the class (Disability Resources, 2007).

Communication Disorders

Definition

According to IDEA, a communication disorder is a language or speech impairment such as impaired articulation, voice impairment, communication disorder or a language impairment that unfavorably affects a child’s educational performance (Bernadette & Barbara, 1998).

Causes

According to Heward (2005), the causes of communication disorders are varied, and are related to the functioning of the brains. They can be classified under the following categories.

  • Hearing impairment – Either full or partial hearing impairment may cause difficulty in language and speech development
  • Physical disabilities – Causes includes palate, cleft lip, Cerebral palsy, malformations of the nose or the mouth, and vocal cord injury.
  • Developmental disability like the Down syndrome, Autism
  • Learning disabilities
  • Diseases such as the Austin spectrum disorders and Pervasive Development Disorders
  • Behavior and emotional problems like deficiencies in social skills
  • Alcohol intoxication

Prevention

There are many strategies that can be used to prevent communication disorders (Heward, 2005) and (Khan, 2007). However, these strategies can be grouped into three distinct groups – primary, secondary, and tertiary preventive measures.

Primary

These include genetic counseling, health education, hearing conservation, environmental change, vocal hygiene, immunization, prenatal care, and prevention of secondary communication disorders.

Secondary

Secondary prevention measures for communication disorders include:

  • Screenings for speech-language disorders
  • Screenings for hearing/ balance disorders
  • Early intervention for hearing/ balance disorders
  • Early intervention for language-swallowing disorders

Tertiary

  • Tertiary prevention measures include:
  • Patient counseling
  • Family/ caregiver education programs
  • Treatment of identified disabilities
  • Cross-disciplinary consultation

Characteristics

Characteristics include slow and incomprehensible speech, inability to follow directions, and pronounced difficulties in articulation and syntax. Lack of speech fluency, stuttering, hoarseness, sudden breaks in pitch, loudness, and breathiness are other observable characteristics for communication disorders. Speech inaccuracies and confusion during class discussions are other foreseeable characteristics (Heward, 2005).

Current trends

  • In 2000-2001, more than one million students enrolled in American public schools’ special education programs had some form of language or speech impairment.
  • Ten percent of Americans are affected by communication disorders, may they be hearing, speech, or language impairments.
  • Five percent of school- aged children are affected by communication disorders. Out of this number, around 10-20 percent requires some form of specialized education

Instructional strategy

Inclusion strategy – Involve the student with a communication disability in all class plans and activities, and include him or her as part of the class (Disability Resources, 2007).

Hearing Impairment

Definition

IDEA defines it as impairment in hearing, whether fluctuating or permanent, that adversely affects a child’s performance in school but which nonetheless is not included under the definition given to deafness (Bernadette & Barbara, 1998).

Causes

According to Heward (2005), hearing impairment can be caused by various factors which can be categorized into the following groups.

Before Birth

Such causes include family history of deafness; marriages between close relatives; blood group complications; excessive alcohol and substance use during pregnancy; sexually transmitted diseases and other infections such as rubella during pregnancy; poor physical condition of the mother during pregnancy; and excessive exposure to X-rays during pregnancy.

During birth

Causes under this category include low birth weight; feeble or delayed baby cry at birth; and lack of enough oxygen supply to the baby during the birth process.

After birth

Causative factors under this category includes pre-maturity; infectious diseases such as measles and whooping cough; medications such as antibiotics; aging; injury to the head; long term exposure to environmental noise; tumors on the auditory nerve; obstruction of the ear canal; inner ear abnormalities; middle ear abnormalities and poor hair cell function.

Prevention

Prevention strategies according to Heward (2005) include avoiding marriages among close relative; avoiding child abuse; immunizing adolescent girls and women against infections such as rubella; ensuring the good health of expectant mothers through regular medical check-ups; making sure that delivery is performed by trained personnel; proper immunization of children; maintaining good ear hygiene; and avoiding exposure to loud environmental noise.

Characteristics

Some of the characteristics witnessed among students with hearing impairments include:

  • Severe deficits in the area of language development
  • Delayed performance in academic achievement
  • Social, behavioral, and personality characteristics that are diverse from their hearing peers, as some may be easily frustrated while others are excessively shy.

Current trends

According to World Bank deafness and hearing impairment fact sheet published in 2006:

  • Around 278 million people around the world have moderate to acute hearing impairment in both ears
  • 8 out of 10 deaf and hearing impaired individuals reside in middle and low income nations
  • The number of individuals with hearing impairments around the world is on the rise due to longer life expectances and a growing global population
  • Acute middle ear infection is the leading cause of mild to average hearing disability among the children
  • People can prevent around 50 percent of deafness and hearing impairment through early diagnosis and proper management.

Instructional strategy

  • Discrepancy assessment
  • Model an atmosphere of understanding and acceptance in the classroom (Disability Resources, 2007).

Visual impairment

Definition

According to IDEA, visual impairment is impairment in vision that continues to adversely affect the educational performance of a child even after correction. The term includes both blindness and partial sight (Bernadette & Barbara, 1998).

Causes of Visual impairment

According to Heward (2005) and Smith (1997), visual impairment is caused by numerous factors. But the most common ones include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Atherosclerotic disease – occurs when huge amounts of cholesterol are deposited in blood vessels, including those in the eyes
  • Cerebrovascular disease or stroke
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) – a virus called cytomegalovirus affects the eye
  • Refractive errors – these involves shortsightedness (Mypia) or Farsightedness (Hyperopia)
  • Infections involving the eye
  • Lack of vitamin A

Prevention

Prevention strategies for visual impairment entail:

  • Stop smoking – smoking is linked to macular degeneration and development of cataracts
  • Scheduling regular eye checkups – help to test for glaucoma, find cataracts, and detect inadequate vision
  • Early treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes helps in reducing chances of getting diabetic retinopathy
  • protecting eyes from ultraviolet (UV) light exposure and too much direct sunlight
  • Wearing protective eyewear when operating with machinery and tools

Characteristics

  • Many children with visual impairments find little reason to explore objects than their sighted counterparts. This makes them loose out on learning experiences
  • A child is unable to understand nonverbal cues and imitate social behavior due to the fact that he cannot be able to see his or her parents or peers
  • The child’s independence is severely curtailed by visual handicaps

Current Trends

  • 25, 000 children aged between 6-21 years received special education services for visual impairments in the US, making up just over 0.5 percent of school-aged special education students
  • Out of the 25,000 children with visual impairments, 10 percent of them are blind and depend solely on auditory or tactile methods such as audio text or Braille to read (WHO Fact Sheet, 2006)

Instructional Strategy

Leave a front row seat vacant for a visually impaired student (Disability Resources, 2007).

Deafness

Definition

According to IDEA, the term is used to define a hearing impairment that is so critical that a child with such impairment cannot whatsoever understand what is being said to him or her even with the help of a hearing aid (Bernadette & Barbara, 1998).

Causes

There are several known factor that are known to lead to deafness. According to Berke (2008) and Heward (2005), these factors can be divided into the following categories

Before birth

  • Pre-maturity – The auditory system of a premature baby is not fully developed and is vulnerable to damage
  • Cytomegalovirus – A dangerous viral disease which can make a baby to be born with a progressive hearing loss
  • Pregnancy complications – includes Rh factor, prenatal infection and lack of oxygen during the process of delivery

After birth

  • Otitis Media – An illness that cause fluid buildup in the middle sections of the ear thereby making the victim vulnerable to deafness
  • Meningitis – Antibiotics used to treat victims of meningitis can cause permanent damage to the ears.

Genetic

  • Down syndrome
  • Charge syndrome
  • Waardenburg syndrome
  • Treacher Collins syndrome

Prevention

Some of the known deafness prevention strategies include proper nutrition and healthcare of the woman during pregnancy, taking proper care of the ears, early treatment of ear infections, avoiding intermarriages between close relatives, and immunizing adolescent girls and women of child-bearing age against infections such as rubella (Berke, 2008).

Characteristics

Deaf students exhibit many and diverse characteristics. These can be grouped into the following categories

Physical

Physical characteristics of deaf students include wearing of hearing aids; recurring ear infections; moving around the classroom in search of the source of the sound; and lack of physical coordination in particular activities (Heward, 2005).

Social/ Emotional/ Behavioral

Deaf students may appear to be socially isolated; frequently misunderstands their peers and even teachers; choose younger and other handicapped students as their peers; may use physical contact to get attention; restless in large group activities; appear lethargic or bored at times; lack of confidence; may act impulsively at times; may manifest aggressive behavior due to frustration; may move from one activity to another sporadically; and may experience difficulty negotiating with others in problem solving and decision making processes (Heward, 2005).

Cognitive/ Academic

Their reading comprehension skills may be below par; they do not seek assistance whenever it’s needed of them to do so; they are dependent on visual cues or reinforcements; demonstrates unbalanced performance which may lead to overall underachievement; Their word recognition skills is stronger than their reading comprehension skills; experience challenges moving from concrete to abstract interpretations; and experience difficulties in sequencing information and following written directions (Heward, 2005).

Speech/ Language

Deaf students exhibit a marked discrepancy between expressive and receptive language; makes use of unsuitable syntax; gives unsuitable verbal responses and has difficulties expressing ideas; experience challenges in interpreting non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and body language; exhibits an egocentric speaking style; confuses grammatical structures; experience challenges when pronouncing words of more than two syllables; and may omit word endings in addition to noticeable articulation difficulties (Berke, 2008; Heward, 2005).

Listening

Exhibits difficulties hearing in a noisy environment; has difficulties processing oral information; has difficulties comprehending what the speaker is saying when the speaker is not directly in front or when the speaker is at a distance greater than one metre (Berke, 2008).

Current trends

  • Mitchell (2005) reported the findings of a recent survey targeting people who are either deaf or have a hearing loss disability. According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), fewer than 1 in 20 U.S. citizens are currently hard-of-hearing or deaf
  • In rounded numbers, close to a million people are functionally deaf, while nearly 10, 000,000 are affected by hard-of-hearing disability
  • Less than 4 percent of all individuals with deafness or hearing loss are under 18 years of age, while more than half of those with deafness and hearing loss are 65 years or older
  • Communications technology manufacturers, health and education service providers, advocacy organizations, researchers, and policy makers are all interested in the findings of the survey.

Instructional Strategy

Early Amplification and Intensive Auditory Stimulation (EAIAS) – This is done to facilitate the deaf student to develop his or her oral language through listening skills. The strategy stresses intensive use of amplification or hearing aids, daily listening activities, and regular educational programming in intergrated school settings to sharpen the oral skills of deaf or hard-of-hearing students (University of Toronto, 2009).

Orthopedic disabilities

Definition

According to IDEA, the term defines a critical orthopedic impairment that unfavorably affects the educational performance of a child. Such impairments include cerebral palsy, bone tuberculosis, amputation, absence of a limb, and poliomyelitis (Bernadette & Barbara, 1998).

Causes

Orthopedic disabilities are mostly brought about by malnutrition, infections diseases such as cerebral palsy and polio, lack of basic hygiene, lack of proper medical care, hereditary and genetic factors, poor living conditions, and lack of proper prenatal care, leading to conditions such as Spina Bifida, Clubfoot, and absence of arms or legs. Such conditions are brought by diseases such as rubella (Boyles & Contadino, 1997; Heward, 2005).

Prevention

As already mentioned, orthopedic impairments are brought about by a multiplicity of factors. It is therefore imperative that prevention strategies for this impairment are tied up with their causative agents (Heward, 2005). However, some of the common prevention measures include:

  • Awareness creation on the importance of eating foods rich in vitamins for proper development of strong bones
  • Awareness creation on the importance of proper Medicare and cleanliness
  • Ensuring that deliveries are only undertaken by qualified professionals to reduce birth complications
  • Proper immunization of children, especially for polio to prevent polio and related post-polio syndrome

Characteristics

  • Physical characteristics of orthopedic students include unsteady gait, paralysis, loss of limb, and poor muscle control
  • Language characteristics of the disability include expressive language and impeding speech production.
  • Motor characteristics include difficulty in maintaining balance, involuntary movements, poor coordination, weak or tight muscles, difficulty in chewing and swallowing, poor memory, easily distracted, and abnormal reflexes.
  • Social characteristics include poor organization, attention, timekeeping, sequencing, and generalization.

Current trends

According to Arison and Barco-Kida (2004); and Heward (2005),

  • Orthopedic impairment is the most common form of impairment, with an estimated 30 million people being affected worldwide. Most of them are in developing countries
  • Clubfoot, a congenital deformation classified under orthopedic impairments affects one in every 1000 babies born worldwide
  • Cerebral palsy affects 1 in every 400 babies born
  • In the U.S., approximately 500,000 individuals presently have cerebral palsy
  • Cerebral palsy is the most prevalent orthopedic disability among students populations in public schools

Instructional Strategy

Simplification – maintain the instructions as simple, uncomplicated, and brief as possible. Instead of paraphrasing, repeat in the exact format (Disability Resources, 2007).

Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education, popularly referred to as ECE entails all the experiences and activities that are aimed at effecting the developmental changes of children before they are allowed entry to elementary school. In general terms, ECE spans the human life from the time the baby is born to around the age of eight years. It has its roots from the substantial growth of the early education system in the US during the second half of the twentieth century. The marked growth allowed American children to gain access to early childhood education before they could proceed to elementary level of schooling. The educational programs offered in ECE are meant to improve the later school performance of those children in preschool years. The programs help the children to develop their social, intellectual, creative, physical, emotional, and cognitive capabilities (Peltzman, 2004).

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