Language Is An Essential Component Of Normal Development

Language is an essential component of normal development. Because the vast majority of deaf children are born to no signing hearing parents, however, many of them will be denied access to many parts of the world until they have passed the most critical age for language acquisition, the first 2 to 4 years. Although spoken language is often believed to be an essential component of a child’s development, most available research indicates that for children with great hearing losses, exposure only to spoken language is likely to fall short of giving children the linguistic tools they need for academic and social purposes. All of this is not to say that speech therapy is unimportant for deaf children, only to emphasize that only a minority of deaf children without cochlear implants will develop spoken language skills sufficient for the needs of day to day life. For most children with implants, an emphasis on spoken language is clearly appropriate because, after all, the whole reason for an implant is to improve hearing and speech. It is still unclear, however, what the minimum threshold is for the amount of spoken language a deaf child needs to experience for successful implant use. Most likely, that threshold will be somewhat different for each child, consistent with the considerable heterogeneity seen among deaf children. Spoken language skills also are likely to be useful even for children who will later depend more on sign language, although enmity between those on the left and the right in the debate often makes discussion of that possibility difficult.

 

True sign language is characterized by the same kinds of features as spoken languages, including rules for formation, modification, and combination of units. Signs are generally characterized by several clearly defined characteristics such as handshape and movement. They are combined in grammatically defined ways using three- dimensional space and a variety of grammatical devices such as classifiers, used like pronouns, and linking movements. Like spoken words, most signs are arbitrary and combine with a manual alphabet, facial expression, and body movement to yield a full and natural language taught by deaf parents to their deaf children. Almost every country has its own sign language and some countries have more than one, corresponding to their multiple spoken languages. Consider, for example, American Sign Language, used in both the United States and English speaking parts of Canada. Parts of ASL, and especially the grammar, originally came from France, but it differs dramatically from both the sign language used in Quebec (la langue des signes quebecoise) and England (British sign language). remnants of Asl’s French past can be seen in the A-handshape used  in the sign year ( ‘’ L’annee ‘’ in French)  and the B-Hand used in Good ( “ Bon” in French ).

 

 

Regardless of the method —-signed or spoken —- deaf and hearing children need to have consistent access to a natural language if they are to have the tools necessary for becoming literate and getting a comprehensive education . whatever system a deaf child might experience at school , language learning cannot stop there . Unless deaf children can bring language home with them and use it during play, to get help with schoolwork, and to communicate with their families, they cannot be expected to reach their full potentials. If educators of deaf students are not yet producing high school graduates who are fully competent, the blame cannot be placed wholly on teachers and schools. The basic underpinnings of learning and education begin at home, years before the young deaf or hearing child goes off to school.

A Deaf child in the family # 2

There are, of course, ways other than speech in which parents can communicate with their deaf children. Within the first 24 hours after birth, for example, babies can distinguish their mothers from other women by how they smell, and by 3 days after birth, they can recognize their mothers by sight. On the mother’s side, several investigations have found that hearing mothers from other with deaf babies touch them more than do mothers with hearing infants. They also use more frequent and more exaggerated facial expression with their deaf infants, and they bring more things into their babies‘lines of sight so that they can share experiences and play together. But our knowledge about this apparent compensation for the lack of hearing in mother-child interactions come from observing mothers who already  know that their infants are deaf and therefore recognize the need to do something more than talk to their babies .

Our naïve assumption might be that hearing parents who unexpectedly have a deaf baby would go through a fairly long period of unintentionally treating him as though he could hear. They would talk to him and expect him to respond with attention, smiling, and his own share of gurgling and cooing. it likely would not take most parents very long to discover that talking to their baby is not as soothing as holding and stroking them , and those parents might be quickly “ trained “ by their babies to use more physical contact and face-to-face communication, even if they are unaware of it . Unfortunately, there is no way to evaluate this possibility, because as soon as a baby is identified as deaf, parents are likely to change their behavior.

As the vast majority of deaf children have hearing parents and those parents usually are unprepared to deal with the emotional and practical Issues related to having a deaf child. Whether due to denial or misunderstanding , without  newborn  hearing  screening , diagnosis of hearing losses in children who are not seen as “at risk ‘’ frequently do not occur until two to three years of age . Resulting delays in deaf children’s access to language during the critical stages of development (the first 2 to 3 years) have a variety of consequences in social, language, and academic areas. Newborn hearing screening and early intervention can help to support deaf infants and their families, but neither they nor implants make deaf children into hearing children.

Although many hearing parents will view their deaf child as disabled, the vast majority of deaf people are fully normal, contributing members of the community. Within the deaf community, art, deaf history, and deaf culture provide people with a unique identity and a network of friends, but they are simultaneously part of the larger inclusive community. Other deaf people choose to assimilate within the hearing community, do not sign (or do so rarely), and are involved with groups like the Alexander Graham bell Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Self-Help for the Hard of Hearing. Therefore, most deaf people, regardless of their identification with one community or other, resent patronizing attitudes that suggest that their lives are any less full or successful than those of hearing people.

A Deaf child in the family

Hearing losses in children who are not considered “at risk “are quite rare. As a result, in the absence of universal newborn hearing screening, diagnosis typically does not occur until a deaf child is between 2 and 3 years of age, when his language has fallen noticeably behind his playmates or when the preschool teacher suggests that something might be wrong. Boys are only slightly more likely to have serious hearing losses than girls, but the warning signs of hearing loss are often recognized later for them, because boys are notorious as slower language learners.

 

Relatively late diagnoses of hearing loss, on average, might be viewed two ways. From one perspective, if it takes 2 to 3 years to discover that a child is deaf, perhaps hearing loss does not have much of an impact during the first months of life. After all, how much hearing does a child need at that age? From another perspective, and the one that turns out to be correct, the late discovery of a hearing loss can have significant and far-reaching consequences. Late diagnoses mean that for the first months of their life, when most infants are hearing and beginning to learn the sounds of their native language, deaf children are not. Deaf infants do not hear their mothers coming down the hall nor do they turn to look when she enters the room. Those children are not soothed by their mother’s voice and do not respond to their to parents’ attempts to have “baby talk “conversations. While these might seem like relatively minor problems, they will have a lasting impact on the children, their parents, and on the relationships between them.

 

sweden trial to educate the dumb

                     In 1981,swedish sign language gained recognition by the swedish parliament as the language of deaf people , a decision that made sweden the first country in the world to give a sjgn language the status of a language . swedish was designated  as a second language for deaf people, and the need for bilingualism among them was  officially asserted . this was reflected in the first bilingual curriculum , introduced in special schools for the deaf and hard of hearing in 1983 , which stated that the language of instruction in these schools should be swedish sign language as well as swedish , the latter of which , for deaf children , was primarily intended to be in its written form . these provisions were designed to ensure that pupils would be able to develop their bilingualism . in 1994 , this curriculum was replaced by a new one that raised the bar even higher  . in accordance with this curriculum , schools became responsible for ensuring that  all deaf and hard of hearing pupils would be bilingual by the time they completed school .

National Publications of and for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people American Annals of The Deaf :

National Publications of and for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people

American Annals of The Deaf :

American Annal is a Scholarly journal and forefront of research related to the education of people who are deaf . Each April , a reference issue identifies programs and services for the deaf people nationwide .

Deaf Life :

A Monthly magazine , Deaf Life has published since 1988

Deaf Weekly :

Deafweakly is a free weekly e-zine for people who want to keep up with the news in the deaf and hard of hearing community

Hearing  Health:

Hearing Health is a quarterly resource guide for people who are deaf and hard of hearing . it is also directed to health care professionals , libraries , agencies , schools and organization working with deaf population .

Journal of Deaf studies and Deaf Education

This peer-reviewed scholarly Journal integrates and coordinates basic and applied research relatinf to individuals who are deaf , including cultural , developmental , linguistic , and educational topics.

Odyssey :

An Annual publication of the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center , Odyssey Features articles Covering a wide range of issues important to families of children who are deaf and hard of hearing and those involved with deaf education .Odyssey is distributed free of charge to  members of the mailing list .

World Federation of the Deaf News :

WFD News can be found online at the WFD website .

 

Deaf Culture 1

Deaf Culture #1

Is American Sign Language universal?

A common assumption about American Sign Language is that it is universal. This is, in fact, false. Just as spoken language has many variations, so does sign language. Many of the variations are members of related families of languages and many are independent of any other influences. Some of the major languages include American Sign Language, British Sign Language, and French Sign Language (LSF, or Langue des Signes Française).

While spoken American English and British English are similar enough that communication is not obstructed, the sign languages are different. Words, the alphabet, and grammar can all vary between different sign languages. Just as a hearing American who has never learned French is unable to understand a French speaker, a deaf American who knows ASL would not be able to understand LSF. Many signs in ASL were derived originally from LSF, but from mixing with local signs, the languages are now different.

Often, communities of Deaf people develop their own dialects and local slang, which can evolve into differences in the language. Every year, words are added to our dictionaries as they crop up and become popular, and sign language grows and changes, too.

Can deaf people drive?

Recently on YouTube, a video was posted of a dog that had been trained to drive a car. Porter, “The World’s First Driving Dog” carefully tours a track, steering the vehicle with his tongue hanging out and tail wagging. Fortunately, Porter isn’t on the open road, because he might cause accidents, which is a common misconception about deaf people.

Studies suggest that deaf people are actually often better drivers better than the hearing. Deaf people, because their other senses have adapted to a lack of hearing, are more visually alert than hearing people. The flashing lights on fire trucks and police vehicles are enough of a signal for a driver to be aware, even if he or she cannot hear the sirens.

Besides, if a deaf person shouldn’t drive because he or she may not be able to hear sirens, what about people that crank their music up so loud that they can’t hear over the bass? And those people don’t have adapted senses to work in their benefit!

What is the average reading level for a deaf person?

Reading is an essential part of most of our existences. In school, at work, or even for recreation, we read. Most deaf people read at a 3rd or 4th grade level. This is mostly attributed to the inability to connect letters with sounds. Since young deaf people are unable to hear the sound attached to each letter, disconnect results in a lack of ability to read well.

Other studies suggest that a deaf person trying to learn to read English is just as hard as a hearing person trying to learn the written version of another language. ASL is a separate language from English, and following all of the complexities and idiosyncrasies of spoken English is challenging enough, let alone learning the written version.

Unfortunately reading a 3rd or 4th grade level has implications. Newspapers are usually written at about a 5th grade level, or much higher, making them just barely accessible to many deaf people. Subject matter, as well as vocabulary will be more challenging the higher the reading level is, preventing comprehension and learning. Not being able to read also obstructs employment. Most jobs require at least some reading, so any challenging reading material will be a struggle.

ASL stands for?

American Sign Language.   As a visual language, ASL is a language, independent of English, for deaf people to communicate. ASL is a force that has helped empower many people that were, and often still are, considered deaf and dumb. From everything to signaling basic needs, to composing poetry and stories, ASL helps keep a culture unified. ASL has its own grammar, and is a living language that continues to change as it grows and develops. ASL is made up of gestures, body language, facial expressions, and space around the body to describe places and people that are not present.

Do deaf people have their own personal interpreter?

There are not nearly enough interpreters for each deaf person to have their own. Besides, deaf people do not always need an interpreter. For when they do, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, requires that all businesses open to the public must provide accommodations for people with disabilities. While deaf people mostly prefer not to be seen as disabled, this part of the act does protect their rights.

When a deaf person makes it known that he or she is in need of an interpreter, the organization must provide one, with no cost to the deaf person. Businesses can often seek interpreter networks to find a certified, professional interpreter. On the date and time the interpreter is needed, businesses can schedule an interpreter, or, if the appointment, meeting, etc. is longer than two hours, two interpreters. Interpreting can be pretty mentally exhausting, so sometimes alternating, or having a backup is necessary.

Since interpreters need to make a living as well, they can schedule interpreting for many different people at different times, rather than just being restricted to interpreting for one person. However, if a business is known to use a particular interpreter network, the deaf person can often request particular interpreters. This can allow the interpreter and deaf person to form a relationship which can lead to better understanding. And good, understandable communication is a right we all deserve.

 

How deaf people experience life today?

How deaf people experience life today is directly related to how they were treated in the past. It wasn’t long ago when the deaf were harshly oppressed and denied even their fundamental rights.

The are many famous deaf people who have made a name for the deaf throughout the history of sign language and proved that deaf people can, in fact, make history.

Who is Your Favorite Person from the history of sign language?
Share Your Thoughts!

Aristotle was the first to have a claim recorded about the deaf. His theory was that people can only learn through hearing spoken language. Deaf people were therefore seen as being unable to learn or be educated at all.

Therefore, they were denied even their fundamental rights. In some places, they weren’t permitted to buy property or marry. Some were even forced to have guardians. The law had them labeled as “non-persons”.

Aristotle’s claim was disputed in Europe during the Renaissance. Scholars were attempting to educate deaf persons for the first time and prove the 2,000 year old beliefs wrong. This mark in the history of sign language is what started the creation of a signed language.

Starting to Educate the Deaf

Geronimo Cardano, an Italian mathematician and physician, was probably the first scholar to identify that learning does not require hearing. He discovered, in the 1500s, that the deaf were able to be educated by using written words. He used his methods to educate his deaf son.

Pedro Ponce de Leon, a Spanish monk, was very successful with his teaching methods while teaching deaf children in Spain. This was around the same time that Cardano was educating his deaf son.
Juan Pablo de Bonet

Juan Pablo de Bonet, a Spanish priest, studied Leon’s successful methods and was inspired to teach deaf people using his own methods. Bonet used the methods of writing, reading, and speechreading as well as his manual alphabet to educate the deaf. His manual alphabet system was the first recognized in Deaf history. The handshapes in this alphabet corresponded to different sounds of speech.

Organized deaf education was non-existent until around 1750. This was when the first social and religious association for deaf people was founded by Abbe de L’Epee, a French Catholic priest, in Paris. Abbe Charles Michel de L’Epee is one of the most important people in the history of sign language.

A common story retold throughout the history of sign language claims that L’Epee encountered two deaf sisters by chance when visiting a poverty stricken area of Paris. Their mother wanted him to educate her daughters in religion. After discovering their deafness, he wanted to educate the sisters. Soon after, he completely dedicated his life to educating the deaf.

Abbe Charles Michel de L’Epee established the first public free deaf school in 1771. In English, the school is known as the National Institute for Deaf-Mutes. Deaf children came from all across France to attend the school. The deaf children had signed at home then brought these signs with them to the school. L’Epee learned all of these different signs and utilized the signs he learned to teach his students French.

These signs soon became a standard signed language L’Epee taught to the students. More schools were founded and the students brought this language back to their neighborhoods. The standard language L’Epee used in the history of sign language is known as Old French Sign Language. This language spread across Europe as more students were educated.

Today, Abbe de L’Epee is known in Deaf history as the “Father of the Deaf” because of the twenty-one schools he established and all he has done for the deaf.
Laura Bridgman

Many people say that Abbe de L’Epee invented sign language–which is not true. If you want to know who invented sign language, read my “Who Invented Sign Language” article.

Although Abbe de L’Epee claimed sign language is the native language for the deaf, Samuel Heinicke believed in Oralism. Oralism was brought about as people used speechreading and speech to teach deaf students instead of manual language.

Even though this positive advancement in Deaf history took place, oralism was the bump in the road.
Helen Keller

In relation to the deaf-blind, the first deaf-blind person to be educated was Laura Bridgman. She was born 50 years before Helen Keller, but is usually not credited with being the first deaf-blind person to learn language.

Helen Keller is the most well-known deaf-blind person (she has taken the credit before Laura Bridgman). While she wasn’t the first deaf-blind person to be educated, Helen was the first one to graduate from college, and she did it with honors.

Another common topic in the Deaf Community is deaf people and sports. My favorite deaf athlete is William “Dummy” Hoy. Dummy Hoy was the first deaf major league baseball player. He hit the first grand-slam home run in the American league, and created the hand signals that are still used in baseball today. I think it is so amazing that one deaf athlete can have so much impact and break so many records in baseball, yet many people don’t know about him. Truly amazing.

There are many famous deaf people in the history of America as well.Deaf Smith, for example, is famous for the important role he played in the Texas Revolution. Deaf Smith County, Texas is named after him.

American Sign Language

The history of American Sign Language has earned its own page. Please don’t forget to read about this important part of the history of sign language in the United States.

Speech versus Sign

Sign language is now seen as the native communication and education method for deaf people. However, it wasn’t always this way.

Even though sign language became commonly used, supporters of the oralism method believed the deaf must learn spoken language to fully function in hearing society.

Two of the largest deaf schools in America began educating the deaf in 1867 using only oral methods and encouraged all deaf schools to do the same. These methods did not use any sign language and began to spread to schools for the deaf across the U.S.

Probably the most devoted supporter of the oralism method was
Alexander Graham Bell

(yes, the man who invented the telephone). Bell started an institution in Boston in 1872 to train teachers of deaf people to use oral education. He was one person in the history of sign language who really tried to damage the lives of deaf people.

In 1890, he founded an organization that is now known as theAlexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf.
Alexander Graham Bell

The dispute of sign language versus spoken language continued for the next century. The International Congress on the Education of the Deaf met in Milan, Italy in 1880 to discuss the issue. This meeting is now known as the Milan Conference.

The supporters of the oralism method won the vote. Congress declared “that the oral method should be preferred to that of signs in the education and instruction of deaf-mutes”.

The outcome of the conference were devastating. Over the next ten years, sign language use in educating the deaf drastically declined. This milestone in the history of sign language almost brought the Deaf back to ground zero after all of their progress. Almost all deaf education programs used the oralism method by 1920.

Even though oralism won the battle, they did not win the war. American Sign Language still was primarily used out of the classroom environment. The National Association of the Deaf was founded in the United States and fought for the use of sign language. They gained a lot of support and maintained the use of sign language as they argued that oralism isn’t the right educational choice for all deaf people.

In 1960, something big happened. William Stokoe, a scholar and hearing professor at Gallaudet University, published a dissertation that proved ASL is a genuine language with a unique syntax and grammar.

ASL was henceforth recognized as a national language.

In 1964, the Babbidge Report was issued by Congress on the oral education of the deaf. It stated that oralism is a “dismal failure” which finally discharged the decision made at the Milan Conference.

In 1970, a teaching method was born that did not fully support either sign language or oralism. Instead, the movement attempted to bring together several educational methods to form Total Communication. This method became a new philosophy for deaf education.

Heather Whitestone
heatherwhitestone.com

Allowing the deaf access to information by any means, Total Communication can include fingerspelling, sign language, speech, pantomime, lipreading, pictures, computers, writing, gestures, reading, facial expressions, and hearing aids.

Another huge event in the history of sign language was the Deaf President Now (DPN) movement. The DPN movement unified deaf people of every age and background in a collective fight to be heard. Their triumph was a testament to the fact that they don’t have to accept society’s limitation on their culture.

In 1995, a woman named Heather Whitestone became the first deaf woman to be named Miss America in the Miss America pageant. She showed the world that a deaf person can do anything a hearing person can do, and that all things are possible with God’s help.

 

Factors Related to Effective Education of Students With Learning Disabilities

 

Many children and youth with diverse learning needs can and should be educated within the regular education classroom. This setting is appropriate for some, but not all, students with learning disabilities. More than 90% of students with learning disabilities are taught in regular education classrooms for some part of their school day. [1] When provided appropriate support within this setting, many of these students can achieve academically and develop positive self-esteem and social skills. The regular education classroom is one of many educational program options but is not a substitute for the full continuum necessary to assure the provision of an appropriate education for all students with learning disabilities.

In this paper, the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD) will identify (a) those factors necessary for an effective educational program for students with learning disabilities, (b) the problems related to serving students with learning disabilities in the regular education class room, and (c) the recommendations for actions required at the state, school district, and school building level to effectively educate students with learning disabilities within the regular education classroom.

 

Factors Related to Effective Education of Students With Learning Disabilities

As early as 1982, [2] the NJCLD took the position that “providing appropriate education for individuals must be the principle concept on which all educational programs and services are developed.” The NJCLD reaffirms its commitment to and support for the following:

  • The education, social, and emotional needs of the individual, the types of disabilities, and the degree of severity should determine the design and delivery of educational programs and services.
  • A continuum of education placements, including the regular education classroom, must be available to all students with learning disabilities and must be flexible enough to meet their changing needs.
  • Specialized instructional strategies, materials, and appropriate accommodations must be provided as needed.
  • Because the educational, social, and emotional needs of students with learning disabilities change over time, systematic and ongoing review of the student’s progress and needs is essential to make appropriate adjustments in current educational programs and related services.
  • Because learning depends on the quality of the programs and services provided, systematic and ongoing evaluation of programs and their effectiveness in producing desired long-term outcomes is essential.
  • Due to the chronic nature of learning disabilities and the changes that occur across the life span of the individual, coordinated educational and vocational planning are required. Therefore, provisions must be made to facilitate transitions that occur at all major junctures in the student’s education.
  • Social acceptance has a significant impact upon self-esteem of students with learning disabilities. Social acceptance of these students requires the sensitivity of the entire school community.
  • To ensure effective mainstreaming of students with learning disabilities, the building principle must set the tone for a positive and accepting learning environment for all children.

 

Problems

The NJCLD acknowledges the following problems related to the education of students with learning disabilities in regular education classrooms. Some of these problems are encountered by the teacher in the classroom while others are related to administrative policies and procedures. All of these problems must be addressed by public and private education agencies as plans are developed and implemented for the education of students with learning disabilities.

  • The regular education teacher is required to deal with multiple factors including an increasing number of students with diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, developmental variations, disabilities, family and social problems, and large class size. The co-occurrence of these factors compounds the situation.
  • Many regular education teachers are not prepared to provide the kinds of instruction that benefit a wide diversity of students in the classroom.
  • The characteristics of individuals with learning disabilities and the ways in which they interact with curricular demands are not understood by all school personnel.
  • Teachers often are required to adhere rigidly to a prescribed curriculum and materials, and, therefore, may not have the flexibility to address the unique needs of students with learning disabilities.
  • Adequate support services, materials, and technology often are not available for either the teacher or the student with learning disabilities.
  • Time and support for the ongoing planning and assessment that are needed to make adjustments in students’ programs and services often are inadequate.
  • Schools rarely have a comprehensive plan to evaluate the effectiveness of programs and services for students with learning disabilities, especially those served in regular educational classrooms.
  • Coordinated planning is lacking for students with learning disabilities as they make transitions from home to school to work, across levels of schooling and among educational settings.
  • Communication concerning students with learning disabilities among administrators, teachers, specialists, parents, and students is often insufficient to facilitate the development and implementation of effective programs.

 

Recommendations

Implementation of the following recommendations is essential to provide appropriate education for students with learning disabilities in regular education classrooms. Specifically, public and private education agencies should:

  • Establish system-wide and school-based plans for educating students with learning disabilities in the regular education classroom when such placement is appropriate. The responsibility for developing plans must be shared by regular and special educators, parents, and student consumers of the services. Once developed, a plan must be supported at all levels of the educational system.
  • Establish mechanisms for the development of collaborative relationships among professionals, parents, and students.
  • Establish instructional conditions and environments that allow teachers to capitalize on the strengths and remediate or compensate for the weaknesses of students with learning disabilities. These should include:
    • reasonable class size;
    • reasonable paperwork requirements and noninstructional assignments for teachers;
    • appropriate physical environments, including attention to noise levels;
    • sufficient time for teaching and collaborative planning;
    • appropriate materials and technology; and
    • flexibility in determining the array of skills necessary for attainment of overall curricular objectives.
  • Ensure the availability of services needed to support the education of students with learning disabilities in the regular education classroom, including:
    • appropriate related services for students;
    • consultation services for teachers;
    • direct services for students from teachers certified in the area of learning disabilities and other qualified professionals such as school psychologists, counselors, speech-language pathologists, reading teachers, audiologists, and social workers; and
    • teaching assistants/aides trained to work with students who have learning disabilities.
  • Provide time and support for planning and communication among and between professionals and parents.
  • Ensure the involvement and participation of the regular education classroom teacher in the development and implementation of the Individualized Education Program for students with learning disabilities served in regular education classrooms.
  • Establish a system-wide plan for helping students with learning disabilities to make transitions from home to school, from level to level through the school years, and from school to work and life in the community.
  • Conduct district and school-building level program evaluation of regular education classroom programs serving students with learning disabilities that focus on student progress and effectiveness of instruction. Based on the evaluation, modifications to the program should be made as needed.
  • Require in-service programs for all school personnel to give them the knowledge and skills necessary to provide education for students with learning disabilities in the regular education classroom. The in-service program should be:
    • research validated;
    • use components other than the single workshop format; and
    • include activities to help participants learn strategies to meet individual needs of students, foster attitudes conductive to educating students with learning disabilities in the regular education classroom, and promote collaboration.
  • Provide inservice programs for those school personnel who have not previously had such training in the following areas:
    • child and adolescent development
    • individual differences
    • spoken and written language development and disorders
    • cognitive development and learning theory
    • social and emotional development
    • cultural diversity
    • nature of learning disabilities
    • informal assessment
    • validated instructional strategies
    • adaptation of instructional materials and teaching techniques
    • classroom management
    • collaboration, consultation, and team teaching
    • multidisciplinary team interaction
    • parent and family support

The NJCLD acknowledges that implementation of these recommendations is challenging. For schools to succeed in educating students with learning disabilities in the regular education classroom, there must be a careful analysis of the factors which contribute to effective education and attention to the problems and recommendations included in this paper. A plan of action must be developed and implemented.

 

John Forbes Nash

John Forbes Nash Jr. (June 13, 1928 – May 23, 2015) was an American mathematician who made fundamental contributions to game theorydifferential geometry, and the study of partial differential equations.[2][3] Nash’s work has provided insight into the factors that govern chance and decision making inside complex systems found in daily life.

His theories are used in economicscomputing,evolutionary biologyartificial intelligence,accountingcomputer sciencegames of skillpoliticsand military theory. Serving as a Senior Research Mathematician at Princeton University during the latter part of his life, he shared the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with game theorists Reinhard Selten and John Harsanyi. In 2015, he was awarded the Abel Prize for his work onnonlinear partial differential equations.

In 1959, Nash began showing clear signs of mental illness, and spent several years at psychiatric hospitals being treated for paranoid schizophrenia. After 1970, his condition slowly improved, allowing him to return to academic work by the mid-1980s.[4]His struggles with his illness and his recovery became the basis for Sylvia Nasar‘s biography, A Beautiful Mind, as well as a film of the same namestarring Russell Crowe.[5][6][7]

On May 23, 2015, Nash and his wife, Alicia Nash, were killed in a car crash while riding in a taxi on theNew Jersey Turnpike.

 

Transformed By Trouble

Transformed By Trouble

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV)

It is the fire of suffering that brings forth the gold of godliness. Madame Guyon

 

God has a purpose behind every problem.

He uses circumstnces to develop our character. In fact, he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible. The reason is obvious: You face circumstances twenty-four hours a day.

Jesus warned us that we would have problems in the world. No one is immune to pain or insulated from suffering, and no one gets to skate through life problem-free. Life is a series of problems. Every time you solve one, another is waiting to take its place. Not all of them are big, but all are significant in God’s growth process for you. Peter assures us that problems are normal, saying, “Don’t be bewildered or surprised when you go through the fiery trials ahead, for this is no strange, unusual thing that is going to happen to you.”

God uses problem to draw you closer to himself. The Bible says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.” Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days-when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when you’re out of options, when the pain is great-and you turn to God alone. It is during suffering that we learn to pray our most authentic, heartfelt, honest-to-God prayers. When we’re in pain, we don’t have the energy for superficial prayers.

Joni Eareckson Tada notes, “When life is rosy, we may slide by with knowing about Jesus, with imitating him and quoting him and speaking of him. But only in suffering will we know jesus.” We earn things about God in suffering that we can’t learn any other way.

God could have kept Joseph out of jail, kept Daniel out of the lion’s den, kept Jeremiah from being tossed into a slimy pit, kept Paul from being shipwrecked three times, and kept the three Hebrew young men from being thrown into the blazing furnace-but he didn’t. he let those problems happen, and every one of those persons was drawn closer to God to as a result.

Problems force us to look to God and depend on him instead of ourselves. Paul testified to this benefit: “We felt we were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us.” You’ll never know that God is all you need until God is all you’ve got.

Regardless of the cause, none of your problems could happen without God’s permission. Everything that happens to a child of God is Father-filtered, and he intends to use it for good even when Satan and others mean it for bad.

Because God is sovereignly in control, accidents are just incidents in God’s good plan for you. Because every day of your life was written on God’s calendar before you were born, everything that happens to you has spiritual significance. Everything! Rooms  8:28-29 explains why: “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he close them to become like his son.”

UNDERSTANDING ROMANS 8:28-29

This is one of the most misquoted and misunderstood passages in the Bible. It doesn’t say, “God causes everything to work out the way I want it to.” Obviously that’s not true. It also doesn’t say, “God causes everything to work out to have a happy ending on earth.” That is not true either. There are many unhappy endings on earth.

We live in a fallen world. Only in heaven is everything done perfectly the way God intends. That is why we are told to pray, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” To fully understand Romans 8:28-29 you must consider it phrase by phrase.

“We know”: Our hope in difficult times is not based on positive thinking, wishful thinking, or natural optimism. It is a certainty based on the truths that God is in complete control of our universe and that he loves us.

“that God causes”: There’s a Grand Designer behind everything. Your life is not a result of random chance, fate, or luck. There is a master plan. History is His story. God is pulling the strings. We make mistakes, but God never does.  God cannot make a mistake-because he is God.

“everything”: God’s plan for your life involves all that happens to you-including your mistakes, your sins, and your hurts. It includes illness, debt, disasters, divorce, and death of loved ones. God can bring good out of the worst evil. He did at Calvary.

“to work together”: Not separately or independently. The events in your life work together in God’s plan. They are not isolated acts, but interdependent parts of the process to make you like Christ. To bake a cake you must use flour, salt, raw eggs, sugar, and oil. Eaten individually, each is pretty distasteful or even bitter. But bake them together and they become delicious. If you will give God all your distasteful, unpleasant experiences, he will blend them together for good.

“for the good”: This doesn’t say that everything in life is good. Much of what happens in our world is evil and bad, but God specializes in bringing good out of it. In the official family tree of Jesus Christ, four women are listed: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. Tamar seduced her father-in-law to get pregnant. Rahab was a prostitute. Ruth was not even Jewish and broke the law by marrying a Jewish man. Bathsheba committed adultery with David, which resulted in her husband’s murder. These were not exactly sterling reputations, but God brought good out of bad, and Jesus came through their lineage. God’s purpose is greater than our problems, our pain, and even our sin.

“of those who love God and are called”: This promise is only for God’s children. It is not for everyone. All things work for bad for those living in opposition to God and insist on having their own way.

“according to his purpose”: What is that purpose? It is that we “become like his Son.” Everything God allows to happen in your life is permitted for that purpose!

BUILDING CHTRISTLIKE CHARACTER

We are like jewels, shaped with the hammer and chisel of adversity if a jeweler’s hammer isn’t strong enough to chip off our rough edges, God will use a sledgehammer. If we’re really stubborn, he uses a jackhammer. He will use whatever it takes.

Every problem is a character-building opportunity, and the more difficult it is, the greater the potential for building spiritual muscle and moral fiber. Paul said, “We know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character.” What happens outwardly in your life is not as important as what happens inside you. Your circumstances are temporary, but your character will last forever.

The Bible often compares trials to a metal refiner’s fire that burns away the impurities. Peter said, “These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold.” A silversmith was asked, “How do you know when the silver is pure?” He replied, “When I see my reflection in it.” When you’ve been refined by trials, people can see Jesus’ reflection in you. James said, “Under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.”

Since God intends to make you like Jesus, he will take you through the same experiences Jesus went through. That includes loneliness, temptation, stress, criticism, rejection, and many other problems. The Bible says jesus “learned obedience through suffering” and “was made perfect through suffering.” Why would God exempt us from what he allowed his own Son to experience? Paul said, “We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!”

RESPONDING TO PROBLEMS AS JESUS WOULD

Problems don’t automatically produce what God intends. Many people become bitter, rather than better, and never grow up. You have to respond the way Jesus would.

Remember that God’s plan is good. God knows what is best for you and has your best interests at heart. God told jeremiah, “The plans I have for you [ are ] plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Joseph understood this truth when he told his brothers who had sold him into slavery, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” Hezekiah echoed the same sentiment about his life-threatening illness: “It was for my own good that I had such hard times.” Whenever God says no to your request for relief, remember, “God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best.”

It is vital that you stay focused on God’s plan, not your pain or problem. That is how Jesus endured the pain of the cross, and and we are urged to follow his example: “Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards.” Corrie ten Boom, who suffered in a Nazi death camp, explained the power of focus: “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be dpressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest!” Your focus will determine your feelings. The secret of endurance is to remember that your pain is temporary but your reward will be eternal. Moses endured a life of problems “because he was looking ahead to his reward.” Paul endured hardship the same way. He said, “Our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!”

Don’t give in to short-term thinking. Stay focused on the end result: “If we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later.”

Rejoice and give thanks. The Bible tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” How is this possible? Notice that God tells us to give thanks “in all circumstances” not “for all circumstances.” God doesn’t expect you to be thankful for evil, for sin, for suffering, or for their painful consequences in the world. Instead, God wants you to thank him that he will use your problem to fulfill his purposes.

The Bible says, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” It doesn’t say, “Rejoice over your pain.” That’s masochism. You rejoice “in the Lord.” No matter what’s happening, you can rejoice in God’s love, care, wisdom, power, and faithfulness. Jesus said, “ Be full of joy at that time, because you have a great reward waiting for you in heaven.”

We can also rejoice in knowing that God is going through the pain with us. We do not serve a distant and detached God who spouts encouraging clichés safely from the side line. Instead, he enters into our suffering. Jesus did it in the Incarnation, and his spirit does it in us now. God will never leave us on our own.

Refuse to give up. Be patient and persistent. The Bible says, “Let the process go on until your endurance is fully developed, and you will find that you have become men of mature character… with no weak spots.”

Character building is a slow process. Whenever we try to avoid or escape the difficulties in life, we short-circuit the process, delay our growth, and actually end up with a worse kind of pain-the worthless type that accompanies denial and avoidance. When you grasp the eternal consequences of your character development, you’ll pray foewer “Comfort me” prayers (“Help me feel good”) and more “Conform me” prayers (“Use this to make me more like you”).

You know you are maturing when you begin to see the hand of God in the random, baffling, and seemingly pointless circumstances of life.

If you are facing trouble right now, don’t ask, “Why me?” Instead ask, “What do you want me to learn?” Then trust God and keep on doing what’s right. “You need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion.” Don’t give up-grow up !

DAY TWENTY-FIVE

THINKING ABOUT MY PURPOSE

Point to ponder: There is a purpose behind every problem.

Verse to remember: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Question to Consider: What problem in my life has caused the greatest growth in me?