I was surprised to learn that a disability and a handicap are two completely different things. I, like many people was under the impression that they were virtually identical. However, I now understand that a handicap is the consequence caused by the disability, such as the need for a large print book for someone who has a vision related disability. Thus, the disability is the limitation placed upon an individual due to a physical or mental impairment.
I was also surprised to learn that there are thirteen categories of disabilities. I was disappointed that the sub-categories for "specific learning disabilities, multiple disabilities, and other health impairments" were not detailed or at least listed. Maybe this will be addressed in a future chapter.
Itard's attempt to "civilize" Victor must have been an overwhelming project. I can't imagine trying to teach a child or anyone who has no communication skills, as we know it. I have trouble with my own four children who communicate quite well! .
I can see how the deterioration of the special education system in the late 1800's to early 1900's was a major setback. It has taken a significant amount of time to get this far and we still have a ways to go. I believe that the lack of knowledge and stereotyping are a major holdup for advancement of special education. I recognize that even today the stigma of the "crazy house" as portrayed in movies and books is an image that is hard to erase. Many of the institutionalized people probably just had learning disabilities and were not crazy!.
Teacher cooperation with other professionals is very important. I think that I prefer the team teaching approach, not only is there a chance for the students to have more one-on-one, but sometimes two different approaches are better than one. Some students will understand one teacher better than they will understand the other. .
I was disappointed to learn that there is not funding for the gifted and talented exceptional child, as there is for the special needs children.