Assisting in Severely Disabled Pupils' Personal Care/Medical Needs

Many students who are served by teachers with special education degrees have severe and/or multiple disabilities as well as personal care or medical needs. For many teachers with special education degrees, this means assisting with such needs or ensuring others in the classroom, such as teacher's assistants, take care of such needs. For example, a student with severe epilepsy might need to have medication administered regularly. Teachers and teacher’s assistants also will have to know how to manage a seizure and help the student deal with the social and psychological implications of having epilepsy. Teachers and teacher’s assistants can also be the first to notice changes in the student and his or her medical condition, which should be reported to the student's parents or guardians and medical professionals. Other special education students might need some type of machine with them in the classroom, which means a special education teacher or teacher's assistant would monitor the machine and ensure it is working. Still other special education students might need assistance eating, cleaning up after themselves, or using the lavatory. Special education teachers or teacher’s assistants can also spend time helping special education students learn functional skills like good grooming habits. Support of such basic life activities can be a major part of a special education teacher's day.

Last Updated: 05/07/2014

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