Arkansas Special Education Personnel Recruitment & Retention
Career Choices

Who are Special Educators, Early Intervention and Related Service Providers?

Special educators, early intervention and related service providers are just like YOU…
  • creative problem solvers;
  • capable of understanding a variety of learning styles and teaching strategies;
  • care about the future of infants, young children and youth with disabilities and their families
  • team players;
  • intelligent, organized and flexible;
  • lifelong learners; and
  • prepared to meet the challenges of their profession with confidence and enthusiasm.
YOU can make a real difference in the lives of infants, young children, and youth with disabilities.
What they do…
Special educators and related service providers can have many roles and responsibilities in any given educational setting. Their activities each day will be determined by the children they are working with, the kinds and severity of disabilities those students have, the children's ages, and the setting in which they are working.

For example, a high school special education teacher who is co-teaching a class with a general education teacher, a special education teacher in a special school for children with emotional and behavior disorders, and a speech/language therapist who has children coming in and out all day will all have very different activities and responsibilities. Yet, one important and challenging role they have in common is assessing how each child learns and then determining how to design or modify instruction so that the child can achieve meaningful educational progress.

Finding ways to help children be successful, no matter what the task or challenge, is a very rewarding experience for everyone involved!
Where they work…
Special educators, early intervention and related service providers work in many different environments. Some work in private schools, residential facilities, hospitals, clinics or in-home settings. Most, however, work in the public schools in a variety of settings, including:
  • Self-contained Classrooms
    This is a classroom specifically set aside for children with disabilities.
  • Resource Rooms
    Here specialized instruction is provided to students with disabilities who come in for part of the school day, either individually or in small groups.
  • General Education Classrooms
    In these settings, special educators, early intervention and related service providers work closely with general education teachers to meet the needs of the students.
When infants, young children, and youth with disabilities, and their families receive appropriate instruction and services from well-trained teachers, paraprofessionals, and early intervention and related service providers, they often make substantial progress in many aspects of their lives.
Who they work with…
Infants, young children, and youth with disabilities, and their families, who receive special education instruction and are provided early intervention and related services, vary greatly in their needs and backgrounds. Like all children, they…
  • differ from one another in ability, age, learning style and personality;
  • come from various cultural backgrounds and may speak different languages; and
  • have unique learning needs.
Yet, due to the impact of their disabilities, they also require special education and related services, such as specially designed instruction, adapted materials, speech-language therapy, or adaptive physical education. Infants, young children, and youth with disabilities require specialized education, early intervention and/or related services because they may have…
  • cognitive impairments, such as mental retardation;
  • learning disabilities that require specific teaching strategies;
  • physical disabilities that limit their mobility;
  • sensory impairments, such as hearing loss and vision impairments;
  • emotional or social disabilities;
  • traumatic brain injury;
  • autism;
  • speech or language impairments;
  • chronic health problems; and
  • multiple disabilities.
Working with infants, young children and youth with disabilities, and their families can make a difference in their lives and YOURS!

This initial development of this website was funded by the National Center for Special Education Personnel and Related Service Providers, a federally funded project of the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Its contents and maintenance is the sole responsibility of the Arkansas Department of Education.
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