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Pursuing Jobs in Special Education

Marc Lafayette

For many people, there is no more rewarding career than one in special education. Careers in special education can vary quite a lot in scope and in the details, but they all involve helping children or adults who have some form of special needs. Some roles are designed to help students learn basic human skills, while others are designed to help them grow and become independent in society. The exact curriculum will depend on the condition and challenges of the student, but there are many areas in which someone can find fulfilling positions.

Many jobs in special education consist of being a teacher in a school classroom setting. This position looks exactly like a regular classroom teaching job on the outside, only special skills must be learned to meet the special challenges of the students. Some of these challenges may include developmental delays, learning disabilities, brain injuries or autism spectrum disorders.

School psychology jobs are another branch on the special education tree that is necessary and effective for different emotional and behavioral disorders. These positions may take the candidate right into the classroom, or they may take place in a more formal, office type setting.

Some other jobs in special education include speech therapy and language disorder jobs, early intervention specialists, art therapists, adapted physical education jobs and educational audiologists. Many of these types of roles deal with the basics of learning and everyday skills, while others will deal with physical skills, and still others focus on emotional skills. Sometimes, school psychologists or school nurses are used just to tie all the loose ends together and make the overall service complete for the students. School nurses may not require specific knowledge of special education challenges and needs like a teacher would, but they will still need to adopt practices and methods that are effective with a wide range of students.

The hard skills that special education teaching requires are learned as part of the teacherís schooling, but there are other personality traits that are very helpful. People placed in school therapist jobs must have a high degree of natural patience and empathy toward others. Their careers can lead to working with infants, toddlers, kids, teens or adults. Every one of them will have some challenge that makes it difficult for them to get along in society, and it is up to the teacher to help them understand and break free. Special education jobs require energy and it is essential to handle multiple tasks at one time.

If youíre interested in school therapy jobs when youíre still in high school, make an appointment to speak with your guidance counselor about how you should proceed to reach your goals. If you start taking the necessary courses as early as possible, youíll be able to land a career in special education sooner. The rewards of having a career that involves helping people who otherwise would slip through the cracks of society go far beyond mere career advancement and financial gain. The smiles of those who are better off for having received your help are as fulfilling as a reward can be.

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