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The School Counselor's Guide to Helping Students with Disabilities



The School Counselor's Guide to Helping Students with Disabilities

Laura E. Marshak, Claire J. Dandeneau, Fran P. Prezant, Nadene A. L'Amoreaux

ISBN: 978-0-470-17579-8 December 2009 Jossey-Bass 388 Pages


Down-to-earth advice for helping students with disabilities succeed

The School Counselor's Guide to Helping Students with Disabilities offers school counselors a practical guide for handling the complexities of working with children and youth who have disabilities. The book is organized to correspond with the myriad responsibilities and roles assumed by school counselors in elementary, middle and high school settings. The authors provide both seasoned and new school counselors with the insight and tools they need to successfully promote the academic, personal, social, and career success of students with disabilities.

  • Presents a wealth of relevant disability-related knowledge and useful strategies
  • Includes information on the most pertinent legislation pertaining to students with disabilities
  • Offers the most effective counseling interventions for helping young children or adolescents experiencing social exclusion because of their disabilities
  • Bonus section contains a wealth of disability-specific information with implications and practical applications for counselors

This important book brings together experts in two disciplines, school counseling and special education/disabilities, in order to address the practicalities and possibilities of working with students with disabilities.

Acknowledgments xi

About the Authors xiii

Preface xv


1 Possibilities and Practicalities 3

The Role of the School Counselor 6

Promoting Genuine Inclusion 8

Looking Out for Students 9

Addressing the Needs of Stakeholders: Parents, Teachers, and Students 10

Fostering Resilience 13

Amplified Needs 14

The ASCA National Standards Amplification of the Needs of Students with Disabilities 15

2 The Art of Helping Students with Disabilities 23

Everyday Distortions of People with Physical Disabilities 24

Spread and Global Evaluations 24

Typecasting 25

Distorted Perceptions of Students with Nonvisible Disabilities 28

Global Evaluation and Invisible Disabilities 30

Diagnosis and Perception 31

Possibilities: Seeing What Cannot Easily Be Seen 33

Possibilities: Predicting the Future 34

Seeing the Student in the Environment 35

Effective Helping Orientations: Social-Minority Versus Medical Models 37

Help That Is Helpful 39

Getting Comfortable 42

Logistics 44

Talking About a Student’s Disability 44

3 School Counseling Programs: Genuine Inclusion 47

The Foundation 48

Inclusion 49

Sameness Is Not Fairness 50

Ableism 50

Delivery System 52

Management 52

Accountability 53

From Theory to Practice 53

Targeted Advocacy 54

Systemic Advocacy 55

4 Protective Legislation and the School Counselor Role 57

How We Got Here: A Glimpse Back in Time 59

The Spirit of the Law Versus the Letter of the Law 62

Legislation and the School Counselor’s Responsibilities 63

Students Who Qualify for Special Education 64

Review of the Process That Culminates in the IEP Meeting 71

Importance of the IEP 72

Defining the Least Restrictive Environment 72

Behavior and Discipline: Special IEP Factors 73

Functional Behavior Assessment 74

Behavior Intervention Plan 75

The Transition Plan 75

Translating It All into Action 77

Section 504 and 504 Plans 78

NCLB and IDEA 80

Claudia’s Story 80

5 Partnering with Parents 85

A Glimpse of Common Parental Experiences 86

Stereotypes About Parents 89

Parental Stress 90

Neglectful and Abusive Parents 91

Partnering with Parents and Caregivers 92

What Parents Value in Helping Relationships 93

Responding to Parents’ Needs for Support and Empowerment 94

Common Barriers to Developing Collaborative Relationships with Parents 98

Critical School Transitions and Developmental Stages 98

Elementary School 99

Middle School or Junior High School 99

High School 99

Preparing for Transition 99


6 Meeting Students’ Academic Needs 111

The Purpose of Education and Academic Success 111

The Role of High-Stakes Testing 112

The Purpose of Inclusion 113

Amplified Academic Needs 114

Negative Academic Self-Concepts of Students with Disabilities 116

Twice-Exceptional Student Issues 118

Promoting Positive Academic Self-Concepts with Students with  Disabilities 119

Academic Interventions 119

Counseling Interventions 121

Modeling Self-Advocacy 122

Promoting Inclusion 123

Mind-Sets that Resist Inclusion and Responses to Challenge Them 125

Identifying Useful Accommodations and Technology 130

Including Families and Other Natural Supports 134

Promoting Academic Resilience 136

7 Meeting Elementary Students’ Personal and Social Needs 139

Fostering Social Integration in the Classroom 141

Creating a Classroom Climate Conducive to Social Integration 142

Resiliency and Self-Concept 156

Social Integration Beyond the Classroom 157

Critical Social School Environments Outside Class 158

Facilitating Social Integration: Fostering Social Skill Development 163

Social Integration, Resiliency, Social Skills, and the IEP 164

8 Meeting Adolescent Students’ Personal and Social Needs 167

Identity and Self-Esteem 169

Self-Esteem Development 169

Forming Identity 171

Sexuality Issues 174

Personal Self-Determination and Self-Advocacy 176

Social Skills: Basic and Specialized 178

High-Risk Activities 182

Substance Abuse 183

Unwanted Pregnancy and Sexual Abuse 183

Juvenile Delinquency 184

School Dropout 184

Dignity of Risk and Resiliency 185

Dignity of Risk 185

Resiliency 186

Integrating Personal and Social Competencies 187

9 Meeting Students’ Career-Planning Needs 189

Amplified Career Development Needs 190

What Is Realistic? 193

Expansive Realism in Action 195

Other Career Development Issues 196

Role Models and Mentoring 197

Standardized Career Assessment Instruments 198

Self-Determination and Self-Advocacy: Critical Assets in Career Planning 199

Transitional Planning 200

State and Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Services 201

Centers for Independent Living 203

On Your Own Without a Net 203

Transition to Work After High School Ends 204

Students with Disabilities and the ADA 204

Supported Employment for Students with Significant Disabilities 205

Transition to Postsecondary Education 206

Entrance Exams 206

Disclosing Disability Status 207

Choosing a College or University 208

Planning 209

The Intangible Benefits of Work for Students with Disabilities 209


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder 213

Anxiety Disorders 219

Asthma and Allergies 224

Autism 229

Bipolar Disorder and Depression 234

Cancer 239

Cerebral Palsy 243

Cystic Fibrosis 247

Deafness and Hearing Disorders 251

Degenerative Orthopedic Diseases (Muscular Dystrophy) 256

Diabetes  261

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome  266

Learning Disabilities  271

Mental Retardation  276

Oppositional Defiant Disorder/Conduct Disorder  280

Other Orthopedic Impairments  284

Seizures  289

Speech and Language Disorders  294

Spina Bifida  300

Traumatic Brain Injury  303

Visual Impairments  308

Conclusion 313

Notes 317

References 331

Index 349