Dignity, Function, & Choice: Ethical and Practical Considerations on Best Practices for Education Learners with Developmental Delays

In this opinion piece, written by J.A. Hyfler, the author offers considerations when educating individuals with developmental disabilities. Some of them we hold self-evident, but there has yet to be standardization, or guiding literature, of what should be normative when educating these learners. As such, the author is taking brief time to explore three concepts that need to be kept in mind when planning and executing a learners’ education. The main concepts and questions explored are: Is the dignity of the learner intact at all times? Is the therapy or curriculum functional? And does the therapy or curriculum leave ample opportunities for the leaner to make a choice? The author offers guidelines and examples of how to maintain these three core considerations that should be explored when looking at an exceptional learners’ education.

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