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Does anyone have any specific guidance for a strong STEM student with ADHD and Dyslexia that may want a career teaching STEM subject to students with similar disabilities?

I'm a high school senior with ADHD and Dyslexia. I also have been successful taking high level math and science classes as well as AP digital art. I am considering a career where I can help other students with similar disabilities be successful in their STEM classes and, hopefully, pursue their own STEM career. Beyond a "normal" education degree that may not provide the specialized education specific to STEM, are there particular courses, majors, minors, or internships that I should be considering? #teaching #stem #special-education #educational-technology #dyslexia

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Douglas’s Answer

I'm not much up on the education process of Maryland, but where I'm from, I've had a little experience. My daughter has dyslexia. Her high school had a program for dyslexic students that she absolutely loved. I recommend you start where you go. Talk to your counselor.Find out if there is a teacher designated for students who have these needs. They should be trained to help you get into the college of your choice, working to the career you want. My daughter is in college right now, studying to be an English teacher. All things are possible!

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John’s Answer

Hello Jordan

I am 30 years ahead of you. Dyslexic and STEM lover. High school was horrible, college wasn't as bad but here is my advice to make it more enjoyable. My associates degree in applied science was tough. No accommodations and I had to keep up with the other students for time. From this I learned to choose a school for there accommodations and flexibility with the programs. My bachelor's degree wasn't bad and I got accommodations, extra time for test taking and I could have had my test read to me if I needed them too. This college also made me get my dyslexia retested as my original diagnosis was over 10 years old. This is something that not all school do because, lets face it, there is no cure for dyslexia. My master's program I did entirely online. Now this takes a lot more discipline but no timed test and they mostly only cared for my knowledge but presentations were tough, mostly because each professor had their own "favorit" technology that I had to learn. I got my best GPA 3.87 in this program because a masters program is nearly entirely about the subject courses you want to study and I was very interested in environmental, health and safety. I did have a writing class for my first and last classes. These were the only classes that I needed help with as the rules of grammar are not rules I generally follow very well.

John recommends the following next steps:

Research college with the programs you like and then find out if they have accommodates. Most will have some but you can always run into a professor who simply doesn't believe in dyslexia. Yes, there are some out there in higher education and Yes, you may still have to take their class to get the degree you want. Sorry, but it's true.
Get yourself a good computer. You will need it not only for writing but also downloading book. If your not getting them already audio books will greatly reduce your reading burden. Audible.com and Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic are both places to find book but there are others and unlike when I was in my first college you can download them with ease. I used to have to wait to get them in the make and use an old cassette player to play them.
Look for devices that can help you. There are text - to - read devices. I have a reading pen that I can run across document and have it read to me and I have seen text - to - read devices that take a phone, download the page and read it to you aloud.
I would also look into so grammar software that could be helpful. Grammarly is the most recent one I am using now and it seem to do a good job.
Lastly, give yourself time. A four year degree doesn't have to be done in four years. If it take you five no problem. If you have to take a summer course to keep up, that is okay. Take the time pressure off yourself and come up for air. It will make life all that more enjoyable.

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Christina Marie’s Answer

Hi Jordan,

I would consider the STEM program available at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). They not only have a Master's program available, but also offer various volunteer opportunities and organizations where you can be exposed to that population and equip yourself with the best practices as a teacher who works with students with varying abilities. For example, they have a program called the CCS program where you could become a Residential Life Mentor and receive free housing in exchange for living as a mentor to college students who share similar diagnoses and benefit from a mentor who will instruct them in daily life skills as well as other areas. You can find more information in the following link: https://ccs.tcnj.edu/

I wish you the best on your future endeavors and hope that you continue with the same passion and dedication mentioned in your summary. Don't be afraid to call the college from direct advice from the CCS Program Coordinator, Victoria Swift :)

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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Jordan,

Students with learning disabilities, autism, mental retardation, speaking impediments, physical disabilities, and emotional problems can qualify for special education instruction and services. Teachers usually work with specific groups. Identifying students with disabilities is an essential duty of special education teachers.

Special education teachers work with students individually, assign problem solving projects, and organize small group projects. When students need special test taking accommodations, special education teachers coordinate these accommodations.

Special education teachers design an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for all special needs students. The IEP includes a student's goals, and it is designed to cater to the student's needs. The IEP may include a plan to help students make the transition to middle or high school. Special education teachers review a completed IEP with parents, teachers, and administrators. They also keep parents up to date about their child's progress.

Special education teachers prepare lessons, assign students with projects tailored to their needs, and grade papers. They also help students develop social skills and teach them strategies to deal with emotional problems. Special education teachers also provide career counseling.

Special education and other teachers are working together in general education classrooms. Special education teachers collaborate with other teachers to develop curriculum and assist special needs students. Special education teachers spend a lot of their time speaking with teachers, therapists, social workers, parents, etc., to make sure students' needs are being met.

Some special education teachers have their own classrooms while many team teach with general education teachers. Certain special education teachers work in resource rooms where students can come for help. It is rare for special education teachers to tutor students at their homes or work in a residential facility.

Bachelor's Degrees in Special Education:

To enter a bachelor's degree program, a successful candidate must have a high school diploma or GED. Generally, a bachelor's degree program covers general education courses in addition to special education coursework over four years. Undergraduate special education majors begin with introductory courses in education or psychology. Sophomore students participate in core courses covering education, psychology and child development. Third-year students begin the specialized training required for special education majors, including supervised experiences and classroom visits. Senior students prepare for certification and graduation with advanced coursework and student teaching.

General studies constitute about 40 percent of the undergraduate program; 20 percent is devoted to education psychology and child growth and development; the remaining 40 percent concentrates on the knowledge and skills needed for the education of students with disabilities. Many universities have instituted a fifth undergraduate year (or post-baccalaureate year) for special education majors, designed to provide additional training in educational psychology, legal issues of special education, and other highly specialized topics.

Master's Degrees in Special Education:

In some cases where the prospective special education major holds a general education degree, they may participate in further study to meet the special education requirements. All 50 states require public school teachers to hold a bachelor's degree and complete an approved teacher preparation program with a prescribed number of subject and education credits and supervised practice teaching. Many states require special education teachers to obtain a master's degree in special education as well as additional student training in order to become licensed. Compared to general education teachers, special education teachers routinely undergo longer periods of training as well as more intensive student teaching periods.




Best of luck in this great career!!

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