However, students with mental illness may experience symptoms that interfere with their educational goals and that create a "psychiatric disability." These symptoms may include, yet are not limited to: A student with a mental illness may have one or more of the following psychiatric diagnoses (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Bipolar affective disorder (BAD, previously called manic depressive disorder).
The first priority for teachers and parents is to identify special needs students and figure out how to give them equal education opportunities.
They should begin by asking two important questions: Special education focuses on academic programs that help individuals who are physically, mentally or emotionally impaired.
Children previously not served by music educators are now being served.
Many times a music therapist is hired to serve students with special needs; however, this is not the norm.
Tens of thousands of students enrolled in American postsecondary institutions report having a mental illness.
Recent increases in the size of this group are due in part to improved medications that result in symptoms mild enough for them to enjoy the benefits and meet the challenges of postsecondary education.In a world of budget cuts, staffing shortages and larger class sizes, understanding the laws that surround special education programs in U. schools is crucial to building an inclusive learning environment for every student — from those with physical and learning disabilities, to exceptionally gifted children, and every child in between.The National Center for Education Statistics estimates roughly 70 percent of today’s students are enrolled in elementary or middle schools.Students with psychiatric disabilities are entitled to reasonable academic accommodations as provided by the American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 19 amendments.Providing effective accommodations allows students equal access to academic courses and activities.Because most music therapists still need a teaching credential to get into the school system, a therapist is not always available and it becomes the responsibility of the music educator to include the special needs students.