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In the past, the educational system used to classify the children into categories concerning the physical, mental or emotional difficulties that they were presented. The parallel operation of mainstream and special schools was promoting the dual system of education. Thus, the exclusion of children with special educational needs (SEN) from the mainstream school consolidates further the selective nature of education ().

However, during the twentieth century, the society managed to escape from the prejudices of the past regarding the diversity (Stefa, 2002). Specifically, teachers' organisation (εκπαιδευτικοί κύκλοι) began to reject the institutional care and the marginalisation of people with SEN and laid the foundation for a school that guarantees the right to education for all children. These views led to the gradual adjustment of the educational policy in the field of special education and the transition from the operation of special schools in the operation of integration in schools (σχολεία ένταξης) (Tafa, 1997).

Essentially, the integration aimed at placing children with SEN in mainstream schools, in order to use the same facilities, to benefit from the own financial resources and to be taught under the same curriculum with their peers in the mainstream classrooms (Tilstone, 2000). However, the application of integration has led to opposition and criticism from a large portion of researchers, arguing that it fails to secure the meaningful participation of children with SEN in mainstream schools and in the wider society (2 onomata). Specifically, the integration benefited greatly pupils with physical disabilities and mild learning difficulties. Unlike pupils with severe learning difficulties and emotional disturbances, who experienced in fact greater isolation than previously in special schools (Gena, 1997).

So, as the concept of integration reached a conceptual impasse, a new trend has occurred in the educational events referred to as inclusion. Schools that implement inclusion practices are adopting the principle that all children in a community should learn together, regardless of their individual circumstances (). The new school is trying to respond in a meaningful way to the needs of all pupils, placing at the centre the learning process of the child. Furthermore, the involvement of children with SEN in the mainstream school paved the way for the involvement of teachers with these children (Fletcher-Campbell, 2001).

The clarification of the terminology of inclusive education (Μήπως είναι πολύ μεγάλος για τίτλος?)

The inclusive education has been dominated in the area of special education since the nineties and managed to give a different meaning in the education of children with SEN (). Stainback and Stainback (1992), define the inclusion as the placement of children with SEN in the mainstream schools. The services provided in these schools, to these children base solely on their needs rather than their disability. This support takes place within the overall policy and objectives of the curriculum and is adapted to the specificities of these children. In order, to achieve the inclusion, the key prerequisite is the right proportion of pupils with SEN in each class of the mainstream school. That means that a good design is necessary, so as each class to receive a small number of pupils with SEN and be able to support them (Stainback and Stainback, 1992; Boudah et al., 2000).

Sebba and Ainscow (1996), describe the inclusion as a process in which the school tries to meet the individual needs of all pupils by the revision of the curriculum. In this way the school creates favourable conditions, in order to receive all the children of the local community and limit by this way their placement in special schools (Sebba and Ainscow, 1996). Furthermore, in accordance with Bailey (1998), the inclusion is "the involvement and participation of children with SEN with their peers in the mainstream school. These children follow the same curricula, the same time, in the same classrooms, having full acceptance of all, so as not to feel any difference when compared with their peers". Furthermore, Bailey (1998) defines the inclusion as an ongoing process, not only related to the access of children with SEN in mainstream schools but also to the abolition of the dual educational system. Mainly he is referring to the new role of the teaching staff, the attitudes of the head masters and the adaptation of curricula, with a view to ensure the greatest possible participation of children in mainstream education (Bailey, 1998; Clough et al., 2000).

Booth (1996), from his side has stated that the inclusion as a concept involves two procedures: a) the process of increasing the participation of children with SEN in coursework and activities of the mainstream schools and b) the process of reducing the isolation of pupils' from the educational and social events.

The legislation that contributed to the implementation of inclusion / The legislation of the inclusive education (Ποιόν θεωρείς καλύτερο?)

It is being known that many years passed, until it was taken into account that people with disabilities should be an integral part of our society. A key factor, which contributed to the acceptance of those people and the application of inclusion, is the law, which emphasized the consolidation of educational rights of all children and led to the limitation of exclusion of children with SEN in mainstream education ()

In the mid seventies, the views around the area of special education began to differ radically compared to the past. In 1974, the Committee of Enquiry was established, also known as the Warnock committee, in order to revise the educational benefits for children with SEN. The committee, after four years of study, drafted the famous Warnock report, which brought significant changes in the education of children with SEN in Britain. The Warnock report (Department for Education and Science, 1978) was the one that first highlighted the importance of integrating children with SEN in the mainstream school and argued in favour of limiting the special schools (idio reference me Athina!!!)

In 1981 the <<New Educational Act>> was voted. This act launched two major changes: a) the Local Education Authorities have taken a responsible role for the educational benefits of children with SEN and b) the parents acquired the right to participate actively in the process of assessing the situation of their children and the decision on their school attendance (Lindsay, 2003; Woll, 2000). The Education Act of the 1981 was amended in 1988 and 1993. The most important amendment in 1993 highlighted the need for placement of children with SEN in the mainstream school and also the need for education programs with appropriate assistance and dedicated staff, wherever is necessary (Evans and Lunt, 2002; Lindsay, 2003; Tzouriadou, 1995; Woll, 2000).

At the beginning of the nineties, it began to raise the question of revising the concept of integration and the need for a new educational practice of inclusion was highlighted. The British Government has accelerated the implementation of the policy of inclusion in 1997, with the adoption of the Green Paper (Department for Education and Employment, 1997) and the special Educational Needs Action Program (Department for Education and Employment, 1998). These settings are referring to the need for meaningful participation of children with SEN - in cases of mild difficulties- within the mainstream school. Finally, in the New Section 316 (Education Act-1996) is emphasising that a pupil with SEN should be educated in a mainstream school, unless his/her parents do not want to and if this child limits the effectiveness of education for pupils without SEN (Evans and Lunt, 2002; Lindsay, 2003).

In 1975 the PL 94-142 (Education for All Handicapped Children act- 1975) was voted. For the first time in the history of education for all children, regardless of the severity of their situation, they had the right to free public education. Furthermore, the parents became able to participate in the design of the curricula (Lombardi and Woodrum, 1999; Smith et al., 1998; Tzouriadou, 1995).

Finally, it should be noted that an important impetus to the implementation of the practice of inclusion was given by the Salamanca Statement. In June 1994, 92 governments and 25 international organizations, with the initiative of UNESCO, they signed the Salamanca Statement. The basic vision of the Statement was <<Education for All>> and promoted the idea of inclusion of children with and without SEN in mainstream schools (Stefa, 2002). The Statement essentially was claiming the right of pupils with SEN for equal participation in mainstream education and the need to be accepted with their differences and the development of practices, in order to combat the segregation by the pupils without SEN of the school. Mainstream schools should adopt a (παιδοκεντρική παιδαγωγική) pedagogy tailored to the needs of all children. Finally, the mainstream school that implement the practices of inclusion are the most effective way to fight segregation and contribute to a society that provides equal education for all (Lidsay, 2003; Unesco, 1994; Mitcell, 2004).

Features of inclusion

The inclusion emerged as the most equitable approach to the education, to pupils with SEN, within the mainstream schools. Its aim is the active participation of those children in the school life and their approach as equal members of the school community (Farrell, 2000). The mission of a school that adopts the practices of inclusion is the full acceptance of the different capacities of children, the responding to all their learning needs, and the equal treatment without discrimination (Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, 1999).

The inclusion substantially contributed to the revision of teaching strategies of teachers, to the ability to use supportive material in order to help pupils with SEN and to the social interaction of children's self-diversity (Porter, 1997). In mainstream classrooms, the pupil with SEN is not treated as a patient who needs treatment. In contrast, the mainstream classroom is considered to be the best learning environment for the entire school population. Moreover, the teachers of the mainstream schools receive the necessary support to enable them to respond to the specificity of a classroom in which pupils with and without SEN study. Furthermore, the pupils' needs are assessed individually, so as an appropriate program is being designed to support both pupils and teachers (Porter, 1997).

Many researchers found that in an inclusive classroom none pupil is excluded from the educational opportunities because of the type and the degree of his/her disability provided that the natural proportion of pupils with and without SEN is kept/under control (τηρείται). Also, in inclusive classrooms, the cooperative learning and supportive assistance is adopted to pupils with SEN. Furthermore, personalised instruction and effective teaching techniques are developed from the teachers and are applied in favour of all the children (Mastropieri and Struggs, 2001; Sailor, 1991).

During the decade of 1990 a team of English researchers developed a program on the implementation of inclusive in elementary and secondary schools. The findings of the research were published in 2000, entitled <<Index for Inclusion>> (Vislie, 2003). This index is even today a valuable guide for teachers to develop effective inclusion practices. According to the index, the inclusion is characterised by: Reducing the isolation of pupils with SEN in conjunction with their increased participation in school activities in their neighbourhood. Also, an equal treatment of all pupils by the teaching staff is included to the index. Response to the diversity of pupils, as a mean of supporting learning technique and not as a problematic situation that has to be overcome. Finally, the improvement of the learning conditions for both pupils and their teachers.

Models of inclusion

The inclusion of children with SEN in the mainstream schools can take several forms ranging from the head masters' participation of the school, but also ranging from the children who are enclosed in the school. Norwich (2000), through a systematic survey addressed the basic four models of inclusion, which seen as the most worthwhile. Specifically he states: the full non-exclusionary inclusion, the focus on participating in same place, the focus on individual needs and the choice-limited inclusion.

The first model promotes the placement of children with SEN in the mainstream school. This model seeks to foster harmonious coexistence and interaction between all children, without isolating some of them because of their differences. The second model, unlike the first, considers necessary to provide additional assistance and support to children with SEN within the mainstream classroom from qualified personnel or in resource rooms when this is necessary. The third model of inclusion promotes mainly the placement of children in special schools, only when the presence of those children is detrimental to the academic performance and social behaviour of other pupils. The latter model advocates the placement of children in special schools, and notes that the special schools do not emphasise the diversity of these children, but make them feel as they are in a familiar environment.

The role of the teacher

The teacher is undoubtedly the key factor in the learning process as he/she is the one who brings the child together with the cultural property (φέρνει σε επαφή το παιδί με με το μορφωτικό αγαθό) (Doikou, 2000).

The inclusion of children with and without SEN in mainstream schools can only be succeed if the teacher of the mainstream school tries to bring the potential of children with SEN in the learning environment of the mainstream classroom. The presence of children with SEN in the mainstream classroom, recommends a change and a new direction concerning the educational work of the teacher of the mainstream school, who is now responsible for the implementation of inclusion and changing attitudes towards it (Tzouriadou, 1995). Furthermore, it is essential, the teacher to be able to maintain the control, so as to foster harmony among pupils with and without educational needs. Finally, he/she needs to be informed on matters concerning the legislation on special education (Riddell and Brown, 1994; Lombardi and Woodrum, 1999; Smith et al., 1998).

The positive and negative arguments of inclusion

The literature reflected a variety of different views on the implementation of inclusion. Some researchers believe that inclusion can develop social relationships between pupils with and without SEN. This view is supported both from teachers and parents of children with SEN. There is also the opposite view, according to which, there are no clear data showing that the inclusion provides better education in mainstream classrooms for pupils with SEN. In parallel, there is the middle way, whereby the inclusion can be achieved by the designing of curriculum, the appropriate training of teachers and headmasters and the adequacy of financial resources (Forlin, 2004).

More specifically, the proponents of inclusion indicate that the main advantage is that it offers access to pupils with SEN in the curriculum of mainstream education and provides opportunities for developing social relations between their peers (Mastropieri and Struggs, 2001).

According to Salend and Garrick-Duhaney (1999) the inclusion contributes significantly to the improved academic performance and satisfaction in learning of pupils with SEN. At the same time Vaughn et al. (1996), indicate that children with and without SEN can co-exist positively in the same classroom as they learn to accept one another and coexist harmoniously. Finally, through the inclusion incentives and socialisation opportunities are offered to the children, since the participation of all without exception in the school activities is promoted (Vaughn et al. 1996).

Yet another argument as shown by Smith et al. (1998) is that the inclusion yields (αποφέρει) positive results for pupils with SEN, because it limits the <<labelling>> of these children as individuals with specific characteristics. The presence of children with SEN within the mainstream school avoids the categorisation and enhances the development of self-esteem of these children.

The implementation of inclusion did not have the full support and participation of all the people. There is a great proportion of researchers and teachers who face the inclusion with great caution. According to Hornby (1999), the tendency to implement the inclusion, is based more on emotions and philosophical theories rather than empirical data. Moreover, Farrell (2000), states that there is a significant number of teachers, parents and children with SEN, who indicate that:

The inclusion may be contrary to the wish of those children or their parents to choose in which type of school will be trained. Also a portion of mainstream education teachers do not show much willingness to support the inclusion. Finally, the financial resources and teacher training is still based on the dual educational system.

According to Ainscow's (1997) view, in an inclusive classroom all children can participate equally in the lessons and in the school activities and benefit from them. Wilson (1999) argues a different statement. According to him, the genuine participation of children with SEN in the educational process is not always possible, as they do not all have the same learning pace. The author proposes that inclusion should be applied under conditions and states that the concept of inclusion is not only limited in the placement of children with SEN in the same school as their peers, but mainly refers to the creation of appropriate social learning, which will meet the needs of all pupils Wilson (1999).

Hornby (1999) concludes that the successful inclusion depends on: the ensuring of professional development of the teachers, the schools' encouragement, in order to develop inclusion practices, after discussion with the pupils, the parents and the school staff. Moreover, it depends on the maintenance of auxiliary classrooms and finally, it depends on the development policies that will provide guidance to teachers, parents and pupils.

Conceptual framework of learning difficulties

Any difficulty in the acquisition of language skills for a long time deprived the children's access to the education, to the world of books and to the information in general. The observed failure of some children to learn traditional methods of training and follow the same learning rate and the same curriculum with their peers was a subject of study by scientists in medicine, psychologists, pedagogies and sociologies ().

While at times, several definitions of learning difficulties were offered, however, a definition was of great recognition and acclaim. The definition was proposed by the U.S. Office of Education and the instrument for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA] (Kavale and Forness, 2000). According to this definition: (IDEA-1997), the term "specific learning difficulties, refers to a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes, involved in the understanding and using of spoken and written language, which may manifest as lack of capacity in hearing, in thinking, speaking, reading, in writing, in spelling or in mathematics. In the category of learning difficulties, includes cases such as perceptual failures, brain damage, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, developmental aphasia etc. while learning problems due to visual, auditory, motor or cognitive disabilities, emotional disorders or difficult environmental conditions are not included" (Kavale and Forness, 2000).

The literature has recorded many conflicting views on the terminology of learning difficulties. In particular, many researchers disagree with the term "learning difficulties" because they state that it is too general and vague and does not identify specific indications concerning the reasons for the constraints. For this reason, they began slowly to use the term "specific learning difficulties" (Agaliwths, 2000).

General characteristics of specific learning difficulties

The main feature presenting of children with specific learning difficulties (SLD) is that they are children with normal intelligence and with no sensory disability (hearing loss, blindness, and cerebral palsy) who are unable to benefit from the school learning offer (Chalfant, 2002; Sinanidou, 1989). The difficulties that SLD children face, are on the reading, known by the term dyslexia, the spelling (dysgrafia) and the mathematics (dyscalculia).

Children with SLD during learning in school, they tend to face: difficulties in learning a cognitive ability (reading, writing, spelling, and mathematics), also they have slower pace in understanding and perceptual ability than their peers. That means that these children read without completing words or phrases and without following the punctuation. Problems in understanding also, often prevent children of understanding the main idea of the text, to recall key events or even to make reports and evaluate what they have read. Furthermore, they have limited ability to abstract, and need frequent guidance from their teachers. Finally, children with SLD need more frequent prompting and more time to draft the speech because they have weaknesses during their participation in a discussion and react with bewilderment to new stimuli (Goupou and Betzelou, 2005; Mc Loughlin, 2002; Kandarakhs, 2004).

Concerning the cognitive domain, children with SLD face particularly difficulties in concentration, attention and memory. That is why, it is considered very difficult for a child with SLD to use appropriate learning strategies in order to solve problems. According to Smith et al., (1998), these children can not easily grasp and understand the parameters of an issue and they also have difficulties in using metacognitive strategies in different situations in their school and later life.

In the emotional domain, children with SLD are characterised by hyperactivity, hypersensitivity, and emotional instability. These emotional problems come out (προέρχονται) because they are rejected or isolated from their peers and some times even from their teachers, since their behaviour is characterised by impulsivity and unsociability (Smith et al., 1998).

{Τα Perspectives σε τι χρόνο πρέπει να τα γράφουμε: Past or Present?}

The perspectives, social status and self-esteem of pupils with specific learning difficulties in inclusive classrooms

Many studies carried out in order to investigate the perspectives of children with SLD concerning their academic performance in mainstream classrooms.

Meltzer et al., (1998), used some questionnaires in order to explore a) the perspectives of pupils with SLD on their academic skills in reading, writing, spelling, mathematics and the organisation and b) the comparison between the perspectives of teachers with the perspectives of their pupils. The research results showed that in general the inclusion helped pupils with SLD in reading, writing, spelling, mathematics and organisation. However, the perspectives of pupils with SLD were that they did not have greater confidence in their abilities compared to pupils without SLD. Particularly through the research it became known that it was difficult for pupils with SLD to have the same or higher academic performance than their peers without SLD. A very interesting finding was the perspectives of pupils with SLD in relation to the perspectives of their teachers. Specifically, their teachers assessed differently the performance of pupils with SLD, and had more negative picture of their abilities compared with pupils without SLD. According to the researchers' perceptions/perspectives, the different perspectives of both the teachers and the pupils with SLD, is due to the fact that the pupils with SLD overestimate their performance because they compare it with a group of children with SLD rather than with children without SLD.

Sawyer et al., (1996) have conducted a research to explore the perspectives of children's with SLD concerning their assignments in inclusive classrooms. According to the survey, the perspectives of the majority of pupils' were that they face several difficulties in completing their assignments in the classroom, as it is not easy to learn to develop strategies for organising written expression of ideas. However, their perspectives were that all obstacles can be gradually overcome if their teachers direct them properly and provide appropriate guidance to them. Finally, another important point concerning their perspectives is also pupils without SLD to help them, in any difficulties and primarily not refuse the cooperation with them.

Juvonen and Bear (1992) carried out a research, according to which, the social status of children with SLD in primary school revealed that was not different from that of others. The perspectives of children with SLD were that they were fully integrated into the mainstream classroom. Indeed, the perspectives of the pupils with SLD were that they are trying to meet the cognitive deficits in the cultivation and improvement of social status within the mainstream classroom. Finally, notable are the perspectives of the boys without SLD, who treated equally the boys with SLD, without isolated or excluded them from the common-school activities.

Parents' perspectives on the implementation of inclusion

One factor that contributed significantly to the inclusive education of children with and without SLD in mainstream schools was undoubtedly the involvement of parents in the educational activities ().

Palmer and his colleagues in their research concluded that parents of children with SLD were consistent with the inclusion. This positive attitude came from the idea that the inclusion contributes to the effective development of the social skills of their children. The perspectives of the parents were that inclusion was the most useful and most effective practical education for their children and gave them equal academic and social opportunities with their peers. In addition, parents reported that they were not consistent with the operation of special schools or special classrooms, because that would be detrimental to the psychological development of their children. The only reservation expressed by them, was concerning the quality of educational benefits which are offered to their children in the inclusive classrooms, the staff training and finally the selection of the appropriate educational programs (Palmer et al., 1998).

There were also some researchers who dealt with the prospects of parents with children without SLD in relation to inclusion. According to the research of Giangreco et al., (1993), the perspectives of parents of children without SLD were positive. Specifically, the parents believed that their children enjoy the experience of positive interaction with children with SLD. Furthermore, the parents did not feel worry about the quality of education of their children to an inclusive classroom.

On the other hand, there are some researches, in which, the parents of children without SLD do not hide their worries and concerns about inclusion. According to Garrick-Duhaney and Salend (2000), the perspectives of parents were that it is possible the presence of children with SLD to lead to the adaptation and expression of inappropriate behaviour concerning the children without SLD. Finally, parents are concerned about the teachers, who may not be adequately trained to deal with the diversity policy, which would undermine the development of their children.

Teachers' perspectives and attitudes on the implementation of inclusion

The perspectives of teachers play a vital role in the effective education of children with and without SLD in the mainstream classrooms.

According to….., the perspectives of teachers regarding the performance of pupils with SLD in the mainstream classroom, were that these children learn to strive hard and with the help of their teachers, they learn to use the appropriate learning strategies and have better organisational skills. Pupils with SLD who succeed in the academic field, are considered capable people by their teachers and are being rewarded for their efforts.

Schumm and Vaughn (1991), note that according to the perspectives of teachers of mainstream education regarding the inclusion, they prefer the presence of children with SLD within the mainstream classrooms, but on the other hand, they are reluctant to use alternative methods of teaching and a curriculum tailored to fit the needs of these children. As pointed out by Bender and his colleagues, the adoption of effective learning strategies depends mostly on the attitude of teachers towards inclusion. So, the teachers who were positively disposed towards inclusion, they adopt more frequently in their teaching auxiliaries learning strategies for the pupils with SLD than teachers with a negative image for inclusion (Schumm and Vaughn, 1991; Bender, Vail and Scott, 1995).

According to the perspectives of teachers, they were found to be more open (δεκτικοί) concerning children with physical disabilities or SLD, while they were quite negative in the cases of children with mental deficiencies and emotional problems. Additionally, they adopt more positive attitudes toward inclusion of children with SLD who experience social difficulties than toward pupils with severe academic deficits. This attitude is mainly explained by the experience of anxiety and frustration that a teacher has, when he/she sees that the progress of a child is not significantly (αισθητή) and the desired results are not achieved (Soodak, et al., 1998).

The perspectives of children with SLD, the parents of children with and without SLD and the teachers concerning inclusion, it is found that they vary and depend on various factors such as the right of children to be included in mainstream schools, the active involvement of the parents in the educational live, the teachers training and the support from the head masters ().

The performance of pupils with specific learning difficulties (sto telos twn praktikwn)

The researchers Heiman and Karen (2003) found that pupils with SLD compared with their peers in inclusive classrooms, they encounter more difficulties in acquiring the skills of literacy and language learning. Additionally differences were identified between the two groups concerning the adoption of learning strategies. Pupils without SLD in order to acquire the necessary knowledge, they preferred to use techniques based on mnemonic ability and skills of writing. Instead, pupils with SLD preferred audio or visual techniques, since they felt that they could understand them more easily. Finally, the survey showed that the tests cause anxiety and emotional stress to all pupils. However, compared with their peers without SLD, pupils with SLD showed higher rates of anxiety, which is usually manifested as headache, fatigue, depression, inability to concentrate and sweating. Additionally, these children complained about the limited time during the tests and emphasised the need to be examined in different ways, such as providing more time, the questions wording in simpler way and also more guidance from their teachers.


Several researchers in the field of education believe that the support services to pupils with SLD in inclusive classrooms are more efficient and effective than placing children in special classrooms. They support this point of view, because in fact the inclusive classrooms reflect what actually happens in reality, in which pupils will live when they are going to finish school. Furthermore, the proponents of inclusion argue that it has emerged from empirical evidences that the special types of schools have failed to bring the desired results in terms of academic progress and social development of the children. Unlike, the attendance at an inclusive classroom, significantly improves the self esteem of children with SLD, as those pupils are released from the negative <<labelling>> as individuals with specific characteristics (Banerji and Dailey, 1995). However, having poor physical infrastructure of schools, the poor training of the teachers, the severity of the difficulties that pupils with SLD face and the pupils without SLD who do not accept so easy the diversity of their peers, are factors that suggest that the inclusion can only benefit if it has been prior existence of accurate information, organisation and planning, adequacy of financial resources and reshaping of the curriculum for all children. Otherwise the inclusive education can cause problems to everyone and especially to the emotional world of children with SLD ().

Teaching Approaches

It is good for the teachers to try different approaches to pupils with SLD in the mainstream classroom, in order to be able to recognise which is the most effective for each pupil, depending on his strengths and weaknesses.

I have not done yet any practice, but I learned many information concerning teaching approaches through the literature I studied.

The main problem faced by pupils with SLD in the processing of written language is the difficulty in reading (Siegel, 2003 ; Lyon, 1998,), exemplified by the large number of pupils with learning difficulties (80%) who have problems in reading and understanding written texts (Joseph, 2002 ; Gersten, Fuchs, Williams & Baker, 2001). These children get easily tired, that is why the teaching approach has to include technical and strategic rotations (εναλλαγές τεχνικών και στρατηγικών).

The teaching of reading to pupils with SLD is followed by three approaches. The first is the bottom-up approach. In this approach, the teachers have to teach children to distinguish phonemes, phonemic combinations, graphs, to identify and distinguish phonemes in individual words and since the children acquire the phonological proficiency, they can proceed to decode the text. This approach is more effective for pupils with SLD, whose reading difficulties are due to optical-perceptual deficits (dyslexic type). The second approach is the top-down approach and it is based on the content of the text. The teachers have to use knowledge and experiences of pupils to force the meaning of the text (για να εκμαιεύσει το νόημα του κειμένου). Concerning pupils with SLD, this approach is more effective for those who have difficulties in reading due to the disruption of speech. The third approach is the interactive approach and combines elements from the previous two.

The reading difficulties are usually associated with the writing difficulties. In order to teach writing to pupils with SLD, the teachers have to follow one of the two approaches (Polligton, 2001), the traditional, which focus on teaching the basic skills of writing and the procedural or strategy (creative writing), which is very popular in recent years in primary and secondary education. In the traditional approach the teachers have to use structured exercises by selecting the text to be written by the pupils. This method has been criticized because pupils are being taught routine exercises, it does not support the free writing and it usually motivates pupils (Chan, 2000; Pollington, 2001). Unlike, in the procedural approach, the teaching of writing and spelling in children with SLD, takes the form of a workshop involved also pupils without SLD. The pupils with SLD are getting supported from their teacher but also from their peers (Morrow, 2001). All the pupils can also discuss in the classroom about what they had written and thus benefit at least the ideas of pupils without SLD (Worthy, 2001). The pupils with SLD, are particularly facilitated by this method because they need the incentives framework and atmosphere in order to write.

The education of children with SLD in mathematics it is focused on sets of approaches that correspond to specific cognitive deficits. In order to help pupils who have deficits in nonverbal reasoning, teachers have to use educational aids to emphasize mathematical terms and concepts - counters, wooden blocks and other 'concrete' apparatus. Additionally, real-world applications of these concepts are also effective (Levine 1999).

Teachers also have to use flashcards to aid in the development of automaticity in essential arithmetic concepts, calculations, and manipulations. Moreover, the flash cards plus mathematical computer software help to keep pupils focused (Levine 1999).

For pupils who face difficulties with visual memory and/or visual discrimination teachers should approach them by using tests and handouts that are uncluttered and have extra writing space below each problem; larger fonts and coloured pens, colour is what keeps pupils with SLD focused. Moreover those pupils should be approached by allowing them to spend twice time as the usual amount of time to finish their tests or even their activities in the classroom and be accommodated within a private testing area (Nolting 2000).

Another approach a teacher has to use concerning pupils with auditory processing and long-term memory deficits is a slower rate of speech and changes in tone to keep pupils interested. To aid in long-term memory, teachers have use rehearsal and elaboration (Nolting 2000).

Overlying all the above areas of difficulty is the emotional instability of pupils with SLD. As reported by Buxton's study (1981), many teachers believe that dyscalculic pupils can experience anxiety when facing changes or new situations. A good teaching approach is when teachers support the learners to feel good about themselves and to appreciate their pattern of strengths and weaknesses. The teachers have in their mind that motivation and teaching-approaches are two very good barometers in order to raise the pupils' confidence in any subject area.      

The pupils with SLD, need direct, systematic and intensive teaching with the greatest possible interaction between teacher-pupil (Hallahan et al., 1996).

Hallahan, D.P., Kauffman J.M. & Lloyd, J.MW. (1996). Introduction to Learning Disabilities, Boston, M.A: Allyn and Bacon.

Pollington, M.F., Wilcox, B. & Morrison,T.G. (2001).Self-perception in writing: The effects of writing workshop and traditional instruction on intermediate grade students, Reading Psychology, 22 (4), 249-265.

Siegel, L.S. (2003). Learning disabilities. In W.M. Reynolds & G.E. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of psychology: Educational psychology (Vol. 7, pp. 455-486). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc

Lyon, G.R. (1998). Why learning to read is not a natural process.Educational Leadership, 55, 14- 19.

Joseph, L.M. (2002). Best practices in planning interventions for students with reading problems.

Best practices in school psychology IV, 803-816.

Gersten, R., Fuchs, S.L., Williams, P.J., & Baker, S. (2001). Teaching reading comprehension strategies to students with learning disabilities: A review of research. Review of Educational Research, 71, 279-320