SPD 500 Grand Canyon University Larissa Special Education Case Study

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SPD 500

Grand Canyon University



Part of a special educator’s responsibilities include understanding the characteristics of the major disability categories and how the characteristics affect typical development. When conducting observations and consulting with staff who work with students with disabilities, teachers must be able to articulate the differences in development and prescribe appropriate interventions. Understanding the effect of culture and language development must also be considered in meeting student needs.

Case Study: Larissa

Grade: 3rd

Age: 8

Larissa is a female third grade student with a specific learning disability in written expression and an executive functioning disorder. She is originally from El Salvador and moved to the U.S. with her mother, father, older sister, and newborn brother when she was 14 months old. In first grade, she was assessed for special education services and was found eligible in the areas of written expression and executive functioning due to a diagnosis of dyslexia and ADHD by an outside psychologist referred by her primary care physician. Larissa’s verbal expression is close to grade level, but when asked to express her thoughts on paper, she often uses lower level vocabulary and fragmented sentences, and her writing lacks organization. This could be due to her inability to focus on longer tasks as well as her difficulty with spelling, written expression, and multiple languages spoken in the home. Larissa also struggles with starting tasks independently, staying on task, and with task completion. She often cannot find her materials when needed such as pencils, paper, assignments, books, etc.

Recently, her mother and father separated. Her mother has since moved the children out of their home and in with family friends. The family friends have three children and two adults living in the home already, so the three bedroom, one bath home is very crowded. Their new home is within walking distance of Rosewood Elementary, where Larissa has recently transferred.

Larissa’s mother, Rita, has a job in which she works long hours and is currently struggling to establish her own line of credit. At home, Larissa’s family speaks both English and Spanish. Rita considers English her primary language; however, Spanish is her first language and she sometimes has difficulty understanding written English, despite speaking it well.

At a recent parent-teacher conference with Larissa’s teacher, Mr. Fleming, Rita shared that she obtained an order of protection against her husband after they separated. Because the order of protection extends to the children, she provided Mr. Fleming legal documentation of the order. The day after the conference, Mr. Fleming notified the office and gave them the documentation in the event that Larissa’s father should come to the school.

Using the information from the case study, address the following in a 1,000-1,250 word essay:

  • Discuss how the Christian worldview perspective can be demonstrated in professional practice by explaining why teachers need to be committed to respecting students’ individual strengths, interests, and needs to promote each student’s growth and potential.
  • Explain how language, culture, and family background influence the student’s student' learning.
  • Describe three research-based, specially designed instructional strategies that can be used to respond to the developmental differences and individual needs of the student.
  • Cite research to provide justification for how the selected strategies provide specially designed instruction and access to the general education curriculum and standards as required by IDEA.

Support the assignment with at least three scholarly resources.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide

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Explanation & Answer


Special Education
1st paragraph


2nd, 3rd, 4th paragraphs

The need for teachers to respect the diverse needs of students

5th, 6th paragraph

How language, culture, and family background influence the student’s learning.

7th, 8th paragraph

Three research-based, specially designed instructional strategies

9th paragraph

How the strategies provide SDI and access to general education curriculum and IDEA
standards (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)




Special Education

Name of student


Special Education

The primary responsibility of special educators is to deliver specially designed instruction (SDI).
As defined by IDEA regulations, SDI is adjusting to the needs of an eligible child to address their
special requirements and to ensure they access the learning system to meet the existing educational
standards just like other children. Based on a scenario of Larissa, who is an eight-year-old female
grade 3 student, the essay intents to explain the need for teachers to respect the diverse needs of
students and how language, culture, and family background influence the student’s learning. The
essay also aims to describe three research-based, specially designed instructional strategies and
how they provide SDI and access to the general education curriculum and IDEA standards
(Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
In promoting each student’s growth and potential, teachers should commit to respecting their
diverse needs, strengths, and interests. From a Christian worldview perspective, teachers should
appreciate students’ strengths to make them feel encouraged and continue improving their
academic performance. They should not make them feel inferior in a classroom setting. Despite
some students’ inability to learn like others, teachers s...

Just the thing I needed, saved me a lot of time.


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