Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2020

Academic Department

Occupational Therapy

Faculty Advisor(s)

Judy Ericksen


According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 7 million students are receiving special education services as of the 2017-2018 school year (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019). That still does not include students with undeclared or undiagnosed disabilities in school. These students are at a disadvantage when it comes to participating in a school environment because students with disabilities tend to struggle more than typical students with social and academic aspects in school (Lackaye & Margalit, 2006).

The National Center for Learning Disabilities states that students with learning disabilities are often misunderstood and are ineffectively taught by untrained educators, leading to poor outcomes and limited opportunities. Because of schools’ lower expectations and standards for students with learning disabilities, those students are not receiving the push they need to prepare for college or the workforce (National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2017). Nationwide, 7 out of 10 students with specific learning disorders and other health impairments spend around 80% of their day in general education classrooms where teachers may not be prepared to support them effectively (2017). However, there are ways to benefit those students through the use of training/educating school staff, advocating for the individual needs of students, and providing them with access to the technology and services they need to succeed.


Senior thesis.