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Early Intervention, Collaboration with Teachers Key in Special Education

Children play in a preschool classroom

Adamson, assistant professor of special education at Missouri State University, is working with local public schools to help a small section of students who struggle with following through on classroom engagement and aren’t learning at the same rate as their peers. Such students may have educational behavioral disorders, which differs from medical behavioral disorders. The question is whether the disorder affects performance in the classroom – not because the student isn’t capable of the workload, but because they can’t sustain until the class ends. 

She’s currently developing ways to train the adults in the school districts for working with this population and working on de-escalation methods.

Adamson explains a common framework in the special education field called Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. Based on a medical model with three tiers – universal supports, secondary supports and tertiary supports – PBIS helps determine how to best reach each individual child where they are. She explains.

As an educator, Adamson can’t stress enough the importance of a good education, yet she knows the outcomes for children with behavioral disorders have historically been bleak. For families of children who’ve just been identified as having a special need, Adamson offers tips.

Nicki received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration from Missouri State in marketing, in 2002 and 2004 respectively. After gaining experience in writing, marketing, special event planning, fundraising and public relations, she returned to the university to work in the office of strategic communication. There she tells the university’s story by sharing the stories of individuals at Missouri State.