According to the World Health Organization, around 15 percent of the world’s population lives with some form of disability or special educational needs—and of that 15 percent, 2 to 4 percent experience significant difficulties in functioning.
However, the global disability prevalence is thought to be higher than previous WHO estimates, which date from the 1970s. Instead, data from last year suggests a figure of around 10 percent is more accurate, with 190 million (3.8 percent) who are 15 or older and have significant difficulties in functioning.
Given these facts, it seems like a paradox, then, that students with special needs relating to conditions such as autism (ASD), ADHD, dyslexia, Down’s Syndrome, and hearing difficulties can often feel left behind in a classroom environment in comparison to their peers.
Fortunately, education is progressing to become more inclusive of those with different learning styles and educational needs, but there is still a lot that can be done to make the classroom more inclusive for each and every student. It is becoming more and more apparent that it is time we rethink not just what we teach, but exactly how we teach.