Getting an ESE student to grasp what is being taught can seem a daunting task when you are talking about a teacher who does not have the experience of dealing with those students on a regular basis. Many teachers who are out of their element when it comes to this sort of thing can take comfort in the fact that like most students, once the ESE students find their rhythm they too can learn at a decent pace. It is true that the rhythm they find may not be on par with other students but there is a pace to be found.
One of the things to remember when teaching ESE students is that after you teach them new material they will absorb it much easier if at the end of the class period you summarize that material again. Some ESE students have a lot of problems focusing on what they are learning but they do not have a problem absorbing it once it has their attention. Repeating and summarizing the information that has been covered over the course of the class can make the students feel as though they aren’t being condescended or talked down to while also making sure that the new information you have shared has sunk in.
Another approach that has had a lot of positive effects on ESE students is to make the lessons student centric. Many students (not even just special needs) can absorb new information better if they feel like they can put themselves into the lesson. Story problems in math that include the student may make it easier for them to envision the problem. If you are teaching history, the ability to picture themselves in the past doing the actions or at least being in the same place where the historical events took place.