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Why are you for or against integration of special needs children into classrooms with typical peers (blended classrooms)?

Integration (formerly known as “mainstreaming”) of special needs children and those with differing abilities can be looked at in many ways. How do you feel about integration? If you are on the border, dicuss a pro and con. If you have a child with special needs please say so (this way we can hear all four sides of the argument).

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Asked by jenmerk at 5:18 PM on Mar. 22, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Level 9 (327 Credits)
Answers (24)
  • I'm all for it,but then again,I have an autistic son
    I think it teaches both special needs kids and ones that aren't to tolerate each other. If you put the handicapped kids away from everyone else,the other kids become fearful of them and it breeds indifference

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 5:23 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • I have both special needs children & advanced gifted children & I am for it. I am for it not just because of my special needs kids benefitting. but because "normal" kids benefit also. My dd is my youngest and 6 and has a down syndrome little boy in her classroom and because the kids are so young they really see nothing wrong with him, where maybe if he was seperated they might. They call him their friend that can do special things, or do them differently. I think it helps because in the real world our children are going to be exposed to various people and they should not be ignorant to those disabilities.

    Answer by gemgem at 5:24 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • I think its different for every child. Ones with out-bursts, for example, I would hope have an aide with them. Keep them in a standard classroom mainstreamed as much as possible but if/when they become a burden and distraction to the other students they should be removed until they're calm again. .. I never (seriously, never) learned to write cursive because in the 3rd grade (which is when it was taught in my district/area) my class had 5 or 6 non english speaking kids, a cerebral palsey girl with both a dog and a helper with her and one student (adhd? austism?) who was constantly in and out of the room non stop in between high pitched shrieks and throwing things. We BARELY learned our times tables and paragraph writing... our poor teacher had to scrape by on minimum curriculum which is just what would be on the standardized testing. Other things (cursive writing for example) were totally ignored, there was no time

    Answer by hibbingmom at 5:25 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • for me it really depends on what the needs of the children are. I have seen first hand how this works and if you have a child that is severely disabled I don't think you are doing any good by the child or his class mates by putting him in a classroom with children that have no disabilities. In my town we have both "mainstreaming" and non integrated classes. We have some children that are nonverbal, autistic kids. If these children were in a class room with children the same age as them how would this help them. They would not learn anything and the teacher would always be taking away from the other children to work with these kids. If there is a child that has mild learning disabilities then I feel they should be in the class room and have an IEP so they can get the extra help they need. As I said for me it really depends on the needs of the child.


    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 5:25 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • i always had special needs kids in all of my classes throughout middle and high school.. heck I had a learning issue in school that put me in special classes and helped me. if there is a HUGELY special needs child that will take up most of the class time with outbursts or distracting behavior maybe it isn't the best idea.

    Answer by zoejains_momma at 5:29 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • I'm usually all for it. But, if a child has such significant impairments that the teacher has to spend a significant amount of time working one-on-one with the child, behavioral problems cause regular, major disruptions, or behavioral issues like hitting, biting, etc. make the classroom unsafe for the other students, then it's not appropriate for that child.

    Answer by SWasson at 5:37 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • I think it depends on the situation. granted, I'm older than a lot of women on here so maybe my experiences are a little out of date.

    my much younger brother was in a class with a girl that would just yell pretty much all day, when she wasn't bring fed cookies to keep her quiet. and one day she stripped and masturbated in class. My mother was ready to pull my brother out and home school him at that point.
    things may have worked better had they put this girl with the other classes here and there, such as recess or gym class or the like. But she was resented by many for being such a disruption.
    it seemed that the only point of that girl being in the class was so that her parents could feel good about it.
    I don't know what the little girl was supposed to have gotten from being in that class either.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:51 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • I don't agree with mainstreaming because it is very disruptive for the other students.


    Answer by beeky at 5:59 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • I have no teaching experience and my kids never mentioned that they had any special needs kids in their schools----this was the 1970's and 1980's. I recqll a girl in my high school in the '50's who had brain damage and she mostly just sat still or slept in class.

    I think it would be alright to have special needs kids blended in with regular classes if they aren't disruptive. Isolating them would be kind of sad for them I think. But,I really have no experience with this.

    Answer by minnesotanice at 6:36 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • Against. My 1st round of college, I was going for Elementary Education, and spent time in a second grade classroom. It was the "mainstreaming" class. They dumped all of the kids who were taking ritalin or had any type off issues (ADD/Tourettes/etc) in the same class as the students with the lowest reading and math abilities. It didn't matter how smart the kids on drugs were, they were automatically put in that class. Some of those kids were absolutely brilliant, but held back doing the same remedial work as the rest. One wasn't medicated - he'd missed a month the previous year to have surgery, so they put him there instead of summer school. The coursework was so easy, they combined their science classes with a first grade class. Because of the way the tracking system worked, they wouldn't have a chance to test up and out of that level until 4th grade, and if they were still on drugs, the test scores wouldn't matter.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 7:45 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

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