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What do you ladies think of mainstreaming children in the schools?

My son went for an appiontment with special education services today and that is what they recommended for him. I do not know alot about mainstreaming yet and wondered if any of you do and do you think its good, or that it works?


Asked by Brandy928 at 3:14 PM on Apr. 13, 2011 in Kids' Health

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Answers (9)
  • When I was teaching I had 3 students on my case load who were mainstreamed for parts of the day, and in my classroom for others. All 3 were non-verbal children. 1 was born with downs syndrome, and was the most social little girl you'll ever meet despite not saying a word. She flourished in her 3rd grade class. No, she wasn't getting all A's on her report card or working at grade level in everything, but she didn't care. She felt accepted and was learning to the best of her ability. The other 2 girls were different rare genetic disorders, one who additionally had pica. One student was known to bite and hit out of excitement, she couldn't control the emotions. Being mainstreamed helped her learn more appropriate ways to express excitement and if she bit anyone the students typical response was "susy biting isn't nice, how about a high five?" They were 2nd graders. I think you should give it a try for your son, you may be amazed.

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 4:04 PM on Apr. 13, 2011

  • My son is 14 and has Aspergers, he has been in mainstream classes since Kindergarten. He does have an IEP in place - and that does allow for some modifications to homework/testing, and he does have the option of having support in class-- if he needs it. For him mainstream classes are working-- he was on the honor roll all 3 years of middle school!

    Answer by MizLee at 3:21 PM on Apr. 13, 2011

  • With the proper Aides and such, it is wonderful!

    Answer by ochsamom at 3:15 PM on Apr. 13, 2011

  • I'm 100% for mainstreaming to a point. My mom works with medically fragile high schoolers who cognitively function on a 2-4 year old level. There is no way to mainstream her kids and still get them the direct support they need. However, for your typical student in special education I fully believe it has its benefits and downsides, but the good far outweighs the bad, for both the challenged student as well as the "typical" students. The social factor is there. Often times the special ed. students need help with socialization, and at the same time their regular ed. peers get a lesson in acceptance, tolerance of others, and a view of the world that not everyone is like them, and that's ok. They get to practice leadership roles while the a-typical student gets to learn how to accept help from peers as well as adults/caregivers. They learn to work together instead of creating voids. (cont)

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 3:19 PM on Apr. 13, 2011

  • I am not such a fan of mainstreaming . . . I know alot of kids who feel very left out, like they do not belong. Kids can be so mean. One of them recently had a birthday party, invited everyone from class, and NOONE showed. Heartbreak.

    Part of me thinks it is better to keep the mainstream away so the SE kids can actually learn instead of speding the day feeling like they don't "belong".

    I don't think we, as parents, do a good enough jon teaching our children to be accepting of differences.

    Answer by ImaginationMama at 3:22 PM on Apr. 13, 2011

  • Academically there are many positives as well. Many times students in special ed. get use to their routines, they get comfortable and they don't really push themselves. Sure their teachers and parents continue to push, but the student themselves looses interest because things are very strict and routine oriented in special education. Where as in the regular classroom students are constantly having to adapt to small changes. A visitor might pop in, a special birthday treat for 25 kids as oppose to only maybe 4 or 5 in special ed class, show and tell in many classrooms. Although that basic routine is still there to offer the stability many children need, the opportunity to learn and adjust to new changes are constantly being given. The curriculum is also often times more challenging, and when presented to the student correctly can keep the student engaged and pushing themselves to do better, while not making them frustrated.

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 3:23 PM on Apr. 13, 2011

  • I think it really depends on the kid being mainstreamed, the teachers, the parents and a whole slew of other factors. I can see the benefits and the negatives on this one. When I was at my local community college (CC) taking American Sign Language (ASL) classes this topic was brought up. IF there is a qualified ASL interpreter in the classroom to facilitate instruction and communication it's wonderful to mainstream. BUT, if the deaf child has to try and survive on their own it's a disaster.

    I think some kids will thrive in the mainstream setting while others will not. And it seems to me that about the only way to really tell one way or the other is to try it out.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 3:36 PM on Apr. 13, 2011

  • I believe mainstreaming can be both very positive and very negative for children, depending on the type of disability. As long as your son can communicate in some way, it should be fine. I worry for those who are mild to severe autistic (for example) and cannot communicate well, if at all. It has to be frustrating for them that they cannot understand or comprehend the work given...while being thrust forward year after year because of the NCLB act.

    Answer by Renee3K at 3:39 PM on Apr. 13, 2011

  • My son has mild to moderate Autism ADHD, and a sensory processing disorder, oh and severe asmtha

    Comment by Brandy928 (original poster) at 3:41 PM on Apr. 13, 2011