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Hot Button Issues in Education Today: Inclusion

By Judy Moland

The concept of "full inclusion" calls for teaching all students in regular classrooms, including those with special needs. It is a subject that perennially prompts fierce debate.

Federal special education law states that "to the maximum extent appropriate," children with special needs should be educated with peers who don't have special needs in "the least restrictive environment possible." The actual extent of inclusion varies from state to state: In 2003, many students ages 6 to 21 with special needs spent at least 80 percent of the school day in a regular classroom, according to "Quality Counts 2004: Count Me In," published by Education Week in January 2004. See the data for your state.

Proponents of inclusion argue that every child has an equal right to an excellent education. Margie Romans, a first-grade teacher for 18 years, speaks highly of the system: "I've had autistic kids in my room, kids with language development problems, even a little boy who was deaf, and it was truly a joy to me." She sees inclusion as beneficial for everybody. When "regular" students are around children with special needs, they are learning every day that in some ways these students are just like them, and in some ways they are not. Children with special needs see that too, Romans says.

While many advocates of inclusion say it fosters compassion and empathy, this is not always the case, says Rebecca Thomas, who has taught special education students for 23 years. "We've had children mainstreamed at the middle school level who were bright enough to be in regular classrooms, but it hasn't always worked out," she says. "For one girl who went to a middle school, it was very difficult. The kids made fun of her and stole her lunch money every day."

Critics also argue that placing a student with special needs in a regular classroom is likely to consume too much of an already overworked teacher's attention.



 
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by on Sep. 2, 2011 at 11:56 AM
Replies (11-15):
deccaf
by on Sep. 2, 2011 at 3:33 PM

When I was in high school, there was an elementary boy that was autistic.  He was nonverbal and had an aide.  He was in my marine biology class because he had an intense interest in marine life.  They allowed this 8 year old boy into a class filled with 15-18 year olds.  There was NOT ONE PROBLEM.  I think it really helped the high schoolers learn a little more about special needs kids.

jltplk25
by Gold Member on Sep. 2, 2011 at 4:48 PM

They have it for streaming on Netflix. It's actually REALLY good. ;) My BIL has a special friend in his special needs preschool class, I think. He knows a little bit of sign language which helps. IF you know how to sign, that is.

Quoting goddess99:

aww that's sad. and I've never seen switched at birth so Idk? LOL

Autistic kids Need people who understand autism. Hopefully the people at preK know what they're doing.

Quoting jltplk25:

Like I said, I watched Switched at Birth too much. Haha. As for my bil, he's in pre-K right now, just finished up his second week. It's a special needs pre-k though. If how things are in the church nursery on Sundays are any indication as to how him in a regular school class would go, it wouldn't be pretty. The last time he was in the nursery, he was left to sit in the corner and whine while the other children played together. No one knows how to handle him and of course teenagers and those right out of high school have NO clue about anything. Lol.

Quoting goddess99:

I went to school with a deaf girl. We sat right next to each other. I don't think she had any problems. She had someone with her.

I hope your brother in law gets the help he needs. He could be in a school already. My dd started when she was 1. And it helped tremendously. She was in primarily for speech.

Quoting jltplk25:

I dont see the problem if the kid can handle it but some just aren't cut out for inclusion. A deaf child in a class full of hearing children? I could only imagine the taunts that child would/could get if they had to have an interpter. (I've watched Switched at Birth too much. Lol) Like I mentioned in my first reply, my 2.5 year old brother in law probably wouldn't be able to handle it. The poor kid can only say 'Momma' at this point.

Quoting goddess99:

My dd isn't special needs but she does have an aide in classroom. She's with all the other kids. If the school tried to segregate her I would raise hell. And they know it LOL.

I think it should really be up to the parents.

 


 



 
Click on me to see what it's all about!

goddess99
by Michelle on Sep. 2, 2011 at 4:51 PM

I'll have to check it out :)  and when my dd started school at 1 they taught sign language. So I know some food words because they had to use it during snack time :)

Quoting jltplk25:

They have it for streaming on Netflix. It's actually REALLY good. ;) My BIL has a special friend in his special needs preschool class, I think. He knows a little bit of sign language which helps. IF you know how to sign, that is.

Quoting goddess99:

aww that's sad. and I've never seen switched at birth so Idk? LOL

Autistic kids Need people who understand autism. Hopefully the people at preK know what they're doing.

Quoting jltplk25:

Like I said, I watched Switched at Birth too much. Haha. As for my bil, he's in pre-K right now, just finished up his second week. It's a special needs pre-k though. If how things are in the church nursery on Sundays are any indication as to how him in a regular school class would go, it wouldn't be pretty. The last time he was in the nursery, he was left to sit in the corner and whine while the other children played together. No one knows how to handle him and of course teenagers and those right out of high school have NO clue about anything. Lol.

Quoting goddess99:

I went to school with a deaf girl. We sat right next to each other. I don't think she had any problems. She had someone with her.

I hope your brother in law gets the help he needs. He could be in a school already. My dd started when she was 1. And it helped tremendously. She was in primarily for speech.

Quoting jltplk25:

I dont see the problem if the kid can handle it but some just aren't cut out for inclusion. A deaf child in a class full of hearing children? I could only imagine the taunts that child would/could get if they had to have an interpter. (I've watched Switched at Birth too much. Lol) Like I mentioned in my first reply, my 2.5 year old brother in law probably wouldn't be able to handle it. The poor kid can only say 'Momma' at this point.

Quoting goddess99:

My dd isn't special needs but she does have an aide in classroom. She's with all the other kids. If the school tried to segregate her I would raise hell. And they know it LOL.

I think it should really be up to the parents.







jltplk25
by Gold Member on Sep. 2, 2011 at 9:25 PM

I taught Landon some when he was little b/c he took a while to talk but once he started talking he dropped the signs. That is, until we started teaching Quincy, my bil, to sign. I've also been teaching Lexi how to sign. I don't know proper ASL, just the words. She knows 'please', 'mickey mouse' (that one was on accident. she saw her Grandma sign it), yes, more, and eat. I think it's a great way to ease frustrations when they're not quite ready to talk. Wow I'm off topic. Haha

Pammi86
by Pamela on Sep. 3, 2011 at 12:43 AM

I have worked with special needs children. I feel they need to be in classrooms just like everyone else but have a teachers aid if needed with them.

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