Benefits for Disabled Students Essay

3410 Words 14 Pages
Benefits for Disabled Students

The inclusion of special needs students is increasingly popular. In the 1984-5 school year only 25% of disabled students were educated in inclusive environments. The number almost doubled to 47.4% by the 1998-9 school year (Fine 2002). What makes the practice of inclusion accepted by so many? Research shows a plethora of benefits for the disabled child being taught in a general education setting. Learning in an inclusive environment provides for many an opportunity to grow academically. The mother of an autistic boy placed in an inclusive classroom said that “it has allowed him to realize an academic potential she never thought possible, even grasping abstract math concepts” (Bishop 2003). In a study
…show more content…
Advocates of inclusion applaud beneficial effects such as increased diversity awareness and tolerance. Students can “learn to be helpers- not superior, but useful” (Forrest & Maclay, 1997). Similarly noted is an “increased responsiveness to the needs of others” (Peltier, 1997). Apparently, being around students with disabilities creates a willingness to help, and this characteristic can remain with students for the rest of their lives. As well as being more accepting and helpful, students report a better self-image after serving their disabled peers in such a unique way. Non- disabled students also find that true affectionate friendships can be formed with their special- needs classmates (Peltier, 1997). If the students had not been included but rather set apart in a special classroom, these special relationships most likely would not have been formed.

Other benefits for “normal” students include the presence of an extra aide in the classroom as well as an adaptation to different learning styles. Oftentimes, even in a fully inclusive environment, a one-on-one assistant is necessary. A highly- qualified assistant or special education teacher can provide a valuable resource for the non- disabled classmates (Hines 2001). In an inclusive environment, different teaching techniques must be used in order to
Open Document