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Essay on Inclusion

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Inclusion in Class

Inclusion “mainstreams” physically, mentally, and multiply disabled children into regular classrooms. Back in the sixties and the seventies, disabled children were excluded all together from regular classrooms. Currently, the federal inclusion law, I.D.E.A. (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), addresses children whose handicaps range from autistic and very severe to mild (I.D.E.A. Law Page). From state to state the laws of inclusion vary. The laws may permit the special needs children to be in regular classrooms all day and for all subjects or for just one or two subjects (Vann 31). Other times the state laws allow those with special needs to have aids with them to help them in
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The way the state laws are being applied is not effective (Sornson). The utilization of aids and special services has become so selective that most children in need are not receiving adequate attention. It is not that there is a shortage of help. It is that the school systems do not put enough effort into finding the best way to support and educate these disabled children (Sornson).
There are severe consequences that come from not effectively helping special needs children. One is that teachers have to split up their attention between approximately twenty-five “normal” children and their one or two special needs students. This puts a lot of stress and responsibility on the teacher (Lieberman 62). The teacher may end up slowing down the regular children’s learning because they want to help the handicapped children or s/he may ignore the special needs students and teach only the regular children. Either way, one group could get short changed (Lieberman 63). Although I do believe there are good teachers out there who could balance the responsibilities and actually teach both groups, there seem to be a higher number of teachers who would not put in the effort it would take.
Another consequence derived from the lack of aids per student in the classroom is that the children could truly be in danger
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