Mainstreaming Special Needs Children

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The Positive Advantages to Mainstreaming Special Needs Children

In an ideal world all children would be born without disabilities. This idea is not possible though and sometimes children are born with special needs. The child could have only one disability or several. A disability can be mild and treated with medication or the disability can be severe and the child will need constant supervision. Once the child becomes of age to attend school, the issue of whether or not to place the child in a regular classroom or special needs classroom arises. This is when mainstreaming comes into place. Mainstreaming special needs children into the regular classroom has been a worldwide controversy; however, there are many advantages to placing these
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Students who are mainstreamed have to learn to live by the same rules as the other students and this can help them socially. Researchers have also shown that when the children are included in peer groups, everyone learns to respect each other’s differences, and the results clearly disprove the concern that disabled students would be outcasts in a regular classroom. By mainstreaming the children, it should lead to a more tolerant and accepting society overall. Other positive reasons why special needs children should be in a regular student classroom is because, if they are not isolated they can achieve better socially and academically. Regular classrooms can help them cope better with the “real” world. Being in a regular classroom would also help their self-esteem, and it teaches both disabled and regular students compassion, acceptance, and patience. In 2001 the National Center on Educational Outcomes surveyed state directors of special education. The directors reported increased participation rates from the students with disabilities in state assessments. The positive outcomes from the assessments were increased access to the general curriculum, increased inclusion in accountability system, more rigorous education, increased participation in state assessments, increased academic expectations, improved performance on some state assessments, and increased general and special education networking (Giuliano 34). Some examples of how
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