Special Education Students: Inclusion vs Reality Essay

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Shocking and demeaning words such as idiot, moron, and retard were once used as actual labels for disabled children in special education. “Prior to 1975, schools were not mandated to educate students with disabilities . . . . [Those with disabilities] were deemed to be uneducable and were barred from entering schools” (“Exceptional Students”). Federal and state laws, as well as mandates, now require schools to educate all children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment, to the maximum extent possible. The least restrictive environment is considered to be the general or the “regular” education classroom. The preferred language of today is the term “general education classroom”, because using the word…show more content…
Surprisingly, poorhouse operations only ceased to exist in Potter Township, in 1959. As late as 1970, “schools educated only one in five children with disabilities, and many states had laws excluding certain students, including children who were deaf, blind, emotionally disturbed, or mentally retarded” (United States). Society has struggled and still continues to struggle with how the disabled fit into communities, how they are cared for, and how they are educated. In recent years, there have been state budget cuts and underfunded federal mandates which have affected education. These cuts to education also raise the issue of being able to support the move towards an inclusion model correctly, when considering all the extra supports and specialized training that is required for teachers and staff to successfully teach all children in inclusion classrooms. Those who embrace full-inclusion believe that all children should be educated together in the general education environment. Supporters of inclusion think that it is best to educate disabled children with their non-disabled peers. They believe that special needs children benefit greatly from having the social interaction with their typical peers. Furthermore, their belief is that the typically developing child also benefits by learning to accept differences in others, as well as gain friendships and compassion (“Special Education”).
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