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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,ragdall BS: Inclusion In Schools (20) RE: BS: Inclusion In Schools 27 Jan 05

I attended school in Vancouver, B.C. in the 1950's and 1960's. In my elementary school there was a special class for students who were mildly mentally challenged. They interacted with other students on the playground, but, I'm not aware that were integrated into any classes.

I did have a classmate, Leroy, in third grade, who was physically disabled with a progressive muscular condition. One of the veteran third graders, who must have been 12 or 13 years old, was assigned to help Leroy in the rest room and to carry him out if there was a fire drill. Another student, one who was known to hit first and ask questions later, was paid by Leroy's family to walk with Leroy as he rode his special tricycle to and from school. The other boy pushed the tricycle up the hills and otherwise helped it along when Leroy didn't have the strength to pedal.

I don't remember seeing any "special needs" students in my high school, other than those who were mildly mentally challenged. They had their own programs and were not part of the mainstream student population.

Today, special needs students may be included in their local school classrooms. Schools are fitted with special rest rooms that have tables on which large children can have diapers changed. You will find children who are blind, deaf, autistic, physically challenged, mentally challenged, or behaviourally challenged, all integrated into regular classrooms.

Each child, whose needs are assessed as requiring it, is assigned an adult who is trained to help meet that child's special needs. The adult stays with that child throughout the school day. Each special needs child spends part of the day away from the classroom, doing activities chosen to address his or her educational needs.

I think that it is beneficial to both (most of) the special needs children and the other children to be able to interact socially.

As dianavan mentioned, the educational and developmental needs of the special needs children may not be being met as well as they could be if they were grouped according to their needs and being taught by people who have specialized training.

Another problem with inclusion is that some children are not able to meet standard classroom expectations for behaviour. They are very noisy and disruptive much of the school day. In my opinion, this prevents other students from learning, raises the general stress level in the classroom, and creates an impossible situation for the classroom teacher.

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