Let's face it, above all else, children only want to be included and accepted. In education, being included means students socialize with one another in the classroom, in the lunchroom, during gym class, on the playground at recess, and on field trips as often as possible. The problem is that in traditional Special Education classes the children are isolated from the other "normal" students. The Special Education classrooms are commonly in a separate section of the school. This isolation hinders their level of participation and increases the feelings of rejection.
The United States educational system is being altered constantly to accommodate the changes in society and the needs of the upcoming generations. Recently, the education system has increased the number of schools using the "inclusion" program for special needs students. The program is designed to intersperse special needs students into regular classes to increase their social skills. From 1995 to 2005, the number of students with disabilities spending the majority of their day in the regular education classroom increased from 45 to 52 percent.
In 2004, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was introduced and stated that students must be placed in the "least restrictive environment." The ideal way to achieve this environment, the school will start with placing all students in mainstream, regular educational classrooms. Then the teachers will team up to design an Individual Education Plan for the individuals who require some additional help. This plan is intended to be a bottom up approach rather than top down. Basically, every student starts in the same place and is taught the same material, and then the teacher will add support as necessary, rather than the teachers catering to the challenged students every need and deprive them of learning on their own.
The questions remains, will these learning disabled students be socially accepted by the "normal" students when... [continues]
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