Inclusion: Is it Effective at the Elementary Level?

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Inclusion is where children classified as Intellectually Disabled (ID) are put into a regular classroom instead of a special education classroom. Previously called mental retardation, ID, as defined by the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY), is a term used to describe a child with certain limitations in mental functioning, and in skills such as communication, personal care, or social skills. (2011) These limitations will cause a child to develop more slowly than a typical child. These children are able to learn, but do so at a reduced rate. They usually take longer to grasp certain concepts, while other concepts may never be learned. This research will discuss inclusion practices in VISD elementary schools and if inclusion is really the right environment for ID children. The inclusion movement started when the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was passed in 1975. The act guaranteed all children, regardless of disability, the right to a “free and appropriate public education” in the “least restrictive environment,” making inclusion a civil rights issue. In 1990 it was replaced with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). According to NICHCY, “IDEA defines a ‘child with a disability’ as a ‘child... with an intellectual disability, hearing impairments (including deafness), speech or language impairments, visual impairments (including blindness), serious emotional disturbance..., orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, or specific learning disabilities; AND, who... [because of the condition] needs special education and related services.’” (2011) According to Western Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Research inclusion is based o... ... middle of paper ... ...mentary students with learning disabilities: Can they meet student needs in an era of high stakes accountability? Retrieved from National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. (2011) Intellectual Disability. Retrieved from Parker, S. (2012, October 8) Special education in the U.S. has a long way to go- Here’s what schools can do about it. Takepart. Retrieved from Ratcliff, O. M. (2009). Voices of Classroom Managers: Their Realities of Full Inclusion, Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education, 2 (4). Retrieved from
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