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Inclusion in Schools is Extremely Beneficial

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Inclusion in schools is extremely beneficial to exceptional students in that it helps to develop successful social skills. Although exceptional students are without a doubt different, the process of inclusion can give students feelings of self worth and allows them to feel included in the education process.

Thanks to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act, a free and appropriate public education is mandated for students with disabilities (Peter, 1994). Disabled students must be placed in the least restrictive environment. This environment must be closest to or in the general classroom. Here the student’s individual needs must be met through the students individualized education program (IEP). Federal law states that separate class placement is justifiable only when the nature of severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aides and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. According to Peter (1994), 80% of students with learning disabilities receive the majority of their instruction in the general classroom.

Fine (2000), says inclusion has been increasingly defined by successful lawsuits brought by parents of disabled students around the country. For example, Oberti v. Board of Education of the Borough of Clementon School District. This case involved a New Jersey boy with severe disabilities. The federal judge decided full inclusion and said “Inclusion is a right, not a special privilege for a select few” (Fine, 2000).

Critics argue that placing a special education student in a regular classroom “will consume too much of an already overworked teacher’s attention” (Fine, 2000). Pare...

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... April 1, 2003, from http://www.cec.sped.org

Fine, Lisa. (December 6, 2000). More Disabled Students Graduating, Ed. Dept. Report Says. Education Week, 48, 26-27. Retrieved April 8, 2003, from http://www.educationweek.org

Hines, Rebecca A. (December, 2001). Inclusion in Middle Schools. ERIC Digest.

Retrieved, April 1, 2003, from http://www.ericfacility.net

Kansas, University. (2002). Circle of Inclusion Project. Benefits of Enhancing Social Skills. Retrieved April 9, 2003, from http://www.circleofinclusion.org

Odom, Samuel L. (2000). Topics in Early Childhood Special Education. Preschool Inclusion: What We Know and Where We Go From Here. Retrieved April 1, 2003, from http://www.findarticles.com

Peter. (1994). Learning Disabilities. Curry School of Education. Inclusion. Retrieved

April 9, 2003, from http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu.
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