Special Education Students: Inclusion vs Reality

1330 Words6 Pages
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 “regular” implies that special education rooms would then be considered ‘irregular”. Schools are also bound by law to provide “a full continuum of services” which simply means they need to be able to provide all placement options, from the least restrictive to the most restrictive environment, such as an institution. Each special needs student also has an individualized education plan to meet their unique needs. Inclusion is a controversial subject which has been debated for decades. Susan Crowell in her article, Inclusion in the Classroom: Has it Gone Too Far?, explains that “inclusion is the idea that all children, including those with disabilities, should and can learn in a regular classroom.” In theory, the idea of all students being included and educated together is a philosophy which sounds morally correct, especially when considering that the disabled were not always treated with compassion. Often the disabled were institutionalized and banished from society, even in recent history. Ma... ... middle of paper ... ..., Boarded Up and Overgrown, Still Stands Among the Weeds: A Home for the Indigent and Unwell.." Beaver County Times (PA) 2 Mar. 2014, Community: C1. NewsBank. Web. 9 Mar. 2014. Osgood, Robert L. The History of Inclusion in the United States. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet UP, 2005. Print. "Special Education." Issues & Controversies On File: n. pag. Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services, 7 Sept. 2007. Web. 22 Feb. 2014. . Tompkins, Richards, and Pat Deloney. "Concerns About and Arguments Against Inclusion and/or Full Inclusion." Inclusion: The Pros and Cons. 4.3 (1995): n. page. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. . United States. Department of Education. “Archived: 25 Year History of the IDEA”. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. .
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