The Impact Of Inclusion Classes On Students With Autism

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Jennifer Kurth from Northern Arizona University and Ann M. Mastergeorge from the University of California Davis wanted to understand the impact of inclusion classes on students with autism. These students typically have Individual Education Plans (IEP) that specifies the learning targets, exceptional children (EC) services, and any curriculum modifications or adjustments that allows the students to bridge the gap and are able to obtain the same education as their peers. In this article, they discuss how the goals were often primarily rote and procedural skills which can challenge their current teachers. Article Summary Autism is growing in the United States and the education department is trying to incorporate more of these students in a regular classroom setting. “As of 2006, 32.3% of students with autism in the United States spent 80% or more of their day instructed in general education settings, whereas approximately 38.7% spent less than 40% of their day in general education, and 9% of students with autism were educated at a separate school, indicating increases in the prevalence of inclusion in general education in just two years.” (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA] Data, 2006 as cited by Kurth, Jennifer and Ann Mastergeorge, 2010). A major part of this transitional move is the reliance on IEPs to encourage and help the students navigate the challenge of a regular classroom. Another purpose for an IEP, the learning targets are developed so that students make reasonable and achievable progress within the specified time frame. (Drasgow et al., 2001 as cited in Kurth, Jennifer and Ann Mastergeorge, 2010 ) During the study of the student’s IEPs in this article communication goals were more prevalent... ... middle of paper ... ...eet each of those goals. Students who were in general education had more IEP goals targeting higher order academic skills such as reading comprehension, writing passages for expressive communication, and solving word problems. This is striking given that IEP contents (i.e., goals, adaptations, and services) are intended to be driven solely by individual student need. Based on the findings of this study, it appears that teachers may consider classroom settings and the age of students as important factors in student IEP development. Students in noninclusion programs had goals primarily addressing functional rote and procedural learning tasks such as writing neatly, calculating sums and differences, and reading word lists. Altogether, these results suggest that educational setting influences IEP development and contents. (Kurth, Jennifer and Ann M. Mastergeorge 2010).
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