In this article I am going to tell you how inclusion works in mainstream schools for children with disabilities. The reason I am going to tell you this is because inclusion can work very well for most special needs children.
In this article I am going to teach you
- The advantages and disadvantages of inclusion for children with learning disabilities
- The factors to consider before your child joins the same classroom as other "regular" students
- How to assess a successful inclusion program for your child with learning disabilities
There is a legal need to give an education system to children with disabilities in the "least restrictive environment".
As a means of interpreting these requirements, mainstream schools try to accommodate students with special needs or disabilities and integrate them into the classrooms along with their "normal" peers as much as practically possible.
To do this, they first need to consider the level of disability and effects of the disability on the child, and consequently the potential impact on fellow students and teaching requirements.
Inclusion can bring about a win-win situation for all students where special needs children can learn social skills from their peers. They will also receive the same or a similar education as them, and the typical mainstream students will get to appreciate diversity, learn empathy and build mutually rewarding friendships with other special needs children.
However, inclusion may not always work well. For example a student may be disruptive, need more help than other students, and the teacher may have to spend more time with that student while the rest of the class receive less attention and teaching time.
The class may also be distracted by the special needs student and the teacher may struggle with limited ability in dealing with special needs children.
Before your child is included in a mainstream classroom setting, it is important to decide in advance how your child would respond to a greater number of children in the classroom, a faster pace of teaching, and how they would interact with their regular peers who have always been in mainstream education.
For successful inclusion of your special needs child, the school needs to have a number of educational components in place. These include having a curriculum that is language based and a form of teaching that progresses throughout the day and achieves measurable goals.
The curriculum for children with learning disabilities must also address multiple skill development and record pertinent data, with frequent review and change where necessary.
By considering the above factors, you will be able to make an informed decision about what would be the best educational option for your child. I wish you the very best of luck with educating your child no matter what option you chose.