Mainstreaming of Autistic Children
*Missing Works Cited*
Imagine yourself, as a child who has autism and all you want is to be treated like all the other kids in your class. When they get to get into reading groups, you get sent off to the special education instructor so you can work on your social skills. The question comes up almost every day, and that is if autistic children should be segregated, or mainstreamed from public schools. In this paper I am going to go over some of the causes of autism and common symptoms, and then how some these autistic children are being held out of public schools.
First off, there are three main stages of autism. The first being from 3-4 years old, which is known as "early infantile syndrome." (Rimland pg.69) This will only effect about 10% of all autistics. (Ackerman pg.1) The next stage which would include the teen years, which brings up the question as to if these children should be included in public schools. Many a time these kids will be found in the corner, off by themselves. They seem to be in some sort of a daydream and will be distracting classes, so the teacher has to take time to get the class under control, as well as the autistic child. (Dowling-Sendor pg.1) The final stage occurs when they become adults, and then the signs of autism will set in. Depending on the severity of the disease, they may be able to lead a normal life, while others must be watched with close supervision. (Pine pg.17)
There are numerous symptoms of autism, which makes it a hard disease to diagnose, and decide if they will be able to learn in a public school. Some of the common symptoms are when they are in their younger years, such as their kindergarten or first grade; they are able to perform mental feats, which surpass others of the same age.
Although many of the autistic children are not in this category, so it is difficult for the administrators to decide if it is safe for the autistic child to attend school their, or go to a specialized school where they will learn with other children with autism. Some of the other most common symptoms of autism are repeated body movement, self-mutilation, and possibly an expressionless face. With many of these symptoms, it is hard for people to decide weather it is right to send the child to a public school, or a specialized school.
The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that public schools must educate children with disabilities along with children who have no disabilities "to the maximum extent appropriate."(Dowling-Sendor pg.1) In the statement before, the words maximum extent express Congress' strong preference for mainstreaming. The term mainstreaming is used as a means of achieving whatever level of inclusion is felt to be the best for the student and the class. Placement for children with autism involves a combination of educational settings, which is the best learning setting for the student. Mainstreaming is the...