Special Education Becoming Less Special? Essay

1247 words - 5 pages

Imagine a classroom in a typical high school; a teacher is explaining a lesson in Algebra. All of a sudden, there is an ear-splitting screech from the back of the classroom and a book goes hurling towards the chalkboard. One’s first instinct would be to whip around and see what the commotion was about; however, it is just Toby, the special needs child. This class encounters outbursts like this from Toby nearly everyday. The mainstreaming of special education students is the main reason behind these disruptions. Some of these pupils spend up to 80 percent of their day in a standard classroom setting. Inclusion of disabled students into a customary classroom has become a growing trend in many public schools throughout America in the past few decades. Because of this, mainstreaming is affecting the students, their peers, and their educators. (“Special Education”).

Vast majorities of people believe that the inclusion of disabled children is one of the most effective ways to improve the social and educational skill of these special needs students. However, this is not an ideal situation for the majority of these children to be dealing with on a daily basis. Placing a special needs child into a standard classroom actually causes them to learn less. For example, they do not obtain the attention needed, and lessons may be gone over to hurriedly for them. Due to this, the lesson being demonstrated would not be able to be comprehended by the pupil. In other words, a teacher would have to recreate and reshape lesson plans around one or two individual learners. The normal classroom setting merely allows these children to slip through the hands of teachers, becoming passed from educator-to-educator attempting to get out of the system as soon as possible. Often times when this happens, the child is not able to receive the solid education that every student should be entitled to obtain. (“Special Education”). In addition, this makes children feel superior to their peers. In other words, it leads them to feel disconnected from the other students, like an outsider that does not belong. Because of this, students get easily frustrated with themselves and are apt to give up or even worse believe it is their fault they are different from others. In reality, the minds of these already low-level learners have the confusion of their surrounding peers to add on top of the mental stress they already exhibit. Lastly, these children are mocked, singled out, and verbally abused. In contrast to the belief that inclusion “breaks down social barriers,” it in fact only contributes to the building of them. Because of this, children feel depressed and withdrawn from the social activities that all their “normal” peers are able to participate in. In other words, special needs children learn less, feel perplexed, and become depressed due to mainstreaming. (“Intellectual Disabilities”). Clearly, this is not what any parent wants for their child, so why do they continue to...

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