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The Effects Of Mainstreaming On Learning Disabled Children

2071 words - 8 pages

A wide range of research has been done on the effects of mainstreaming on learning disabled children. Although many studies have shown improvements and positive effects, none had addressed the best time to implement mainstreaming programs. In this study, students, who had been diagnosed as moderately learning disabled, were selected to represent their respective grade level. Group 1 consisted of 15 students in kindergarten through 2nd grade, and Group 2 consisted of 15 students in grades 3rd through 5th. Both groups were given the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement-Revised at the beginning of the semester before inclusion was implemented, and another at the end of the semester. Group 1 had shown a more significant difference in improvement than Group 2. This study shows that there are definitely positive effects of mainstreaming, but also hopes that these current findings will direct future research to detect learning disabilities as early as possible.For many years now, there has been an increase of interest for the welfare of learning disabled children and their place in the normal classroom setting. The attempt to reintegrate special education students with learning disabilities has been a popular subject among the special education and research community (Shinn, Powell-Smith, Good, & Baker, 1997). They strive to create inclusion programs, however, has not just been a recent issue among these professionals. The movement began in 1975 when the Education of the Handicapped Act (now called The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) was created to develop programs across the United States. It's basic requirements were: (a) to make sure that all handicapped children (in private and public schools) were educated with non handicapped children as much as possible, and (b) that if handicapped children must be removed from the regular education environment, it must only be done if the special education children cannot achieve satisfactorily in the normal classroom with the help of special aides and services that can be provided (Aerfsky, 1995; Brown, 1997). Because of this movement, a growing number of students with moderate learning disabilities are being educated and overcoming their learning disability in general education classrooms (Logan & Malone, 1998).The term "mainstreaming" has been used to describe the transition of special-needs-children into the regular classroom (Brown, 1997). When these children are brought into the normal classroom, the strategy that many schools take on is usually called a "collaborative teaching" approach. This is where special and regular education teachers team up together to collaborate ideas and instruct students with disabilities in general education classrooms (Martson, 1996). Studies have shown that not only do the learning disabled students gain the potential to reach a higher academic standing when mainstreamed (Logan & Malone, 1998), but they also are able to develop positive self images...

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