Essay about From Inclusion to Friendship

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“The 1% of US students with labels of severe disabilities including mental retardation have been historically excluded from ‘inclusive’ education” (Bentley, 2008, p. 543). Laws such as PL 94-142 and “No Child Left Behind” (as cited in Bentley), say that ‘public school students with all types of disabilities be educated in the least restrictive environment—‘to the maximum extent possible…with children who do not have disabilities’ the majority of these students with special education labels, such as, mental retardation and multiple disabilities are still isolated in special education classrooms (Bentley, 2008, p. 545). Wehmeyer (as cited in Bentley), points out that mere access does not promote authentic participation (Bentley, 2008, p. …show more content…
Parents added that homework helped them to understand what their child was learning and gave them a way to receive and provide useful feedback. The study also found that teachers valued collaboration with other service staff such as occupational, physical and speech therapists. The schools studied used an integrative services model where all services were provided in the general classroom. The teachers found this collaboration valuable because it helped them develop strategies that were designated in the student’s IEP, and the specialist’s presence in the classroom allowed them to help other students as well (Downing, Peckham-Hardin, 2007, p.24). In some cases special educators and teachers of traditional classes choose to team teach, or the special educator might serve as a consultant or mentor for the regular classroom teacher. It is through communication and collaboration that teachers, parents and support providers can develop strategies and create a climate where true inclusion and friendship can occur.
One of the most common strategies for facilitating inclusion of students with disabilities in traditional classes is the use of one-on-one paraprofessionals. These paraprofessionals often stay with a student for all or a portion of the school day. Though the presence of a paraprofessional is intended to support a student with disabilities it has been found that their presence can actually have a detrimental…

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