Generally, when people describe the term inclusion they might use words like accepted, welcomed, valued, and togetherness. With word inclusion having the ability to generate these types of positive emotions, why wouldn’t one want to incorporate full-inclusion into the classroom? Its hard to see the potential pitfalls when looking at the developmental benefits from including students with more severe disabilities into the classroom, yet there are still concerns regarding inclusion. Parents of children with disabilities, parent of children without disabilities, and even general education teachers have voiced their opinion on why full-inclusion may not be the best solution for all disability students.
Weather it’s the case of not being able to accommodate the student with the necessary amount of movement breaks throughout the day, or having the student feeling constant pressure to keep up with the rest of the class (Falcone, K. 2012). There is also the concern that keeping disability students away from a specialized educational setting is simply depriving them of an appropriate education, and that proper special education is individualized (Fuchs & Fuchs, 1995). Parents with disabled children have even challenged the idea of Full-inclusion by saying that their child may be looked or treated differently, resulting in self-esteem issues and/or bullying.
Like I stated before, including an individual is usually looked at as good thing. So when schools, and parents evaluate incorporating full-inclusion into the classroom, they usually get a laundry list ways it could benefit not only the child with the disability but everyone in the classroom. Many believe that including students with disabilities in both academic and non academic settings can strengthen them socially and strengthen the way the interact with non-disabled peers. This also brings up the argument that non-disabled students can deeply benefit from interacting with their peers of disabilities (Wehmeyer, 2003). Inclusion can build patience and understanding within a classroom, and at a young age show students how to be accepting of all people.
Also including children with disabilities in a Gen. Ed classroom is likely to have little academic impact on the other students, but could even enhance the learning environment by adding more teachers in the classroom for extra help. The community can also benefit from inclusion. With an increase in peer interaction and social experience, students with disabilities will be able to gain the skills necessary to contribute to their community once their educational career is over.
Personally, I believe not only children with server disabilities can greatly benefit from being included in the classroom, but everyone involved in the classroom can benefit from Inclusion. There’s a lot to be said for the schools pushing interaction between disability students and non disabled students. It gives the opportunity for children to grow morally, and develop a greater understanding of acceptance. We saw the affect Peter had on his classmates, and the tremendous social growth they gained over the coarse of the year. There are students like Peter in classrooms all around the country, that can offer a deeper understanding of life. It goes to show just because you might be different doesn’t mean you don’t belong. I think its truly important to incorporate inclusion into the classroom and that positives out weigh the negatives.
With that said, I also believe that there are somethings the Gen Ed classroom can’t accommodate for. Many students with disabilities rely on having that learning center or special ed classroom where they can go and get fully accommodated and proper one-on-on attention is absolutely crucial. Spending time with special ed instructors, with individualized lessons can be a lot more affective than keeping up with the pace of the Gen ed curriculum.
My opinion from the beginning of the year hasn’t really changed. Coming into this class I knew that having students with disabilities incorporated with the day-to-day class time was important. Yet at the same time I knew how important the special education classes are and how helpful they can be for the academic progress of these students. My case study really proved that. My student needed that place to go when he felt lost or over whelmed. Full-inclusion would have been too much for him.