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Labeling: Disability and Special Education Essay

What are Exceptional children and what place do they have in our schools? Exceptional children are children who are either exceptionally gifted or children with exceptional learning disabilities. These are children whose performances are way above the average child or way below the average child. When they perform way above the average child, they are called gifted. When they perform way below the average, we say they are children with learning disabilities. Like any other child, these children with exceptionalities are also a part of our society.

Therefore it is important that they get the same opportunities as other children. Sometimes these children are clled Special and are placed in a special education program. However there are some children who never attended school. Journal entry II Reflection Journal Entry I What is Labeling? A tag used to identify children with learning disabilities. Types of Labeling – Slow learners, lazy, unmotivated, rude, dumb and disgusting. Advantages of Labeling 1. Had it not been for labeling there would not have been any funds for educational programs for children with learning disabilities.

2. Labeling allows professionals to meet so that they can work together for a common goal to help facilitate children with learning disabilities. 3. Labeling has led to the development of specialized teaching methods, assignment approaches and behavioural interventions that are useful for all teachers including teachers who teach children with learning disabilities (Hallahah and Kauffman, 1982) 4. Labeling may make the majority without disabilities more tolerant of the minority with disabilities.

People may tolerate the actions of children identified as having intellectual disabilities than their peers without intellectual disabilities who would be criticized. 5. Labeling the disability spotlights the problems imposed for the public. Labeling can spark social concern and aid advocacy effects. 6. The human mind requires “mental hooks” to think about problems. If present categorical labels were abolished, a new set of descriptors would evolve to take their place. There is ample evidence of this in the evolution of the term “mildly disable”. Disadvantages of Labeling.

1. Although all children have some behavioural problems, labels can exaggerate a student’s actions in the eyes of a teacher. A tacher may overact to behaviour of a labeled child that would be tolerated in another. 2. Labels send a clear message. The learning problem is with the student. Labels tend to obscure the essence of teaching and leaning as a two-way street. Some children that are placed in a mild disability category are said to have nothing wrong with them, however they are the recipients of ineffective schooling 3. Labeling shape teacher expectation.

Imagine what your reaction would be if you as a teacher were told that you had a mildly retarded child in your class. Studies on teacher expectations have demonstrated that what teachers believe about student capability is directly related to students achievement. 4. Labels perpetuate the notion that students with mild disabilities are qualitatively different from other children. That is not true. Students with disabilities go through the same developmental stages as their peers, although sometimes at a slower pace. 5. Students can not receive special education services until they are labeled.

In many instances, the intervention comes too late. The need to students before help arrives undermines a preventive approach to mild learning problems. 6. Teachers may confuse the student with the label. Labels reflect categories of disabilities. Categories are abstract, not real, concepts that the general enough to incorporate many different individuals. Each child is a unique human being. When a student is placed in a category, a teacher who knows some of the characteristics of a category may ascribe all known characteristics to each labeled child.

This is stereotyping and it harms children when a teacher rationalize low achievement by citing characteristics of the label. Example: We do not expect John to remember all his spellings vecause he is intellectually disabled. 7. Diagnostic labels are unreliable. Educational evaluation is filled with quirks. /the governments use different description criteria for the same categories; many evaluation instruments have questionable validity and reliability; specific labels go through trends. 8. Labels often put the blame (and the guilt) for a student’s learning problem squarely on the parents’ shoulders.

In many cases, this is unjustified because students may be mislabeled or teachers many not fully understand the many different cases for learning disability. More disadvantages Labeling a child with Learning Disabilities may: 1. Cause stigmatization from teacher, peers and parents 2. May lower expectations placed on them 3. Have teachers treat them differently 4. Students may make fun of them 5. Students may have difficulty of being alienated or bullied by the general school body 6. They are unable to participate in school functions or attend different school from their siblings, which can lead to isolation Conclusion.

The advantages of labeling were more obvious in the formative years of special education (mid 1940s to early 1970s) then they are now without the category learning disability, advocates would not have been able to promote educational programs for these children. Once a child is categorized with intellectual disability, emotional disturbance, or learning disabilities, this information would be filed an every teacher who comes along will be informed. This reason alone stigmatizes a child. This practice should never be done if it can be helped. Journal Entry III Inclusion: Argument For and Against All m en are created equal.

Therefore it is the rights of one and all to be included in a family, school, society or the world for that matter. Whether on is black or white, woman or man, disable or able it is the right of every human being to be a part of the inclusion process. Many persons whose abilities are denied or ignored feels that society has not respected their rights to participate in their fullest capabilities as their peers. So what is Inclusion – Some say it is about all of us, living full lives, our abilities and not a disability issue, opening doors that were once locked for all, equal opportunities and education for all.

It is recognizing our interdependence and that we are one, even ehen we are not the same. For Inclusion Many people are for inclusion:- 1. Because of the ever changing world. Because the world is changing, stereotyping is being exposed, allowing moral values to change. 2. Every child has a right to an appropriate and efficient education in his/her local mainstream school. 3. It is unlawful for education providers to discriminate between pupils on grounds of race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion, etc. 4.

Changes in world and government policies means equality for all, including disabled people. Respect and equal commitment are becoming more important. 5. Human rights for every individual introduces diversity as rich learning resource. 6. Inclusion rarely cost less than segregated classes when the concept is implemented responsibly (Sklaroff 1994 p7) 7. Gifted children can some times be grouped by “heterogeneous grouping” however it is said that gifted children work best with gifted children. 8. Teachers who have only low=ability students often times have lower expectation of their students.

Journal Entry IV 1. Disabled children are not getting the attention that is needed in the mainstream. 2. Classroom teachers do not always have the necessary resources, training or support system in place to teach children with disabilities. 3. The disabled children are not getting appropriate specialized attention and care. Teachers have neither the time, nor expertise to meet their needs. 4. The regular students are disrupted instantly. 5. Students with disabilities can not cope with the high standard placed on students to improve the academic achievement of students.

Luberman (1992). 6. By expending the range of ability levels, teachers are required to direct inordinate attention to only a few students, decreasing the amount of time and energy with the rest of the class. Tonnille (1994) 7. By mixing disabled children with regular students, they would get lost in the crowd and programs would be watered down. 8. Students are subject to negative labeling. Finally it is my belief that children with learning disabilities need their own space. They do not progress academically without individual attention to meet their won specific educational needs.

In addition, these students need specialized teachers, teaching them in a resourced room setting to cater to their special needs. However, there are some children with mild disabilities. These children can be a part of inclusion within regular classroom setting with limited disabilities. These children have a better opportunity of progressing, once teachers are willing and able to teach them. Also they get to improve by imitating and working along side average children. They also learn from these children.


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