So, what is so different between Inclusive Education in the neighborhood school in a Regular Education classroom versus a Special Education classroom in a central location away from your neighborhood with everybody being taught at their supposed level of learning?

     The inequities are huge.  I can only create two columns and put the differences or I would be writing a separate book:

Inclusive Education at Neighborhood School                               Special Education Elsewhere

Walking to school with kids in neighborhood                                 Riding bouncy loud bus with strangers

Having friends to play with after school                                          Not knowing your neighbors

Friends knowing you and not being afraid                                      Neighbor kids afraid of you

Learning by watching other appropriate children                          Learning inappropriate behaviors

Being helped by 19 other children (and an aide)                            Student who is melting down hits you

Invitations to birthday parties                                                             Live too far to go to a classmate’s party

Your mother knows the other kids and their mothers                    Your mother never comes to the school

Your  materials are created for your ability level                             Your materials are not individualized

You learn history, science, and appropriate social skills               You learn how to tie your shoes

Your therapies happen in your class                                                 You have to leave class for therapies

Your typical peers become your advocates                                     Your parents hire professional advocates

Parents are active in PTA                                                                     Parents feel alienated—not involved

Feeling you belong in your community                                              Feeling different from everyone

Peers speak to you, hearing people talking                                      Peer students don’t talk

Becoming independent                                                                         Learning dependence


     One excuse that is used to justify segregation is educators or parents believe it will be stressful on the child.   Nobody wants to be stressed out. But to live independently you need to be able to handle stress and frustration and to be flexible (not stuck in routines, but able to see and do things in different ways). You should expect them to grow, learn and behave appropriately.  Or you will always be making excuses when they react inappropriately. As they grow up, it gets harder to change bad habits. The higher the expectations the more they are striving to achieve them. Low expectations breeds low outcomes.


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