Student With Disability Essay

Pages: 4 (1300 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Teaching

Students With Disabilities

One of the great challenges of teaching today is successfully including a wide diversity of students in the classroom. Especially at elementary and high school level, the classroom tends to be filled with representative from any variety of cultures and learning styles from the surrounding community. Since the 1970s, this diversity has also come to mean the inclusion of students with any level and variety of disabilities, whether this be psychological or physical. Teachers with such students in the classroom face a unique set of challenges and responsibilities in terms of both their responsibilities to the students with disabilities and the rest of their classrooms. Hence, many studies have been conducted regarding the phenomenon of inclusion and how this can be effectively implemented. One example is a case study I recently read regarding a 15-year-old boy with severe disabilities whose parents advocated for his inclusion in a mainstream high school classroom (McKee, 2011). The main result of this study shows that, with effective communication among all parties involved, such inclusion can be successful.

The decision to include the young man in a mainstream high school classroom was based upon the Public Law 94-142 the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, passed in 1975 and renamed he Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1990. Included in this legislation is the least restrictive environment (LRE) statement, requiring that, whenever possible children with disabilities should, as far as possible, be educated with those who are not disabled (McKee, 2011, p.1).

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The case study, as mentioned, concerns a 15-year-old boy with severe disability who was included in general education classes in a four-year high school in a Midwestern city. This was done with the consultation and collaboration of the boy's parents, school administrators, special education staff, and general education teachers.

Essay on Student With Disability Assignment

One interesting element of the study was that all the professionals involved, along with the parents of the young man, were in favor of the inclusion drive (McKee, 2011, p. 192). However, deeper investigation revealed that all the professionals involved with the young man in questions made qualifying statements regarding inclusion, to the effect that, while inclusion is a "good thing," there could be "some dangers" and "some drawbacks." Others held that inclusion should be "reasonable and realistic." In other words, McKee observed the fact that all the professionals involved felt that there was somewhat of a disconnect between inclusion in theory and what in fact occurs in practice. The parents, on the other hand, were overwhelmingly positive about inclusion.

During McKee's investigation, she observed tensions developing between parents and members of their son's education team. One particular incident concerns the student's first year of inclusion, during which he assistant principal, the special education teacher, and the paraeducator believed that they observed a behavioral issue in the student. This idea was based upon the student falling asleep in the class. The educators involved believed that this was an avoidance measure as a result of feeling overwhelmed by he demands of the regular classroom situation. Despite the parents' assertion that the issue was medical rather than behavioral, being an arousal disorder, the special education teacher continued in the belief that the issue was behavioral. The paraeducator was told o continue treating the issue as behavioral. This caused significant tension between the parents and the instructors involved until the issue was resolved by adjusting the student's medication.

Another area of disagreement was the view of the AEA consultant year two, who felt that the student needed extra-curricular life-skills and job-skills training for three afternoons per week. The parents believed that, at school level, the best life-skills training for their son was observing and interacting with his classmates, and that job-skills training would be most useful only after his high school career was completed. This was another point of tension between the parents and educators. Both parents and educators, however, were in agreement… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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