Friday, March 16, 2012

Wanting to have it both ways....

I-Am-Abled! Disability Advocacy Information and Blog

has postings about a 14 year old autistic child charged with a felony after slapping or hitting her teacher. The parent explained that this is just her child's way of dealing with things when she gets frustrated, as she is a non-verbal autistic.
It really seems to me that the parents and others advocating for the rights of the disabled want to have it both ways.
-Put our children in school just like everyone else.
-But, because our children are not like everyone else, the teachers must be specially trained to deal with our children, and excuses must be made when our children don't act like everyone else.

Wikipedia has an article on mainstreaming here. Amongst the disadvantages listed are these:

"Costs: Schools are required to provide special education services but may not be given additional financial resources. The per-student cost of special education is high. The U.S.'s 2005 Special Education Expenditures Program (SEEP) indicates that the cost per student in special education ranges from a low of $10,558 for students with learning disabilities to a high of $20,095 for students with multiple disabilities. The average cost per pupil for a regular education with no special education services is $6,556. Therefore, the average expenditure for students with learning disabilities is 1.6 times that of a general education student."
Our local school had to pay for transporting a special needs student an hour away, once a week, for horseback riding lessons, deemed beneficial to the students learning. Horseback riding lessons. I would have loved to have taken riding lessons. My parents couldn't afford it.
"Careful attention must be given as well to combinations of students with disabilities in a mainstreamed classroom. For example, a student with conduct disorder may not combine well with a student with autism, while putting many children with dyslexia in the same class may prove to be particularly efficient."
For a small school system, trying to combine various disabilities may be just plain impossible. If you've only got two classrooms per class, how do you separate the students?

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