Can someone explain this to me?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by TeacherShelly, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Jul 28, 2013

    Our special education director is working toward making ours a full inclusion district. She advocates for ending special day classes, mainstreaming all students all the time, and not having aides for the students.

    A parent I respect has a son with Down Syndrome. She also wants him to be fully included (which he is) with no aide (which he still has, but just 10 hours per week).

    What is the rationale behind this thinking? I know I will not be able to get my head fully around the idea until I hear an explanation for this that I can at least understand, if not agree with!

    Thanks :)
     
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  3. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    Honestly, it sounds like they are just trying to save money. There is really no rationale for doing this. Each child is going to need something different. She should understand that.
     
  4. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Last year was our SPED director's first year in the district (and in such a powerful position). She started the year like this....like a bull in a china shop. All inclusion, no aides, it was up to the teachers to develop individualized curriculums that could be delivered in the gen ed class. She even said things like, "If Johnny's present level is counting, well then he should be sitting at his desk counting out manipulatives" (we teach middle school). Everyone was appalled and upset.

    Throughout the year, she really relaxed. She started to "eat her words", so to say. We even ended up getting our resource room back halfway through the year. Next year, our aides come back.

    My point is...maybe this will happen for you. A lot of people are willing to spew very idealistic mantras in order to sound PC, but once the issues (especially phone calls from parents) start rolling in, your SPED director may change his/her tune.
     
  5. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    It would certainly save money. But what about the parent? She's a high school math teacher. She wants her going-into-2nd grade son with Down Syndrome to be without an aide. Why would a parent want that?
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 28, 2013

    Denial?
     
  7. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    Going out on a limb here, because we can't know what is going on in your friend's mind...

    I would think that some parents are so desperate to have their child included and "normal" that they sometimes overlook the potential benefits of allowing their child to have individualized instruction. I'm sure that being the parent of a child with a developmental disability is incredibly hard, and their desire for their child to be happy and social may blind them from the benefits of SPED. I guess I would compare it to parents who have children with autism that go to extremes like putting them kids in hyperbaric chambers. Will it help? Maybe, but probably not. All they want is for their child to be healthy and happy, so they're willing to do anything.
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jul 28, 2013

    Sometimes aides do too much for children which enables the child. I've had parents turn down a 1-1 aide because they want their child taught by the classroom teacher or special education teacher, not the aide. They also want their child to do tasks independently and without dependence on an aide. Something you might consider is asking for a classroom aide instead of a 1-1 aide, this way you have support without singling out a child.

    My district has finally moved away from full inclusion to a continuum of services. I think that sometimes, directors feel that they need to try full inclusion just to get all teachers on board and show the benefits for most children before reoffering the full continuum of services. This can be harmful for some students and should definitely not be the method to get teachers on board, but it does happen.
     
  9. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    I also see it as a money saving tactic. No aides to help students stay on task??? No sped teachers to create accommodated tests or teach pullout tutorials to help students who are far below level complete homework and projects??? Really???

    It seems like a cruel approach to inclusion.
     
  10. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    I read this post too fast. I thought it was the DIRECTOR who wanted the child in the classes without an aide. If it's the parent, then I would definitely say denial is the case.
     
  11. bros

    bros Phenom

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    The district obviously wants to save money.

    To answer the second question, she might want to see how the child does without an aide, as students with Downs Syndrome, if they are higher functioning, they can last in a gen ed classroom without much in the way of assistance until the more abstract concepts of learning come along.

    She could be in denial.

    She could not want her child to appear different and is trying her hardest to have her son be treated like a normal student.
     
  12. deefreddy

    deefreddy Companion

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    Sometimes an adult aide with a child gives everyone else in the room the impression that the child with a disability is the aide's responsibility...therefore the child is still off in a corner, separated, working on a separate curriculum. I hope the general education teachers are aware of this new approach. It takes a much different way of teaching to make it work, and if the gen ed teachers aren't trained and on board, good luck.

    I don't think an aide should be there to keep one student on task...it does become a dependency for the student and the teacher in the room.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    As a gen ed teacher, I have to say that I am uncomfortable with the idea of a student with severe special needs (such as Down Syndrome) being in my class without an aide. I don't feel like I have the experience or training necessary to effectively work with that sort of student. I don't have the first clue about where to start when making modifications or making the content accessible and comprehensible.

    My opinion may not be PC, and I'm sorry for that. I just don't think it's fair to train me for one thing but then ask me to teach in an entirely different and unfamiliar way. It's not fair to me, to the student in question, or to the rest of the class.
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    1. Money.

    2. Ego.
     

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