Mainstream schooling vs. Special Education
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Tammy - posted on 04/08/2009
Hi Seneca, Here in Canada, it's the parents decision if the child is put into a special needs class.
My 5 yr old is in a regular class in Senior Kindergarten. Her and a couple of other children have some extra help with certain things. From what I understand Sarah(my daughter) has some problems processing information. She can read(at her age level), spell her name, etc. She isn't "behind" others her age though. At the last teacher/parent interview. they "brought up" the Special Ed class as a possibility,for when she gets older. They say as she gets older she could fall further behind. I think its crap. I told them no.
I've had some experience with a child in Special Ed classes.
My older son who just turned 13, was in a special ed class from grade 3 to part of grade 8.
When he was in grade 2, the school tested him and said his iq was low which in their words=intelligence deficit. I agreed as I thought they knew best.
When he was 11 his teacher told me, she felt he didn't belong there, and I was explained how children test "differently", and that could have been what had happened. She recommended he go back to a regular class. That coming Sept, he went to a regular class. He was so far behind in the work, I put him back. I should mention my son(in my opinion has behavior issues that get in the way of his work, and yes, learning disabilities.
He was soo miserable. Not to offend anyone, but my son was smart enough to know where he was, and he hated it! He would come home and complain how he was distraced, from, kids crawling around on the floor, diaper changes, the noises, etc......Basically he told me he hated being looked at as dumb! I felt so bad for him. They offered him to go into special olympics! He was mad! He eccels in sports and was quite offended!So was I. I wanted him to go to school to learn, not to be babysat to give me a break.
Anyway this year, I had a good talk with him, and told him he was going back in the regular class, and better behave or back he goes. He is currently doing well, in a regular class, adn having learning center classes as well.
Sorry to get off topic abit here but, I wanted to explain, where I am coming from. It's a parents choice! Don't let anyone tell you differently.
There will be no way my daughter goes into a special needs class, for just a possible learning disability. The schools have learning centers to help these kids cope and work through their learning disabilities. I believe with this,and helping her at home too, we will get through any possible hurdles she may have.
Does your school have teachers' aides to help in a regular class? Could this be why they have put your son into a special needs class? I agree with you, it's not fair.
I would think maybe a meeting with his teacher and the school principle would be the first step. Write down all your concerns/questions.
Caroline - posted on 07/03/2012
My daughter was born 9 weeks premmie, weighed 3 pounds & 11 ounces, she had many challenges. She was not able to walk un-assisted, she needed support to sit up, druelled constantly, developmentally delayed, frequent body tremors, kind of in a daze all the time, clenched left hand, choking on her food, speach problems, left side weakness etc tec. She was elevated on her toes when holding her to walk, she was splinted for a leg brace & they wanted to give her botox, but after researching botox and discovering how its made and there were no long term studies I decided against it. Her life was restricted & so was mine ...and it looked this way for the rest of her life ... & mine. I felt hopeless.
We were attending all sorts of treatments and therapies which cost a lot. A friend told me about some special wellness supplements from a particular company, she started taking them in her yogurt, after one week she was up walking un-assisted, it made an immense difference to her brain function, memory, balance, mood & cognition in a short space of time. I was elated!
I am so grateful to the person that told me about this incredible technology. She now has a life now ….. and so do I. Its now over 14 yrs later and she continues to take these special nutrients, now she is almost 16, in a few weeks she begins driving lessons and has just started an after school casual job in a fast paced food takeaway. She has attended normal public schools with no problems.
Diane - posted on 04/16/2009
I would say - scream and shout for what YOU want. YOU know YOUR son best of all. These "professionals" do NOT always know best. Any decisions taken now are going to affect the choices (or lack of) that your son has in the future.
What country do you live in?
UK mainstream schools get extra budget for pupils that require additional support so it suits them to keep these children in the special needs classes. The teaching assistants have to know about so many types of special need that their knowledge about any given disability, like CP, is scanty at best.
Our special schools get a budget per pupil at a higher rate than mainstream so pupils are not being manipulated to get extra budget or better exam / progress results. The teaching assistants can know more or learn about a smaller number of conditions but in depth or they are willing to learn from the parents.
I didn't make a fuss about my elder daughter and she got what she was given - she was happy enough but not stretched. With my younger daughter, I had more confidence and did make a fuss, eventually getting what I wanted for her.
Seneca - posted on 04/15/2009
I agree with you Diane, my problem is that my son would be able to learn more if he were in the mainstream classes... for some reason the special education department in our school doesnt have to follow the same curriculm. I do agree that there is a need for special education classes for students that have trouble learning, or behaving in the mainstream. my child is limited physicaly and placed in a class where the kids have sever retardation or behavior problems my son has neither... I am just frustrated with they way our department works. My sons report cards all say "in progress". I have spoke with his teacher about this and her answer is that is the way our computer prints it out. I know this is not true. I asked her if he knew enough to go to first grade next year and be in a mainstream class. She said no because he did not know how to read!! Then in the same breath told me that she doesnt teach them how to read in her class but all kindergarteners are begining to read before they go to first grade. so it was my understanding that they will always try to keep him one step behind the other kids so that he will be forced to be in special education classes... they have even told me who his teacher is going to be next year in that department. we are supposed to have a meeting to decide what placement would be best for him but to me it doesnt matter how i feel they have already decided that my son with no mental disabilities at all will continue to go to special education reguardless of his ability to learn.
Diane - posted on 04/15/2009
After having two children, one who went through the special education system and one who struggled through mainstream, I believe strongly in the special education system. But it all depends on the special school and whether they can cater up to mainstream level and what the local mainstream school is like. There are good and bad in both.
Seneca - posted on 04/08/2009
by the way they do have teachers aids however they do not want to spen the money to hire someone just to help Andrew...by law they are supposed to if I request it but by them keeping andrew in a special needs class with 5 students and 3 teachers they dont feel its necessary at this time! Since they wont teach him with the other kids he is behind and will have to stay in special classes!!!
Seneca - posted on 04/08/2009
Thank you so much for your response Tammy,
I am so fed up with the school here, I am ready to move just so that my son will be given a fair chance at a regular education. I have met with the teachers and the principal and any one else I could contact. They have never tested Andrew and tell me that because he is in diapers and has to sit in a wheelchair that he would benifit better from being in the special education classes. Personally I feel that is a line of crap! I dont understand what any of that has to do with his education or learning abilities. they have at my persistance in the begining of the year put Andrew in one mainstream class. It was Science. He loved it and would tell me what they did every day and would be upset if he didnt get to go for some reason. after Christmas the kindergarten schedual changed to where the science was moved to a time period where Andrew was supposed to be getting on the school bus, special needs children are not in class as long as the "normal" kids getting on the bus is concidered part of the school day, and they put him in Math... I was furious. He has no idea what is going on in math becaus he missed the first part of the year! and now he doesnt get to do the science which he loves. I tried to get them to change that even offered to come and pick him up from shcool just so that he could still have science in the mainstream class. They wouldnt do any thing. I hate this school and everything they are doing is to benifit them or to make it easier on them. I have learned that it doesn't matter if you are the parent they are going to do whatever they want regardless if you approve or not. I believe Andrew processes everything like a normal child... I asked him the other day what 3+4 was and he said 7!!! I was shocked that he knew that but if he is not able to learn like the other kids as the school thinks, how would he know that??? When I ask him what he did in school that day he says nothing or watched a movie!!! I agree about the daycare thing... my children have never been in daycare and I dont want them to be but everyday I feel as if I am sending my son to a daycare because other than his one class in mainstream he is not learning anything. He is going to have to repeat kindregarten not becaus he isnt smart but because he was never taught the same cirruculm as the other kindergarteners. I feel so bad about it I just want him to be given the oppertunity to lear instead of taking one look at him and thinking he cant learn to walk so we wont even try to teach him anything else. I dont know what to do!!!
Seneca - posted on 04/07/2009
i AM NOT HAVING ANY PROBLEMS GETTING IN TO THE SPECIAL EDUCATION CLASSES. I WANT HIM OUT OF THEM. I FEEL AS IF THEY ARE HOLDING HIM BACK HE IS PLACED IN A CLASS WITH 4 AND 5 YEAR OLDS THAT HAVE A LOT OF LEARNING DIFFICULTIES... ITS NOT FAIR THAT JUST BECAUSE HE CANT WALK HE IS BEING FORCED INTO THIS CLASS. I HAVE NEVER HAD HIS IQ TESTED HOWEVER I DONT BELIEVE ITS NECESSARY HE LEARNS THINGS LIKE SONGS HOW TO SPELL HIS NAME COUNTING ALPHABET ECT... HE IS VERY BRIGHT AND NOT SLOW LEARNING AT ALL....HOW DO I GET HIM MAINSTREAMED???
I am at the moment going through the main stream education system becouse we did not meet the cryteria of a special needs school.
a child with cp or any other disability has to pass cryterias(sorry for any spelling mistakes)these are things you will find out as you go along.
i have a child with cp and other disabilities,we,like other families have to go through the system,for eg, i have a friend who has a child with HDAD age 5,in mainstream and through the tests he had to take he was intitled to lever 3 of funding becouse he got 67% in the intelegence test and low in other tests but did not match any cryteria for a special school,my child has physical disabilities but walks unaided,eye imparment but not legely blind just partionaly blind,difficulty in the learning prosses as she does not prosses things quickly but slowley and scored 74% in a nuro psycology test and anything under 70% is classed as learning difficulty,if she does not pass any of these then she may not be intitled to any funding and will go to a main stream school(i'm not sure what age you'r child is but always find out if she is intitled to a second year in kinder),to go into a specialised school they need to meet a cryteria and unless she has a major learning/physical and other disability you will only have the option of a main stream,i hope that this helps,it's a long prosses,one that i have been looking at for 16mths know,if you have a good case manager they should be able to walk you through all of the questions that you need to know,if you hop on the web site for scope or call them they will give you some info that you want.
the lady to call and you can mention my name if you want is marella and she is on 03 52221863 if you live within australia.rules may change from state to state but she may be able to put you intouch with some one within you'r state
good luck and i hope that this helps
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