Inclusion class segregates special ed students

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    • #109130

      Hello all. I have two elementary aged sons, both with IEPs for diagnoses of ADHD. My youngest is in Kindergarten (gen ed setting) and I have his CSE meeting in a few weeks to discuss placement for next year. I had considered requesting placement in the inclusion class based on documented difficulties/struggles with reading, writing, speech, OT and PT. That said, I have heard some things about the 1st grade inclusion class that give me pause. Specifically, that the special ed teacher pulls all of the special ed students from the classroom and teaches them separately across the hall in a different class room. My oldest is in 2nd grade, in the inclusion class, and he is taught by both the gen ed and special ed equally; the only separation occurs w/in the class and it is done simply to divide the class equally between the teachers at various points during the day and they are in no way separated by the IEP designation. I do not believe that the method of teaching the 1st grade inclusion class is appropriate – am I correct? Can anyone point me in the right direction to specific guidelines, rules, regulations, statutes so that I can bolster my (likely) arguments at the CSE mtg? At this point, based on what I know, I would not want my son in that classroom. Thank you all in advance.

    • #109182
      Penny Williams

      If they are pulling special needs students out of class for separate instruction, that is not inclusion. Inclusion is have special ed students in the regular ed classroom and accommodating their needs in that environment. I’d actually bring this practice in the 1st grade class to the attention of the principal and the head f special ed for your school board. They are not following the law. If this is the only 1st grade inclusion class, and it’s not inclusion, then they aren’t offering your son an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment, which is a requirement under the IDEA law.

      You shouldn’t sacrifice the help your child needs for 1st grade because the teachers aren’t following protocol.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

      • #109525

        Inclusion classes are not created equal. Some schools are better at it than others. Children who are in the GE side of a class can be pulled out for extra instruction in reading and if a SE child needs it that can be done as well. The IEP should be very specific and if need be, an advocate can accompany a parent to the meeting.

    • #109312
      Dr. Eric

      You really need more information with the understanding that you will only get 1/2 of the story regarding what is on those specific kids’ IEPs. (It would be illegal for school staff to break confidentiality.)

      If this was a pattern that persisted year-after-year, I would be more inclined to say it was poor classroom design and an explanation from district administration is warranted. (Which may include them not know that this is happening until you tell them.)

      For example, we are an inclusion school, but, of the 80 kids we serve, 4 have pull-out time to access our intensive, evidence-based reading intervention program to address their most stubborn reading disabilities for about a half-hour at a time.

    • #109478

      My son is in 3rd grade and is in the inclusion class, he has ADHD and dyslexia. When he is with the rest of the students (most of the day) he has a staff member (shared with other inclusion students) there helping him and his assignments are modified if needed. However he is so far off grade level for reading that he is pulled at that time to do intensive remediation. This is what he needs! Before he was in the SpEd program, he was in the classroom with everyone else at these times and he was miserable. His confidence and his behavior were on a downhill slide. It is not productive for a student to be in inclusion if the material is too far from their capabilities. The goal should be to catch the student up and get them back into the classroom as soon as possible, but I would never complain about the extra attention my struggling student gets.

    • #109482

      My son, 16, also has an IEP. The school system he is in also integrates the students. Now being in tenth grade, I can honestly tell you he in no way feels nor is treated any different with behavior or learning. These kids learn different is all.
      Example: There are two “ways” you can drive to school. One is highway, more direct, the other is side roads, many left then rights. Our kids live on the back road direction.
      If your school system is worth his/her future self, there is NO difference. Only their special educator comes to them when their hand is raised bc they are confused.
      Good luck

      • #109535

        I would definitely pursue fixing the situation in the first grade as well as ask about it in the meeting and specifically make sure it says in the new IEP exactly what situations your child will be out of the general education classroom. This might be for one-on-one or small group work, but should only happen for something special like music therapy or after your child has shown themselves too distracted to get supportive help in that classroom or in specific need of personal instruction like reading. These should also be examined annually. If this isn’t what happens it is no where near mainstreaming, much less inclusion. Telling the school you would like to observe in both the “inclusion” room and where the students are taken before signup_user_complete the new IEP might also be a good idea.

        For the poster who said you couldn’t really know what the situations is the other children being pulled out are because you can only talk to the parents, this isn’t necessarily true. The IEP document the school should be following is the same as any shown to you by other parents.

        For example, I have a son with both ADHD and Down syndrome who has actually been included for the vast majority of every day throughout school, and he’s now 15. For ninth grade we were offered a class with other children in special education for reading, writing, and math, but it was a explained by the lead Spec. Ed. specialist and we discussed what the alternatives were based on our goals for him and his 1st grade skills in these reading, writing, and math. Up until now he’s only been out of the classroom at specific, limited times for subjects he couldn’t do in the other class because he was too distracted by what everyone else was doing and we were always asked and for the music therapy that was our decision for him to do. In face a few times in middle school he brought home assignment sheets obviously not his because he took a copy as they were passed out.

        This year he is also taking a mix of general education classes (earth science, ASL (with a specially trained instructional aide), PE/health, introductory culinary science (though learning to cook things for home when the others talk about finances and management), and introduction to child development, along with two periods of focused education in a separate classroom with 11 other kids and their aides and the lead special ed teacher where they cover reading, writing, math, and sometimes fun things. We are lucky in that this district truly believes and demonstrates a high degree of inclusion, but the main point is removal should be specific to the child’s needs and with the knowledge and agreement of the parent(s) in all cases.

    • #112613

      I don’t know if I really have an answer to this; but I can share my own experience with how I was taught. I have ADD and several other diagnosed learning disabilities and in my education I think I experienced a wide range of teaching methods.

      I spent most of elementary school in New Hampshire, in the 1980’s and was taught in what they called a “fully inclusive class with co-teaching.” Basically I was a regular mainstreamed student for the majority of the day, I was in a regular class, taught by the mainstream teacher, but for certain subjects that I struggled with the most or needed additional support in I was brought into a separate environment for one on one assistance, or in some cases a small group of us were brought out for personalized support. This to me was actually a good thing because it allowed me to get the one on one help I absolutely needed. Keep in mind that for some kids with ADD, getting personalized instruction or one on one help is a gold mine of helpfulness and can often be the thing that helps them get through the day. Even though I was used to the mainstream class and felt at home there, sometimes I needed the smaller classroom setting to decompress and focus on the areas I was most struggling with. It also gave everybody else in the class a chance to sort of have a “break” as you must keep in mind that kids with ADD as lovely as we are can be a lot to handle all day and if we’re struggling we oftentimes have outbursts that can be disruptive. I know if I was struggling, everybody knew it and at times I made everybody suffer because of it.

      As I got into middle school we moved to Rhode Island and I was put into a self-contained class, where I was with only four or five other special needs kids for all my classes (and we had only 1-2 special ed teachers all day), with the exception of electives like gym and music, etc. I actually found this environment LESS helpful than being in a mainstreamed class. This class had kids of many different levels in one room and I found that it made learning difficult because the teacher had to find a way to teach lessons that kids at very different levels could try to understand. It was nearly impossible trying to tailor a lesson so that sixth graders, eight graders and so on could all get the lessons. Eventually within a year or two I breezed through the curriculum of the self-contained class which was woefully out of date and they had no choice but to mainstream me. At this point is where things got very difficult for me, because the mainstreamed class was taught at grade level, but the special ed class was not so there was a bit of a gap between the two and I had a lot of catching up to do, with almost no support. It was jarring, scary and not well planned. I had a couple resource periods each week, but that wasn’t enough and the social aspect was scary as well.

      So my advice is maybe talk to your kids and ask them how they feel about school, if they like the environment, are they feeling comfortable, you might learn that they have a lot of feelings or ideas you didn’t know about. Being included is important, but it’s possible that they enjoy being brought out for separate instruction sometimes. Best of luck. Not sure if any of this is helpful at all, I realize every kid is different and the standards may be different than when I was in school.

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