There are mainstream schools that include children with special needs in a typical classroom. Inclusion requires a child with special needs to be included with the same routines, experiences and boundaries just like everyone else. The special attention that they need is given by a teacher and a teacher aide.
But this kind of inclusion can be breeding grounds for failing children with special needs and their classmates. The Special Needs Students can be deprived of expert individual attention, and their classmates also might not get the attention that they should be getting from the general education teacher.
Picture this. When there is a child with a autism in an average classroom, and he doesn’t get his way, there’s a big chance that he will seek attention for him to get his way. This disrupts the whole class, and the teacher doesn’t really have a choice but to give attention to the child. She consequently leaves the class in whatever they’re doing so that the child with special needs will be attended to.
Now you might say that there is a teacher aide–he/she can handle the child with special needs.
Most teacher aides wouldn’t really know how to handle him unless they go through extensive training on how to handle such outbursts.
Schools and teacher should be very careful when it comes to having a truly inclusive class. They should be wary of giving specialist provision they need, while not depriving others in the process.
What should we do about it, then?
This is just my opinion, but I (think) believe that in an inclusion class, there should be specialists. SNS need special attention. A resource teacher would greatly benefit them. SNS will be included in the class. They follow the same rules and routines, be expected to behave during discussion, physical education, and special subjects. But during lessons and seatworks, there is a Special Needs teacher by their side to help them understand the lesson better and follow the pacing of the class. Unfortunately, due to budget restrictions this is not always the case especially in the inner city school districts.
In this way, all students get the education that they deserve. Special Needs Students also flourish with the class socially, and educationally, they thrive with their resource teacher.