In order to realistically discuss the pros and cons of total inclusion, several points must be considered.

First, let's define terms:

TOTAL INCLUSION a situation where the child is educated in a regular classroom, but not necessarily with the exact same curriculum. Less than 20% of the student's time is spent in a special ed setting (whether for physiotherapy, resource room, or whatever else).


...a phrase of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) includes the provision that separate classes must be provided for children "when the nature and severity of the handicap is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily."

What Do Studies Show About Inclusion?

I do not believe that total inclusion is the answer for every special child. But many could benefit from total or partial inclusion. In making a choice for each child, the family must consider several points:
The classroom (regular and special ed) must be evaluated for the following:
I would also like to finish with a few final points of benefit of inclusion, conducted in frum schools (in at least lower-to-mid gradeschool): The resource room is also there for kids with learning disabilities. Exposure of our teachers to special ed techniques will help make them more aware of "normal" children with problems (like minor learning problems, learning disabilities), and promote the acceptance of the less-than-perfect student (bottom 1/3 of the class). Classmates will learn to accept others with disabilities and differences.

This article first appeared in issue #10 of Down Syndrome Amongst Us

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