Archive for December, 2011

Educating Special Needs Children in Mainstream Schools

These days finding a special needs child in a mainstream school would be like finding an “Enter” key on a keyboard.

The concept of institutionalised care and education is almost a thing of the past. Though some circles still feel special needs kids and adults do not have a place in mainstream society, thankfully these groups are diminishing as the decades roll on.

The placement of Special needs kids in mainstream school has many benefits to the special needs child but also the school community as a whole. Mainstream school kids get to know the disabled child for the person inside the body, not the outward disability. This goes a long way to improving social acceptance of the special needs kids both now as a child in school and later as an adult in the community.

As a parent of a disabled child I often liken the use of Special School facilities to taking a bath without any water or taking a flight in a plane without wings.

Just like we need water to take a bath we also need a “normal” social setting to educate special needs kids about society and interacting in it. The use of Special Education facilities is like taking a mainstream school student to the desert to teach them to swim.

I should pause to explain that this article is written out of frustration due to a long run battle for our child to be accepted at a mainstream school on a permanent basis. The closest we have ever been able to get was 4 days at a mainstream school and 1 day at special education – with this likely to expand each year until she was a permanent pupil at the special education school.

As parents we are in no way against the Specialised Education our daughter requires. We do however, feel this Extra support could and should be made available to her at a mainstream school. She should have the ability to have lunch with her siblings, participate in Lunchtime activities with mainstream kids, Attend sporting events – whether participating or cheering – and generally socialise with her age group peers.

The concept of splitting Education between 2 facilities due to a disability is like splitting a child’s world in half. Its saying “Its ok to be called ‘normal’ a couple of days a week and ‘disabled’ for the rest of the week”.

The teachers call it “getting the best of both worlds”. Unfortunately we don’t live in 2 worlds. We live in one world and we should all be accepted as equal within it regardless of race, colour, ability, disability or orientation.

Special Education Programs in San Jose Schools

San Jose Schools know that special education is just as important as a regular classroom setting. This is why they have created a very diverse special education program in all of their schools. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ensures that your child can receive a free public school education tailored for their individual needs in the least restrictive environment (LRE) available.

What Special Education Programs are Available in San Jose Schools?

There are many special education programs available in area Schools because of the very broad nature of the term “special education.” An Individualized Education Program (IEP) can help you and your child pick what is best for him.

Regular Classroom: In some cases, all your child may need to have the least restrictive environment in San Jose Schools is a regular classroom with modified exercises done in consultation with a member of the special education staff.

Designated Instructional Services: The DIS program in the south bay schools offers to students different services in order to help them succeed in any setting. This may include speech therapy, occupational therapy and many others.

Special Day Class: San Jose Schools provides a special day class for those students needing more than 50% of their classroom time in a special education classroom. There are four types of special day classes available at schools here. The autism focused classroom setting helps younger students with autism meet their educational and physical goals, especially speech and behavioral needs. There is also a special day class for emotionally disturbed students in San Jose Schools. These students receive an education based on the traditional core curriculum but specially tailored to fit their individual needs. Lower functioning students also receive a quality education in Schools in San Jose because there is a classroom designed for their needs. It addresses independent living skills and also domestic and vocational skills as well.

Workability: The workability program in San Jose Schools provides high-risk special education students with help in obtaining a job. The student must be dependable and want to work as well as having full teacher and parental support. High-risk students show the most signs of dropping out of school because of their special educational needs. The workability program works with the student’s teacher in order to find a job that compliments what the teacher has been teaching and the student’s individual needs.

Overall, San Jose Schools have several different options for any student needing special education services. In a world where education gets your everywhere, this is especially important because it all those students with learning disabilities to get a quality education as well. Just because your child may have a learning disability doesn’t necessarily mean that he can’t function on the same level as someone who doesn’t. San Jose Schools make sure that your child reaches his maximum potential.

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