What are your thoughts on teaching special needs children?

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There was a teacher's strike recently in British Columbia, one of the main issues being that elementary school teachers are being overworked by having to teach special needs children.

We've all been there as kids, every classroom you got assigned to each year always had at least one or two special needs students. Sometimes the student is so retarded that calling him/her slow is beyond generous when referring to their intellect. It really doesn't make any sense that we've got these kids stuck in with the rest, and then expect the teacher to attempt to base his/her time around giving the normal kids a real education and trying to teach some 11 year old kindergarten math.

Sometimes I wonder why they even bother trying to educate some of these people. I remember this one guy, Wheelchair Darren, he was a familiar face during my high school days, by this point in my education they had the sense to remove them from regular classrooms for the most part, but I still saw him from time to time in various classes.

I took art, foods, and woodworking with him, but the thing is he wasn't just incredibly impaired and in a wheelchair, he has severe atrophy, he could hardly even lift his arms. In each of those classes he had his aid with him, and the aid would do everything for him and Darren would just sit there. I mean, what's the point in dragging these people around the schools when it's obvious some of them will never be able to function on their own?

I honestly think a large part of it is that a lot of parents view it as free babysitting.

Well what are parents supposed to do?

At my HS, (I don't think we had anyone as severe as your example) they would have a kind of study hall with a Special Needs teacher who would assist them with their class work and make sure they understood the course. Though, these kids weren't in need of aids (or if there was one or two, I didn't notice)

The problem is that it used to be if a child was special needs they could be placed in the appropriate classroom which has more paras different curriculum.
Now, the PARENTS decide and a lot of them refuse to send their severely autistic child who cannot do anything without 'prompting' (telling the child what to do next) for taxes purposes, medicare purposes (such as refusing to get official diagnosis) or simply because they think that they, who did not get a long education on child development know better than the legions of people who's job it is to figure these things out.

Then when this mild-severely disabled child takes standardized tests (remember their parents refuse to give them special ed placement) and get zero out of 200 questions right it brings down the school average. Get enough of them and suddenly a formerly well off school is now failing the no child left behind standards. Now the government wants to lower those teacher's pay based on those scores.

Oh yeah, guess what having a kid with those kind of needs in a regular class does to the rest of the students grades?

So... oh wait... british columbia... I have no idea about Canada.

My mother was actually an English teacher and a Special Education teacher, the latter for 30 years the former for 8.
Saying that all children can learn the same things at the same pace is like saying every child in america should be able to fit perfectly in to the same size pants. Special needs children have special needs ignoring them completely does no one favors.

Well as it seems nobody is touching this sensitive subject with a bargepole, I'll have to add a couple of lines.

I really don't like the tone of your post at all, nor the jibes directed at your former classmate. The reason why he and others like him are integrated with "regular" students is quite simple, in general they achieve more in that environment than when excluded. It helps prepare and integrate them into society in general (and vice versa), all parties involved learn new interactions and (hopefully) acceptance. Fuck segregation.

"I honestly think a large part of it is that a lot of parents view it as free babysitting." - clearly you have absolutely no fucking clue as to what parents of a disabled/handicapped/special needs child have to go through, I honestly hope you don't find out the extremely hard and painful way. Nobody should.

Where's your compassion? Chances are these kids are going to have short and painful lives, you want to deny them what could be their only chance to feel "normal" and not some broken, shunned creature only worthy of mockery and exile? Have a think about what you're suggesting for a while.

***CAPTCHA is "oh brother" - indeed.

In elementary school I was in the "gifted and talented" program, a special class where the top 1% of students who did well on standardized tests would spend most of our school day. In 4th grade the program was cut drastically to a partial school day on some days of the week, and in 5th grade the GT program disappeared completely.

This coincided with the American's with Disabilities Act, that mandated children with special needs to receive public education at the school's expense. They literally canceled the advanced classes for smart kids so that they could accommodate retards.

More than just losing the GT classes, I think this experience effected me because it turned traditional morals and values upside-down. It sends the message that being weak is better than being strong.

isometry:
/snip

Despite my above post, I know where you're coming from after being involved with similar programs and being sent on "gifted/advanced" retreats and the like (I was moved up a year too)... it's not a black and white situation and it's hardly perfect, the tone of the OP irked me more than anything. That being said, unless you're lucky and/or rich enough to get some private education the current systems we have in the west have got to cater for everyone, that includes the lowest and highest which will never be ideal for all parties. Getting the right balance is key, IMHO.

GoaThief:
Well as it seems nobody is touching this sensitive subject with a bargepole, I'll have to add a couple of lines.

I really don't like the tone of your post at all, nor the jibes directed at your former classmate. The reason why he and others like him are integrated with "regular" students is quite simple, in general they achieve more in that environment than when excluded. It helps prepare and integrate them into society in general (and vice versa), all parties involved learn new interactions and (hopefully) acceptance. Fuck segregation.

"I honestly think a large part of it is that a lot of parents view it as free babysitting." - clearly you have absolutely no fucking clue as to what parents of a disabled/handicapped/special needs child have to go through, I honestly hope you don't find out the extremely hard and painful way. Nobody should.

Where's your compassion? Chances are these kids are going to have short and painful lives, you want to deny them what could be their only chance to feel "normal" and not some broken, shunned creature only worthy of mockery and exile? Have a think about what you're suggesting for a while.

***CAPTCHA is "oh brother" - indeed.

This essentially sums up my opinion on the subject as well.

GoaThief:

Where's your compassion? Chances are these kids are going to have short and painful lives, you want to deny them what could be their only chance to feel "normal" and not some broken, shunned creature only worthy of mockery and exile? Have a think about what you're suggesting for a while.

There is a lot of suffering in the world, not because people lack compassion, but because they lack resources.

Fact: there are not enough resources to give every child the education they deserve.

So we have to make decisions about where to spend resources. Do you think it is a good idea to cancel gifted and talented programs for the brightest children so that we can educate ones who are as severely disabled as the person described in the OP? It's a fair question since that was literally my public school experience.

I like the idea of classrooms having special needs kids as guests, as a learning experience on both ends. I do not like the idea of teachers being REQUIRED to participate in this, however. Some teachers seek out special needs students, and others don't, and they have reasons for doing that. If a teacher doesn't want to teach a student who would qualify for a special needs class, they shouldn't be required to. It's not their forte, and if they don't know how to balance it right the other students will suffer because of it.

In other news, as others have said, Regnes you can talk about this subject without being condescending. Calling them names behind their back doesn't make you any smarter, it just means you can't hit targets moving at your own pace so you have to belittle everybody who's a bit slower.

isometry:

More than just losing the GT classes, I think this experience effected me because it turned traditional morals and values upside-down. It sends the message that being weak is better than being strong.

I don't agree with that. The way I see things, giving education to special needs children helps prepare them to become productive members of society. They get special treatment because they need it. Children who are normal by comparison usually don't.

Off topic: Incidentally, this reminds me of the game/visual novel Katawa Shoujo. Anyone here played it?

scorptatious:

isometry:

More than just losing the GT classes, I think this experience effected me because it turned traditional morals and values upside-down. It sends the message that being weak is better than being strong.

I don't agree with that. The way I see things, giving education to special needs children helps prepare them to become productive members of society. They get special treatment because they need it. Children who are normal by comparison usually don't.

Did you read this part of the OP:

I took art, foods, and woodworking with him, but the thing is he wasn't just incredibly impaired and in a wheelchair, he has severe atrophy, he could hardly even lift his arms. In each of those classes he had his aid with him, and the aid would do everything for him and Darren would just sit there. I mean, what's the point in dragging these people around the schools when it's obvious some of them will never be able to function on their own?

It's not about people who are borderline and just need a little boost to make the difference between becoming homeless/criminal to become productive McDonald's employees. I agree that those people should get that boost.

Instead we're talking about people that need full-time caretakers, and likely always will. We're saying that instead of accelerating the education of our future scientists and doctors, we should help people who are unlikely to even reach burger-flipping levels of productivity.

isometry:

scorptatious:

isometry:

More than just losing the GT classes, I think this experience effected me because it turned traditional morals and values upside-down. It sends the message that being weak is better than being strong.

I don't agree with that. The way I see things, giving education to special needs children helps prepare them to become productive members of society. They get special treatment because they need it. Children who are normal by comparison usually don't.

Did you read this part of the OP:

I took art, foods, and woodworking with him, but the thing is he wasn't just incredibly impaired and in a wheelchair, he has severe atrophy, he could hardly even lift his arms. In each of those classes he had his aid with him, and the aid would do everything for him and Darren would just sit there. I mean, what's the point in dragging these people around the schools when it's obvious some of them will never be able to function on their own?

It's not about people who are borderline and just need a little boost to make the difference between becoming homeless/criminal to become productive McDonald's employees. I agree that those people should get that boost.

Instead we're talking about people that need full-time caretakers, and likely always will. We're saying that instead of accelerating the education of our future scientists and doctors, we should help people who are unlikely to even reach burger-flipping levels of productivity.

I have read that part of the OP. And my opinion remains the same.

Would it be any better just to leave them behind? Treat them like they are sub-humans? While I can see where you're getting at, I think it's better to give them a chance rather then not giving them anything at all.

scorptatious:

isometry:

scorptatious:

I don't agree with that. The way I see things, giving education to special needs children helps prepare them to become productive members of society. They get special treatment because they need it. Children who are normal by comparison usually don't.

Did you read this part of the OP:

I took art, foods, and woodworking with him, but the thing is he wasn't just incredibly impaired and in a wheelchair, he has severe atrophy, he could hardly even lift his arms. In each of those classes he had his aid with him, and the aid would do everything for him and Darren would just sit there. I mean, what's the point in dragging these people around the schools when it's obvious some of them will never be able to function on their own?

It's not about people who are borderline and just need a little boost to make the difference between becoming homeless/criminal to become productive McDonald's employees. I agree that those people should get that boost.

Instead we're talking about people that need full-time caretakers, and likely always will. We're saying that instead of accelerating the education of our future scientists and doctors, we should help people who are unlikely to even reach burger-flipping levels of productivity.

I have read that part of the OP. And my opinion remains the same.

Would it be any better just to leave them behind? Treat them like they are sub-humans? While I can see where you're getting at, I think it's better to give them a chance rather then not giving them anything at all.

In a perfect world with unlimited resources, I agree they should attend public school with the full-time caretakers they need.

The problem comes from the real-world situation of limited resources. Suppose the student with mental disabilities needs a full-time salaried caretaker/teacher, while the 30 other "normal" kids have to share one teacher. That means the special needs student costs 30 times more than the normal students.

I want to emphasize, the problem is not that their disability makes them less ultimately productive than a normal person. The problem is with cases where one student takes up 30 times as much resources as his "normal" classmates, while at the same time extra classes and programs for the normal classmates are being cut due to budget constraints.

One of the good things about being a developed country is treating people with disabilities more humanely, I think that is great in general. The problem is that special needs kids in public school with full-time caretakers take it too far, we aren't developed enough to afford that without cutting lots of programs for "normal" students. If the schools weren't going bankrupt and cutting programs due to lack of funds, then there would be no problem with full-time caretakers for disabled students; as it is cutting programs for everyone else while supporting students that cost 30 times more, just makes no sense.

isometry:

scorptatious:

isometry:

Did you read this part of the OP:

It's not about people who are borderline and just need a little boost to make the difference between becoming homeless/criminal to become productive McDonald's employees. I agree that those people should get that boost.

Instead we're talking about people that need full-time caretakers, and likely always will. We're saying that instead of accelerating the education of our future scientists and doctors, we should help people who are unlikely to even reach burger-flipping levels of productivity.

I have read that part of the OP. And my opinion remains the same.

Would it be any better just to leave them behind? Treat them like they are sub-humans? While I can see where you're getting at, I think it's better to give them a chance rather then not giving them anything at all.

In a perfect world with unlimited resources, I agree they should attend public school with the full-time caretakers they need.

The problem comes from the real-world situation of limited resources. Suppose the student with mental disabilities needs a full-time salaried caretaker/teacher, while the 30 other "normal" kids have to share one teacher. That means the special needs student costs 30 times more than the normal students.

I want to emphasize, the problem is not that their disability makes them less ultimately productive than a normal person. The problem is with cases where one student takes up 30 times as much resources as his "normal" classmates, while at the same time extra classes and programs for the normal classmates are being cut due to budget constraints.

One of the good things about being a developed country is treating people with disabilities more humanely, I think that is great in general. The problem is that special needs kids in public school with full-time caretakers take it too far, we aren't developed enough to afford that without cutting lots of programs for "normal" students. If the schools weren't going bankrupt and cutting programs due to lack of funds, then there would be no problem with full-time caretakers for disabled students; as it is cutting programs for everyone else while supporting students that cost 30 times more, just makes no sense.

Yeah, I guess you're right. There are a lot of schools now-a-days that are making cuts right now. By the time I graduated, my high school cut both the Library staff and Councilors due to budget cuts.

Although from my observations, it most likely wasn't because of full time caretakers for special needs students. As I didn't see very many of them at the school. I'm not saying that they could never be the cause of something like that, but it has never been directly stated either.

If they are unfit for the classroom get them the fuck out. If they can't mentally handle the class they are in they should be held back or sent somewhere else. There are some people who just need a little help and can learn with a tutor, and you have others that throw child like fits and disturb the entire class. You don't see me trying to teach a dog obedience in math class. Kids like that don't belong in that level of a class, if they're learning second grade math, put them in the second grade. You don't graduate by age you graduate on accomplishment. If that can't accomplish that then their parents better save up for a good home for them. People always say you should treat everyone equally, I'm not going to treat them any different.

TehCookie:
You don't see me trying to teach a dog obedience in math class.

Did you seriously just compare disabled children to dogs? I don't even know where to start with that. Yet another example of what GoaThief said. The people in this thread are approaching severe disability with a complete lack of compassion, not to mention empathy and tact. I can't believe people are actually referring to the mentally disabled as "retards". Are we back in 1950?

To be honest, I started out with a developmental disability called Pragmatic Language Disorder. For whatever reason, I didn't learn the social rules of language. I'm not talking about please and thank you. I couldn't understand implied questions or pick up on contextual clues. I had trouble following stories and conversations because I didn't know how or when to respond. I couldn't read body language and I usually didn't understand non-verbal communication. I knew all the words and grammar, but I still couldn't properly communicate with people in most situations. One of the most important parts of my treatment was being in a normal classroom with normal kids, because I had to actively learn what came naturally to them. I am not a "retard" and I definitely was not trained like a dog.

I know my case is rare because being in the classroom itself was part of my treatment. But it worked. I finished college with honors, I'm married, I have friends and I have a full-time job. I'm a normally functioning adult. None of that would have been possible if I'd been isolated with the "special kids" or booted out of school because I had a problem that required extra work.

As far as "Wheelchair Darren" goes, Regnes never said anything about a mental disability or behavioral problems. If he had a normal mind inside a crippled body, he needed education as much as anyone. He may not ever be able to physically complete the tasks himself, but with no education or means of mental enrichment, his mind would decay or he'd go crazy. Try to imagine yourself in his position.

Schools have to do everything they can to help as many children as possible with as little money as possible. That includes most kids with disabilities. Of course, there are some children with severe autism or mental handicaps who don't belong in school. I also don't think it's right to integrate disabled students before they're ready, but most schools can't afford a separate special ed program anymore. That makes it harder for everyone, but it's unconscionable to abandon these children just because it's easier. If you do that, you're guaranteeing none of them have any hope of improving or leading independent lives.

Look, folks don't know how to handle people like that. They're spinning their wheels and throwing stuff at the refrigerator to see what sticks. They don't know what they're doing.

But you have to so SOMETHING. Those of us who have has some kind of mental or physical handicap, we're still in there. You can't pack up and go home for that. I'm an intelligent and engaging person. I have Aspergers. Not everyone who has it is as collected as me, but I have a use for the education I received, and by that I mean college graduation with a degree.

You can't say no.

I think it's fucking great that we let the special needs children interact with the rest of the kids. Sure it's a drain on resource but hell we waste resources on worse things.

There are extreme cases of special needs children. In my school we had one girl who was unable to move on her own, unable to talk, not sure if she could see or not, but she was in school. All she could do was listen. Now I see no reason why she should even be in school, but it's actually illegal to deny her the right and it's illegal to not send her.
In less extreme cases I would like to see some differentiated system where those with needs get teachers educated to cover those needs. Because let's face it, the average teacher shouldn't have to deal with things he/she doesn't have the competence to deal with. It's bad for the teacher and the children. I don't suggest to keep them fully separated since that would mean we make it even harder on them, but have some classes in the normal class and one smaller group where they get the required attention and guidance. This would let them progress to some degree and still give them the chance to get into the social network.

rubisca:

TehCookie:
You don't see me trying to teach a dog obedience in math class.

Did you seriously just compare disabled children to dogs? I don't even know where to start with that. Yet another example of what GoaThief said. The people in this thread are approaching severe disability with a complete lack of compassion, not to mention empathy and tact. I can't believe people are actually referring to the mentally disabled as "retards". Are we back in 1950?

Retardation is a clinical term, mentally disabled isn't.

OT: In my university department there is a first year student who is permanently wheelchair bound. He can hardly move anything except his fingers to push the stick on his electric wheelchair and he will probably die before reaching 30 but his mind works fine so even if some people need special attention they should be allowed to learn if their mind work since you never know if they will do great when they get out of the menial labor that is grade school and high school.

Now if their minds don't work then yeah they need special tutors and classes better suited for their needs instead of sticking them in normal classes where they'll disrupt the other students. Although they should be in some of the normal classes so they won't be completely isolated and can learn valuable social interactions.

FalloutJack:
Look, folks don't know how to handle people like that. They're spinning their wheels and throwing stuff at the refrigerator to see what sticks. They don't know what they're doing.

But you have to so SOMETHING. Those of us who have has some kind of mental or physical handicap, we're still in there. You can't pack up and go home for that. I'm an intelligent and engaging person. I have Aspergers. Not everyone who has it is as collected as me, but I have a use for the education I received, and by that I mean college graduation with a degree.

You can't say no.

I don't think that Aspergers counts as a debilitating condition. I think the OP is talking more about the people who are mentally handicapped enough that being in a classroom destined for more "normal" students is a waste of time for teachers that don't know how to teach them.

This is kind of a horrible thing to think about, but I honestly think in some cases it might be better to just euthanize severely handicapped children before they have a chance to suffer. Of coarse I don't think that will ever happen, and that's probably for the best anyway.

At my school we had special education classes with teachers specifically qualified to teach special needs children. These children are entitled to an education, but forcing them to attend classes that don't take their needs into account is only a disadvantage for everyone involved.

master-jedi:

FalloutJack:
Look, folks don't know how to handle people like that. They're spinning their wheels and throwing stuff at the refrigerator to see what sticks. They don't know what they're doing.

But you have to so SOMETHING. Those of us who have has some kind of mental or physical handicap, we're still in there. You can't pack up and go home for that. I'm an intelligent and engaging person. I have Aspergers. Not everyone who has it is as collected as me, but I have a use for the education I received, and by that I mean college graduation with a degree.

You can't say no.

I don't think that Aspergers counts as a debilitating condition. I think the OP is talking more about the people who are mentally handicapped enough that being in a classroom destined for more "normal" students is a waste of time for teachers that don't know how to teach them.

This is kind of a horrible thing to think about, but I honestly think in some cases it might be better to just euthanize severely handicapped children before they have a chance to suffer. Of coarse I don't think that will ever happen, and that's probably for the best anyway.

I dunno, man. I've met some of us, and some of us are pretty extreme on the handicap. Trust me, there are people who go insane trying to figure out how to just talk to their kid with autism and asbergers sometimes. But if you don't try, they'll be as bad as anyone else who's never been reached.

Define "special needs". There are plenty of people that don't do well in normal classes that go on to be as "valuable" to soceity as everyone else.

For people who aren't, you don't lock them away somewhere so everyone else doesn't have to look at them. Yes, it's a difficult issue, but it's something that needs to be solved, not swept under the rug.

I'm sorry, but there are special schools for people with such a severe mental/physical retardation, right? There's no reason for them to be in a 'regular' school.

rubisca:

TehCookie:
You don't see me trying to teach a dog obedience in math class.

Did you seriously just compare disabled children to dogs? I don't even know where to start with that. Yet another example of what GoaThief said. The people in this thread are approaching severe disability with a complete lack of compassion, not to mention empathy and tact. I can't believe people are actually referring to the mentally disabled as "retards". Are we back in 1950?

To be honest, I started out with a developmental disability called Pragmatic Language Disorder. For whatever reason, I didn't learn the social rules of language. I'm not talking about please and thank you. I couldn't understand implied questions or pick up on contextual clues. I had trouble following stories and conversations because I didn't know how or when to respond. I couldn't read body language and I usually didn't understand non-verbal communication. I knew all the words and grammar, but I still couldn't properly communicate with people in most situations. One of the most important parts of my treatment was being in a normal classroom with normal kids, because I had to actively learn what came naturally to them. I am not a "retard" and I definitely was not trained like a dog.

I know my case is rare because being in the classroom itself was part of my treatment. But it worked. I finished college with honors, I'm married, I have friends and I have a full-time job. I'm a normally functioning adult. None of that would have been possible if I'd been isolated with the "special kids" or booted out of school because I had a problem that required extra work.

As far as "Wheelchair Darren" goes, Regnes never said anything about a mental disability or behavioral problems. If he had a normal mind inside a crippled body, he needed education as much as anyone. He may not ever be able to physically complete the tasks himself, but with no education or means of mental enrichment, his mind would decay or he'd go crazy. Try to imagine yourself in his position.

Schools have to do everything they can to help as many children as possible with as little money as possible. That includes most kids with disabilities. Of course, there are some children with severe autism or mental handicaps who don't belong in school. I also don't think it's right to integrate disabled students before they're ready, but most schools can't afford a separate special ed program anymore. That makes it harder for everyone, but it's unconscionable to abandon these children just because it's easier. If you do that, you're guaranteeing none of them have any hope of improving or leading independent lives.

Were you able to keep up with the curriculum or were a distraction to everyone and ruined their concentration and learning space of several other students? I'm sorry the needs of 30 peers outweighs one person.

Also I didn't mean imply special ed were taught like dogs, but they are in the wrong setting. If the teacher is teaching a dog to sit during math class he's not going to be teaching math and will distract the entire class. If you need to teach a dog how to sit you send it to an obedience class.

Oh and retard is a condition when one's IQ is below 60 or some number (well actually the shorted word for mentally retarded). What's wrong with saying someones metal disability? That's pretty vague since it can range from people like you, to that one girl who threw tempter tantrums in my class to my friends aunt who is actually mentally retarded who just walks around and drools on herself and can't say a coherent thought.

Knowledge for knowledges sake as they say.

In any case, this is why we have special needs schools. Teachers there are trained in how to deal with kids with physical and mental disabilities. For one this eases the stress on the child and two stops children without disabilities from being overly disrupted in class.

I know it's often considered nasty and/or cruel, but I'm very much a supporter of survival of the fittest. I really don't think that keeping the really bad cases alive is doing them any favors. They can't have much enjoyment of life due to not actually being able to do much beyond sit in a chair and you end up wasting the life of the person who ends up having to care for them.

And yes, I know that some cases are almost able to live a normal life, my cousin has downs syndrome and is more-or-less able to live a normal life, but his mother has had to spend the last 30 years of her life looking after him and will probably have to keep doing so until one of them dies, due to his intelligence not being quite up to par.

FalloutJack:

I dunno, man. I've met some of us, and some of us are pretty extreme on the handicap. Trust me, there are people who go insane trying to figure out how to just talk to their kid with autism and asbergers sometimes. But if you don't try, they'll be as bad as anyone else who's never been reached.

I'm just talking about Aspergers, which (as far as the wikipeda page on it says) is a more mild form of autism. The only person with autism I've met that I now of was effected by having Aspergers, but once he found a way to cope with social situations he was fine. Autism, or at least as I understand it, can be much more extreme than Aspergers. Not to say that your wrong or anything, but I think the more extremely handicapped people you've met probably don't have Aspergers.

Cheshire Cat:
I know it's often considered nasty and/or cruel, but I'm very much a supporter of survival of the fittest. I really don't think that keeping the really bad cases alive is doing them any favors. They can't have much enjoyment of life due to not actually being able to do much beyond sit in a chair and you end up wasting the life of the person who ends up having to care for them.

And yes, I know that some cases are almost able to live a normal life, my cousin has downs syndrome and is more-or-less able to live a normal life, but his mother has had to spend the last 30 years of her life looking after him and will probably have to keep doing so until one of them dies, due to his intelligence not being quite up to par.

So you believe that we should simply kill people off based on random chance? Who are you to speak on behalf of these people or to judge whether or not they deserve to live? I'm all for givign people the option on an individual basis but what right do you have to make this decision for people you don't even know.

Taking the life of someone who's self aware for no reason other than the way they were born is just sick.

More on topic: Aren't there provisions for the severely disabled in the US? Also how fucked is it that you actually have to pay to get diagnosed with a condition like this, or healthcare in general? Ransoming someone's life back to them in the name of profit. Gotta love it.

In Scotland, they're taken out of mainstream classes and there are departments set up for them.

TehCookie:

rubisca:

TehCookie:
You don't see me trying to teach a dog obedience in math class.

Did you seriously just compare disabled children to dogs? I don't even know where to start with that. Yet another example of what GoaThief said. The people in this thread are approaching severe disability with a complete lack of compassion, not to mention empathy and tact. I can't believe people are actually referring to the mentally disabled as "retards". Are we back in 1950?

To be honest, I started out with a developmental disability called Pragmatic Language Disorder. For whatever reason, I didn't learn the social rules of language. I'm not talking about please and thank you. I couldn't understand implied questions or pick up on contextual clues. I had trouble following stories and conversations because I didn't know how or when to respond. I couldn't read body language and I usually didn't understand non-verbal communication. I knew all the words and grammar, but I still couldn't properly communicate with people in most situations. One of the most important parts of my treatment was being in a normal classroom with normal kids, because I had to actively learn what came naturally to them. I am not a "retard" and I definitely was not trained like a dog.

I know my case is rare because being in the classroom itself was part of my treatment. But it worked. I finished college with honors, I'm married, I have friends and I have a full-time job. I'm a normally functioning adult. None of that would have been possible if I'd been isolated with the "special kids" or booted out of school because I had a problem that required extra work.

As far as "Wheelchair Darren" goes, Regnes never said anything about a mental disability or behavioral problems. If he had a normal mind inside a crippled body, he needed education as much as anyone. He may not ever be able to physically complete the tasks himself, but with no education or means of mental enrichment, his mind would decay or he'd go crazy. Try to imagine yourself in his position.

Schools have to do everything they can to help as many children as possible with as little money as possible. That includes most kids with disabilities. Of course, there are some children with severe autism or mental handicaps who don't belong in school. I also don't think it's right to integrate disabled students before they're ready, but most schools can't afford a separate special ed program anymore. That makes it harder for everyone, but it's unconscionable to abandon these children just because it's easier. If you do that, you're guaranteeing none of them have any hope of improving or leading independent lives.

Were you able to keep up with the curriculum or were a distraction to everyone and ruined their concentration and learning space of several other students? I'm sorry the needs of 30 peers outweighs one person.

Also I didn't mean imply special ed were taught like dogs, but they are in the wrong setting. If the teacher is teaching a dog to sit during math class he's not going to be teaching math and will distract the entire class. If you need to teach a dog how to sit you send it to an obedience class.

Oh and retard is a condition when one's IQ is below 60 or some number (well actually the shorted word for mentally retarded). What's wrong with saying someones metal disability? That's pretty vague since it can range from people like you, to that one girl who threw tempter tantrums in my class to my friends aunt who is actually mentally retarded who just walks around and drools on herself and can't say a coherent thought.

Its not exactly fair to call them peers.

Peer
Noun:
A person of the same age, status, or ability as another specified person.

They hold their own status (Handicapped) and lack the same abilities as the other students, thus they are not peers, they are a detriment.

And there is nothing wrong with the word retard if used properly, he is just trying some PC bullshit.

TrilbyWill:
In Scotland, they're taken out of mainstream classes and there are departments set up for them.

Kinda the same in Australia. They have their own classes, you could call it segregation but I think they're more comfortable in a class of fellow mentally disabled students with teachers trained to help them. I mean it's better than sticking them in a class they're sure to fail, drag everyone down and then be bullied about it.

I walked into this thread expecting horrible, horrible discrimination.

You never fail to deliver, Escapist.

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