Mainstreaming of Children with Special Needs
Mainstreaming of children with disabilities is the inclusion of children with special needs in classrooms together with the regular children rather than them being educated separately. Mainstreaming of children with special needs has become common in many schools, where children with special needs are mainstreamed in the regular classrooms. An analysis of this paper reveals that children with disabilities need not be included in a classroom setting with the other children as they require special attention (Hart, 10).
Those supporting mainstreaming of children with special needs argue that the children gain socialization skills and also are able to gain education just like other regular children. Traditionally, it was believed that by including the disabled and the non-disabled children in the same classroom setting the disabled would not benefit.
In my opinion, there should be no mainstreaming of children with special needs. Mainstreaming requires customization and there is also the reliance on the special needs teacher who makes judgment. This is not possible as it requires more than one teacher at the same time for mainstreaming to be used correctly so that the special needs children at the school can take full advantage of the resources that are available. When there is inclusion of students with special needs in the regular classrooms, confusion is created as some argue that there is a possibility that the special schools would be closed (Hart 14).
Another argument against the mainstreaming of children with special needs is that it creates stigma. This is due to the fact that the students with special needs rarely spend their entire day in the classroom. If the children would be spending the entire day in the classes, the stigma can be minimal. On the other hand, if the students with special needs are fully included they may not take advantage of all the resources that may not be available in the regular education class setting that may be available in the special need class setting (Pfeiffer & Reddy 76). Mainstreaming children in regular schools will cost a lot for the government and local authorities, as it requires provision of a wide range of resources. These resources are required to cater for the students having special needs as they have to be tailored for their needs (Hart 16).
In some instances, some of the schools will be reluctant to accommodate those children with special needs. Those students with special education needs can be sidelined. The school management argues that inclusion of children with special needs can drag the school down. Some of the children with special needs prefer to be in the special schools even though the choice should be made by the parents. A common scenario in most of the countries is that there is minimal contact or not at all between the special schools and the mainstream schools.
It is clear that raising the academic achievement and the special needs at a school setting could create an unstable situation. Mainstream schools are required to perform well in the league tables and in their means and will hence be unwilling to accommodate those children with special needs. The regular school management argues that accepting those children with special needs will damage their average results in tests (Pfeiffer & Reddy 84).
It has been argued over time that the disabled children affect the success of those students that are not disabled negatively. Mainstreaming of children with special needs requires the inclusion of teachers who are flexible and are also able to use several teaching techniques and strategies. Teachers in classes that are inclusive appear to be overstrained as they are required working with all the students and not only those with special needs. The objectives of the curriculum in an inclusive classroom situation need to be flexible so that they take into consideration the learning needs of all the students.
Children with special needs should not be taught alongside children who do not have special needs. Disabled children require special attention and by putting them in an inclusive classroom, they will attract unnecessary attention which will make them resentful. Some of the kids at school may decide to make fun because of the disability which is torture to that child with special needs. Some disabilities require teaching to take place at slower pace and this might affect the entire classroom since not all the children have disabilities. A child with a mental disability when put in a classroom, may distract the rest of the class (Pfeiffer& Reddy, 104).
The needs of children with special needs come first and should thus be given preference and great consideration by parents. Education policies by the government need to ensure that all the children, including those with disabilities, realize their full potential. Therefore, there is the need to develop education services for children with special needs to ensure that they get high educational attainment. The special needs institutions need to have strong networks with parents and voluntary organizations to remove all the barriers so that success can be realized.