Thursday, April 18, 2013

Integration through my eyes

Integration through my eyes:
The idea behind integration is great but are we ready for it yet? I've written posts on this before on my facebook page but I wanted to revisit it. This is written in my opinion and is not against teachers, students, or anyone. This is what I've seen in our school systems and is based on what I have seen and what I've heard from others. I have three children with various special needs that have gone to special ed preK and were then throw in into regular classrooms with little supports in place. This not only hurts my children but the other classmates and teachers as well. The teachers in the general ed room are not trained (minor if any) for a special needs student to be placed in the room nor can they accommodate to their needs with 20 some other children in the room. The other children are neglected as that teacher is trying to make sure your child is ok, are they in their seat, are they doing their work, can they do their work, ect. This is mainly right now based on my youngest child but my others go through this as well. Alexis has been lost in the system since she turned 7 and isn't given the proper supports. The teacher knows of her disability so she makes her own accommodations without having them in an IEP or anything else written but it's not enough as she is still sooo far behind her second grade class. The other kids know she's 9 1/2 and they can't figure out why she's so old and in 2nd grade. She can become singled out quickly and she's almost given up on school work because she doesn't understand unless worked with one on one. Logan is doing great learning wise but yet the teacher has to contently redirect him and make sure he's doing what he's supposed to, not zoning out, moves faster to keep up, ect. Then there is Zach. His teacher seems beyond frustrated. She has no idea what to do with him in class and the rest of the class is suffering as well. When there is no aide in the room she is having to stay right with him while trying to teach the others as well. He gets supports in the room 5hrs/day they say but is it enough. We know he does wonderful one on one with no distractions but right now with 23 kids and a big classroom he's doing practically nothing. He's not intellectually delayed but when being in the classroom with the other children you wouldn't know it. They just told me at his last meeting "We didn't have a clue that he could do any of that!". What I want to know are we failing our children by having them in classrooms of 20+ children in the room? Some children can't learn in that environment and I feel like we are giving them no chance at learning and the other children are losing instruction at the same time. Now I know some day our children will be out there in the world and will have to adjust but at what point are we over pushing them? There's a fine line from giving them a "free pass" to pushing them too far. I was just told by a big wig at the school that "you need to realize your child has a disability and once delayed always delayed get over it". Is this what we are coming to? Here it's ok your child isn't learning we will just pass them? My children are capable of learning and I want to give them the best chance they have but how am I supposed to do that when people say those things? I want others to accept my children and understand integration to a point but at what cost to our children all of our children? There is recess, gym, lunch, music, ect that everyone could come together. Right now our children are getting bullied, falling behind beyond what they need to be, getting that "free pass", ect. Now you may not agree with everything I've said and I would love to hear your opinion in a nice none confrontational way but this is what I see :)

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