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  1. #14
    Super Moderator NationalTitles17's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts regarding inclusion of children w/disabilities in regular classrooms.

    Quote Originally Posted by BamaFlum View Post
    I’m not sure about current degrees, but 20+ years ago, general education degree did not require any special education training. So since the advent of inclusion in the 70’s, there have been many teachers in TX not received training when they got their degree. My school district does have staff development for it but it mainly stuff for curriculum and not necessarily for meeting the the needs to the whole student.


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    Thanks for sharing, BamaFlum. That is a shame.
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  2. #15
    Super Moderator NationalTitles17's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts regarding inclusion of children w/disabilities in regular classrooms.

    I asked my sister again and she stated that where she went to college in Alabama they were required to have a single class on special education. It basically covered concepts like IEP's and inclusion but really had no practical material on how to implement these things. She had to do more coursework to get her additional certificates and that extra work was really her training. Her "basic" training did not help her at all with it.

    Autism is 1/59 per the CDC. I don't know the prevalence of other disabilities or what those bring to final disability rate to total. According to the following linked report, the disability rate in 5-17 year olds is 5.6% ( https://disabilitycompendium.org/sit...2017_FINAL.pdf ) Now that's the disability rate and I'm not certain how that's calculated, but it would be the lowest possible number since some conditions might not count toward that (minor learning problems compared to disability).

    So let's work on 5.6% of the school age population requires special education services and teachers are not trained or prepared to deal with that population.

    Just under 10% of the US population have diabetes (as of 2015 - 9.4%). Now can you imagine going to a primary provider who has NO training in dealing with 10% who have a life altering condition and knew nothing of how to treat it? It is a ridiculous question because no one would stand for it for long. That system would be broken and need a major overhaul. The same is true in education today. Too many outside and especially in that profession have not seen the problem and/or don't care enough to fix it. They fail to see that by failing these kids the malpractice they commit causes their lives to be literally shortened and with less production and enjoyment than they would otherwise have. It costs society dearly just as it costs the individual.

    How is a teacher supposed to include a kid they have no idea on how to teach (that kid), no idea how to include them, no idea how to make accommodations?

    I could pull a number out, but the truth is that I don't know how many times out of a hundred when inclusion fails it's because teachers are not properly trained on how to do it. I'd imagine it's a high percentage. I know if people in the medical field weren't taught how to manage diabetes that the treatment failure rate would be a lot higher than it is simply because of that lack of training/education. My good sense tells me the same holds true here.

    That's why I am skeptical, to say the least, when people claim inclusion doesn't work. Many times the problem isn't inclusion as a concept but the implementation. The lack of training and resources/funding. The fact that in the at least 45 years this has been the law of the entire land teachers there is no emphasis in training teachers how to properly carry it out.

    That is absolutely astounding. Appalling. Disgusting.

    And everyone is going to pay it for when these kids grow up to be on the government roles instead of the many of them who could be more productive members of society needing fewer services.
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  3. #16
    BamaNation Hall of Fame BamaFlum's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts regarding inclusion of children w/disabilities in regular classrooms.

    One thing I will add. I have learned more about the emotional well being of all students the past few years not because of training but thru experience. I feel for the inexperienced teachers who have to deal with this. The more you teach and live life, the more you understand how to meet the needs of your kids. But, there is always a but, with class sizes the way they are, it becomes very difficult to meet every kids needs. So you just do the best you can.


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  4. #17
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    Re: Thoughts regarding inclusion of children w/disabilities in regular classrooms.

    I concur with those on here that believe a student's inclusion in the general classroom should be individualized to that student's limitations as spelled out by the IEP. The thing to keep in mind when people mention about lack of general teacher training and resources: the courts have ruled that money cannot be a reason as to why a school system cannot include a student in the general classroom if it is spelled out in the IEP. Basically, the courts have said they have no interest (or ruling power) over the financial resources necessary for the teachers to be more effective in the classroom for all students with IEPs, but that the school systems need to make it happen.

    Some of the particular situations I've seen in my classroom are so wide on the spectrum that I don't find it to be helpful for the students with or without the IEP. There is zero accountability for students that have an IEP, but also know they have an IEP, and will refuse to do any work. This involves a tiny percentage of students, in my opinion, and I've had plenty of students that know they have an IEP, but want to work their butt off to earn their grade. This doesn't even cover the tracking of students with IEPs into CTE courses, which add an element of workplace safety that must absolutely be followed. CTE courses could lead, for some students with IEPs, very fulfilling careers for them, and for others, just an absolute waste of time.

    Overally, as a general education teacher, I myself feel very unprepared for the gamut of possible scenarios of students with IEPs. I really haven't had any extreme cases in my career, but I still feel like behind compared to my SPED teacher counterparts. Once that is addressed, we'll see the same problems occur year after year.
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  5. #18
    BamaNation All-SEC Tug Tide's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts regarding inclusion of children w/disabilities in regular classrooms.

    My wife is one of the Paras (aides) for the Special Needs teachers at our boys elementary school. She has hour long blocks with 4-5 groups of 2-4 students daily to work on fundamentals like math and reading. Most of the special needs students at her school rotate from the regular class to their special needs class, with the small group time in between.

    Iíll be honest and say, this thread has really opened my eyes to a problem that many families, and several on here, are stuggling with. By all accounts, the system in place at her school is pretty successful.
    Thank you to those of you who have shed a light on this for me.

  6. #19
    Super Moderator NationalTitles17's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts regarding inclusion of children w/disabilities in regular classrooms.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaTide View Post
    I concur with those on here that believe a student's inclusion in the general classroom should be individualized to that student's limitations as spelled out by the IEP. The thing to keep in mind when people mention about lack of general teacher training and resources: the courts have ruled that money cannot be a reason as to why a school system cannot include a student in the general classroom if it is spelled out in the IEP. Basically, the courts have said they have no interest (or ruling power) over the financial resources necessary for the teachers to be more effective in the classroom for all students with IEPs, but that the school systems need to make it happen.

    Some of the particular situations I've seen in my classroom are so wide on the spectrum that I don't find it to be helpful for the students with or without the IEP. There is zero accountability for students that have an IEP, but also know they have an IEP, and will refuse to do any work. This involves a tiny percentage of students, in my opinion, and I've had plenty of students that know they have an IEP, but want to work their butt off to earn their grade. This doesn't even cover the tracking of students with IEPs into CTE courses, which add an element of workplace safety that must absolutely be followed. CTE courses could lead, for some students with IEPs, very fulfilling careers for them, and for others, just an absolute waste of time.

    Overally, as a general education teacher, I myself feel very unprepared for the gamut of possible scenarios of students with IEPs. I really haven't had any extreme cases in my career, but I still feel like behind compared to my SPED teacher counterparts. Once that is addressed, we'll see the same problems occur year after year.
    Thank you for sharing. I hope one day educators of the educators will rectify the training problems in colleges and universities, leaders in the school system will rectify it in their school systems, and teachers will demand to be properly trained in mass. No one wins with the way things are. It's not only the special needs students that lose, but regular students, teachers, and all the parents whose already high stress level is only increased by the current system.

    Even worse are the kids who never even get services because the school system misses their problem. I had a teacher recently relate to me that their colleague, a 5th grade teacher during the last school year, early on discovered seven or nine previously "undiagnosed" (children must receive a qualifying educational diagnosis which differs from a medical diagnosis and even a medical diagnosis does not of itself qualify the child) special needs children in her new class. All of them were eventually diagnosed and services were finally started in the 5th grade. Every one of these kids had struggled to this point in school and were just promoted without anyone doing anything about their situations. Her fellow teachers, instead of commending her, joked about the number of kids she referred. Like I said, they all qualified for services. Also keep in mind this, asI understand it, occurred at a minority in the majority (mostly black) school and that these kinds of racial disparities are not uncommon.

    I also recently had a parent whose child I know well (and who is definitely ADHD but also shows obvious signs of autism - enough to get an evaluation, IMHO) well, she raised her concerns with the school system verbally and nothing happened. The concern was completely ignored. What she did not understand is that the request for testing must be in writing (and you better keep copies and maybe CC a couple of people) or some school admins will just pretend it never happened. I've heard similar stories from parents multiple times. Parents don't know the rules. Educators do and some - not all but some - take advantage of this to deny the child an evaluation.

    We are fortunate to be white, well educated, internet access for research, and so on - and it has still been an uphill battle. When my middle child was in 3rd or 4th grade we had moved to a new school. We had an "IEP" meeting and the IEP, which was made up beforehand, was beyond pitiful. It consisted of "kid does this. he will not do this whatever % of time by this date." There were no interventions or accommodations or anything. That was it! They did not even have his educational diagnosis on there. I asked was this an appropriate IEP for a child with autism. No kidding - she looked at me and said "he doesn't have autism." "Hallelujah! It's miracle! He's been cured!" I declared, being quite ticked off. She, being the only staff member there (at an IEP meeting which ain't cool cause everyone should be there) looked at me warily. I told her there's no way in hades I'd be signing that. She insisted I must. I insisted no way and we parted ways after I gave a tongue lashing about the school losing his diagnosis. This is where the internet comes in - I went home and researched (not the first time, but it sure helped) and wrote a several page letter including citations to applicable case law, federal title and chapter, and so forth and mailed copies to the teacher at the "IEP meeting", the principal, the county supe, and the school resource director for the system. The day after that I got a call from the resource director and at the next IEP meeting there were just about more people than the room could hold (I may have implied that legal action would be imminent without a successful resolution). Yay! Good for me and my kid! But I am the exception instead of the rule. Most parents don't know any better and would not have fared as well. That was but one time I had to go to bat for my kids. Multiply that by I have no idea how many times for mainly two kids (my daughter got speech early on due to some problems with pronunciation). Not all were that severe, but a few times at least came close including a situation that caused us to leave IL (at least one prominent administrator was physically abusive to my boy - CPS demanded to come to my home to investigate even though I witnessed it directly and reported it and took him that same day to have it medically documented, but that's another story). I had a will to fight and the knowledge to navigate once I got my feet wet. That's not always the case for these kids. Even I was worn down by the process at times. Had to often take time from work to go to meeting after meeting. But that's what it's like to be a parent in my world. (and don't get me started on the people who bemoan these kids getting "extra" services and act jealous of it - yeah, come live my life and let your kid go through what mine have, buddy).

    I don't want attention or attaboys or pity or any of that. I just want you to understand a little better and feel it in your heart, know it in your mind, and then make a difference. That's it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tug Tide View Post
    My wife is one of the Paras (aides) for the Special Needs teachers at our boys elementary school. She has hour long blocks with 4-5 groups of 2-4 students daily to work on fundamentals like math and reading. Most of the special needs students at her school rotate from the regular class to their special needs class, with the small group time in between.

    I’ll be honest and say, this thread has really opened my eyes to a problem that many families, and several on here, are stuggling with. By all accounts, the system in place at her school is pretty successful.
    Thank you to those of you who have shed a light on this for me.
    And when one person has their eyes opened it's worth the effort. Thank you.
    Last edited by NationalTitles17; July 8th, 2019 at 12:36 AM.
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  7. #20
    BamaNation All-American alabama mike1's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts regarding inclusion of children w/disabilities in regular classrooms.

    Quote Originally Posted by BamaFlum View Post
    It is the law, but the devil is in the details. If a teacher has classrooms of 30 kids and multipLe IEPís in each class, he or she has planning one day a week (sometimes twice a week if they have multiple preps), staffing, mandatory staff developments, ďother duties,Ē etc during his or her conference period or during lunch and plan lessons that reach multiple levels of kids, you can see why many kids donít get the attention they need and why teachers feel burned out and leave.

    Ultimately, it comes down to what is the point of public education. If itís college prep, then we are doomed to fail: not all kids need to go to a four year college (our district emphasizes college ready with only lip service to other avenues). IMHO, public education should serve to give a basic education to the populace in order to have a literate public with options after high school: trade schools, 2 year schools, 4 year colleges, military service, apprenticeships, etc.


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    Intervention specialist aka special education teachers are required to get an special education degree or endorsement as well as two semesters of student teaching in the intervention classroom here in Ohio. By law, a certified teacher must have a 30 minute, duty/obligation free lunch and our teachers in my district get 52 minutes of prep a day. IEP meetings can and are scheduled during that prep time on occasion but the parent has complete control (by law) of when the meeting will take place. The Intervention teacher and the regular education teachers in Math and English should be working together with the special education teacher designing the lesson plans for the student that needs intervention. From what I have read from some of the posts, it appears that bad scheduling and planning on the part of someone is causing a lot of the problem.

    I agree 100% with your second paragraph!

  8. #21
    BamaNation All-American alabama mike1's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts regarding inclusion of children w/disabilities in regular classrooms.

    Nationaltitles17, "How is a teacher supposed to include a kid they have no idea on how to teach (that kid), no idea how to include them, no idea how to make accommodations"

    It is the job of the special education/intervention teacher to do this, NOT THE REGULAR EDUCATION TEACHER.

    Many years ago, college teacher education programs only offered 1 or 2 classes in special education. I graduated from college in 84 and took 1 class called The Education of the Exceptional Child but now more classes are offered. Any teacher can make accommodations for any student but the IEP allows for the special education teacher to modify the curriculum to meet the needs of the individual student. Hope this helps.

  9. #22
    Super Moderator NationalTitles17's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts regarding inclusion of children w/disabilities in regular classrooms.

    Quote Originally Posted by alabama mike1 View Post
    Nationaltitles17, "How is a teacher supposed to include a kid they have no idea on how to teach (that kid), no idea how to include them, no idea how to make accommodations"

    It is the job of the special education/intervention teacher to do this, NOT THE REGULAR EDUCATION TEACHER.

    Many years ago, college teacher education programs only offered 1 or 2 classes in special education. I graduated from college in 84 and took 1 class called The Education of the Exceptional Child but now more classes are offered. Any teacher can make accommodations for any student but the IEP allows for the special education teacher to modify the curriculum to meet the needs of the individual student. Hope this helps.
    Who actually implements that modified curriculum? Who teaches the kid? Who deals with their unique problems in the classroom? Who is there where the rubber meets the road every day?
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  10. #23
    Super Moderator NationalTitles17's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts regarding inclusion of children w/disabilities in regular classrooms.

    Quote Originally Posted by NationalTitles17 View Post
    Who actually implements that modified curriculum? Who teaches the kid? Who deals with their unique problems in the classroom? Who is there where the rubber meets the road every day?
    To clarify why I'm asking the question: I can train anyone to change out an IV line or medication, but would you rather have someone that understands it and has been educated and trained or someone who has less training and doesn't really understand the how's and why's and may be less able to adapt to unique situations?
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  11. #24
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    Re: Thoughts regarding inclusion of children w/disabilities in regular classrooms.

    We sure are asking a lot of teachers who teach in general classrooms to be all things to all students. There's a saying that applies to someone who tries to be all things to all people (from a business standpoint) that I think could easily apply to this topic. "Jack of all trades but master of none". In the medical field we have physicians who are specialists. Our general practitioners do not have the capacity to know or even be trained to effectively treat all medical problems such as the kidney, heart, spine, etc. It's simply too much to ask for what our expectations are. I think to some degree this same principle applies with teachers. It sounds good, in theory/"on paper". But is it truly realistic in application?

    We are very complex creatures and anyone who has taught in a classroom knows that it is very hard to effectively teach kids without special needs. Because each child is so different and unique regarding personality, temperament, home life etc. So many dynamics are at play that the teacher already has to deal with. Special needs is a very broad classification. Just like the "spectrum" for Autism is very broad. Is it realistic that a general classroom teacher has the capacity to be properly trained to deal with all special needs "out there"? Granted, I'm not saying the "regular" classroom teacher shouldn't have at least some general educational training on SPED students. But to expect them to be trained on the same level as someone who is specialized in SPED is asking a bit too much, IMO. Heck, there are specializations within the SPED educational program and the reason there is, is to try to provide the best for the child.
    Last edited by Bamabuzzard; July 8th, 2019 at 11:34 AM.
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  12. #25
    BamaNation All-American alabama mike1's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts regarding inclusion of children w/disabilities in regular classrooms.

    Quote Originally Posted by NationalTitles17 View Post
    To clarify why I'm asking the question: I can train anyone to change out an IV line or medication, but would you rather have someone that understands it and has been educated and trained or someone who has less training and doesn't really understand the how's and why's and may be less able to adapt to unique situations?
    If true inclusion is taking place, the intervention teacher and the regular education teacher should be in the same classroom working together during classroom instruction. I have been working on a schedule all morning to split our incoming 9th grade intervention kids up into 3 groups so they will get Algebra 1 and then an RTI (response to intervention) class in the afternoon. The teachers are in the room together and then IF NEEDED, during the RTI, the intervention specialist works with students who may need extra help or small groups of students. By law, you also have to keep a 51%:49% ratio between regular education students and intervention students. In our case, we have 29 IEP students coming in as freshmen. I put 10 IEP students in one Alg. class, 10 in another and 9 in the last. They stay together for Algebra and English, which is what the goals of the IEP addresses. Make sense?

    Here is the link to the Alabama Department of Education Special Education Department. https://www.alsde.edu/sec/ses/Pages/home.aspx
    Last edited by alabama mike1; July 8th, 2019 at 12:22 PM.

  13. #26
    FB Moderator Bamabuzzard's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts regarding inclusion of children w/disabilities in regular classrooms.

    Quote Originally Posted by alabama mike1 View Post
    If true inclusion is taking place, the intervention teacher and the regular education teacher should be in the same classroom working together during classroom instruction. I have been working on a schedule all morning to split our incoming 9th grade intervention kids up into 3 groups so they will get Algebra 1 and then an RTI (response to intervention) class in the afternoon. The teachers are in the room together and then IF NEEDED, during the RTI, the intervention specialist works with students who may need extra help or small groups of students. By law, you also have to keep a 51%:49% ratio between regular education students and intervention students. In our case, we have 29 IEP students coming in as freshmen. I put 10 IEP students in one Alg. class, 10 in another and 9 in the last. They stay together for Algebra and English, which is what the goals of the IEP addresses. Make sense?
    Yep, almost verbatim to what my wife told me.
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