February 5, 2011

Bringing About Mainstream Education

There was an article about the benefits of inclusion this morning - Down Syndrome children need 'faster inclusion' - which describes the benefits and need for inclusion classrooms - read, click HERE. Here's a quick excerpt: 

"Schools have this idea that it will bring their standards down if they have a child with special needs, but in fact the end result is actually a much happier school, more rounded students and high achievers all the same."

"The younger we start, the better because young children do not see a child with Down Syndrome on the playground, they just see another kid."

I have lately been frustrated by the lack of mainstream education for kids with special needs in some areas around Atlanta. Although I understand that not all kids with special needs would thrive in this environment, many would benefit by being in the inclusion classroom and it should at least be an option where appropriate. Specifically, Gwinett County (just outside Atlanta's Fulton County) is known for being behind the times and refusing to consider inclusion for even those kids with special needs who have the capabilities of handling that environment.

There are a few groups out there who are working on expanding inclusion into more schools and Senator Chip Rogers will introduce this year's expansion to SB10 the "Special Education Voucher." I would love to hear more about specific groups working to change the lack of inclusion in Atlanta schools and wish I knew of concrete things we could do to help this happen and advocate for our little ones' future education. Feel free to comment with groups or sites that are active in bringing change in this area!

1 comment:

  1. Saw your post on Sarah's blog roll. I feel your pain. Living in Stone Mountain (Gwinnett side) has proven to be very frustrating. When we bought our house we bought based on school district and their records, not knowing we'd have a child with DS. We are at the point of taking our son out and home schooling him next year. We haven't had our IEP meeting yet but have been told they will not keep him in K one more year as we requested. They will send him to a 'mild' or 'moderate' class. So so so frustrating.