Methods of Provision
Schools use different approaches to providing special education services to identified students. These can be broadly grouped into four categories, according to whether and how much contact the student with special needs has with non-disabled students (using North American terminology):
- Inclusion: In this approach, students with special educational needs spend all, or at least more than half, of the school day with students who do not have special educational needs. Because inclusion can require substantial modification of the general curriculum, most schools use it only for selected students with mild to moderate special needs, for which is accepted as a best practice. Specialized services may be provided inside or outside the regular classroom, depending on the type of service. Students may occasionally leave the regular classroom to attend smaller, more intensive instructional sessions in a resource room, or to receive other related services that might require specialized equipment or might be disruptive to the rest of the class, such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, rehabilitation counseling, or might require greater privacy, such as counseling sessions with a social worker.
- Mainstreaming refers to the practice of educating students with special needs in classes with non-disabled students during specific time periods based on their skills. Students with special needs are segregated in separate classes exclusively for students with special needs for the rest of the school day.
- Segregation in a separate classroom or special school exclusively for students with special needs: In this model, students with special needs spend no time in classes with non-disabled students. Segregated students may attend the same school where regular classes are provided, but spend all instructional time exclusively in a separate classroom for students with special needs. If their special class is located in an ordinary school, they may be provided opportunities for social integration outside the classroom, e.g., by eating meals with non-disabled students. Alternatively, these students may attend a special school.
- Exclusion: A student who does not receive instruction in any school is excluded from school. Historically, most students with special needs have been excluded from school. Such exclusion still affects about 23 million disabled children worldwide, particularly in poor, rural areas of developing countries. It may also occur when a student is in hospital, housebound, or detained by the criminal justice system. These students may receive one-on-one instruction or group instruction. Students who have been suspended or expelled are not considered excluded in this sense.
Read more about this topic: Special Schools
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