Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hurdles to Learning?

Here's an article ["A School Topples Hurdles to Learning"] about a special education school that puts the others to shame.

I didn't need this New York Times piece to show me how deficient my daughter's school is. In the nine years she has been attending it, she has not learned or achieved anything there other than the water skills that the school's hydro-therapists taught her (and they are impressive).

Everything else was imparted to her at home either by therapists we hired or by me. And I mean nothing at all.

This did not stop the school staff from "adopting" some of those milestones in their reports. They cite them without any reference to their provenance.

But back to the article. It raises the controversial question of what is best for children with disabilities: mainstreaming or special education.

While I am a passionate advocate of inclusion of the disabled in mainstream society, I am inclined to favor special education for most. But when a child's performance or words clearly indicate his need for mainstreaming I feel it must be made available.

Sadly, this is far from the case in my country. Parents' demands for mainstream education are often rejected by high-handed authorities here.

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