Tag Archive for 'blogs'

What about including students with LD?

I’ve seen a couple of messages recently in which inclusion or mainstreaming has been lamented. One of them appeared on Bignity, the new group blog devoted to students with disabilities. In it Jaime Openden talks about the importance of having all teachers prepared to work with students with disabilities and her misgivings about mainstreaming.

For better or worse, mainstreaming is the direction our educational system has been heading in for years. Mainstreaming to me is like communism or a giant hot fudge sundae with the works. Sounds pretty sweet in theory; in practice, not so much.

The second appeared in correspondence on the mailing list associated with Association for Direct Instruction. These are the DI folks, people who are, with some justification, pretty well convinced that they know how to teach students with learning problems successfully, to help them succeed. It’s a bit longer and covers a lot more concerns.

I am still teaching in xxxx county and special education is a mess….in fact teaching in FL is not fun at all anymore. The state and county have gone test crazy. I have not been able to implement Reading Mastery correctly with all its components for several years now. We have to leave our ESE kids in the classroom for instruction and we are supposed to co-teach in the reg ed room. Often our kids sit there with dazed expressions on their faces. They do not pass the state’s FCAT reading test. They cannot spell. They have difficulty writing a complete sentence with correct grammar, punctuation, capitalization and spelling. But conventions don’t matter on FCAT writing, Next year we planned to put about 12 of our severely learning disabled, ASD, and IND (Intellectually disabled….formerly educably mentally handicapped….formerly mentally retarded….it’s the same thing…..I think they change the name so lay people won’t know what it means) 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who are reading at a beginning first grade level back into a self contained ESE classroom which I volunteered to teach. I was so excited because I really do love to teach….but then the bigwigs in the ESE department said they all have to be in regular homerooms because they learn so much from being in reg ed and the “research shows that they don’t learn as much in a self contained ESE room because the curriculum is not rigorous enough”. What research are they talking about? I just would like the time I need to teach these kids to read and to understand a little math….they can’t add or subtract……they didn’t have one-to-one correspondence by the third and fourth grades!! Being in reg ed homerooms means that I will have to deal with the schedules of six or more teachers to try to find the time to teach…..and I won’t get to teach them science and social studies at their reading levels.

Lots of people interested in LD are full-speed-ahead advocates for having students with LD included full time. Others have reservations, arguing that students with LD need specialized instruction delivered in classroom environments that are not available in the mainstream.

What about you? What are your thoughts? What are the pros and cons in your experience?

Parents’ and children’s views

The US Public Broadcasting System has two articles that will be of interest to some readers of LD Blog. The titles of them tell enough about the contents, each of which has four subparts, that I can simply list them here:

Flash of the electrons to to Leila over on Special Ed and Me, whose post entitled “Inside the Mind of Someone with a Learning Disability” led me to the articles.

Seattle PI blog

The Seattle (WA, US) Post-Intelligencer maintains a set of blogs about parenting, one of which focuses on Learning Disabilities. The blogs are maintained by people who are from the geographic area but are not otherwise affiliated with the newspaper, and “Mizz Givens,” who is Andrea Givens (in real life or “IRL,” as bloggers in the know say it) maintains the one about LD. As do so many other parents, in her blog she tells the story of her child, her child’s school, and their family.

Ms. Givens has been maintaining the blog for well over a year. Zion, her elementary-aged son is the focus, but there are also notes about Zion’s older sister and other matters, too. You can learn about what it’s like to have a child receive a video-monitored EEG as well as comments about reading with Zion at home, etc.

It’s a good one to track, so I’m adding it to the blogroll here on LD Blog. Link directly from this post and remember that you can get to it via the blogroll.

Welcome Pete and Pam

Pete and Pam Wright recently launched a blog, so let’s welcome them to the neighborhood. Their contributions via the rapidly changing form of blogs promise to be helpful. You can read the blog on the Web or, of course, subscribe to it with your favorite RSS reader.

Flash of the electrons to Christina Samuels of On Special Education for alerting me to this.