Self-contained classes for children with developmental disabilities in school district, and others, are restricted to kindergarten curriculum throughout their elementary school years, a fact that not provided to parents/guardians unless the specific question “What curriculum will my child be taught? Based on my experience, few parents/guardians ever think to ask this question.
The classroom’s lack of stimulation combined with low expectations for learning created a situation in which parents that she could either be held back another year in kindergarten, without additional staff support, or placed in a special classroom where there is a better teacher-student ratio for more direct instruction.
The parents had to put pressure on the high school Principal to get the SEA paperwork completed.
Once submitted, the SEA funding was granted and augmentative electronic equipment (laptop and various software) were purchased and the educational assistant trained in their use – all to better support parents.
Thinking their daughter’s educators had their child’s best interests at heart and in mind, plus believing the educators knew which instructional practices were developmentally appropriate for their child to continue her growth in all domains, they agreed to the placement.
Subsequently, through information obtained from The Geneva Center in Toronto, Ontario the parents shockingly discovered that research-based evidence attested to inclusive education that combined developmentally appropriate practices with natural and augmentative electronic assistive supports to obtain the best possible outcome for children with development delay and/or autism, rather than the school board’s placement in a self-contained classroom without access to the richness of their typically developing peers’ curriculum.