Salt seconds the observations that Dr. Dietrich, an expert in special education research, has made. Dr. Dietrich said preschool children — with and without disabilities — reap abundant benefits from an integrated classroom. “Integrated classrooms are reflective of society, neighborhoods, and communities where individuals both with and without disabilities live, work, and play." “Children with disabilities have opportunities to interact with typically developing peers and practice social skills, enhanced language skills, and exposure to varied learning experiences. By the same token, kids without disabilities have the opportunity to develop understanding and compassion and learn about individuals with differences.”
We believe this whole-heartedly.
There are, though, specific guidelines that must be followed in order to achieve success in an integrated class. Here are a few.
There should always be an assistant or aide (parent).
Each case should be determined individually by the teacher and administrator.
The chronological age range within special classes of students with disabilities who are less than 16 years of age shall not exceed 36 months. http://www.uft.org/teaching/special-classes
The program or class in which the student is enrolled should benefit his/her progression goals.
The teachers have the discretion of denying enrollment if presented with the following circumstances:
the child requires so much of the teachers’ time that the teachers cannot give adequate attention to the needs of other students in the classroom, and/or
the student is so disruptive in the general education classroom that the education of the student or other students is significantly impaired, and/or
the student requires the curriculum to be modified so significantly that it bears little relation to the instruction in the classroom.
Per “Continuum of services of students with disabilities is a part of Special Education initiative funded by the NYC School Board of Education it is some of their guidelines that are pertinent to our group” guidelines: http://www.uft.org/teaching/integrated-co-teaching-collaborative-team-teaching-ctt
If you are considering Salt for your special needs child, please notify Christie Martin. She will schedule an interview for you and your family.