Wrightslaw  l  Wrightslaw Way Blog  l  IDEA 2004  l  Store  l  Yellow Pages for Kids

 Home > Advocacy  > FAQs / Letters > Don't children have a right to full inclusion?

The Special Ed Advocate newsletter
It's Unique ... and Free!

Enter your email address below:

Training Programs

Apr 2 - Nashua, NH

Apr 19 - Denver, CO

Apr 23 - Park City, UT

May 13 - Virginia Beach, VA

May 15 - Virginia Beach, VA

Full Schedule

Be a Hero ...

 Jason at Ft. Benning
... to a Hero
Learn more


Topics from A-Z
Free Newsletter
Seminars & Training
Yellow Pages for Kids
Press Room

Books & Training

Wrightslaw Storesecure store lock
  Advocate's Store
  Student Bookstore
  Exam Copies
Training Center
Bulk Discounts
Military Discounts
Student Discounts
Mail & Fax Orders

Advocacy Library

Cool Tools
Doing Your Homework
Ask the Advocate
Newsletter Archives
Short Course Series
Success Stories

Law Library

Fed Court Complaints
IDEA 2004
McKinney-Vento Homeless
Section 504


American Indian
Assistive Technology
Autism Spectrum
Behavior & Discipline
College/Continuing Ed
Due Process
Early Intervention
  (Part C)

Episodic, such as
   Allergies, Asthma,
   Diabetes, Epilepsy, etc

Future Planning
High-Stakes Tests
Homeless Children
IDEA 2004
Identification & Child Find
Juvenile Justice
Law School & Clinics
Letters & Paper Trails
LRE / Inclusion
Military / DOD
Parental Protections
PE and Adapted PE
Privacy & Records
Procedural Safeguards
Progress Monitoring
Related Services
Research Based

Response to Intervention

Restraints / Seclusion
   and Abuse

School Report Cards
Section 504
Teachers & Principals
Twice Exceptional (2e)
VA Special Education

Resources & Directories

Advocate's Bookstore
Advocacy Resources
  Disability Groups
  State DOEs
  State PTIs
Free Flyers
Free Pubs
Free Newsletters
Legal & Advocacy
   Legal Terms
   Assessment Terms
Best School Websites


Isn’t full inclusion a child’s right?

Print this page

Suzanne writes: I am a parent advocate and the parent of a child with autism. I attended an IEP meeting for a 6 year old child with autism in a neighboring school district. 

The child’s IEP Team plans to place the child in a self-contained "learning handicapped" class. The child’s mother wants her daughter to be fully included with an aide. The IEP Team won't budge. 

Am I missing something? 

I was able to place my five-year-old daughter in a regular Kindergarten class with an aide. I didn't run into this problem. 

Isn't full inclusion a child's right?  

Pete answers:

No, full inclusion is not a right. Many parents and educators are surprised to learn that the word "inclusion" is not in the statute (although "mainstreaming" is.)

To advocate for this child with autism, you need to learn what the IDEA statute, regulations, and caselaw say about least restrictive environment, mainstreaming, FAPE, and educational benefit.

The IDEA requires that disabled chidren receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The least restrictive environment (LRE) requirement is often referred to as inclusion or mainstreaming.

Can school districts place children with disabilities in separate special education programs where they are segregated from children who are not disabled? Sometimes. Policies about inclusion vary from one state or jurisdiction to another -- and even between neighboring school districts. 

Read our article, IDEA Requirements: Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and FAPE. In this article, we discuss the concepts of LRE, mainstreaming, inclusion, FAPE, and educational benefit.

In this article, you will learn that courts have issued different opinions on this issue - some courts emphasize the need to provide a free appropriate education and educational benefit. Other courts focus on the need to educate the child with nondisabled children.

When you finish reading IDEA Requirements: Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and FAPE, you will understand why we cannot give a clear "yes" or "no" answer to your questions about inclusion.

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon The Special Ed Advocate: It's Free!


Wrightslaw: Special Education Legal Developments and Cases 2018, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book

To Order

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book

To Order

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
About the Book

To Order

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

To Order

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
About the DVD Video

To Order


Copyright © 1998-2020, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.

Contact Us | Press Mission l Our Awards l Privacy Policy l Disclaimer l Site Map