Special Education: NOT the Resource Room, the Classroom in the Trailer, or the Special School Across Town

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Does my daughter, who has an IEP, have to be served by resource classes or can she be totally in mainstream classrooms?

“Special education” under IDEA is not a place or placement or a pre-packaged program. Special education is a “service for children rather than a place where such children are sent.”

Special education is not the resource room, the classroom in the trailer, or the special school across town.

The IDEA includes a “least restrictive environment” (LRE) requirement.

LRE Requirement in IDEA

Special education services should be delivered in regular education classes (not special classes, separate schooling, or other removal from the regular ed environment) except “when the nature or severity of the disability of the child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.”

20 U. S. C. § 1412(a)(5) – See page 72 in Wrightslaw: Special Education Law or Chapter 10 – Placement in Wrightslaw: All About IEPs.

If the IEP of a student with a disability can be implemented satisfactorily with the provision of supplementary aids and services in the regular classroom in the school the student would attend if not disabled, that placement is the LRE placement for that student.

The “I” in IEP

When school personnel view special education as a “place,” they often fail to evaluate the child’s unique needs and how the school can meet these needs.

That’s the “I” in IEP. “What we have available” usually refers to one-size-fits-all programs that are not individualized to meet a child’s unique needs.

And remember, parents are members of any team that develops the IEP and decides on placement. IDEA Section 1414(e) requires that the school “…ensure that the parents of each child with a disability are members of any group that makes decision on the educational placement of their child.”

Read Parent Involvement in Placement Decisions at https://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/?p=394

More about Inclusion, LRE, and Mainstreaming at https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/lre.index.htm

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06/24/2018 12:03 am

My whole life I’ve been in special ed it’s held me back to exceed I’ve had to use my body physically to work in a warehouse repetitive work instead of my mind all my body is giving out I’ve been in special ed. my parents moved all the time I had no help I am 54 and I am probably a third grade reading level and I would love to go to school to learn something that I I could use my brain can I get help ??????

01/24/2018 4:20 am

Please someone help me respond to how I can defend what the school is saying to me in the IEP meeting.
My child is 11 and has Down Syndrome and in the 4th grade.
The team is trying to say since she is behind by a few grade levels… like she’s just learning to add, and the teachers class is learning division, that my girl would not do well with the inclusion setting. In other words how can they teach her when she’s so far behind other students? I said give her a 1:1 and modify the work to what she can do and allow ESY and other supports to work towards bringing her to grade level. They are really giving me a difficult time. They feel if she’s so far behind that inclusion is not for her. And she has no behavior issues.

01/25/2018 7:58 am
Reply to  Terry

Her instructions needs to be at a level that is significantly different than the standards taught in the inclusion setting and therefore may need more intensive instruction in a smaller setting.

01/25/2018 3:56 pm
Reply to  Terry

Your state parent training and information center can assist you in knowing what the state rules say about inclusion & determining LRE. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

01/19/2018 7:00 pm

A general ed student has just been categorized as ED. First time assessment, no prior IEP services. Is the resource teacher supposed to do the paperwork for him to go in to a Self Contained Classroom?

01/25/2018 7:55 am
Reply to  Helen

The child should start in a resource room not self-contained. They need to try the LRE first.

01/17/2018 8:27 am

Hi! We had an IEP referral mtg for our daughter about 2 weeks ago and the school reluctantly determined that it would evaluate for Emotional Disturbance and OHI. Is it legal for the school to start offering placement in a special class, with our verbal consent, but before she’s even approved for an IEP? We do want her to be in this class, but it was handled in a very casual way and not documented or signed. We agreed to this because it is better than her current situation of sitting in guidance all day (not attending any classes at all). We’re just not sure this is on the up-and-up, and are concerned about getting her back into the regular classroom with appropriate support going forward. Do we just document this, wait it out and continue preparing for the next meeting? Thanks!

01/17/2018 1:09 pm
Reply to  TEAMJNH

Document, but also request, & push for another IEP meeting. Your state parent training & information center can assist you. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

01/17/2018 2:18 pm
Reply to  Chuck

Thanks Chuck. We have the next IEP mtg scheduled for February to determine eligibility. Yesterday wasn’t an IEP mtg, just something informal, but in hindsight quite IEP related. Has the cart been put before the horse, so to speak, with this placement before she’s even found eligible?? I will also follow up with our local PIC thank you, just thought I’d stop in here first I always see such good info and support 🙂

11/15/2017 7:01 am

We don’t like how the Special Ed Resource Teacher communicates with our Autistic son. She told him she was going to take him to the Principal’s office, but didn’t say a word to us about the incident. She is very rude when I go to help out. Therefore, we don’t believe or trust any kind of assessment that she does with him. Can I get a 2nd Assessment done somewhere else? Should I let someone in the IEP Team know? Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated.

11/12/2017 11:07 am

my son is high functioning autistic and has been in Maine stream however this year the 2nd grade class no longer have aides 1- 20 kids. do to this change my son is not receiving his sensory brakes as prescribed which is 10-15 min brake every1-2hrs outside of the classroom instead they place him in a corner of the classroom for cool down. the school claims lacks funds/ personnel …and now they want to place him in an EC class which is in a different school and this program is completely segregated form Maine streamers from door entrence, recess time and even lunch room hours and this 2nd grade class has a very low academic profile they practice their alphabet by son writes storybooks and is in advance math for his grade….

11/13/2017 4:26 pm
Reply to  julia

I suggest asking for prior written notice of why his current placement (with accommodations is not appropriate). You can use the dispute resolution process to try to get a plan you feel is appropriate. Your state parent training & information center can assist you. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

11/07/2017 2:24 pm

My daughter, who has TBI, has an IEP and is in an inclusion class for ELA, Sci & SS – for math she is in a more restrictive, multi-grade “modified math”. She is in 7th grade. She is on reading level. All children who are on reading level in our district can take a language instead of Reading instruction. She takes Spanish. My daughter recently discovered that the 8th graders in her math class take 7th grade electives due to the multi-grade nature of the math class (it is rostered according to a 7th grade schedule). None of the other children in her math class are eligible to take a language based on their reading level. The school said they would “try” to roster her into Spanish next year – is this an accommodation that they must make?

11/02/2017 5:39 pm

My son is on an iep for reading only. The school told me that the resource room teacher is over her limit of students. There is a self-contained classroom where the 8 students stay all day. The school said that my son (along with 7 other students) will be going to that classroom for instruction and they are now calling is an LRC instead of an MD classroom. Is that legal?

11/06/2017 3:16 pm
Reply to  mary

This would be a question for your state education agency. Your state parent training & information center could also assist you. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

05/08/2018 10:13 am
Reply to  mary

Mary, that depends. Is ur child going 2 this classroom for specific rdg instruction & then heading back 2 their reg setting? Your child’s IEP requires them 2 receive res. instr for remediation, correct? It doesn’t matter the setting, as long as it is being provided by a sped teacher. The number of special ed minutes your child receives determines their placement not the classroom they go to for services. A self-contained teacher can provide res. instruction, as long as they can prove that this instruction is happening and is appropriate, I wouldn’t worry about it. I’ve to tell you that if your child is getting remediation in a small group setting, even if the rest of the students in the class are “self-contained”, your child may actually benefit for having less distraction.

10/29/2017 8:40 pm

Does Inclusion include science and social studies classes? A teacher wants to go into all classrooms for 25 minutes and then take one of the students related arts class for Resource. Can Inclusion and Resource exist at the same time by the same teacher with the same students?

09/10/2017 1:40 am

Its unclear as to the amount of RSP students that can be in a class period for general ed

09/06/2017 6:35 pm

Is it legal for all freshmen students with an IEP to be placed in the same but home room class?

09/07/2017 11:14 am
Reply to  Mary

I think this would depend on who is evaluating this, & whether it is just for home room. You can make a complaint or inquiry with the state education agency.

09/07/2017 12:43 pm
Reply to  Mary

Is it only special ed students or are their general ed students as well. If there are gen ed students then it would be considered a co-taught class and I assume legal.

09/07/2017 2:17 pm
Reply to  Mary

I have seen this practice as a para. It is easier for tracking, transporting (some who are in wheelchairs ) and need 1-1s. If a para calls out sick, one para can watch several in the same initial homeroom and similar class schedules throughout the day–I see this more in middle school and high school. In some districts, there are just not enough paras and aides and they rush to get the students off the bus, to the cafeteria and then rush to homeroom and track to classes. Several eyes are needed for the behavioral kids and runners. Yes, it is more convenient for the system to track them in this way and easier for staffing and staffing assignments if someone calls out. Is is legal? I don’t know. In the eyes of a principal and case manager, it is practical.

04/12/2017 3:44 pm

Is there a ratio of special education students with inclusion support to regular ed students in a regular ed classroom?

10/09/2017 8:56 pm
Reply to  Regina

In our school/state, it is 1:3, special education students to regular education students. Keep in mind, however, that the sped students only count as sped students if they are receiving services for a deficit area in that class.
For example, a student may have a learning disability in math only. That student would have only math goals/objectives. In a co-taught math class, that student would count as a sped student. Yet, in an English/Language Arts co-taught class, that same student would count as a reg ed student because s/he doesn’t receive services for an English/Language Arts class.
One more piece of information: the ratio of sped:reg ed is counted as though the class is full. So, if a class can hold 28 students total, 9 could be sped and 19 could be reg ed.

04/05/2017 1:57 pm

My daughter is transitioning into kindergarten. She has developmental delays and mild CP. I was offered gen ed, SDC (special day class) and severe disabilities program. However, of those 3 options, it was agreed that my daughter would best fit into an SDC at the IEP meeting. My school district is only giving me one option for and SDC saying it’s the only program available in the district. AND it is 30 minutes away and I drive by 5 elementary schools to get my daughter there. What grounds do I have, if any, to get the district to do something to place her closer to home?

04/06/2017 12:55 pm
Reply to  Veronica

Your state parent training & information center should be able to help you with the options available in your state. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

04/02/2017 4:02 am

I’m working first goal as a paraprofessional in the special education department right now I am a aide to a student in the life skills classroom. I was then informed that I was going to be removed from the sped department and filling in for other teachers. Is it legal for them to take a students aide away and say they won’t be having one with them anymore. Is there anything I can do ?

04/03/2017 1:09 pm
Reply to  Torey

Legally the district should not temporally remove a service the IEP team determined was needed. Campuses have difficulty frequently finding subs, so it is often easier & cheaper to use staff on the campus. Refusing to do this can put you in a difficult position. Talk with the teacher about your concern that this violates the child’s right to a free appropriate public education.(FAPE) Document this conversation. If the situation does not change you could give the teacher a written statement that you will sub under protest when asked to do so. You also should have the right to make a formal complaint to the principal.

03/31/2017 10:44 am

I am currently a special education teacher and my school keeps pulling me from my class to sub for teachers who are in the general education classroom. My students miss instructional time. How can I fight this legally with my principal?

03/31/2017 1:42 pm
Reply to  Sarah

You can involve the special ed director, since this puts the district in violation of students’ IEPs.

08/05/2017 1:04 pm
Reply to  Sarah

Another way to fight this is to know your (entire) teaching contract. In my district in Florida, the para contract prohibits admin from pulling a para from their assigned duties to sub elsewhere (gen ed OR another SpEd class) for more than 16 hours per year. So, regardless of the IEP issue, if they move you to sub for two days, that’s all that’s legally available to them and you’re “off the hook” the remainder of the year.

03/23/2017 12:53 am

My district is do a change of placement for students that can perform at grade level with behavior concerns into Special Day classes. These students are being removed from the LRE and these Special Ed. classes are becoming the behavior dumping ground. This placement negatively impacts the learning of the students enrolled in SDC. What can I do to keep my class a safe learning environment?

03/23/2017 4:04 pm
Reply to  Kathy

General ed teachers benefit when these students leave their rooms. So I feel that the best approach is to build support from the campus administrators, & teachers that this is not the best for the students. The special ed director may be able to assist you.

03/22/2017 11:24 am

Hi! Looking for help. My son was classified as Other health impaired when dx with PDD-NOS at the age of four. I’m being told that his eligibility for services was based from a preschool progress report until 2nd grade. Where he has declassified (tested 55 assessments in 1 day). Never placed on the bus the 1st day of school for medical transportation first day with 504 which was indicated on his 504. The following year dropped at the wrong bus stop. And still being denied proper services till this day, I’m being told that its passed the statue of limitations for anything to be done about the things that I have/currently being put..feeling so lost and helpless. How can this district continue to put mu son and I through this. Looking for any free/low cost legal or advocacy help.

03/22/2017 1:39 pm
Reply to  Jasmine

Your state parent training & information should be able to assist you. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

03/04/2017 12:44 pm

Can a first grade ELL student who has never been in a school before be placed in a special education classroom to audit classes without an IEP or diagnosed disability in Illinois?

03/08/2017 7:08 pm
Reply to  Meg

No, to receive special education services, a student must be evaluated, qualify and have an iep. In addition, where I am from, a ELL newcomer has one year before they are able to be tested for special education.

02/28/2017 10:33 am

I am a special education teacher. I have 2 paraprofessionals, one is a certified teacher. Both of them are being pulled to sub somewhere else. Can the school district legally take them away from me? I live in Illinois.

03/08/2017 7:11 pm
Reply to  Jane

I would look at your district guidelines and student IEP’s for specific ratios.

01/20/2017 10:23 pm

My son is in gen. ed and pulled out resource room for math and reading (3rd grade). He is not doing well in math. He still needs help with addition and subtraction but the teacher said she has to move on to multiplication. He reads well but has problems with the comprehension. The school is now saying that next year they want to put my son in an LLD class. Unfortuantely, the LLD class is in another school across town. He just started making school friends this year after spending 3 years of no friends. How much would he gain in LLD vs. resource room? My opinion is that socialization is just as important as academics.

01/11/2017 2:12 pm

My child is a freshman in High School. She is dyslexic and in the learning center 5 days a week. She is on a IEP since 1st grade. Basically she gets extra time on test, study guides and other modifications. She complains that learning center is a waste of time. She says they do nothing. Does she have to go to learning center? Also she hasn’t had a Spanish teacher in 3 months. The district never hired one. Then finally one showed up. The teacher left and they sat in the auditorium for months without notifying the parents. Now they want to switch the name of the classroom from Spanish 1 which is college accredited to Intro to Spanish which is not college accredited. Also no textbook and I have called the Department of Education. No luck! District can do what they want. Frustrated!

01/11/2017 11:15 am

Hello Everyone
The way I look at this, there should be centralized schools completely separate that service all levels of special education. This would allow that one school to better manage and serve the kids. It would be able to offer more money for positions that are hard to fill, because instead of needing 1 ESOL teacher for 2 students it could be 1 ESOL teacher and one ESOL para for 15 students. It would have to be all 12 grades so that every student could be in a class for the grade level that best fits them.
The idea that we should take the people who need more help and stick them in the same environment they need help in is wrong, we should create the environment that they need the least help to work in. To justify the cost of this, you would need to concentrate the students.

11/17/2016 2:22 pm

It is hard to service kids with special needs in a general ed class. I am a co-teacher (8th grade) in a middle school where we have co-teach ELA and Math. My classes have around 22-26 students with around 8-12 having iep’s. Now the tricky part is of those 8-12 students with IEP’s their reading levels vary from First to Fifth grade and the students with no IEP’s their reading levels can vary from 6th to 12th grade reading levels majority being around 7th and 8th grade with a sprinkle or two of kids with high school level reading abilities. I try my best to help all my students but at the end of the day i feel like no real justice is made by having kids out in general ed when resource is where they belong.

09/10/2017 1:46 am
Reply to  roberto

You sound like you work at my district…I LITERALLY have no prep period because each day is spent at an IEP. No complaint towards my students but how exactly am I to plan or make modifications for their needs if when my planning time comes I don’t receive due to have 30 IEPs to attend…no exaggeration either

10/19/2016 7:46 pm

My son is on an IEP and in second grade the special education teacher worked in small groups in the classroom with other children on IEPs. This year, 3rd grade, he is being pulled out during the day and he is a mess. He requires consistency and being pulled form the classroom at different times of day makes his day very unpredictable. He also is frustrated because he misses out on things that he enjoys in the class, like reading, snack and he has even sometimes quizzes. He was interrupted taking a math quiz today and he was so upset. I’m not sure what to do. I wish the school continued with a model where kids are included in the classroom and the teacher works in small groups in the actual class room. I’m pretty desperate. I called for an IEP meeting in two weeks to discuss this.

03/08/2017 7:20 pm
Reply to  Deb

I am sorry to hear this. I think you did the right thing by requesting an IEP meeting. I would fight for him to have an accommodation that says something about following routines and schedules. With this added, it gives you grounds to fight for him to be pulled out in a routine manner. Keep fighting!

09/21/2016 1:48 pm

I have a question concerning the placement of a severe and profound student in my son’s class. Why have they mainstreamed this student with very limited capabilities in the resource classroom. My son comes home everyday and says that the child sits in the room and makes all types of load noises. The students in the class snicker and occasionally laugh. She is confined to a wheel chair and has an assistant that takes her around the school. Every time I have visited the school and seen her she has been very load and out spoken. Just the other day my son was in class taking a test and the child was making noises. My son said that he couldn’t concentrate on his test due to the distraction. I guess what I am asking is why would they put a student in a class that clearly isn’t learning anything and at the same time being a distraction and keeping those other students from getting the education they are in there for? It is very disturbing to me that the school system would allow it but even more disturbing that the wellfare of the whole class is not taken into consideration. If anyone can make since of this for me please share your incite with me.
Thank you

09/24/2016 3:32 pm
Reply to  Sandy

Hi Sandy,
Unfortunately, both you and your son sound uninformed. And fortunately, you don’t get to have a say in whether or not that child with a disability is learning anything from being in the classroom. I encourage you to have an in depth conversation with the teacher to find out what is really happening in the classroom. I also encourage you to learn more about this child with a disability, what his or her parents envision for their child, and go out into the real world and see that there are people with many different abilities. I could and would love to write more; however, I have talked and worked with individuals like yourself and have come to realize that people like you will probably never understand. Too bad. Mostly I feel bad for you.

09/25/2016 7:42 pm
Reply to  Liz

So what you are saying is that it is perfectly ok that when this student is being disruptive in class and distracting due to their severe and profound disability, not to mention distracting the focus of those students that are trying to learn, even during a test, is perfectly ok? It seems you agree that a child that is uncontrollable verbally is perfectly fine to be in a class and be disruptive and have it justified by their disability. The students in this class aren’t able to concentrate or learn. I understand the advocacy for the disabled and mentally challenged but when its at the expense of a whole class’ education I don’t see where that makes any sense at all. I thank you for your answer and see your side but unfortunately it seems to me that your side is all you see. Take care

10/04/2016 5:18 pm
Reply to  sandy

Sandy, the point is that yes the student’s verbalization *IS* justified by their disability. Some stim/tic vocally- they literally can not help it. Being confined to a wheelchair does not indicate intelligence, but it sounds like it affects how you view her. I work with students of all “outward” abilities & yes some are very LOUD…but you’d be surprised how much they are taking in &, given the right tools (comm device/ASL), how much they can tell you!
In the real world it is often not quiet when we’re trying to focus (driving with the radio on is another good example) so view it as practice. Sorry but blaming lack of focus on others is an excuse.
As for your son this would be a wonderful teaching moment. Help him to accept everyone and see that everyone’s education matters 🙂

01/11/2017 11:06 am
Reply to  meg

Hello Meg,

Luckily there is a way to get around all this, though it may actually be seen as a violation of the least restrictive mandate.

If the student that cannot help creating loud distractions is put in a separate room with there aid, and a video conference is created between the two rooms using laptops or large televisions and web cams, the students mic could be disabled, and the aid could type any questions they could not answer and the teacher could verbally reply as they would any normally functioning student.
Total setup, 3 grand (large tv’s).

10/18/2016 7:50 pm
Reply to  sandy

Hi Sandy– I think the others are being rather rude to you and I think it comes w/ the territory of just being over -tired. I have a son with an IEP and I have a son who is gifted. Both are on the autism spectrum as am I, their mother. There is not a perfect answer to your question. I don’t think it’s fair for your son to be distracted during a test, although it is a good opportunity for you to explain to him that the other child can’t help it. I think IEP’s are good but I also think there’s an issue when the IEPs trump the majority’s right to an education free of distractions. Is the “real” world like that? No– but guess what?! Most of the real world is not anything like school. What if her son got a 504 or IEP saying he needed a quiet environment to test in?

01/17/2017 10:09 pm
Reply to  sandy

Hello Sandy
I hear your concerns and truly there is hope. I would suggest if you can talk with the teacher and maybe if its distracting doing test for your child then speak with the teacher to see if your child could take the test in another classroom. I would also suggest to visit the class because most of the time its two sides to every story. Our children sometimes tell us what they want us to think is the problem and that may not be the problem.

03/24/2017 6:03 am
Reply to  Liz

Liz you wrote,
” I encourage you to have an in depth conversation with the teacher to find out what is really happening in the classroom.”

I am a special education inclusion teacher and can tell you that in some cases it IS a distraction to the general education students. There is a push for inclusion and mainstreaming but consideration is not always taken for how the special needs of the sped students can or will effect the dynamics of the classroom. Both sides deserve the respect of the least restrictive environment of learning but it is not always possible in a general education class, even with a one on one paraprofessional or In Class Support Teacher.
Unfortunately Sandy is limited in how much information she can receive from the teacher due to confidentiality laws.

11/02/2016 11:06 pm
Reply to  Sandy

I am appalled at some of these responses. I am a teacher and I agree with you Sandy. The special education kids in the gen Ed classroom are extreme distractions to others. They make noises roam the room don’t follow rules because they don’t understand what the teacher is talking about!! I am a realist, some people are born to be astrophysicists and some are born to stick nuts and bolts together. A middle school student who reads at an 11th grade level has no business in a class with a atudent who reads at a Kindergarten level. Here is my advice. You are your students best advocate. I don’t know what state you are in, but you have rights. Demand your child be moved. State your reasons why,.. Threaten with school board. Inform other parents. Be the voice for your child!!!

11/12/2016 1:16 am
Reply to  Sally

I’m actually a student that was in special ed just for a simple learning disability from middle school to high school and it has RUINED my entire life. You can basically forget about going to college if you were in the special ed classes I was in.
To be stuck in the same class room with someone that cannot read or with someone that cannot even have the copacity to learn is mind blowing! I did not deserve to miss out on my entire education to be in this so called “special ed class.”
There needs to be a class for people like me that doesn’t require being taught at level that is 4 grades below. I was devastated to find out when I was a junior in high school that I was being taught 8th grade math!!!!
So much for college math!

01/10/2017 11:49 am
Reply to  Sandy

Your comments are awful. I pity your son being raised with no compassion. I am disgusted, but at least I know there are people like you my sweet child will face. I hope you never need any help from anyone and if you do they don’t look down their nose at you! What a disgrace!

01/11/2017 10:59 am
Reply to  Jennifer

Hello Jennifer,
Sandy was bringing up actual concerns, you then responded with ad hominem.

You didn’t address the fact that your child lessons the quality of education to every child in the classroom, or even what benefit your child gets from being in a classroom instead of segregated with her developmental peers.

01/25/2017 12:06 pm
Reply to  Gary

I totally agree with you Gary. Although my son has an iep, I can see Sandy’s point of view and believe her concerns are valid.

02/09/2017 2:13 pm
Reply to  Alicia

I can understand Sandy’s question and I have a child with an iep in gen. ed. But my tables are reversed. I have a child who I don’t want in gen.ed but it a special ed classroom because of the distractions from the classmates and that going both ways. She has behavioral issues that we’re working on because of her disabilities. As her mother, I want her behavior to be maintained with minimal work until behavior is maintained because it’s such a battle. I just want to know what resources to look up to see what process I can take to file a complaint on the school. They aren’t providing a safe room for her and the staff to work through her behaviors. This school isn’t equipped and even skilled to work with a dual diagnosis child (I really don’t feel comfortable laying everything out here)

03/18/2017 3:42 pm
Reply to  Jennifer


Sandy is asking specific questions. Sometimes parents of special needs kids need to realize that their child can not always be mainstreamed. Some children due to certain behaviors need to be segregated. This happened to my child and the response was well you child can go to another classroom or a new school. Where do you think that it is fair that I have to pull my child but your child gets to stay? It does not mean that we are not without compassion. You have the right to advocate for your child’s rights and we have the right to do the same for general ed. children.

03/08/2017 7:29 pm
Reply to  Sandy

Hi Sandy, I am sorry to hear this. I am curious how you know this student is severe and profound. Have you been able to see her IEP or evaluations? It is interesting to me how you say she is “clearly not learning anything.” What data do you have to support this?

08/08/2017 7:32 pm
Reply to  Sandy

As a special education teacher, we advocate for full inclusion for all our students however; there is a time and place where students on IEPs may need a separate setting for instruction towards IEP goals. In your case, your son has difficulty with concentration when there is noise. This is an easy fix. First off, the gen ed teacher should set up testing times when the student has other services such as speech, adaptive, OT, or social emotional and is out of the classroom. We also use sound buffers for many of our sensory students and they are also helpful for students who have difficulty concentrating. Just remember, when your child grows, there will be plenty of times when a setting may not be best for what he needs to accomplish and he will adapt:)

09/11/2016 4:07 pm

Special Education should be a service not a place, but if the “service” is in a general education classroom, how do parents make sure the proper support is being provided to ensure their child is learning and gaining new skills ? My district has 53 unfilled paraeducator positions open, the district next to ours has 89 open unfilled positions. Talk is cheap, students with special needs are being included in general education classroom but are not accessing the curriculum because there is no support. #reality check.

09/18/2016 5:19 pm
Reply to  Jennifer

Exactly! Our daughter has been in school for 12 days and still hasn’t received her general education service minutes. The new teacher says she too overwhelmed and needs to get to know the students. The assistant principal says due to shortage of teachers and paras they need to find what best supports the students including our daughter and that its temporary. When asked the teacher how long is the temporary she said it’s not her responsibilty to know she don’t do placements. The district considers our daughter stocking shelves unloading inventory boxes in a student store is part of her general education service minutes. They will not allow her to be in cooking / home economics class because the general education teacher can’t support her. We got limited general minutes 350 for the year.

09/04/2016 1:41 am

My son is starting high school this week and we just went to tour his classes. He’s in a self contained classroom and switches classes for each subject. Only non special ed class is theater. All 7 special Ed classes are in outside trailers. Isn’t this illegal? It’s extremely segregating. How do they expect them to feel included?

09/18/2016 5:22 pm
Reply to  Kristen

Yes it is and we are in the same boat our daughter only gets Arts and Advisory but that’s limited to a 350 minutes for the year. The IDEA states our kids should be given the same opportunity as general peers also I recommend checking your state law for what it says for what it says. I live in Washington state it’s says our kids are entitled.

08/31/2016 11:19 am

My son is beginning a ne school district this year. Upon registration, and prior to fully reviewing his fba, bip, or iep, I was contacted by the school and told they do not have placement for him. His previous school had him in a 6:1 classroom. The new school only has 12:1 classroom and they’re claiming it’s full. They want to provide transportation to a neighboring district with a 6:1 self contained classroom.
Can they amend his iep and put him in a mainstream class with a one on one support? Do we have to have him transported somewhere else?
I moved with the intent of my son going to this school. We live three blocks from it (we moved for the purpose of changing districts)
His annual iep review concluded with the goal for this year to be mainstreaming him anyway.

08/11/2016 3:50 pm

I am a general Ed teacher – with special Ed certification and a background in serving BD students. My principal has decided to cluster students to better serve them. They placed all of the students with BD/Health Impaired (history of significant behavior difficulties) at my grade level in my classroom this year. I will have 6 out of 22 students on IEPs (27%). 5 are severe. Is this a violation of the LRE provisions of IDEA?

09/25/2016 8:34 am
Reply to  Amy

Amy, it is not a violation of Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), unless more than 50% of your students are being served through Special Education. It does make it difficult to have a class with students struggling with behavior problems but districts do this so that they can provide services to students. Hopefully, they have provided help for you during those class periods.

05/04/2016 6:22 pm

I am a regular education teacher who has several students with IEPs in my class. Their IEPs state that they are to be pulled out of the regular classroom by their special education teacher and serviced in a resource room for 75 to 150 minutes a day. My students have not been pulled for the past 3 months. The special education teachers have been individually testing students rather than servicing the students on IEPs. My principal told me today in a meeting that I was responsible for servicing these children and the special education teachers were just a resource. If that were true what do we need special education teachers for? Has anyone experienced this before?

05/20/2016 9:57 am
Reply to  Irene

Irene, I think you need to reach out to these special ed teachers and be proactive as to what each student needs help on. The key word here is RESOURCE. They are not only a disabled students resource but they can be your resource. You can’t rely on a principal to tell these Special Ed teachers to teach these children. Sometimes you have the think out of the box a do the thing that you feel in your heart is the right. I am sure that your principal would not scold you for that. Especially if you are helping a student get on the right track. Being a teacher is not easy and I know that. But when you become a teacher, I believe that you have an obligation to do what it takes to help your students achieve. Somebody taught you to be better person. As a teacher now its your turn to teach them

06/03/2016 11:08 am
Reply to  Irene

The principal, special education teacher and you could get in big trouble from the state for not following the IEP. If this ever came to light, you would most likely be the only one fired. No to mention the effect it would have on the children who are to be getting the service. Shame on the principal this is criminal! Stating in a legal document that you are providing a service when you know you are not and then expecting one teacher to provide for all the children!! Everybody looses

01/18/2016 6:05 pm

First. Special Education needs to be integrated in every regular classroom. A regular class with para professionals can help remedy the situation. Second, Elementary schools need to be smaller Regular class size(10 to 15 students).Why do you think there are more elementary schools than middle or high schools? So that a young student(especially a special ed student) can start off in a small environment. You start off small and end up big. That’s with everything in life.Third, Special education students not only need a quality education, but also quality social skills where they can be mentored and respect by other students. Putting all Special educations students in one class together is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. Lastly,When I mean that Special Education should be fully integrated in all classrooms,It should be in all classrooms in every elementary school in a particular town so that students don’t have to go cross town for special education services.

09/04/2016 3:30 pm
Reply to  Jon

What happens when students with special needs are integrated into general ed classrooms with minimal or no support? Our district cut para support in half, then they rolled out the full inclusion program. It is chaos. Teachers and students are unhappy, frustrated. Administrative response is,” All the other districts are doing it.”

10/19/2016 1:41 pm
Reply to  Jon

Many teachers would disagree and so would the students. The new trend is mainstreaming and it is not a one size fits all! In many cases, it is a detriment and disserve to the students and I mean ALL students! It has gotten to the point that only certain students matter. I teach all students and I can tell you, it is a great disservice to all students. The higher kids are not getting pushed and the lower kids aren’t getting what they need. In a perfect world, it works, but we all now the world is far from perfect! I also hate it when someone who has been out of a classroom for years decided to chime in. Schools have changed ALOT! Also, many EC teachers will tell you that many kids are mainstreamed, because of what the parent WANTS, not what the child needs!

03/24/2017 6:16 am
Reply to  Cris

“Schools have changed ALOT! Also, many EC teachers will tell you that many kids are mainstreamed, because of what the parent WANTS, not what the child needs!”


03/28/2015 1:41 pm

I’m an adaptive behavior teacher in Texas and this program separates children into separate adaptive behavior classes where they are supposed to earn their way out. These kids all have a diagnosis of emotional disturbance and I think this program discriminates against them on the basis of their disability. Who can I complain to about this?

09/03/2015 10:25 pm
Reply to  Lindsey

I would love an answer to that myself. As a special educator in a new district I’m shocked at the way the students on my caseload are placed in my room all day with very little effort to include them in general Ed. When I try to suggest anything different I’m told that just how it’s done in my new district.

04/29/2016 6:12 am
Reply to  Lindsey

Look up Georgia GNETS DOJ decision or download this PDF of the investigation results. GNETS is a behavior program that was ruled in violation of ADA for several reasons. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.ada.gov/olmstead/documents/gnets_lof.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwj3mN63nLHMAhXBQiYKHeeRAwoQFggiMAI&usg=AFQjCNEbekEyH81UHMkAr_dCOxHaTvUfkw&sig2=I9KLxXHLy4F9IbIPq7Ripw

10/19/2016 1:45 pm
Reply to  Lindsey

What are they going to do when that emotional disturbance lands them in jail or in a ward somewhere? Behavioral students do need to learn that they will be separated from others, if they don’t use behavior modifications. The real world won’t care about their disability. They will end up in jail, or the disability will land them in a hospital.

09/14/2014 5:00 pm

If a child has been resource for their services but administration wants more inclusion, is that a change of placement? The student is LD or OHI. The inclusion is with a special ed teacher in the room with the student instead of pulling him out for the entire time. For example, “joe” has 5 times 30 minutes per week on his IEP. So instead of being pulled out of his regular ed classroom that entire time, he is in the classroom with his peers with the SPed teacher.

08/05/2014 9:42 pm

Question: A parent has requested that her child be placed in a separate setting classroom because of his anxieties although he qualifies for resource continuum. The EC director has told students parent that he could get into separate setting. Isn’t there a protocol that must be followed before student is just placed in a separate setting? Student is currently on grade level in reading and writing and slightly below average in math. Current separate setting is serving students who are K-5, but all are working on kindergarten/ first grade level. All students have significant cognitive and adaptive skills. The student who is being requested to be placed in separate setting has neither. What is the law regarding this?

W Sarow
06/22/2014 9:26 pm

Inadequate service provision amongst the Deaf community in Deaf Education is an issue I’m passionate about. I don’t believe the LRE for Deaf students is in the mainstream classroom. These promote language barriers and isolation and lack positive Deaf role models for children. Clearly there are reasons to support state residential schools as the LRE for Deaf students. They don’t promote the language barriers inherent in “regular” education classrooms or the isolation of being followed around by an interpreter all day long as a student. I strongly support this “segregated” residential school setting as the LRE for Deaf students for the reasons cited above and my own personal experience as a parent. I’m a supporter of Deaf residential schools as the LRE for Deaf students especially profoundly Deaf students.

04/09/2014 5:56 pm

Wow!! some interesting information here. So sad to not here all the good things that the Special Education staff do. In my district we provide the full continuum of services. However, each child is regarded as a General Education student first and then it is determined what services are needed from there. I can tell you, working with the Sped. Department has gotten me a lot further than accusing them and being mean–they are human beings and care– just give them the chance before assuming they are doing something wrong or bad.

09/28/2013 2:45 pm

Reading the previous comments baffle my mind. As a preservice teacher, studying Early Childhood and Special Education, I have been exposed to the different types of interventions and supports teachers should be using to help their students.There are many supports that teachers could use in mainstream classrooms to help the students with disabilities. An example of a behavioral support that can be used in the classroom is Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). This will focus on positive reinforcement of behaviors rather than the negative and it will make the instruction process run more smoothly. As for instruction, teachers that have inclusion classrooms, should incorporate Universally Designed Lessons (UDL) that help ALL students learn. The RTII approach will help teachers further implement supports for those who need it

02/27/2013 2:38 am

To Carol: I just learned today about using mediators for situations like this. I have the same problem w my sons school not hearing me about his anxiety – he refuses to go to school approx once a month, calls from nurses office etc. they just keep saying how they don’t see what I’m talking about and his grades are fine. I’m in NYS and there are mediators specifically for Special Ed problems. I’m hoping all states have something like this. I was told by them to ask for their involvement t sooner rather than later when the damage is done (like in my situation where the principal and dir of special Ed and even the superintendent all hate me).
The other thing I did was access our county’s mental health dept through a parent advocate and have just been approved for a case manager for my son bc of his mental illness and problems in school.

01/20/2017 10:07 pm
Reply to  Denise

Denise, do you have to pay for the mediators? thank you

01/28/2013 7:07 am

my son has a history of behavior problems… he is too smart for resource ..so in order to stay in regular classes they assigned an aide .. he has gone into deep depression . he is in 7th grade and said now he looks like the ultimate geek. The school will not remove the aide and he is rufusing to go to school today! i am really concerned about his mental health as i have mentione to the school. which they seem to disregard. They just keep telling me that “its working ,the aide is working”… when it is not ..them seem to have no regard for his emotions… any advice would be greatly appreciated,

01/29/2016 10:19 pm
Reply to  carol

You can send a letter to the school district that you refuse special education services for your son. Then, the district will no longer be responsible in providing the aide. Your son will then be in a regular classroom without the aide.

04/15/2016 4:15 pm
Reply to  carol

First of all its not about how smart he is . It’s about his behaviors. I had to deal with this to. As mothers it’s frustrations because we know what our children need. Just mention that you’ve spoken with a lawyer and if your child doesn’t get what he needs enforce it

04/15/2016 7:18 pm
Reply to  carol

Carol do you still want help for him? Does he want to be in a room of kids like him? What does he need? My son was mainstreamed with an aide and pulled out of class when he was disruptive. They called me constantly. Finally I said look if you can’t handle him then put him in a place that they can. They kept him hawing around and going under the table after him and making him worse. I had parents telling me how abusive she was and when I contacted the teacher he’d act like he knew nothing. One day my son come home with tiny bruises all over his legs and he told me kids were throwing pebbles at him. The new ignorant principle said , his aides always with him. Well she took her lunch at this time.this aide put her thumb nail in my sons thumb and it became infected. i went after her.

10/30/2012 10:00 pm

My son is a 4th grader dx’d with pdd nos, adhd and mood do nos. He’s under the ED classification w/an IEP. While going thru a med change, in a regular classroom (4 years successfully with supports), they refused to work quickly to update his IEP. They traumatized him, humiliated him in front of his peers because they are untrained & tried to suspend him due to behaviors. They are not able to provide what he needs. the only program that is, is a special ed self contained classroom on a campus that has run a school that has 7 self containes, 11 regular ed classes. They have a culture of mainstreaming and acceptance. It is not LRE, the rest of the district is not in compliance with IDEA2004, no lawyers will do anything to help.

08/23/2016 6:40 pm
Reply to  Barb

You Know! I am going through something similar, And I am afraid that I won’t know how to help my Son, He is in the 5th grade, but it seems that he hardly knows anything, I struggle to get him to do his homework, he barely knows how to read, and to top it off he gets humiliated at school by his teachers when they stand him to read out loud in front of the whole class. He doesn’t want to go to school any more. He also has ADHD, and he can’t seem to stay still for long periods of time.

10/19/2016 2:50 pm
Reply to  Laura

Did you help your son with his reading, when he was in kindergarten or first grade? Kids do not learn to read without help from home. It has be enforced at home! Yes, some kids it comes to more natural to than others, but if the first time your kid ever had anything read to him was when he started school, he started way behind anyway or if he didn’t know his letters. Parents need to step up too!

05/19/2017 4:07 am
Reply to  Cris

Cris your comment makes me see how uneducated people truly are when it comes to Dyslexia. A parent reading at home to a child more often, does not teach a Dyslexic child to read. Dyslexia is not an umbrella term for a child who is behind in reading. Dyslexia can affect math and all areas of learning. This comment is a huge insult to parents with struggling readers who are Dyslexic. Dyslexic children are not taught to read just as any other child. Anne you did the right thing in getting him a tutor who was able to teach a Dyslexic child. His progress with Lindamood Bell just shows how little schools are educated on teaching Dyslexic children. Chris, please do your research before making comments like this about dyslexia. (From a mother of 3 Dyslexic children who has read to them from day 1).

11/09/2016 11:59 am
Reply to  Laura

My son has severe combined type ADHD and I have struggled to get him reading and have often wondered if it would ever would happen, because I tried everything. He was diagnosed dyslexic this past year through outside consultation and I took him to Lindamood Bell and they were able to get him reading at a beginning of 4th grade level. Prior to Lindamood Bell he was classified as a non-reader. He also suffers from extreme anxiety and we are getting medical help for that along with ADHD. He is now at the middle school. While he still has challenges with reading and writing below grade level, with appropriate accommodations, he is functioning well in the mainstream classes and I am planning to remove him from resource class next semester so he can continue to participate in Band.