For student with disabilities, placement choices directly affect the opportunity to be around non-disabled peers, a context that is essential to learning relevant skills and developing supportive social relationships. Special education instruction can be provided in a number of settings. The public agencies ensure that a continuum of alternative placements is available to meet the needs of these students. This paper describes the roles, advantages and disadvantages of resource room placement, general education classroom placement and, home instruction.
Resource Room Placement
A resource room is an educational setting within a school that offers remedial instruction to students to students with learning disability. Generally, students spend most of their time in general or regular classes but visits a resource room for a portion of their day for group or individual instruction on specific areas outlined on the children’s individualized educational program. The main pro of a resource room is that it is very helpful due to the efforts of individual teachers who provide individual assistance, remediation and positive reinforcement. Also, students can benefit from specific training while remaining integrated with their age mates and friends in school. On the other hand, resource room has some cons. For instance, the school risk publicly identifying the students with disabilities as being different from others or peers. This can possibly cause self-image as well as self-esteem issues for these students. For example, putting students with mild disabilities into a separate room with the ones with severe cognitive delays can damage the self-esteem and self image of the students with mild disabilities.
This is where families are actively involved in their disabled children’s education. Family input is very critical advantageous, as family members supply considerable information on student strengths, weaknesses, dislikes, responses to past interventions, preferences and their future hopes and goals. Home instruction can deny the students with disabilities a free and appropriate education if the parents are derelict in their duties and fail to cooperate with relevant school districts.
General Education Classroom Placement
This placement involves full inclusion whereby students are placed in a general education classroom for the entire school day. The support and services necessary to ensure an appropriate education come to these disabled students in the general education class; students are not pulled out into special classrooms for instruction. This placement has some advantages. For instance, its full inclusion goes beyond returning students who have been in separate placements to the general education classrooms. It incorporates an end to labeling students and shunting them out of the regular classroom to obtain the required services. It responds to calls for never streaming by establishing a unified and restructured system that serves all students together. On the other hand placement/full inclusion is not achievable for many disabled stude3nts. The reality is that specialized academic and social instruction can best be provided, at least for some students, in pull-out setting. Finally, moves to full inclusion will result in the loss of special education personnel who have been trained to work with disabled students who have diverse needs. Therefore, the students will be dumped in an environment that does not meet their specific needs.
In ideal situations, all placement issues should be decided in logical sequence after the children are determined eligible for special education and after an individualized education plan has been designed by the children’s relevant educational teams. According to mainstreaming requirement, it is not good to place students with disabilities outside regular classrooms if educating them in the regular classrooms with supplementary aid and support services can be satisfactorily achieved.