Special education inclusion refers to the participation of special education students in regular education classes and the provision of support services to those students. The main goal of inclusive education is for all students in the school, regardless of their strengths and weaknesses in any area, to become part of the school community. Each student develops a sense of belonging with other students, teachers, and support staff. In separate special education, children will not learn how to function in a non-disabled world. For example, children with a communication disability who are in emotional distress will not communicate and may remain in a more emotionally disturbed state in separate settings. The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to educate children with disabilities in general education classes.
The main advantage of special education inclusion is that students with and without disabilities are brought together in an environment of group work. Children learn to accept individual differences in an inclusive education and this leads to the development of new friendly relationships. Inclusive education also allows parents to actively participate in their children’s education. The law also states that students with disabilities have a legal right to attend regular classes and receive appropriate education in a less restrictive environment. Although the advantages are many, inclusive education creates uncertainty regarding the roles and responsibilities of regular classroom teachers and special education teachers. However, research shows that inclusive education can be effective through the healthy collaboration of special education teachers and mainstream teachers. With the help of the services that will be available from the health department, physical education department, occupational therapists, speech therapists, etc., the school administration can help teachers develop active lesson plans to include education. Thus, schools can create a collaborative learning environment and promote socialization.