I have made a lot of friends at special schools and mainstream schools alike, I do not deny that special schools do an amazing job in more than catering for the needs of those with disabilities that go there.
I find the staff within the schools are sympathetic and have a great level of understanding of all the disabilities that they assist. Though I enjoyed studying in mainstream education, I always felt like my needs weren’t fully understood and catered for.
Being able to study the original subjects such as maths and English in mainstream education and being able to participate in sporting activates and other such subjects within special schools.
I also feel that there are a lot more disabled children and young people like myself who could in fact manage mainstream education if only to a certain extent.
In my opinion, when children and young people are old enough, I feel that they should give their opinion on their schooling and whether they could in fact manage mainstream education and if they feel they can, I feel that they should get the opportunity to go to a mainstream school for a trial period to see if they like it and feel comfortable with the atmosphere.
An example of such an opportunity is to be part-time at a mainstream school to experience the academic subjects even its just one or turn, then when the year holds PE lessons, then they should go to local special schools and participate in activities which is more catered to their needs and which they would get more out of such as wheelchair sports or cooking classes so they are able to get the best of both worlds.
Disabled individuals could learn skills by being at mainstream education and mixing with people their own age who don’t necessarily have the same needs as them. It allows friendship groups to expand and learn that they are not in a bubble with only people with their own disability so they are not sheltered and more comfortable with specking and being around able-bodied children and young people outside of a school environment.
Only when they’ve experienced both sides of the education can they make their own and more informed decision, assisted by parents and guardians as well as others in their care, about where they feel they should see out their own education. There will be some people who are against allowing disabled individuals to complete a trail period in mainstream education as they are very protective over them and speak on their behalf.
I feel by pitying the disabled individuals and making a decision and not asking that person taking away their opinion and input, possibly changing a way a disabled person is seen, approached or spoken to, resulting in a major effect on their self-esteem.
Agreed, not every trail period will be successful, but at least it was attempted and not immediately dismissed. However I feel by doing this can people be aware of their capabilities and how best to assist them in getting the most out of his or her education.
Those who don’t go to mainstream school and go to a special school full time do learn valuable skills. Special schools don’t have the same lessons as mainstream schools but they’re still as important to those who learn them.
The lessons are still the same subjects as in mainstream school, but are adapted for the students so they are able to get the most out of them that they can.
An addition to these academic lessons are lessons which teach students valuable life skills needed in life, like how to look after themselves properly.
A highlight of these non – academic classes that special schools have are the cooking classes. An aspect that I would like to stress is that just because achievements aren’t all to the same level and don’t always get the same result doesn’t mean that they are any less important to the person.
I for one would love to be able to learn how to cook but I never have had the opportunity to bake or cook at mainstream school as I wasn’t allowed to go to Design and Technology (DT).
They thought it would be to difficult for me to complete the criteria in the classroom. Instead of this, I was stuck doing my homework while the rest of my class enjoyed DT.
I found this especially annoying and upsetting when my class brought items they’d made in DT and food they’d made in cooking class to tutor registration after lunch.
Ii felt extremely hurt and uncomfortable that I couldn’t do this. Looking back at these times, I urge for mainstream schools to think very carefully about kitting each classroom so the facilities enable those with any disabilities to learn and take part in any activities in any classroom.
By adapting the classrooms, it enables those with disabilities to join in with everyone else in their class, encouraging them to get involved with the rest of their class and to help them get involved socially.
A number of the students disabilities prevent them from communicating to the extent someone else can. However that does not mean they are incapable of communicating in their own unique way. These students should not, under any circumstance be stereotyped and made assumptions upon.
Students with these needs to be given the chance to prove they’re capable of a lot more than people think. Agreeably, they may not communicate in the same way others can, but they can make it clear to others what they want or if there is something wrong and people should have patience and give them chance to be able to communicate in their way. As long as they are given the facilities they need then they can do anything they can set their minds too.
Those who attend special schools have opportunities to take part in non academic activities such as joining the school band. This is a great opportunity as the school band is already has the adaptions or facilities to enable any students with any disability to join and take part. This is a great thing for all students, especially for those students for can’t communicate to the same level as everyone else as it is another way of expression for them.
As I will repeat in everyday life through my words and actions, anyone with any disability can achieve anything they set their minds too. The environment only needs to be adapted and attitudes of some people need to change to enable those with disabilities to do so.