Special Education and the issues with it
Special Education is supposed to assist so-called special needs children adjusting with school, and to give them as much help as they need to adjust to the learning environment they deal with every day. SpEd can be delivered in a variety of ways for a large number of students. However, in many ways, special education is fairly ineffective for some students, and in many other cases, children that don’t even need to be put through special education are put there regardless.
One thing is that SpEd targets students that don’t need it at all, and those that might have needed it previously but no longer need it are nonetheless still put through SpEd, and there’s very little that can be done about it. One meeting the criteria for an IEP and Special Education is very wide, and it can include things such as mild Asperger syndrome, blindness, dwarfism, and practically anything else that can be considered “learning disabled” (and yes, the term “Learning Disabled” may be frequently used to describe any SpEd student). However, for many of these students, all that’s needed would be a few adjustments, perhaps even nothing at all. Unfortunately, there is practically no power given to students at IEP meetings, or whether they want any kind of assistance. Whatever the teachers deem is needed is put in place.
A reason why Special Education even exists is the mentality of “one size fits most, and if not, there’s something wrong” that has been a part of public education since its inception. Every student that goes to school is expected to get good grades, pay attention, do assignments, participate, etc. Of course, those that often don’t meet up with expectations are (unsurprisingly) those with autism spectrum disorders. With a more individualized, less centralized, and less oppressive approach to education, many Special Ed cases would not exist.
An unfortunate side-effect of special education is that it essentially ghettoizes those that are put through it. A strong stigma of lacking intelligence, being considered less than whole, needing help with everything, and the faux pas belief of needing to feel understood or worse, “cured”, is sent to those that are under SpEd. Those whose statuses are blatantly open to the public may be forever seen by the school populace as “not normal”, a label that is very difficult to get rid of. The self-esteem of SpEd students may be lowered, and their treatment as less than intelligent (even when their intelligence is highly regarded) will re-enforce that. I don’t know how many times I’ve been approached by various teachers while hanging out by myself and being told to go to a more crowded area, and being encouraged to “socialize” in a manner that I wasn’t comfortable with. In essence, there sometimes is the attempt to “cure” people, which can lead to disastrous results. Worse, those who are put through SpEd are put through constant testing whether it be literacy, vocabulary, mathematics, to even things like hearing. When I was forced through testing as a senior, I felt my cognition was essentially put into question, and honestly, the teacher who was forced to do this by law felt this was bullshit for me.
An irony with special education is sometimes, it may be ineffective anyway. I can only speak from personal experience, though I’m sure there are others with similar experiences. Ever since middle school, I’ve been forced through speech therapy, and even in senior year, this is still an IEP requirement. This was put in place because I needed help with my speech. Years later, my general cognition, speaking, and comfort with social situations have remarkably improved (and believe me, not in the ways that were encouraged by my IEP or SpEd). Yet none of this improvement is seen as enough to get out of it, and ultimately, it is the decision of the teachers, not me. What goes on in speech class is extremely dull material that again, all spoken through a talking-down tone, that again re-enforces the ghettoization, and in an extremely small room with other students that may or may not need it.
It’s really a shame that disorders, diagnoses, and the need to conform everyone to the same standard are all put first instead of an individual’s intelligence and learning abilities. It’s really a shame that these abilities are actually considered disabilities in the factory model setting. Special education needs to be changed in a big way, and should stop stigmatizing those that don’t need it, and should stop being so encroaching in the students lives.
Stop jerking off to porn and whining and do something about it
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