P o n d e r i n g s
Mainstreaming may be defined as "the placement of disabled students in regular classes with nondisabled peers." (1) For most students with disabilities, I agree that it is a good idea. I have seen first hand how it can help typical students learn to accept their disabled peers as a functioning part of society. I've seen how it also help many of those children with disabilities learn valuable social skills.
So why should it not also be recommended for autistic children? The problem has to do with the sensory difficulties so inherent in autism. Because of the speech difficulties, such children are unable to relate to their teachers just how painful it really is. The crowd noise adversely affects the children in two ways. First, it is the crowd noise that causes the children to become low functioning. Second, it is also the crowd noise that causes them internal torture, which they then act out in the form of negative behaviors. From my point of view, you can't really blame the kids for acting on their immense levels of frustration. Just take away the cause or causes of the frustration, and the behaviors will most likely change by themselves.
So, what happens when an autistic child grows up having been mainstreamed? I know I grew up equating school with pain. As much as I loved learning new things, I hated the classroom, bus, and cafeteria settings. After being dazed all day, I would then go home, rest, and passionately learn material in my textbooks. In my case, the school was relatively small, thus the noise wasn't that severe, or my negative attitude toward school would probably have been much stronger. Thus, for autistic individuals, I believe that mainstreaming does more harm than good.
If you're interested in ordering my book "A Reason for Hope", or have any questions about autism, email me at . Thank you for visiting my page.
If you're interested in ordering my book "A Reason for Hope",
or have any questions about autism, email me at
. Thank you for visiting
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* "A Reason for Hope: Insights into Autism" by Daniel R. Hawthorne, copyrighted 2007. "Child of the Forest" by Daniel R. Hawthorne, copyrighted 2004.
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