You know the education system is a disaster when parents SHUN mainstreaming

When it comes to autism, the mainstreaming versus segregation debate has been happening for decades. A story recently came out of Britain about a special needs school being shut down and the children being forced into the regular school system. The country may be different, but the arguments are exactly the same. In this case, the parents are complaining because the regular school system has already failed their children and they don’t want to see ACT II of the tragedy. The truth of the matter, though, is that it is not mainstreaming that is the problem but rather, a lack of expertise to effectively address this issue. We already know how to mainstream effectively. If every child being mainstreamed had a well-trained therapist/tutor/aide accompanying that child under the direction and supervision of a behavioral consultant, both the parents and the school bureaucrats would be amazed how smooth mainstreaming can be and how much the child with autism, and the typically developing peers would learn from this arrangement. In fact, the typically developing children would receive a powerful, positive learning experience like no other; moreover, the bureaucrats would be the first to rush in and claim ownership for the success!

Unfortunately, based on past performance, I fear that these children with autism are going to be forced into a system that is probably set up for failure. The children, their parents, and the typically developing peers will be exposed to the worst of experiences rather than the best.

Once again, it is not mainstreaming that is the problem; rather, it is incompetence write large.