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April 1, 1996
Vol. 53
No. 7


All Disabilities Are Not Preventable

I was disturbed by the title of Robert Slavin's article, “Neverstreaming: Preventing Learning Disabilities” (Students with Special Needs, February 1996). Having worked in special education for 24 years, I have seen remarkable changes in educational programming since Samuel Kirk first coined the term learning disabilities.
It's true that resource rooms have often been dumping grounds for children who are learning-different or who take longer to learn skills and concepts than the average child does. Indeed, some schools incorrectly label students in order to get them help or get needed funding. Recent brain-imaging processes, however, reveal that some disabilities are caused by brain malfunctions. I heartily agree with Slavin that early intervention is crucial. Nevertheless, although they may be remediable or able to be compensated for, some disabilities are not preventable.
—Kimberley Haag, Inclusion Coordinator, LaGrange Highland Schools, Bloomingdale, Illinois

Inclusion of Some Children Doesn't Make Sense

Although I've read many articles on successful inclusion (Students with Special Needs, February 1996), unforunately I haven't witnessed such benefits in the classroom. I am certainly not calling for a restrictive environment for students with Downs syndrome or physical handicaps. What disturbs me are children who cause major disruption in the classroom. Recently a student in one of my classes was out of his seat all the time, always into mischief, and always disrupting other students' learning. I had to wonder why that child was in a regular classroom.
As a new teacher, I'd like some articles from experienced classroom teachers suggesting tried-and-true techniques for working with students with attention deficit disorder and other behavioral disorders.
—Jonathan Kibo Hanie, Winter Springs, Florida

Technology's Promise for Students with Handicaps

While looking through a stack of magazines, I came across “Helping Students with Disabilities Become Writers” (Realizing the Promise of Technology, April 1994). I was unaware of impaired students' competence with computers and word processors. I commend the authors (Judith Zorfass, Patricia Corley, and Arlene Renz) for opening my eyes to all the possibilities available to help students with handicaps quench their thirst for knowledge.
—Britt Roden, Chehalis, Washington

This article was published anonymously, or the author name was removed in the process of digital storage.

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