Great Seattle Times op-ed by Ilene Schwartz on the value of blending general education and special education students. She says University of Washington researchers have found evidence showing “children with and without disabilities do better in inclusive classrooms.”
As someone who worked in Pre-K special education classrooms for nearly a decade, I can confirm this is true. I also studied early childhood development, and can attest to the fact inclusive settings are ideal. Typically and atypically developing students can learn a lot from each other if afforded the opportunity. With the right kind of support, special education students can thrive in mainstream classrooms. This isn’t to imply special day classes are bad; they certainly have value, but the ideal scenario is to integrate as much as possible.