Understanding Special Education Essay

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Understanding Special Education Angie Back Grand Canyon University: SPE 226 October 13, 2013 Over time people with disabilities have been subject to discrimination, but the outlook and education has improved through time. Students with disabilities have gone from being ostracized to being a normal addition to the classroom. As lawmakers became more involved the laws concerning disabled students has improved. The future of education is contingent on the increased pressure of teacher accountability. I had the great opportunity to be close to the family of Tommy, which had muscular dystrophy. This family taught me so many things about the struggles and the gift of living with someone with a disability. In my lifetime there has been a complete change in the view and treatment of students with disabilities. People with disabilities had long been viewed as defective, but over time there is more understanding of people with disabilities. For centuries children that were disabled were considered to be a burden on society. Families were made to feel shameful and responsible for their child's disability and viewed as weak. Parents were blamed and the children were often shunned and removed from their homes. Children were sent to hospitals, institutions, or asylums to be "with their own kind" (Hardman, 2011). Disabled students were often sent to special schools and segregated from other students. It is estimated that more than 1 million people in institutions by the 1950s (Halfon, Houtrow, LArson, & Newacheck, 2012). Although there was much unchanged about the how others felt about persons with disabilities in the beginning of the century, the 1950s and thereafter children with disabilities began to be perceived in a different light. Parent and advocacy groups began to fight for the rights of disabled students. This was also the time of the fight for civil rights.

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