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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

The future for students with severe and profound disabilities

The future for students with severe and profound disabilities

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I am a middle school teacher from Memphis, TN and I teach at a regular middle school, my classroom is CDC-Multiple Handicap. I was just curious to know how many of you either teach or have in your school a classroom like mine. I know that inclusion is the movement of the future, however I wonder about my population and where they will fit once the dust settles. Memphis also has two schools which are totally for special education there are no regular students attending these two schools. Maybe that's where we are headed? Please let me know what you think.

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LaSheba Woodall's picture

Wow! Cindy, I too teach at a middle school in Memphis, TN. I teach a CDC-Mild class and I wonder a lot about their future. Inclusion is the "new movement" for SPED students. The population that may not get a regular high school diploma are the ones I am concern about. I too have lots of questions. I know that I am preparing my 8th graders for vocational classes, so they have more of a window of opportunity.

Cindy Newman's picture
Cindy Newman
Elementary Multi-handicapped teacher from Chattanooga, TN

Hi Cindy,
My name is also Cindy. I teach a Multi-handicapped class in an elementary school in Chattanooga, TN. We also have a school that is only for exceptional ed students. At this time we have a contract with them to send students that we are unable to meet the needs of. Typically seems to be Middle and High school students. However, it is a hefty contract. The county is currently looking at why we cannot meet the needs and would it be more cost effective to equip our schools to meet the needs or continue the contract. My greatest concern is the lack of regular peers in the separate placement. Some of my students enjoy being with their peers and still get so much from being with them. I hate to see them sent there just because there is no other place that can meet their needs. I may move next year to a Middle/High school in our area to become the Multi-handicapped teacher. I would team teach with one of the CDC teachers. I may need to keep in touch to gain some insight into MH in middle school. Together, maybe we can make this work for our population.

Cindy Mannie's picture
Cindy Mannie
Middle School Multiple Handicap teacher from Memphis, TN

Nice to meet you Cindy. I think it is very important for regular students to interact with my population of students. Both groups of students profit from the experience, they all learn and grow. I have students come into my classroom to do what I call community service and they just love it. My students also interact much better with the students they actually seem to pay closer attention and they are so excited when the regular students enter our classroom. If I can be of any assistance to you please let me know. But, as you already know you have to have a passion for what we do and never let anyone stop you from teaching. I always say I am not a babysitter, I am a instructor and I do teach everyday.

Cindy Newman's picture
Cindy Newman
Elementary Multi-handicapped teacher from Chattanooga, TN

We also have a group of third graders come into the class to read to our students. The teacher uses it as a rotation in her centers. The students in her class love it. Of course, some more than others. They think it is neat to see what all we do with the children in our room. Many times we get "I didn't know they could do that!". The most upsetting comment I hear as well is reference to us just babysitting. There is so much more to what we do.

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