Regular or special ed class?

My son is in the fourth grade. He attends a regular class in school, although he receives special education for part of the day. Next year he will go to middle school. His teachers believe he should be put in a special education class. They think he won't adjust to a regular classroom, and that kids will be cruel to him. We want him in a regular class. What do you think?

Question:

The teachers at your son's current school seem to have some concerns about your son's social and emotional well-being as he begins middle school. That period of a child's life can be very turbulent for even the most well-adjusted students. Perhaps your child's current teachers feel that he would be more protected and comfortable in a self-contained special education class.

Your desire to have your child in a regular class is understandable, too. Children receiving any special education services should, by law, be placed in the least restrictive learning environment possible. It is important for children to work with their peers for at least part of the school day, regardless of their scholastic ability.

Perhaps a compromise could be worked out, much like your son's current arrangement. He could spend part of the school day in a regular classroom and the other portion with the special education staff. Discuss this possibility with the teachers at your son's current and future schools and see what kind of arrangement can be worked out.

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