Least Restrictive Environment
A student with a disability is considered in their least restrictive environment when they are learning and integrated with the general education population as much as is appropriate to yield progress in their educational program.
IEP teams oftentimes determine what is least restrictive as a matter of opinion and we must be careful that those opinions have not been formed based on perceived limitations. Oftentimes when children aren’t progressing in the general education setting, it isn’t because it’s impossible for them to do so but rather because the school has yet to exhaust all avenues to successfully integrate that child. School failures to implement successful inclusion rarely come with bad intentions or selfish motives, the truth of the matter is that many school personnel lack the experience, training, and skills to make inclusion work for all students. Many teachers and administrators aren’t aware of the scope of what can be done and can be made available through request and support from the district.
There is a great deal of research that supports that when inclusion is done right it works for most students. Studies have shown that even children with moderate to severe disabilities benefit from inclusive environments in comparison to groups of disabled children that remain in self contained settings for the length of their academic day.
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After fighting the system for years trying to get my son an IEP and accommodations for his ADD I called Krista. I was desperate, I had been battling MDCPS for years with nothing but frustration to show for it. When I called Krista and began working with her, everything changed . From the first meeting she attended with me, she started getting results. Today, I won’t meet with any school official without her. She has single-handedly change the game for our family. We are no longer dismissed at meetings, she gets us listened to and she get results. Armed with knowledge, professionalism, and a huge heart she has helped us get our son the IEP he needed to be successful and helps us communicate effectively with school personnel and administrators. Because of her, my son is on the Principal’s Honor Roll and has a chance at success. Cannot recommend her enough. She was answer to our prayers.