Disability Is Natural Books and Media

No Child (or Adult) Needs an Aide

 DISABILITY IS NATURAL!

New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense

That’s right: no child needs an aide! In a general ed classroom, the teacher might need an aide, but no child needs an aide. There are many negative consequences to attaching a grown-up to a child, and there are also many ways to provide the assistance a student with a disability might need. Both will be explored (and the same issues can be applied to adults with disabilities, as well). But first, let’s review today’s conventional wisdom on this issue.

Generally, the issue has been framed this way:

Students with disabilities belong in special ed classrooms because they need all the special assistance and training that can only be provided by special ed staff. If, however, it’s decided to “place” a student with a disability in a general ed classroom, this can occur only if the student has a one-on-one aide.

This paradigm is erroneous, as well as harmful, for a variety of reasons. Click here to continue.

In the process, confusion reigns over “who’s in charge.” The student (along with the aide) are in the general ed classroom, but the student and the aide “belong” to the special ed department. The general ed teacher may have little interest in the student and/or little influence in her own classroom. Turf battles are not uncommon.

Kathie Snow