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Journal Issue: Special Education for Students with Disabilities Volume 6 Number 1 Spring 1996

Special Education for Students with Disabilities: Analysis and Recommendations
Donna L. Terman Mary B. Larner Carol S. Stevenson Richard E. Behrman


Special education is a large and expensive system currently serving one in ten students in public schools. Many students are placed in special education because of the inability of regular education to accommodate their needs. Research has shown that regular education, if properly modified, can meet the needs of many more students with disabilities, but doing so is challenging. Increased resources must be provided in the regular classroom, and major changes should be made in typical instructional practice, requiring extensive training of regular teachers. Local schools and teachers must be committed to inclusion to make it work. Each of these requirements is a potential stumbling block.

Inclusion cannot be expected to take the place of special education in the near future. As schools experiment with inclusion, the IDEA's guarantees of appropriate education based on the individual needs of students with disabilities should be maintained. Additionally, the IDEA's procedural protections and parent resource centers are necessary to protect the rights and interests of students with disabilities.