If you are in "special ed" you will be labeled. The students that have emotional problems are a distraction for the ones that have physical probems. Too bad they can`t separate the two problems. My son was a special - ed student from first grade and it was a horrible mistake for him and for us his family. We all suffered with him. I would never recommend it for anyone. Bad idea.
The purpose of special education programs is to allow students to get an education despite a handicapping condition that interferes with that in the regular education program. I don't know what kind of "troubled" youth you are talking about, but if they need special education services the school MUST attempt to provide them or they are violating the student's rights. That's the law.
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The special ed programs do a wonderful job for youths if the parents, student, and teacher all work together to help the student improve. In the past, more parents were home to help their children with homework if they were struggling in one area or another. Also, there was less outright violence allowed in schools. Teachers and parents met to solve problems before the child required intervention from special ed.
With the changing economy--companies downsizing, cost of living high, 2 parents wages needed to provide for the family-- there tends to be less attention paid to children until the child is in trouble. Unless everyone works together--communicates-- the child's distress can increase and spiral out of control.
If the communication and teamwork are there between school and parent, even if special ed is needed, the outcome can be good. The time in special ed is minimized and the "label" can disappear.
If the problem is allowed to continue, the child falls behind in school, is rude and disrespectful everyone (him/herself included), and puts on a facade of "toughness" that is difficult to reach through. This is compounded when the child is from an abusive/neglectful home, because there is no parental support to help solve the problem. Then the "label" can last a
long time as the special ed. teacher does what she can to motivate the child to make better choices and to allow others to help.
But, bottom line, if the child is truly in need of help, then he/she deserves a chance to get it. As a special ed teacher who has seen many successes from my students, the GOOD far outweighs the little bit of harm that may be felt when a student is placed in special ed.
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