Children with Autism should be placed in General Education Classes
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Consider the following case: “Alex” is a seven year-old grade two boy who was diagnosed with Autism when he was three. He was fully included in a general education classroom in grade one but is currently showing considerable difficulty learning how to read and write, and has mild behavioral problems. He is extremely sensitive to teasing and as a result gets into lots of fights. You are his teacher and have to recommend what to do next with Alex at an IPRC (Identification, Placement, and Review Committee) or IEP meeting. He can either stay in the general education classroom and receive occasional in-class support from an educational resource worker, or he can be sent to a special education classroom where he will receive more intensive support. There are pros and cons associated with each option. In fact the pros of one option are often the cons of the other (e.g., inclusion will take place in the general education class and thus encourage socialization with nondisabled peers but will not afford the individualized attention and support found in the special education class). While there is published empirical research that describes success rates for kids such as Alex in different programs, Autism is a broad spectrum disorder and no two kids are alike. The decision must be made based on what is best for Alex. Parents, teachers, and other professionals in the field face such decisions all the time. These decisions are difficult, controversial and have no right or wrong answers. The purpose of this paper is for you to put yourself in the position of the teacher and write a persuasive, evidenced-based argument, as to why one educational or treatment option should be chosen over another - for a particular individual who has a disability. Your argument MUST be based on an analysis of a real-life example/case study you provide. Structure of assignment: Format:10 pages (excluding title page and references, double spaced). Introduction: Introduce and clearly state the controversial issue indicating its importance or relevance (e.g., “Should children with Autism be placed in general, or in special education classes”). Clearly identify both sides of the controversy (i.e., the pros and cons). Make a clear “Thesis Statement” in the end of this section (e.g., “This paper will argue that, in the case of Alex, a 7-year-old boy diagnosed with Autism, it is in his best interest to be placed in a special education classroom.”) Example/ Case Study: Present an actual event or situation exemplifying the issue in question, the relevant demographics, disability, treatment and educational history, and clear narrative(s) that support your thesis statement (e.g., describe Alex’ case). Note: Thesis should be derived based on the case and NOT the other way around. Insight and Analysis: This is a 3-part section: 1. Provide your own insight (e.g., explain why Alex should be placed in a special education classroom). 2. Present alternative points of view (e.g., Alex should stay in the general education classroom instead) 3. Discredit counterarguments and show how your thesis is the better option and is more conducive to Alex’s particular situation. Finally, relate your insight to published theoretical and empirical knowledge in the field. Suggest ways to rectify and improve situation. Remember to keep your arguments specific to your individual. Don’t argue too generally. Summary and Conclusion: Your final section should provide a brief summary of above sections and state your conclusions.