Andrews, J. & Lupart, J. (2008). The Inclusive Classroom.
Scarborough, Ontario: Nelson Thompson Learning.
Edmunds, A. & Edmunds, G. (2008). Special Education in
Canada. Toronto, Ontario: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.
Schools were primarily for the elite and privileged.
Churches were responsible for any charitable or
humanistic work to help underprivileged children and
Issues regarding children with disabilities were not an
educational concern. Basic care was often provided by
physicians and/or churches. Care occurred in
homes, institutions, or residential schools. People with
disabilities were largely excluded from general society.
During the 1800’s many provinces established special
residential schools. These were primarily to serve children
with severe sensory defects (hearing and vision
Medical professionals were largely responsible for referrals
and the running of these schools. This was the beginning
of the medical model of educating special needs students.
Many concepts instrumental to special education were
developed in these specialized schools in the 1800’s.
Emphasis on learning functional skills
Using immediate feedback as a form of reinforcement.
By 1918, Newfoundland and Quebec were the only two
places in Canada that lacked compulsory education laws.
The public education system grew and developed.
There was societal pressure to isolate and institutionalize
severely physically and mentally disabled children.
Residential schools grew in size and number.
Advances in IQ testing and other developments meant that
more students were diagnosed with mental retardation. A
massive push to institutionalize “mentally retarded
individuals was publically condoned, spilling over into
negativism against other exceptional groups” (Andrews
and Lupart, pg. 32).
The eugenics movement enjoyed public support. Many
people living in institutions were sterilized without
being informed of what was happening to them. This
practice continued in Alberta until 1972.
The public system did not support integration.
Progressive reformers began to establish facilities such
as the Montreal Children’s Memorial Hospital and the
Toronto Hospital for Sick Children. Research into best
practices in medicine and education gained
People began to advocate more for children with
disabilities. Groups such as the Canadian Association
for Community Living and the Canadian Association
for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities
were established in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Emphasis was placed on testing, for labeling purposes.
Documentation of the child’s needs was required and
students began to be sorted into more diverse
The five – box special education approach was
adopted. The problem with this model was that
students often were not adequately programmed for
until they reached special programs. A process which
took time and did not always meet the needs of the
Special education classes began to be incorporated
into the regular school system. They were rare and
often held in separate facilities.
The general belief was that children with special needs
were served better in smaller classes with specialized
teachers and resources.
Segregated classes often became a “dumping grounds”
for marginalized groups of children who did not fit
into the regular school system.
A shift occurs towards educating special needs children in
“the least restrictive environment (Andrews and Lupart pg.
People began to think about the discriminatory aspects of
labelling children and studies begin to emerge that indicate
that special education classes did not always help students
recognize their full potential.
Advocacy groups began to promote deinstitutionalization
Teacher training programs began to place more emphasis
on educating pre-service teachers about the learning needs
of exceptional students.
A push towards integrating students into regular
Advocates continued to push for educating special needs
children in the least restrictive environment.
Teachers expressed concern over not feeling adequately
supported, or prepared, to meet the needs of special needs
children who were mainstreamed into the regular system.
Special needs students were rarely completely included.
Educational assistants were often their primary caregivers
and they remained somewhat isolated from their peers.
The dual system of regular and special education was still
maintained in most provinces and school boards. Often
parents were highly encouraged to place their children in a
special education classroom.
A growing body of research discovered that special
education programs often did not result more positive
impacts for students than the regular school system.
Furthermore, once a child was labelled and in the
special education system, they often did not get back
into the regular system.
As society has become more inclusive the special
education and regular education systems began to
merge. Emphasis is placed on student
centered, individualized learning. In many boards the
dual education system is being largely dismantled. In
other boards, programs of choice remain.
Teachers are adopting new methodologies that more
effectively serve all learners. Examples of this are: Universal
Design for Learning, differentiated instruction, assessment
for learning and balanced literacy. There is more access to
assistive technologies and a growing awareness of the need
to train for 21st century competencies.
A shift is occurring away from the medical model of
education towards a model where teachers are provided
with the tools and competency to deal with a wide range of
students within the regular classroom.
Classroom teachers are becoming aware of how to
program within their classrooms.
Return to the
IPP Phase and
Formal Assessment Results from age 9 indicate: full scale I.Q.
92, verbal comprehension (92), perceptual reasoning (79), Object
assembly (63), working memory index (68), processing speed (66)
Basic Reading (22), Math Calculation (20), Problem
Solving(8), Writing (5), Spelling (8),
hard working, motivated, positive attitude, school is becoming difficult
Memory for story stronger than memory for a list of numbers
Context of math problems seemed to helped him arrive at correct
answers more easily than when asked to complete rote calculation
Challenges: difficulty with reading, spelling, math, can be hyperactive
and impulsive, not well organized
Strengths: Well spoken student with interest in drama and theatrical
productions, highly social, comfortable conversing with others
Psycho-educational assessment requested by Lindsey’s parents
WISC-IV results included: Auditory-Verbal Skills (8), Verbal reasoning
(16), Perceptual Reasoning (32), Working Memory (3), and Processing
Speed (84) in %iles
Elevated Score on the Inhibit Scale which means she has difficulty
resisting the urge to act on her impulses
Overall Reading skills are low average and fall around the early grade three
Reading level. Reading fluency was a relative strength while reading
vocabulary was the lowest
Math and Writing are well below average falling a the early grade two level.
Areas of concern: Lindsey has difficulty discussing her strengths and
needs and often will avoid conversations about her ADHD
Interjects, speaks loudly, misinterprets conversations, doesn’t think of
social consequences, easily distracted, speaks out of turn, lacks intuitive
understanding of social boundaries, lacks confidence in social
behavior, and makes excuses for her behaviors, means well.
It’s impossible to breath because my heart is broken in two
fracause and bleeding there’s no beat there without you. I
can’t sleep at night so I don’t have dreams to bring you back
to me you are lost forever it seems without loving you I can’t
go on I don’t know how you are my life I told you that I meant
it then. I mean it now My mind has become an echo
chamber filled with your memories over and over they repeat
there is no release your shadow is all over me misty eyes tears
fall I miss you I do I can’t get over you at all I’m a lost soud
floating alone in a vast universe and I don’t ever in my life
remember feeling worses. Everything in my life all I ever
knew suddenly becomes unreal a lie without you…