Sunday, August 29, 2010

Least Restrictive Environment

What is Least Restrictive Environment and how does it pertain to kids with learning disabilities?

According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), all schools are required to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment that is appropriate to the individual student’s needs.

The U.S. Department of Education regulations state that each public agency or school must ensure that:

1) To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are non-disabled.

2) Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

This is good news for parents that are worried that if their child has an IEP they will only be in special classes. Most of the time, they could be in regular classes with their peers and will only be pulled out for special instruction by an Occupational or Speech Therapist.