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Discussion 1 

What are some of the ways you could help support a friend or family member who might be displaying symptoms or behaviors that could be identified as a psychiatric illness or disorder? Discuss how you think services in your area would be able to help them. What are some of the risks involved in doing so?

Respond to the two students post below and comment on the elements of the act they discuss. Is there an element of PL94-142 raised by these postings that you had not considered? If so, note this and comment on the implications you see. 

Nicole post


   The Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act (IDEIA), ensures that all children, regardless of disabilities, have access to a free, appropriate, public education. I feel the most important component of this act for children with disabilities is to be placed in the least restrictive environment. The text states, “Children with disabilities must be educated alongside students who do not have identified disabilities” (Allen & Cowdery, 2015). I feel it is the most important component of this act because the only way a child will be able to thrive is if they are in an environment that is conducive to their needs. This may include extra staffing, related services, and a physically accessible space. If a child does not receive what they need in order to thrive, then it is not the least restrictive environment.

            In my school, there is usually one classroom per grade level that is dedicated as the “inclusion” classroom. This means that students on IEP’s and 504’s are typically placed in the inclusion classroom depending on their accommodations. Students with hearing deficits are placed in a carpeted room, students with physical disabilities are placed on the first floor in the modular buildings where the rooms are larger and there are no stairs, and students needing quiet spaces are placed in the classrooms on the ends of the building where there is very little foot traffic. Looking at each individual child is important in determining if the child is in the least restrictive environment. If the child is not receiving all that they need to be successful, they are not in the least restrictive environment.

Alison Miller post


The Education for All Handicapped Children Act came about in 1975 and was renamed Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1990. This law “entitles everyone with a disability, from birth to age twenty-one, to a ‘free and appropriate public education’, requires every child with a disability to be educated in the least restrictive environment, and children should be educated in the environment more like the education environment of their peers who are typically developing, where the child can be successful with appropriate supports in place” (Allen, 2015, 4).

I think the most important component of this act for children with disabilities is their right to being educated in an environment more like their peers who are typically developing, where they can be successful with support in place. This allows students with disabilities to be involved with regular life and not feel excluded. For some students with disabilities, they are able to learn at the same rate, however need more physical assistance, others need a bit more time to finish or understand an assignment. These differences and challenges can be accommodated for just as a teacher would accommodate missed assignments for a sick student or modifications while a student has a broken arm.

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