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Mentally handicapped children and social education

Mentally handicapped children and social education

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It is possible for the mentally retarded children to gain the skills and behaviors accepted by the society and live as a part of the society to a large extent with the education they receive. While the arrangements for the education of these children vary, one of the educational arrangements that will enable children with intellectual disabilities to gain social values ​​and lead a life in harmony with the environment they live in is inclusion.

Mainstreaming is the education of students with disabilities in normal educational settings provided that special education services are provided to the classroom teacher and / or disabled students when necessary. Inclusion is an educational concept and the application of children with special needs in normal classroom settings with appropriate teaching support. What is important in mainstreaming education is that it is an environment where the needs of the disabled child will be met and organized for this purpose rather than the place where the disabled child is placed.

Mainstreaming practices are based on the assumption that inclusion improves the friendship relations of normal and mentally retarded children and enriches the learning and learning environment. A well-organized social environment is also seen as one of the advantages of inclusion. As a reason for the preference of the mainstream education environment for those who advocate the necessity of inclusive education, children with disabilities in separate education environments are not only banned from education together, but also isolated from their peers. The fact that each child's development needs to be assessed in-house, as each child has its own characteristics, with or without disability, is shown as another reason for children with disabilities to be educated in normal educational settings.

It means that children with disabilities receive education in normal educational settings, giving them equal educational opportunities with non-disabled children. Equal educational opportunity is to ensure that every child has access to the same educational experience, regardless of whether they are disabled or not.

The social environments provided by inclusion practices provide the opportunity for children with intellectual disabilities to acquire important social skills and learn the behaviors accepted by the society and reveal positive social changes. In this respect, well-organized inclusive classes are seen as an important opportunity for the social changes and development of children with intellectual disabilities. However, this can only happen if well-organized inclusion practices and the classroom teacher and his / her normal peers accept and interact with the mentally retarded student. Otherwise, with the placement of mentally handicapped students in inclusive classes, these children may physically fuse in the classroom, but this does not mean that there will be social cohesion between normals and children with disabilities and that children with disabilities will not be accepted by their normal peers.

Both poorly regulated inclusion practices and inadequate social interaction of peers with mental disabilities and age-appropriate behaviors not only make it difficult to be disabled, but also make opportunities for interaction with normal peers difficult. This situation causes mentally disabled students to experience social problems frequently in mainstreaming classes.

When the researches about the problems of mentally retarded students attending mainstreaming classes are examined, it is observed that there are serious problems between the mentally retarded students and their peers, they are rejected, mocked, isolated (separated) from social activities and social activities levels are excluded from social activities. lower, rejection levels are higher, the social network in the classroom is located in the extreme points. In addition, when these students were compared with their normal classmates, it was seen that they had a lower status as a group compared to their normal peers. On the other hand, in normal students, the mind exhibits more adult roles against these children in their social interactions with students, thus preventing the child-to-child interaction between the mentally handicapped student and his normal peer. However, well-organized inclusion practices have various benefits such as being tolerant to their normal peers as well as individuals with disabilities, accepting individual differences easily, and developing thoughts of being more tolerant towards themselves and their environment.

1. Shahbaz, hope. Sosyal Determination of Social Acceptance Level of Mentally Retarded Students Attending Inclusive Classes ”13th Special Education Congress Proceedings-Reflections from Special Education, Kök Yayıncılık, 2003.
2. Batu, Sema. Görüş Teachers' Opinions and Suggestions about Inclusion in a Vocational School for Girls with Special Needs ”Published PhD Thesis. Eskisehir. Anadolu University, 2000,
3. Batu, Sema, Not Inclusion Education Lecture Notes ”. Eskisehir. Anadolu University.

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