Remedial school versus main stream schools

Remedial school versus main stream schools

When your child is diagnosed with a developmental delay or struggling in a mainstream school your first response as a parent is to find a remedial school that will suit your child’s needs or help your child be successful. How do you know if and what remedial school is the best fit and will a remedial school be the place where your child flourishes?

There are various arguments stating that a remedial school will be the best placement when your child is diagnosed with a developmental delay or any other disability as this way you will give your child a chance to receive a full formal education.  Where other arguments states that moving your child to a remedial school will separate your child from neurotypical peers or role models and follows the notion of believing this separation is acceptable or required.

Pros – Remedial schools

  1. Remedial schools and teachers are qualified in remedial education and therefore qualified to teach children with various diagnosis or disabilities
  2. A remedial school offers an accepting environment and more accepting peers therefore a child is less likely to be bullied at school
  3. Sometimes extra services such as speech therapy and occupational therapy are included as part of the school’s progrramme

Cons – Remedial schools

  1. The classroom consists of various children with different skill deficits and different learning styles which often requires 1:1 attention
  2. Your child is removed from a mainstream classroom or mainstream school setting
  3. Your child is removed from neurotypical peers who can be excellent models to learn from and to motivate your child within the classroom
  4. Sometimes remedial schools aren’t set up to teach and foster independent skills for independent living

Pros – Mainstream schools

  1. Your child is placed with good role models in terms of language skills, social skills, academic skills, play skills etc.
  2. It helps your child to feel comfortable within a mainstream placement and between neurotypical peers for later in life when opportunities outside of school are taken into account whether it be social events or a work environment when they are older
  3. Inclusion teaches mainstream peers to be tolerant and accepting of differences between people

Cons – Mainstream schools

  1. Teachers aren’t necessarily qualified in special needs education or in managing challenging behaviour
  2. Challenges a child experiences due to their skill deficits can influence their ability to keep up in the classroom or even influence their social interactions with peers
  3. Self-esteem being influenced when they do not have the correct support when a peer or teacher is not understanding or accepting of their differences

How can I help my child be successful in their placement?

The appropriate support in a remedial or mainstream classroom can be given by ensuring that trained professionals work with your child in the classroom that understand your child’s diagnosis, the skill deficits and excesses. An indivualized education plan (IEP) should be in place for the child to ensure that the skill deficits are addressed, monitored and adapted which includes curriculum modifications that can be made if needed. A trained facilitator can be provided in a classroom to facilitate your child’s learning in the classroom, with goals of independence included in the way facilitation is applied.

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and Catch Up Kids can provide the required support by setting your child up for success