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Inclusive Classrooms Versus Special Needs Classrooms: Which is Best for Your Child?

By Jenny Wise Like all parents, the parents of children with special needs are faced with their share of joys and challenges. One of the biggest questions to consider when raising a child with special needs is which education path to take. There are very polarized views in our society about how children with special needs should be educated. Of course, this is a deeply personal decision that deserves to be made by parents. It is a decision that should only be made after carefully considering what is best for their child’s unique needs and situation. While nobody can make the decision for you, there are some things you should consider to help ensure you make the best possible decision for your child. Perhaps the biggest questions parents struggle with: Would my child learn better from a specially trained instructor who specializes in special needs education or is it better to keep my child integrated with other students, including those who do not have special needs? One strong argument for placing your child in a special needs class is that the teachers of those classes have a strong professional background working with special needs students. This equips special needs teachers to better identify disabilities and to design custom-tailored learning curriculum for your child’s needs. Special needs classrooms also often have safe spaces specifically created to help children calm down during higher energy moments. However, some parents believe it is harmful to the special needs child to place them in their own separate learning environment. For many, it feels like segregation rather than equal education. As an alternative, inclusive learning environments are growing in popularity. In an inclusive learning environment, your child will be placed in a classroom with a variety of students (with or without special needs). Depending on your child’s needs, they may be able to excel in an inclusive environment, especially if they have the assistance of a trained service dog. And, of course, inclusive learning environments also always have trained special education teachers available in addition to a traditional regular education teacher. Unfortunately, not all cities have these inclusive classroom environments yet. Because inclusive education is still growing in popularity, even if you have inclusive classrooms locally, each classroom will vary greatly in methods, approaches, and the experiences of your child. Additionally, some schools only educate certain types of special needs students, such as those with mild disabilities. If your child has a moderate or more severe disability, there is a chance that he or she will still be placed in a separate special needs classroom - even in a so-called “inclusive” school. It also might be helpful to tour the school and meet potential instructors prior to making your final decision. Take note of classroom setup, the teacher’s background and experience level, and whether the classroom environment would be a good fit for your child. When it comes to children with special needs, a classroom with desks organized into small groups or “pods” can be a signal of an inclusive environment that allows abled and disabled students to work together in teams. It can feel overwhelming when you begin to take those first steps towards getting the proper education for your child with special needs. You don’t have to do it alone; there are support groups for families with special needs children, and the internet is full of helpful resources. With some research, some effort, and some soul-searching, you can find the best possible situation for your child.
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09/02/2017
Burnaby, BC – The Down Syndrome Research Foundation (DSRF) ranks #12 on this year’s Classy 100 list, an annual compilation of the growing non-profits on Classy, the world’s leading online fundraising platform for social enterprises. Classy released in February the 2016 Classy 100 using a proprietary growth score calculation as the basis for recognition. The organizations that represent the top one hundred growth organizations this year on Classy were generated through a calculated score that took into consideration revenue growth from three areas: monthly revenue growth on Classy above the platform baseline, year-over-year revenue growth on Classy, and overall revenue size on Classy. “Scaling an organization is extremely hard work, whether you're running a for-profit company or a non-profit organization," said Scot Chisholm, CEO and co-founder of Classy. "However, growth in the non-profit sector isn't celebrated in the same way as it is in the for-profit sector. At Classy we believe that revenue growth is an important metric for both sectors, as it represents the ability to attract and maintain new customers or supporters year over year. The Classy 100 represents a group of social good organizations who have experienced growth by delivering a world-class giving experience to their supporters year in and year out." “Key elements of our growth included last year's record-setting Run Up for Down Syndrome and the ongoing development of our Triple-21 monthly giving program,” said Glen Hoos, Director of Marketing and Development at DSRF. “Our Triple-21 partners are absolutely essential to our ability to empower individuals with Down syndrome to reach their full potential, and we are so grateful for their support. To be included in the Classy 100, organizations needed to be transacting on Classy for at least January 2016—December 2016. Other criteria included at least $50K in revenue on Classy in 2016, counting transactions in all 12 months; at least $10K in revenue on Classy in 2015; and at least 25 percent year-over-year revenue growth on Classy from 2015 to 2016. The organizations recognized this year span all causes and sizes, bound together by their consistent revenue growth on the Classy platform. To learn more about all of the organizations and how they grew, please visit https://www.classy.org/classy-100/2016/. ### About the Down Syndrome Research Foundation The Down Syndrome Research Foundation, based in Burnaby and active throughout the Lower Mainland, empowers individuals with Down syndrome to reach their full potential throughout life by pioneering and providing educational programs and services, grounded in foundational research. Working with researchers, professionals and families, DSRF is a bridge between research and practice. DSRF offers programs for individuals with Down syndrome from birth through early adulthood. For more information, please visit www.DSRF.org. About Classy Classy is the world’s leading fundraising platform for social enterprises with the goal of solving social problems more effectively and efficiently. Since launching in 2011, Classy has helped more than 3,000 social enterprises including Oxfam, World Food Program USA, and National Geographic to raise hundreds of millions of dollars. Classy also hosts the Collaborative, a 3-days summit and awards ceremony, that brings together impactful social enterprises and celebrates achievements in the sector. Based in San Diego, CA, Classy employs a staff of over 200 people and was recognized by Fast Company in 2016 as one of the world’s 10 Most Innovative Companies for Social Good. Classy was also recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the 10 Most Brilliant Companies for Social Impact in 2016 and listed as a “Rising Star” in the first-ever Forbes Cloud 100 list in 2016. Classy is backed by investors including JMI, Mithril and Salesforce Ventures. For more information, visit www.classy.org or follow Classy on Twitter: @Classy. CONTACT: Glen Hoos, Director of Marketing and Development – 604-444-3773 | glen@dsrf.org
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03/01/2017
Throughout the month of December, we asked you to help us turn the world #DownSideUp for people with Down syndrome, by making a year-end donation to the Down Syndrome Research Foundation. You answered the call. Through your overwhelming generosity, and that of others like you, more than $41,000 was raised - the most ever in the 5-year history of the #DownSideUp campaign Your gift will empower individuals with Down syndrome to reach their full potential as contributing members of the community, through the development and delivery of effective programs that strengthen students' reading and communication, speech and language, money math, and other skills vital to a productive, independent life. Thank you very much for standing with us, hand in hand, in this vital mission. Please take a moment to watch the video below for a message of gratitude from just a few of the many students whose lives you have touched. Happy New Year!
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Down Syndrome Research Foundation
1409 Sperling Avenue, Burnaby
British Columbia, Canada
V5B 4J8

Fax: +1 604 431 9248
Phone: +1 604 444 3773
E-mail: info@dsrf.org