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(7.6) The district told me that my child may not be integrated because she cannot benefit academically from regular class instruction. Is this true?

(7.6) The district told me that my child may not be integrated because she cannot benefit academically from regular class instruction. Is this true?

No. The court in Holland noted that mainstreaming requires educating a student with disabilities in a regular classroom if she can receive a satisfactory education there. The court looked at whether the student’s IEP goals and objectives could be met in the classroom with some curriculum modification, or by providing supplementary aids and services. The district in Holland contended that a student should be found inappropriate for regular class placement if such placement would require significant modification of the regular curriculum. The court rejected this and found that special education students may require, and be entitled to, substantial curriculum modifications in order to facilitate their benefit from regular class placement. The court stated that “modification of the curriculum for a handicapped child, even dramatic modification, has no significance in and of itself. The IDEA, in its provision for the IEP process, contemplates that the academic curriculum may be modified to accommodate the individual needs of handicapped children.” [Holland, 786 F. Supp. at 879-880.]

Another federal appellate court decision contained the following comment on “academic benefit”:

[IDEA] does not require states to offer the same educational experience to a child with disabilities as is generally provided for nondisabled children… To the contrary, states must address the unique needs of a disabled child, recognizing that child may benefit differently from education in the regular classroom than other students… In short, the fact that a child with disabilities will learn differently from her education within a regular classroom does not justify exclusion from that environment. [Oberti v. Board of Education, 995 F.2d 1204 (3rd Cir. 1993).]