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Health care for students with disabilities: an illustrated medical guide for the classroom.

HEALTH CARE FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

The purpose of modern education is to assist families in preparing their children for adult roles in contemporary society. Academic and technical skills are relevant to the extent that they prepare students for future vocational, recreational, and social roles, but these technical skills are only part of the total curriculum. Schools function in a dual manner. They prepare students for the roles they will fill in society in the future, but they are also an important part of society in the present. Current and future social functions must be supported consistently for education to effectively take place. Schooling that fails to provide relevant contemporary social experiences cannot prepare students for subsequent participation in society. Only through education that provides for immersion in society can the skills critical for social adjustment be successfully identified and taught. Although the specific content and the methods of education used may differ, the purpose of education remains the same regardless of the abilities or disabilities of the students involved in the process. This educational process of social integration is particularly critical for persons with disabilities because they have traditionally been isolated from the mainstream of society.

For the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, persons with severe disabilities were increasingly clustered into large institutions. These settings not only excluded persons with disabilities from society, but also provided them with few opportunities to participate in normal experiences that might help teach the skills required for eventual return to society. However, during the last two decades this trend toward isolation has been reversed. Many individuals who formerly would have lived their lives in institutions are now integrated into community, home, school, work, and recreational environments. Integrated schooling, as close as possible to the mainstream experiences of student peers, is a key factor in community living for persons with disabilities. Nevertheless, meeting the requirements of students with intensive health care needs is a challenge for most schools, as well as...other community agencies.

The Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, PL 94-142, requires schools to provide the related services that students need for an appropriate education. Many issues regarding the provision of these services still need to be resolved: Who should carry out various procedures? What kind of training and clinical supervision should be provided? How should these procedures be coordinated with educational programming? While the specific responsibility for carrying out these procedures varies across jurisdictions, depending on law, administrative policy, and service delivery models, the need for involvement of various educational and other nonmedical staff is a key factor to successful community integration. Unless students who require these procedures can be served successfully in school environments, they and their families will be forced to choose between restrictive placements equipped to meet their health-care needs or inferior health care in more socially appropriate educational settings.

This book provides nonmedical team members with some essential information about many of the procedures...required by their students with intensive and complex health-care needs. This book is not intended to replace the consultation provided between medical and nonmedical team members; it is designed to facilitate the communication between them. Such coordinated efforts are necessary to meet the holistic needs of the child, combining educational, medical, and other related services into a single unified system of service delivery. It is past the time for us to leave the age when students and their families have to choose between having either their educational needs or their medical needs met...we must enter the age in which they can expect a unified program...

[This book] helps us move toward this new age. The collaborative efforts of the authors...provide us with a model for collaboration in implementing these procedures. This book provides a wealth of practical information on how to carry out procedures and how to recognize and record many of their intended and unintended effects. Enhanced understanding of the health-care procedures described will help to make integrated education a reality for students with intensive and complex health-care needs, bringing them closer to the mainstream and preparing them for future adult roles in society.

J. Carolyn Graff, R.N., M.N., Marilyn Mulligan Ault, Ph.D., Doug Guess, Ed.D., Marianne Taylor, R.N., M.S., Barbara Thompson, Ph.D., & Foreword by Dick Sobsey, R.N., Ed.D., Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., P.O. Box 10624, Baltimore, Md. 21285-0624, (800) 638-3775. 282 pages, [C] 1990. $25.00.
COPYRIGHT 1990 EP Global Communications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:excerpt
Author:Graff, J. Carolyn; Mulligan, Marilyn; Guess, Doug; Taylor, Marianne; Thompson, Barbara
Publication:The Exceptional Parent
Date:Sep 1, 1990
Words:741
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