Mainstreaming verses Self-Contained Classrooms
Children who are deaf or hard of hearing can usually be placed into regular classrooms with support services. The degree of extra attention and special services a child needs varies from slight to a full time interpreter. The Individual's with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) gives every child the right to be educated in the least restrictive environment. This has led to a larger number of children being mainstreamed into regular classrooms. For hearing impaired children who are being taught oral communication, mainstreaming is absolutely the best placement for their education as soon as they are able to understand and be understood. Children with hearing impairments who are only being taught manual communication methods might be better placed in an auditorily handicapped classroom where manual communication is the primary mode of communication for learning and social activity.
The child's parents and the school district must together make the best decision for each child individually (Goldstein 12). A child who is already mainstreamed in preschool can be expected to continue in a mainstream environment. The professionals who worked with the child and the child's parents are usually able to give a recommendation about the best placement for the child. The advantages of mainstreaming are that the child will be able to interact with his regular peer group. This is often the same group of children which live in the nei