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Mainstreaming from a Parent's perspective

Page history last edited by wboyd1@... 11 years, 5 months ago

Mainstreaming, also called Inclusion or Integration, is when a child with hearing loss goes to a "regular" school instead of a school for the deaf. There are two different ways to mainstream a child: Total Mainstreaming or Partial Mainstreaming. Total Mainstreaming is when the child has all classes with hearing children. He/She might need special services, like interpreters, notetakers or speech therapy, but does not have classes with a deaf education teacher. Partial Mainstreaming is when a child has some classes with hearing children, and some in a deaf education/resource classroom with a teacher of the deaf. For partial mainstreamed children, the school will decide how much time is spent in the resource room and how much is with the hearing children.


Parents need to think about the effects of a hearing school on a deaf child before making the decision of where to send them to school. Some effects of it may be:

  • The child may been isolated for being the only deaf or hard-of-hearing child in the school.
  • He/She may be able to go to school with family and neighborhood friends, which would help them feel welcome.
  • The child might not be able to catch everything the teachers or students say, so they could become frustrated and fall behind.
  • He/She may find the class work more challenging, so he/she may have to study more than a hearing child.


Parents need to work with their school district to get support services for their child. Parents need to be educated on their child enough to know what exactly they need to be successful. If they have trouble with the school, they can talk to an advocate and other parents to learn how to get your child special services. Special services may include a trained teacher of the deaf, interpreters, notetakers, tutors, and other specialists. Some students may require listening devices, like FM systems or captioned movies.


Parents should ask themselves:

  • Does his/her child understand and play with other children in the neighborhood?
  • Does he/she already have hearing friends?
  • Is school a place where he/she feels happy and is understood?
  • Is he/she learning every day?


Choosing the right school is very important and shouldn't be taken lightly. All parents need to research all of the options for their child to make the best decision.



The Children's Hospital of Philedelphia (2007). Mainstreaming. Retreived July 2, 2009, from http://www.raisingdeafkids.org/learning/choices/mainstream/


Educational Issues of Deaf Students

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