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03/01/2010

Long-term Outcomes of Services in Inclusive and Self-Contained Settings for Siblings with Comparable Significant Disabilities


By: Diane Ryndak, Terri Ward, Sandra Alper, Jill F. Storch and Jennifer Wilson Montgomery

Abstract: A major goal of special education services is to prepare graduates for productive and rewarding lives as adults in the community. Follow-up studies, however, consistently have indicated very poor post-school outcomes for special education graduates. While there has been a wealth of research related to the effectiveness of services in inclusive general education settings for students of school age, few studies have investigated the impact of inclusive educational services on long-term outcomes for students with significant disabilities. The purpose of this study was to describe how two brothers with similar diagnoses involving significant disabilities and who had a 10-year age difference functioned in their natural settings as young adults after receiving services in the same rural one-building district. The older brother received special education services in self-contained settings throughout his school career, while the younger brother received special education services in inclusive general education settings. Qualitative data were collected through records, interviews, and field notes of observations. Findings suggest that the brother who received special education services in the school’s inclusive general education settings achieved more positive long-term outcomes. Implications are discussed for future research and provision of educational services.
 
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