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Kinderkr4zy 04-14-2019 02:42 PM

Is it just me, or is "resource" changing
Ok, I was in resource as a kid and to me resource was where you went for all or part of the content in your specific area of disability only. I was only in there for math, but I was in for the whole math lesson. I did not work on the same math as my peers I was taught specialized curriculum with like 7 other kids. Other kids went for ELA. No one was in there all morning or most of the day-if that was the level you needed you were in a self contained class that gave special instruction all day/all morning with science and social studies push outs. Resource was not a sped catch all when I went to it.

Now it seems like there is no self contained class for kids who are far below in all areas, self contained classes are now just for kids who have moderate to severe ID and/or severe severe severe behaviors and they only serve like the lowest 10% of the sped population.

Even the kids with more moderate autism who can barley function in the regular class just go to resource all morning and are now rostered to a regular class even though they are only in the regular class half of the day or less. Low functioning kids now just spend most of the day in resource, and now the resource teacher is totally over whelmed with 2 classes going at once and serving more moderate and severe than mild students. Resource is now 1. the kids who come in just for little while do to a specific learning disability, and 2. the kids who are in there most of the day because they actually need SDC but that class now is only nonverbal ID kids who arent really working on academics and these kids can handle some low level academics. The room is really full and very noisy. Resource teachers are now many kids main teacher. Some kids only ever seem to work with a para, who has no special training. Kids also seem to make less progress.

Is this just my area or has the concept of resource changed? Is resource just an over stuffed amalgam of what was 2 programs so that parents dont have to feel like their kids are in sdc classes because of stigma and the inclusions mania even though they cant do any of the academic in the regular class? Because around here resource now serves 90% of the kids who used to be in special day class with only the most severe kids still being self contain class and now LD kids are trying to get support in room full of kids who still dont speak and wear diapers and are rolling around on the floor having fits a lot of the day. What happened to the class where kids could just get all instruction slower, at a lower level, and in small groups.

In fact those kids who just need slower instruction in small groups with targeted instruction to meet their specific learning needs and remediation of skills that are 1-3 years below grade level are just let in the regular classroom and the regular teacher just has to try to give them the instruction that they used to be able to get from a special teacher.

Haley23 04-14-2019 04:31 PM

As far as I know, SDC is only a thing in CA. That's the only context I've ever heard of it in. I'm on year 9 so IDK if things were different previously, but self-contained has always only been for severe disabilities here. My district does have a "moderate needs" program where previously kids got more pull out time- about 15 hours per week.

A few years ago, they switched to a co-teaching model. My understanding is that this was spurred on by some of the sped staff at the school. If at all possible, I no longer refer my students there because I don't believe co-teaching is anywhere near intensive enough to meet their needs. I would rather them get the pull outs that we can provide in my program over nothing.

I have seen the expectations for resource change over the years. When I started, it was about keeping kids learning and making growth. I do remember hearing some absolute nonsense from a state department of education person my 2nd year, but at the time, no one actually in the schools seemed to be falling for it. A few years later, I was at a state level training about standards-based IEPs and they made a big speech about how kids who don't have cognitive disabilities can and should be performing on grade level, including passing state tests. My sped director actually stood up at that training and basically told them they were idiots- most of those students have cognitive weaknesses even if their overall IQ is normal.

Things have gotten worse and worse each year as far as expectations. I don't know if higher-ups are really buying into this nonsense, or if they are just worried about losing their own jobs. Every year, the pressure for my kids to perform as if they don't actually have a disability gets worse and worse. To qualify as LD in my state, one has to be performing at or below the 12th percentile and show a non-response to research based interventions. If they didn't make enough progress with the research based interventions prior to getting an IEP, what's going to make them suddenly start responding differently, just because they now have a pile of papers attached to their name?

Likewise, they're not going to massively bomb a test that's way easier than state testing (scoring at or below the 12th percentile on something like the Woockcock Johnson) and then turn around and pass a state test. If they do magically start performing at that level, one they were probably incorrectly identified in the first place, and two, they will no longer qualify for sped. Therefore no longer counting as a student with a disability who is doing well.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, someone got the idea that the "problem" was resource/special ed settings. Full inclusion put gen ed on a pedestal and vilified sped settings. The gen ed classroom is the best place to be and has the best teachers while the poor kids who spend any amount of time in a sped classroom aren't getting access to all of this supposed wonderfulness that is happening in gen ed. And then they wonder why the burn out rate for sped teachers is 2 years and they have such a hard time filling positions.

GoodEnough85 04-14-2019 05:55 PM

I don't really think that "Resource"
has a specific definition or guidelines in our state. I think that districts can name their sections/classes anything they like.

I know that Self Contained is out of fashion so we don't use that terminology even for the students that are in SpEd all day. It can be tough when classes are crowded no matter that they call it.

Kinderkr4zy 04-14-2019 06:20 PM

SO, I'm not trying to get hung up on labels-I guess what I am saying is that there no longer seems to be a place just for kids without intellectual/cognitive disability who still need extra help.

What was once the room where kids with LD's got support and specialized instruction is now a room with kids who are severely disabled and getting most of their instruction in what was once the mild to moderate room just to avoid having to say they are in a special class. The push out room still seems to have like 16+ kids in it at any given time and 10 or more are in there for 4 hours a day.

Those higher need kids seem to also take up a lot of the sped teachers time and the LD kids just work with a para and try to ignore all the severe behavior and thats going on around them or they dont get pull out at all. I guess I was hoping that there was still a place for kids more on the mild end of the LD spectrum but it seems like they have all been kept in GE and thus make less progress. Then I sit back and wonder, why go through the process of getting them identified if they wont get any actual help-they will just tell me to accommodate them in ways that I already was accommodating them but to no avail or they will get pushed in to class that is so full ans chaotic and only get a para with zero college teaching them.

I'm just feeling frustrated with it all lately I guess.

newbie17 04-14-2019 11:46 PM

I understand
I completely see what you are saying kinder. As a resource teacher I know what you mean. At the start of the year I had a student that spent over 900 minutes per week with me. I've had another one all year that spends less than 45 minutes per day in gen ed, but is still in my resource room. Then there are my 2 newest ones. Both spend all morning with me, from the time they check in for attendance until lunch, over 3 1/2 hours later. In the time they are there I have 3 other classes cycling in and out. Those poor babies get so little from me because all my attention goes to the few very needy ones.

I understand inclusion and I want all my kids included as much as is appropriate, but "appropriate" is the key word. My 4th graders reading on kindergarten and 1st grade levels that can't spell cvc words or identify vowel sounds don't belong in the gen ed setting most of the day. They need intensive help, more help than my resource room can give them.

What I'd give to pull small groups for 20-30 minutes daily and do targeted interventions to pull up those deficits!!! If I didn't have to worry about the non-verbal kids, the violent ones, and the ones that are basically self contained with me I could do SO much with the others. We need an appropriate place for those kids that don't fit the resource or full time self contained mold.

That being said, I love all my babies and I will continue bending over backwards to get them everything they need. I know part of the problem is funding. We need at least 2 more sped teacher in my building alone. All our schools are in the same boat and my district has 7 buildings! We would literally have to double our staff in order to meet the needs. Of course that won't happen and it's the kids that will suffer as a result. :(

readandweep 04-15-2019 03:41 AM

Resource room
I can only speak from my experience as I believe I am in a different state than you, but it comes down to numbers.

My state in the past 10 years has really come down hard on the number of kids who are in special schools, special programs or not spending at least part of the day with their general education peers.

My previous district had about 30 percent of the students with an IEP. In the past that district had put virtually any kid with in an IEP in a resource setting like you described. The moderate/severe needs were sent to other districts for cooperative programs with other schools or to special day programs.

But when the district's identified numbers reached 30 percent, they could not get away with that. Kids who just needed academic help were pushed into general ed for most of the day and very often eventually dismissed form services.

The same special ed teacher was doing push in, testing accommodations, study skills and small group for the kids that used to be in resource all day. This was upper elementary.

I had the class with the kids who were previously sent away. And I still had to send kids out of my room for at least 21 percent of the day.

There was also an informal push to not identify kids who in the past would have received services. Very few (less than 20 percent) of the students in this district were "at grade level" and it was considered being proactive to deny services to kids who were "just behind." :(

I should qualify that administration handled the roll out of this "new special ed" very poorly, but I bet it would be almost as bad in other schools as well.

Haley23 04-15-2019 05:09 PM


But when the district's identified numbers reached 30 percent, they could not get away with that.
I see this issue more with social/emotional concerns at my school. I am always surprised when I see posters implying that our many discipline problems would be "fixed" if we could simply get those kids with severe issues into self-contained placements "like how things used to be." Well, at my school, we literally have like 50 kids who have severe behaviors. Putting 50 kids into a self-contained ED placement is simply not an option. Even if we put issues with space and money aside, the state would never allow it.

readandweep 04-15-2019 05:31 PM

That is exactly what is happening in my current school.

Not so long ago they had an ED room here.

But now we have about 45 kids who could easily go in an ED class (or were in one in grade school).

At the lone middle school that has that room, the ED students are with a regular-ed teacher for science and social studies for half the day.

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