When parents think of special education, they usually reflect back to unpleasant childhood memories of special education students at their school. Children with disabilities were kept completely isolated from the general education students and were not allowed to share recess and lunch periods or participate in general PE classes, and were prevented from attending school social activities.
Fortunately, special education has come a long way since then. Children are included in the general education setting to the greatest extent possible and are no longer segregated. Still, parents worry about their child’s self esteem if they are labeled as a special-needs child. This worry usually lives more in the imaginations of the parents than in the self-image of the child. When parents come to understand that labeling a child as a special education student is a necessary entry procedure to obtaining services, they are able to decrease their fears.
General education and special education teachers are aware of the teasing that special education students may receive from their nondisabled peers and typically work to teach all students that special education is not negative and is just a different way for students to learn. Parents can reinforce this with their emotional support of their child.