mainstreaming The placement of disabled students in the regular education classroom. Mainstreaming was introduced in the 1970s as a result of Public Law 94-142, which mandated that special needs children be placed in the least restrictive environment. Until the approval of P.L. 94-142 in 1975, most special needs children (from mildly to severely disabled), were educated in self-contained settings.

The philosophy of mainstreaming disabled children into the regular classroom comes from the idea that since most individuals will be "mainstreamed" into society, the integration of regular and special needs students should begin at an early age. It was also believed that school resources could be used more efficiently if special needs students were placed in the regular classroom. Mainstreaming also required regular educators to share the responsibility for disabled students with special educators. Conversely, mainstreaming benefits regular education students by increasing their understanding and tolerance of students with differences.

studies of mainstreaming over the past two decades indicate that the practice is defined differently depending on the school and school district. In most school systems, mainstreaming involves placing a special needs student in the regular classroom setting for one subject area or a portion of the day depending on what is best for the student. According to research, mainstreaming can be a valid alternative to self-contained classrooms, but it is not an appropriate practice for all special needs students. A delicate balance must be struck between the student's need, teacher training, attitudes toward mainstreaming, and cost factors.

Most students with learning disabilities are educated in the regular classroom while receiving support services. Although parents sometimes worry that their children's needs will not be met in a regular classroom setting, mainstreaming does not mean that special education students are "dumped" into classes indiscriminately. Rather, students are placed in a regular classroom with support services so they can perform adequately. The concept of mainstreaming is a response to the fact that students can benefit from regular classroom placement if they get additional assistance at the same time. Forms of assistance might be an aide, modification of instruction, more instruction time, and communication with the regular classroom teacher.

Parents of nondisabled children often complain that the disabled child might disrupt the class or take up too much of the teacher's time. Both are legitimate concerns, and if any child is so disruptive that it interferes with the functioning of the class, then intervention is necessary.

Considerable time, energy, and planning go into every successful mainstreaming experience. Parents must be advocates for their children and provide input about the type and amount of mainstreaming that takes place, and they need to forge positive relationships with school personnel. This should be done during the development and implementation of the individualized education program (IEP).

Mainstreaming works best when:

• Parents and teachers work together.

• specific mainstreaming experiences are recorded in the child's education plan.

• special education teachers meet with regular classroom teachers in the mainstreamed setting.

• Mainstream teachers get information on the special education student's strengths and needs, and teaching techniques considered helpful for the student's particular learning disability.

• Mainstream teachers have time to consult with special education teachers to discuss student progress.

• Regular students are given information that enables them to better understand students with special needs.

malaria An infectious disease caused by a parasitic protozoan within the red blood cells, now believed to be one of the major reemerging infections of the world. It is so serious that every 30 seconds somewhere in the world, a child dies of the disease.

Malaria is one of the oldest known infections described in detail by Hippocrates in the fifth century B.C. The incidence of the disease peaked in 1875 in this country, but it is estimated that more than 600,000 cases were reported in 1914. By 1934 the number of cases dropped to 125,556, and by the 1950s experts concluded that malaria had been eliminated in the United states through the efforts of mosquito spraying, removing breeding sites, accurate assessment, and focused control. It was still understood that international travel could reintroduce the disease into this country.

Since 1957 nearly all cases diagnosed in the United states have been acquired by mosquito transmission in areas where malaria is known to exist. About half the cases occur among native U.s. citizens, and half occur in foreign-born people. Environmental changes, the spread of drug resistance, and increased air travel could lead to the reemergence of malaria as a serious public health problem in the United states, according to the U.s. centers for Disease control and Prevention. Recent outbreaks of other mosquito-transmitted diseases in densely populated areas of New jersey, New York, Texas, and Michigan are evidence that the risk exists.

The parasite that causes malaria has become resistant to the usual antimalarial drugs. only 10 percent of the world's population was at risk of catching this disease in 1960, but today that number has grown to 40 percent. The number of deaths worldwide is very high, up to 2.4 million a year.

Most of the deaths occur in children under age five in Africa.


Malaria is caused by four different species of the Plasmodium parasite transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito. The deadliest parasite causing the sometimes-fatal version of malaria is Plasmodium falciparum; others are P. vivas, P. malariae, and P. ovale.

Parasites in the blood of an infected child are taken into the stomach of the mosquito as it feeds; when the mosquito bites a person, parasites are injected into the person's bloodstream, migrating to the liver and other organs. After an incubation period, parasites return to the blood and invade the red blood cells. At this point, symptoms appear. Rapid multiplication of the parasites destroys the red cells and releases more parasites capable of infecting other cells. This leads to the shivering, fever, and sweating that are the hallmarks of the disease.

The mature parasites remain in the blood and do not reinvade the liver, although a few may remain behind in the liver in a dormant state. These can be released months or years later, causing a relapse of malaria in people who thought they were cured.

Symptoms symptoms vary and may appear from eight to 12 days after a bite (falciparum malaria) to as many as 30 days for other types. Early signs may mimic the flu, with fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and malaise. As each new batch of parasites is released, symptoms of shivering and fever reappear. The interval between fever attacks is different in different types of malaria.

In the most serious form of malaria (falciparum malaria), red blood cells become sticky, blocking and damaging the small blood vessels to the brain, kidney, and lungs. Patients with this variety can die within several days without antibiotics. Irreversible complications can appear suddenly. Malaria is more severe in children; more than 10 percent of untreated children will die.

Anyone who becomes ill with chills and fever after being in an area where malaria is endemic must see a doctor immediately. Delaying treatment of falciparum malaria can be fatal.

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