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Intellectual aspects of regular school integration for physically disabled children Copeland, Elizabeth M. J.


In recent years there has been a trend towards integration, or mainstreaming, for educating the handicapped child. The aim of this study was to explore some effects of integrating physically disabled children into regular school from a special school and thus obtain data to aid in making further integration decisions. Specifically in this study two groups of physically disabled children who had attended a special rehabilitation hospital school were compared in intellectual abilities, after one group had integrated into the regular school It was hypothesized that, as several verbal subtests of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children appear to be influenced by environmental stimuli, those integrated into the regular school will have increased scaled scores over those who remained in the special school. To discuss result within a broader framework it was also hypothesized that gains would be correlated with higher motivation levels, a lesser degree of severity of disability, and better social adjustment. An analysis of covariance indicated a significant improvement in verbal intelligence by the experimental group in comparison to the control group, with the most gains being made by the youngest age group (6-8 years). Results showed that not only did those in the experimental group improve but that those who stayed in the special school declined in comparison to their own previous scores. This decline was particularly evident for those children with the highest verbal intelligence scores in the control group, which were in the average range for the test normative sample. Pearson correlation coefficients indicated that gains in verbal intelligence did not appear to be related to either school or non-school interest level, the severity of the disability, sex or social adjustment.

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