Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When special education students are included in mainstream classrooms, there are benefits for both the students with the special needs and for the students who do not have special needs.

In general, we tend to focus on the ways in which inclusion helps the students with special needs.  These students get to feel as if they are part of the mainstream of their school.  They do not feel as marginalized as they would if they were not included in mainstream classrooms.  They get the chance to interact with the mainstream students and they can improve their social skills by doing so.  This helps the students with special needs get good experience in interacting with mainstream students, which is something they will need to do after they get done with school.

But inclusion also has benefits for the students who do not have special needs.  Having special needs students in class allows mainstream students to become better people.  It allows them to learn how to interact with people who are “different.”  It allows them to become acquainted with people that they otherwise would not get to know.  This sort of experience is beneficial to mainstream students.

Thus, inclusion can help both the special needs students and the mainstream students.