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Wednesday, December 9, 2009
LDA? Anyone know what this stands for?

LDA= Least Dangerous Assumption
Anyone know what that means and how it is connected to inclusion?

In 1984, Anne Donnellan, a respected researcher in special education, wrote that “the criterion of least dangerous assumption holds that in the absence of conclusive data, educational decisions ought to be based on assumptions which, if incorrect, will have the least dangerous effect on the likelihood that students will be able to function independently as adults.” From Disability Solutions Volume 6 Issue 3 Fall 2005

Case in point. I watched a film during our conference where a mother fought to get her disabled daughter included. Her daughter grew up in the 70's when it was much harder to get a child mainstreamed. The mother fought an up hill battle. She had a daughter who had limited use of her hands and was non verbal with violent behaviors. All the doctor's said she was mentally retarded and not to waste anytime trying to teach her, it would be lost. So this child went through life not being taught any general education curriculum. When this child grew into an adult she was completely dependent on her mother but with strides in Assitive Technology they were able to introduce a computer system that she could type through. What they found out through this new technology was that this child now an adult was trying to scream out to everybody without her voice that she was capable. She understood EVERYTHING everybody was saying but was incapable of speaking or writing the words. All her violent behaviors were her trying to get people's attention. Can you imagine how you would feel if this were you or your child? So now as an adult she still requires the use of a nurse and cannot care for herself. This story is a DANGEROUS ASSUMPTION....So now go re-read the definition of LDA. Make sense now?
What do we lose if we assume that EVERY CHILD is competent? Say we send a child who has the label of MR through the general education classroom and she grows up and she still cannot understand, what have we truly lost? The alternative is the case in point above. Do you want that to be your child?

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