Inclusão escolar do aluno com deficiência intelectual no estado de São Paulo: identificação e caracterização
Veltrone, Aline Aparecida
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Due to the lack of appropriate definitions, criteria and methods, the scientific literature in special education in Brazil has always highlighted the need to develop assessment procedures with certain standards that should be available to identify students with intellectual disabilities. This uncertainty is reinforced by the lack of consensus on the methods of identifying and labeling students with learning disabilities. However, the prospect of school inclusion, which encompass strategies and practices that support and enable meaningful inclusion of disabled students into the mainstream of the school system, similarly requires identification to meet the eligibility criteria stipulated by Specialized Educational Services (ESA). Whereas within the category of intellectual disability almost half of all pupils with special educational needs are enrolled, and that this figure greatly impacts the funding received from educational systems, due to the FUNDEB allocated the double of the amount in education budget aimed directly at students with special educational needs, there is a concern that there might be some form of reprisal regarding the criteria used to identify these students. The aim of this study was to describe the evaluation process in the identification of students with intellectual disabilities in Sao Paulo State. The study began with an analysis of official documents, policies and procedures that govern student assessment processes designed to identify pupils with special educational needs in Brazil and in São Paulo State, and it was concluded that there is a lack of clear guidelines and definitions for the assessment of intellectual disability and therefore the consequences are unknown. An empirical study was developed encompassing five towns in São Paulo State, in three instances regularly engaged with the identification of these students: the municipal, the state system, and the special school, a total of 15 data collection sites. The study was divided into three phases designed to: ethical conduct and preliminary assessment, characterization of professional skills, and the investigation on their practical assessment to identify their strength and previous experience. Focus group interviews were conducted on a regular basis with the availability of a team of professionals that allowed the assessment and individual interviews where only one professional was responsible for the results. Data obtained from interviews with 67 professionals were analyzed using the Collective Subject Speech (CSS) technique. The results indicate that the regular classroom teacher is the key agent in the early identification of a suspected intellectual disability: developmental delay, learning difficulties, adaptive behavior, and behavior problems. While there is a multidisciplinary assessment team in special school to evaluate students for the diagnosis, conversely, in the municipal and state schools there is an education team that uses the assessment techniques with pedagogical purpose. The procedure used encompassed interviews with families, educational evaluation, multidisciplinary assessment, and intellectual assessment. The latter was applied only to a few special schools. The state education system was the most precarious instance due to the professional shortages, usually recognized only by the special education teacher. Comparing the 15 instances there is evidence that there are no common guidelines in the assessment process, because the number and training of professionals involved vary between different locations, the concept of intellectual disability is subjective, criteria and procedures found in the literature are not followed, and each group develops its own evaluation procedures. Overall, the contradictions between professional discourses and everyday practice is released and they examines the disadvantages of labeling a student that is unnecessary and injurious, even though they are officially labeled for school census purposes and seen as such by schools, often without their and their families knowledge and consent. The need to standardize the evaluation process for identifying students with intellectual disabilities to avoid the arbitrariness and subjectivity that surround this entire process these days is also discussed.