Copyright

Least Restrictive Environment: Benefits & Examples

Instructor: Abigail Cook
Teachers are required to find the least restrictive environment for students with disabilities. In most cases, there are a lot of pieces to this puzzle, and each student has a unique set of needs. Let's take a look at an example and some of the benefits of least restrictive environments.

What is a Least Restrictive Environment?

According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004, children with disabilities should be educated alongside their non-disabled peers to the greatest extent possible. Special classrooms, separate schools, or special education services only occur when the regular classroom setting is not enough for that child to succeed.

This means that once a child qualifies for special education services, they are not automatically put into a special education classroom. It's up to the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team to determine what the least restrictive environment is for that child. The least restrictive environment refers not only to the physical placement, but also includes the education services and instruction.

Example: Victor

Let's look at a real-life example of a least restrictive environment. Victor is a fifth grade student who has been diagnosed with emotional disturbance and qualifies for special education. At school, he is violent with other students, curses, runs through the halls, tries to hurt himself, and rarely complies with teacher requests. His behavior is affecting his education and he is falling further behind the rest of the fifth graders.

Considering Victor's diagnosis, the IEP team writes his IEP and includes a description of what the least restrictive environment will look like for him:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support