The Natural Environment: A Useful Construct?

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This article addresses the usefulness of the term natural environment. An analysis of the literature suggests that it is a code word for inclusion and that placement in inclusive settings supersedes other considerations. An alternative is offered in which the delivery of specialized and individualized services consistent with family needs and values is of first-order importance. Further, it is argued that the use of authentic intervention activities will produce better outcomes for children and families than focusing on placements that must include chronologically aged peers.

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