Nowadays, disabled kids are integrated full-time with kids who are non-disabled, or "normal," or whatever you want to call them (I usually say "non-disabled.") And when you explain to children why these other kids are different, they become incredibly helpful and wind up reaping tremendous benefits. Yes, the child with the disability benefits, but the non-disabled child does too. They get a chance to be helpful and caring and loving and understanding and, as a by-product, they're proud of themselves.
I'll tell you a little story. My son's regular classroom and his special-needs classroom are back to back. It's really nice. Well, there was this one little boy-who happens to be black and comes from the inner city-and he was my son's mentor. My son just loved Seth and, of course, Seth loved him. He showered Seth with attention.
Come the end of the school year, I found out accidentally that this little boy had been a problem-a pain in the neck-in class until our child started coming in. But after that, Seth became a model student; he was helpful, caring. I spoke to Seth a few months ago and asked him, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" He said, "I want to be a teacher like Mr. Rome. I want to help children like Seth."