Author(s): Dorcas Oluremi FAREO
The study investigated the attitude of regular students to students to special needs and also compared the academic performance of both categories of students. It adopted descriptive design. One research question and three research hypotheses were answered in the study. The population for the study comprised 53,789 regular students and 1,371 students with special needs in the 35 public secondary schools where mainstreaming of students with special needs is being implemented in Southwestern Nigeria. Purposive sampling technique was used to select 10 out of the 35 mainstreamed public secondary schools based on the number of students with special needs in the schools. From the selected schools, 1000 regular students and the 910 students with special were involved in the study. The students with special needs were purposely selected, while 1000 regular students were selected by stratified sampling technique. Two research instruments were used for data collection. The data were analyzed using simple percentages, and t-test analysis. The results showed 52.9% regular students had positive attitude to students with special needs, 34.3% regular students had negative attitude to students with special needs while 12.8% regular students had neutral attitude to students with special needs. Also, there was no significant difference between the attitude of male and female regular students to students with special needs (t=.0660, p>0.05). There was no significant difference between the academic performance of male and female students with special needs (t=1.19, p>0.05). However, there was a significant difference between academic performances of regular students and students with special needs (t=6.38, p<0.05). The study concluded that positive attitude of regular students could positively influence the academic performance of students with special needs.