From the article: Eight Reasons to Be Inclusive
Most parents, of "typical" children and children with special needs alike, have seen examples of inclusion that just did not work. That doesn't mean inclusion is a worthy goal, though, or that it can't be successful and of value to all children. What do you think it takes to make inclusion work? Share Your Ideas
Getting past it
- I went to a school that included everyone in HOME CLASSES, such as art, music, phys Ed, citizenship/social studies, story time, life skills, etc. HOWEVER, for the benefit and nurturing of all, we were all "secluded" to 3 separate classes for subjects like reading, math, science, and English/spelling based on whether you were an above average, average, or special needs for those subjects. Those in the first two classes were doing the same materials at different paces, and the special needs classes usually had 2 teachers for more one on one. Our classes were only separate for those few courses, no one thought anything bad about separating certain classes for different paces to make sure children didn't get left behind. I do not understand what is wrong with that. A child can experience a worse feeling of seclusion when they are in a group doing a math flash card game that they can't participate in. I agree with inclusion, but I also believe in nurturing all ability levels.
- —Guest Trust654
- The teachers/coaches have to make the effort to include our kids, or they will be set aside. If a parent or family member can not watch, we will not know there is a problem until something happens. We read our children, but often they can not tell us when they are being treated badly.
- —Guest Nancy Kogok
Inclusion can work!
- I am very hands on when it comes to including David in everything. I make sure to let people know that yes, he has oddities, but he has basic human emotions as well. I invite people to sit back and watch him. Get to know how he thinks, what he likes, what he doesn't. I sit with them and provide a running commentary. Observation is so critical to understanding. It also adds a sense of relaxation-no pressure, just watching. In the school setting, I watch the classroom instruction, the children interacting at recess, and the children at lunch. I also watch how the aides interact with him. As I notice issues, I make note of them, reflect, and respond. I go directly to the source and with empathy say, "I noticed...may I suggest...?" I love IEP meetings. I bring homemade treats for all his team members, present his portfolio of "home" work, as well as my observations. Only twice have I been told no to my suggestions/requests but these have later been rescinded when I have pushed the issue.
- —Guest edna
Not so Included in her own class?
- My 6-year-old daughter is in the same classroom setting with the same group of teachers this year. At Meet-the-Teacher before school started, we found out that in my daughter's 1st Grade class (called "Vocational Life Skills"), that her desk was placed off to the side of the room. The other kids' desks were all pushed together. She had been placed away from the others in the class for the last half of the school year. We didn't feel so "included" in a special ed classroom setting. I said, ''Uh, our goal is for her to NOT be placed in the corner." Changes were made but you have to actually go to the classroom -- which schools no longer encourage. Sad. She is included in physical education and other grade-related activities.
- Inclusion in school works for my son because of special ed teacher and aides. Trying nclusion in summer camp this year was a complete disaster. Without a one-to-one he was lost, got violent kicking etc, and that was that. Sometimes you have to do what works best for your child, and sometimes its just not worth arguing with camp administrators.
- —Guest Deb
Thank you so much for this!
- I think for advocates of inclusion - like myself, serving as the special needs ministry coordinator for a large church - it can be difficult to articulate why it ought to be done because, just as others don't understand why, we can't wrap our minds around why someone wouldn't be pro-inclusiveness. This post was so helpful in articulating the whys. Thank you!
- —Guest Shannon @ www.theworksofgoddisplayed.com
- Since my son was in first grade, inclusion has been a factor in his education. Teachers were trying to say they couldn't do it, actually some said they wouldn't do it! But the threat of legal and advocacy group interventions combined with my insistance has led to an agreement with the school district that my child will be included and if you don't know what to do, you either better find out or ask how. I am very open with the teachers, meeting with them at the beginning of every year (separate from the IEP and it is listed in the IEP as well) to "teach" the teachers how to teach my son. I take them copies of accommodated tests and assignments from previous years. I give them an explanation of how my son learns and the in-classroom ways they can use to give him a better experience, and I am available and corresponding with all of them each at least once a week or so. It gives them the understanding that I expect they will meet his needs or I will follow through. It works!
- —Guest Momonamission
Leaders who are willing
- So many parents would be willing to conduct trainings for volunteers to work in the various classrooms and Sunday Schools. Leaders have to be willing to give us that opportunity. Our current Sunday School and Children's Church are so inviting that when my daughter isn't there I hear complaints! I will pass this on to some church Children's leaders. What a great article!
- —Guest Hope