CHILDREN DON’T NEED TO HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS TO BENEFIT FROM INCLUSION
The number of young people with special needs going to standard schools in the U.S. is growing. In 2013, around 95% of students with disabilities were taught in standard schools. It’s becoming increasingly recognized that an inclusive education can have a great impact on the education of students with special needs and helps them to develop skills they can take into adulthood.
But an inclusive educational setting also has a significant and positive impact on their classmates who don’t have any disabilities. It can benefit their learning too and allows them to develop tolerance, empathy and understand the importance and benefits of diverse friendships.
Where many people may think young people with special needs would be more comfortable learning amongst other children with disabilities, an inclusive setting is often where they learn about good behaviors.
LEARNING BY EXAMPLE
Children learn how they should behave from those around them. Whether that be from family, schoolmates or teachers. For many children with special needs attending special classes, the example they have is from other children with disabilities. So, they will often just become accustomed to that particular environment. However, by being in a classroom with children that don’t have behavioral issues or other special needs, they may be able to develop better social skills.
SOCIAL BENEFITS FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Inclusion involves more than just education. Participating in all kinds of activities, even just a classmates party, can help special needs children develop better social skills. As part of an inclusive environment, children with special needs have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of friendships. They can have increased social interactions and develop wider relationships and networks. Their families can also benefit too, as they become more integrated into the community.
HELPING CHILDREN ADJUST TO THE WORLD
When special needs students attend standard classes, it can help them better adapt to the rest of the world. A world predominantly made up of people without the same needs. Full inclusion can help to equip people with the skills and experience to handle the world as they get older. For some children, this can mean easier friendships and work situations later on.
BENEFITS FOR NON-SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN
The benefits of inclusion can work both ways. By attending a more inclusive school, network and society in general, children without disabilities can create meaningful friendships. They will develop a greater appreciation and acceptanceof individual differences and an increased understanding and acceptance of diversity. It helps them to develop respect and assists them in preparing for adult life in an inclusive society. In classes with special needs students, the teacher will often adapt their teaching methods to accommodate everyone. This can involve breaking information down into small parts or repeating instructions and directions. This can have a positive impact on all the children in the class. Furthermore, students without disabilities tend to also perform better at school when they learn alongside children with learning difficulties.
Inclusion can be a win-win situation for everyone.