Updated: Oct 24, 2020
There are many things that are different for all of us. We have different parents from our friends, and different colour and food favourites from those around us. Some people have abilities, too, that are different and some people have disabilities. Children with disabilities may seem different and do things differently, but they can also teach everyone all about diversity and the importance of inclusion so that everyone can have a fulfilling and exciting life.
What is inclusion?
Inclusion is when you allow for everyone (including children with disabilities) to be a part of the classroom or social group. Sometimes children with disabilities are dismayed because they are different, but inclusion takes the opposite approach. In an inclusive point of view, children with disabilities are accommodated so that everyone can participate.
What does inclusion look like?
There are quite a few different ways that inclusion can take place in school as well as in social gatherings. Some examples may be:
Someone with a hearing disability may have an interpreter in class: If someone has a hearing disability, they may need someone to “speak” to them in their own language using sign language, or subtitles (such as on TV).
Some people may need more time to understand a question and make a reply: Some people have mental disabilities where it takes them longer to understand an audio or written question and they must also have more time to figure out how to answer either in writing or out loud.
Some people may react stronger than others: Other people will have very strong reactions to something. For example, fear becomes strong fear. Excitement becomes very strong uncontrollable excitement.
With these examples, children with disabilities are included and part of the crowd just like everyone else, but they have accommodations to help make it easier and fun for them, too.
Why is inclusion important?
There are a lot of reasons that inclusion is important in our world! Some reasons include:
Disabilities are seen as differences: Instead of seeing disabilities as weaknesses, we see them as differences! For example, in the animal kingdom: crabs jump, snakes slither and the rabbits lope. No one is disabled, just different.
Everyone has realistic expectations: Since everyone is sharing an environment, everyone learns how to set realistic expectations for everyone and still make sure that no one’s expectations are too low or high. They’re matched to each individual child and their needs so that they can succeed.
Everyone learns to get along: When children with and without disabilities are blended together, they learn to accept each other and get along so that everyone can enjoy fun and exploration together. Every part of life is better together, right?
Special needs inclusion doesn’t have to be scary or confusing. It’s all about bringing everyone together so that everyone has the same chance at enjoying themselves and getting the most out of every experience in life. Life is full of differences and disabilities can be nothing more than “differences” with the right inclusion in place.