Concepts of Inclusion

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Concept of Inclusion
Sylvia Leggett
ESC: 315 Survey of Exceptional Students
Instructor: Karree Fah
September 26, 2011

In order to be effective utilizing inclusion we must have an idea of what that concept implies. Inclusion has been called many things down through the years in the educational realm. It has gone from being called the least restrictive environment to mainstreaming, to integration and now inclusion. Inclusion “is used to refer to the commitment to educate each child, to the maximum extent appropriate, in the school and classroom he or she would otherwise attend” (Charlesworth, 2000, p.58). Inclusion must consider that all students are full members of the school and they are entitled to the opportunities and responsibilities that are available to all the students in the school. Students with disabilities can and should participate along with or side by side with their nondisabled peers in all activities which include extracurricular, academic, and any other school related activity. When placing students with disabilities in regular classroom settings will require that teachers find different ways to make the education of these students as age and academically appropriate as possible. Inclusion is about being a part of the whole pie not just a piece. It is a feeling of belonging to something as a member not a visitor. Regardless, if you as teacher or a student with a disability you still have the same basic needs that a person without a disability have and wish for those needs to be meet. According to Maslow we all need to have our basic needs(food, shelter, water ,sleep) meet, but we also need to feel safe, secure, and loved and develop friendships and personal esteem. Maslow also “emphasized the importance of self-actualization which is a process of growing and developing as a person to achieve individual potential.” This true for all students with a disability or not they must have these needs met to feel fulfilled. Having a sense of belonging, being loved, making/having relationships and friendships with others enriches our lives. One way to ensure this is through education. Education helps meet the need to learn, grow and not remain in the same place stagnated all the time. This is what inclusion is all about; meeting all of the students needs and improving the quality of life for each individual. In a school setting, inclusion must be created with preparation of proper planning, and support from home, school and community. This will go a long way in helping the child succeed knowing that they have a support system. Being that the teacher knows where a student is academically, socially, emotionally, and culturally it is up to them to determine how best to facilitate learning. In order for this to work the educational experiences must be child centered. Students who are included in a general classroom should be included in all activities. The goal is to get them to a level that they can function better and be proud. No matter if they are placed in a regular classroom they must have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in place with objectives that will help meet the needs of each student individually. The text states that “inclusion involves bringing the support services to the child rather than moving the child to the support services” (Charlesworth, 2000, p. 58). As with any activity for our students we as educators must make modifications to the materials that are presented and or curriculum for the success of the students individually. Inclusion is referenced as “a universal agreement that students with disabilities gain social and communication benefits from their involvement in inclusive settings” (McGregor & Vogelsberg, 1998). One such modification is to provide a speech-language therapist to help a child who is experiencing speech or language impairments. These impairments are defined as a “communication disorder, such as...
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