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What's Your Excuse? Essay

1826 words - 7 pages

What’s your excuse?

Allen and Cowdery (2012) state ‘Inclusion is not a set of strategies or a placement issue. Inclusion is about belonging to a community – a group of friends, a school community, or a neighborhood’ (Pg.5). Inclusion of children with disabilities in 'normal' classrooms, happens to be a widely debated topic; whilst there are valid arguments on both sides and benefits for both inclusion and segregation, inclusion has become law (Holdheide & Reschly, 2008). Inclusion requires a great deal of work in and out of the classroom setting. One of the most prominent barriers is that of communication; with lack of time, funding and negative attitudes of not only parents, but the student body and teachers bringing up the rear (Teaching children with disabilities in inclusive settings, 2009). Teaching children with disabilities in inclusive settings (2009) mention that it is important for educators to realize, all children face barriers in learning not just disabled students. While thinking about these issues, it is also important to consider the benefits that could be gained from the inclusion of students with severe disabilities into integrated classrooms. Inclusion has had many success stories and although there is no perfect success rate; Inclusion has more benefits and learning capabilities for all students than segregation. Such benefits include opportunities for interaction, imitation and observation with typically developing children; whilst also promoting social-emotional, language and cognitive skills (Allen & Cowdery, 2012).

Communication difficulties can arise from many situations and has a multifactorial nature (Buckley, 2002). Inclusion requires good communication skills due to the amount of communication necessary with the student, parents and other educational supports. Buckley (2002) discusses that communication difficulties will arise from conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy and basic learning difficulties which can cover a huge amount of developmental complications. Finding the time to collaborate with education supports including assistant teachers, parents and other staff can be one of the most difficult tasks; according to Shaddock, Giorcelli and Smith (2007) the best strategy of finding more time is to team up with others rather than trying to seclude yourself and deal with it alone. Communication with students may only need slight modifications to keep them engaged; implementing technology such as multimedia presentations, supplying visual aids to go along with speech or making tasks open ended to promote higher order thinking is a great way to encourage successful communication and resolve boundaries (Shaddock, Giorcelli & Smith, 2007). Unfortunately even normal developing children can suffer with communication difficulties arising from many adverse factors such as the mothers’ use of teratogens, prematurity and sensory impairments (Buckley, 2002). How can children be categorized and separated...

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