If your child is autistic, you know that find your child the right educational setting can be challenging. Since each autistic child is different from another, it can be difficult to know if separate special needs schools would be ideal, if schools for children with learning disabilities would help, or if an inclusion program would be ideal.
But studies show that inclusion programs can actually be highly beneficial for children with autism spectrum disorders. Instead of isolating these children in a setting with others who have the same medical condition, integrating them into a general education setting may prove to be a higher quality educational experience.
Autistic students in inclusion programs are given several supports to help them during the school day. Here are a few of them.
- PT and OT Autistic children often need sensory stimulation to calm down their nervous system. Most schools offer services for students who need physical therapy and occupational therapy (usually referred to as PT and OT). They are pulled out of class for a period of time to get some exercise, and also participate in activities that give them free range of motion.
- IEP.An individualized education program will be your child’s best chance of receiving all the right supports during the school day. This document is put together by teachers, parents, and other support staff within the school, and details how the school’s educators are going to meet the needs of an individual student. It outlines in-class strategies, such as modifying subject material, as well as social goals, such as interacting with peers in larger groups at least once a week. The IEP is actually a legal document, and must be followed by a child’s teacher.
- Aides. Special needs schools are typically fully staffed by educators who have experience working with special needs students. But in an inclusion setting with just one teacher in the room, it can be hard for the teacher to keep up with the IEP on his or her own. As a result, many of these classrooms have aides or paraprofessionals who work with special needs students throughout the day. They help them move from one classroom to another, answer questions the teacher is unable to get to, and also help keep them organized.
So, an inclusion program could be perfect for your child as long as he or she has the right supporting cast. More info like this: deronschool.org