This month, we'll feature articles, books, videos, and resources about including students with autism in general education classrooms and community activities.
Inclusion means that children with disabilities participate in the general education classroom or other activities with children without disabilities. Inclusion has also been called "mainstreaming."
Advantages of inclusive school classrooms for students with autism include participation in a natural environment, exposure to the general curriculum, peer models for language and communication, and potential for acceptance and friendship among the broader community.
Classmates without disabilities may also benefit from having a student with autism in their class by learning about the differences among people and developing compassion and understanding. Some of the strategies that benefit students with autism in an inclusive classroom, such as structure and visual supports, may also be helpful for all students.
Reference: "What Are the Pros and Cons of Including Children with Special Needs in Regular Classrooms?" by Alan Harchik, Ph.D., BCBA-D http://www.nationalautismcenter.org/learning/inclusion.php