Inclusion is when they “include” your special needs child into a regular classroom setting. Though there are some benefits to this, for us it’s not the right choice. While in Atlanta, one of MJ’s teachers recommended that MJ be included in a “regular” reading class. MJ was able to read but people, he was not able to comprehend what he read! Nevertheless, with the teacher’s suggestion we thought about it and decided to give it a try. Hated it! The teacher of the reading class CLEARLY had no clue what autism was. She would send home notes regarding the noises MJ would make and his inability to stay focused and stay seated. NEWS FLASH LADY, HE HAS AUTISM! I stayed “saved” and remained a Christian until she sent home a paper with a grade of “F” on it. At that point I turned into “Nicky from the 305” and had to go to the school and “regulate”…The teacher was not equipped to work with MJ. Even with an assistant in the room, MJ still made noises, and just could not stay on task and focus like the other kids. We have never done that again. The point is, INCLUSION INTO A “REGULAR” CLASSROOM WAS NOT THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR OUR SON! I DIDN’T CARE WHAT THEY TRIED TO TELL ME AT THE SCHOOL. We KNOW that MJ consistently needs a small classroom setting with more than one teacher in the room. He thrives in that type of environment. As of right now, MJ attends an autism classroom at our local elementary school. It has been amazing. Maybe things will change in the future and he will be able participate in a regular classroom, but right now I have to advocate for my child and do what is best for him.
Side note: MJ attends a “regular” art class and P.E. class with the rest of his peers. A teacher is with them at all times.